Partner Roles and Project Goals
The New York Formative Assessment Project involved four partners: The Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center (AACC); the New York Comprehensive Center (NYCC); the New York State Education Department (NYSED), and the Syracuse City School District (SCSD). The project provided professional development, technical assistance, and support to the New York State Education Department to learn the knowledge, skills, and implementation practices necessary to support districts interested in adopting classroom formative assessment practices.
The Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center provided relevant information and materials related to formative assessment research and practice. Margaret Heritage, the primary AACC project liaison, provided guidance and resources through the delivery of professional development sessions, the development of project materials, and ongoing guidance and support for all phases of project implementation. Margaret’s ongoing attention to project details ensured strong fidelity to formative assessment research throughout each phase of project implementation.
The New York Comprehensive Center provided technical assistance and training to implement formative assessment at the New York State Education Department and Syracuse City School District. The New York Comprehensive Center Assessment Team led training, facilitated team meetings and prepared guidance materials for use with the New York State Education Department. In addition, the NYCC Assessment Team led district-level professional development in Syracuse focused on developing an in-depth understanding of classroom formative assessment practices and implementation methods to change teachers’ classroom assessment practices.
The New York State Education Department worked with the Syracuse City School District to observe and study project implementation, and ultimately to understand implementation issues and teacher supports required for formative assessment implementation in order to inform state-level policy decisions related to formative assessment. Working with the New York Comprehensive Center, NYSED was tasked with learning about formative assessment research, state-level practices to support formative assessment and to develop strategies to support district formative assessment implementation.
The Syracuse City School District provided leadership, support, guidance, coaching, and internal professional development to participating project schools. Syracuse identified internal financial resources to expand their mathematics coaching staff, supported coaches to participate in extensive training on formative assessment, and aligned internal resources to ensure coaches were sufficiently available to provide the turn-key training outlined in the model. Syracuse district leaders worked with school principals and teachers to communicate about effective classroom formative assessment, align this project work with district and building goals, and provide opportunities for district-wide leadership training and support.
The four partners developed the following goals prior to project implementation:
- Develop an understanding of research-based formative assessment practices and ways to support districts in developing formative assessment practices
- Clarify definition of formative assessment and its use in classroom instructional practices
- Provide structures and protocols to use data to define instructional goals for short, medium and long-cycle assessment results
- “Scale-up” the use of research-based practices of formative assessment.