As a new teacher, I was definitely wet behind the ears.  There was a lot I didn’t know, and many mistakes were made.  My understanding of how to assess and track student growth was extremely limited, and I can vividly remember my first set of parent-teacher conferences being somewhat disastrous, being that I lacked the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively articulate what I needed to.  Of course, making mistakes is a natural part of the process, but I do think that if there were a class in my undergraduate education program on student assessment, particularly formative assessment, my first couple of years as a teacher would have been a whole lot easier.  It wasn’t until my third year teaching that I even heard the words “formative assessment,” which is when I volunteered to be part of a year-long professional development cohort on the topic.  Since Chronicle was designed with formative assessment in mind, I thought providing a brief overview on the difference between formative and summative assessments would be beneficial.  I think the following Educational Leadership article does a nice job providing this overview:

The Best Value in Formative Assessment