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Standard 8.2: Mentor formative assessment tools

Program leadership, program partners, and all stakeholders ensure that mentors utilize a wide-range of formative assessment tools in order to establish multiple measures of teaching from which to promote further professional development.

Formative assessment is an ongoing, non-evaluative, evidence-based measurement of growth over time. Program leaders need to create or adopt a set of formative assessment tools and a system for training and implementing them with mentors and beginning teachers. A wide range of formative assessment tools should be utilized with beginning teachers to further professional growth. These tools should be used to collect and analyze data throughout the school year. The formative assessment process should also align with, but be separate from, the formal teacher evaluation process. The importance of confidentiality—on the part of mentors and beginning teachers—cannot be over-emphasized (see section 8.3).

Programs should do the following:

  • Set the expectation that multiple sources will be used throughout the school year (e.g., classroom observation data, student work, teacher inquiry, lesson plans, etc.)
  • Provide ongoing training to mentors and beginning teachers in the use of the tools
  • Create a system to collect formative assessment data as well as the tools for documenting the process
  • Decide whether to align the formative assessment process with the formal teacher evaluation process or use different processes for each

The Charlotte Danielson Framework for Teaching and the Illinois Continuum of Teacher Development (ICTD) (password required) are two examples of formative assessment tools that can be used.

Program leaders are strongly encouraged to discuss the ratings used for formal teacher evaluation and the relationship between formal teacher evaluation and levels of practice for beginning teachers. Each program should define what these levels will be for beginning teachers and have purposeful conversations with mentors and beginning teachers about evidence of effective practice needed to determine their level of practice. Clear goals should be set for improving the beginning teachers’ level of proficiency.

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