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A Vision for Using an Argument-Based Framework for Validity Applied to a Comprehensive System of Assessments for English Learners in Secondary Grades

By Margaret Heritage, Caroline Wylie, Molly Faulkner-Bond, and Aída Walqui

INTRODUCTION   |   PART 1   |   PART 2   |   PART 3    |   PART 4    |   PART 5    |   PART 6    |   PART 7    |   PART 8    |   PART 9   |   REFERENCES    |   APPENDICES


Part 8: Propositions, Claims, and Evidence for the Assessments in the CAS Framework


a. Formative Assessment


The hallmark of formative assessment that is designed into teaching is to ascertain the current learning status of individual students during their learning, and take action to advance each student’s learning toward meeting lesson goals. This does not mean that a teacher will consistently engage in one-on-one instruction, which is neither practical nor desirable. Rather, the teacher will provide multiple points of entry to questions, tasks, and activities that enable individual students to show where they are in their learning relative to content and language lesson goals. With the evidence obtained from formative assessment, the teacher can engage in individual, small group, or whole class instruction and provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning to advance each student’s learning toward meeting lesson goals. The logic model for formative assessment is shown in Figure 5.

Figure 5. Logic Model for Formative Assessment

Figure 5. Logic Model for Formative Assessment

Proposition 1: The assessment is aligned to lesson-sized learning goals in a broader trajectory of learning that integrate the development of key conceptual understandings, analytic practices and the language needed to express them.

Formative Assessment Proposition 1

Proposition 2: The assessment content is near the outside edge of the students’ ZPD.

CAS Formative Assessment Proposition 2

Proposition 3: The assessment content reflects the students’ experience in learning content and language simultaneously and is accessible to all students.

CAS Formative Assessment Proposition 3

Proposition 4: The information yielded from the student's responses provides qualitative insight into the student’s current learning status.

CAS Formative Assessment Proposition 4

Proposition 5: The assessment can be appropriately used by both the students and the teacher to make judgments about the students’ learning status and take action to move learning forward

CAS Formative Assessment Proposition 5

    We are not proposing that every question, probe, task, and activity that a teacher uses in formative assessment go through the validation process. However, undertaking the process periodically with a selected question, task, or activity can lead to important learning for teachers about design, integration of academic content and language, providing feedback, or identifying next steps in learning. This learning can be applied to subsequent questions, tasks, or activities.  


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