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Assessment for Learning Connections


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Formative assessment is an integral part of the following initiatives in Iowa Schools:

Authentic Intellectual Work (AIW)

Within the standards for AIW, special emphasis is placed on cognitive complexity, or teaching for understanding. Formative assessments are used to determine the progress of students toward deeper levels of understanding. “Research on authentic intellectual work throughout the United States indicated that in grades 3 – 12, across the subjects of mathematics, social studies, language arts, science, and regardless of race, gender, or social class, students who experienced higher levels of instruction and assessment that promoted authentic intellectual work showed higher achievement than students who experienced lower levels of instruction and assessment aimed toward authentic intellectual work.” Newmann, Fred M., Bruce King, and Dana Carmichael. Authentic Instruction and Assessment. Prepared for the Iowa Department of Education, 2007.

Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI)

CGI provides a framework for assessing students’ thinking. CGI teachers use formative assessments and learn how to use what their children currently understand to plan instructional activities for these students. CGI incorporates the three critical criteria for authentic intellectual work, construction of knowledge, disciplined inquiry, and value of achievement beyond school.

Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in Iowa, also known as Response to Intervention or RtI, is an every-education decision-making framework of evidence-based practices in instruction and assessment that addresses the needs of all students starting in general education. A key component of MTSS is evidence-based curriculum and instruction. To keep learning moving forward each student needs continuous monitoring of on-going learning. With each lesson, MTSS teachers identify the intended learning, use evidence of students meeting the learning goals, and identify which students need additional support, are on track to learn, or need to move forward. Teachers using formative assessment practices are also able to engage students in thinking and acting on their learning needs.


Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 29, 2016 at 3:26pm.