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Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment

Webinar:


Participants
Tanya Baker, Director of National Programs, National Writing Project
Randy Bennett, Norman O. Fredericksen Chair in Assessment Innovation, Educational Testing Service
Steve Graham, Currey Ingram Professor of Special Education and Literacy, Peabody College of Education and Human Development,
Vanderbilt University
Bonnie Hain, Senior Advisor, English Language Arts and Literacy, Achieve
Karen Harris, Currey Ingram Professor of Special Education and Literacy, Peabody College of Education and Human Development,
Vanderbilt University
Michael Hebert, Doctoral Student in Special Education, Peabody College of Education and Human Development,Vanderbilt University
Andrés Henríquez, Program Officer, National Program, Carnegie Corporation of New York
Bob Wise, President, Alliance for Excellent Education

Although some progress has been made in improving the literacy achievement of students in American high schools during the last twenty years, the majority of students still do not read or write well enough to meet grade-level demands. Poor literacy skills play a role in why many of these students do not complete high school. Among those who do graduate, many will not be ready for college or a career where reading and writing are required. These young people will find themselves at a serious disadvantage in successfully pursuing some form of higher education, securing a job that pays a living wage, or participating in social and civic activities.

One tool with potential for improving students’ ability to convey thoughts and ideas effectively through text is classroom-based writing assessment. Such formative assessments allow teachers to gauge the effectiveness of their instructional practices, modify instruction as needed, and provide students with feedback on writing strengths and areas in need of further development.

The Alliance for Excellent Education held a briefing on September 15, 2011 to release its most recent report from Carnegie Corporation of New York, Informing Writing: The Benefits of Formative Assessment, which identifies instructional practices shown to improve students’ writing abilities. Following a presentation of the report’s findings, experts explored the implications of the findings for instruction, assessment, and research.

Supplemental Materials:

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