Policy & Practice

Formative Assessment

We believe the most important user of assessment information is the student.

The assessment information elicited and provided to students and student habits developed through the formative assessment process account for development of life-long learner agency.

Two decades of international research affirm significant achievement gains for students when formative assessment is used effectively by classroom teachers and by students as instruction occurs.

An investment in educators to learn to use the assessment practices that promote student learning is necessary if we intend to close achievement gaps that exist among student subgroups and support all students to meet career and college-ready standards.

How We Contribute


We have participated since its inception in Formative Assessment for Students and Teachers (FAST-SCASS), sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).


This group published a definition of formative assessment in 2006 and revised it in 2017.  The definition articulates development of student agency and the importance of the teacher’s role in using formative assessment practice to benefit student learning.

Formative Assessment for Michigan Educators (FAME)

FAME is the Michigan Department of Education’s unique professional learning program. Utilizing a learning team model, coaches are trained and encouraged to make a three-year commitment to the program.

MAC supports the FAME program with events coordination, program evaluation, and development of instructional materials that result from systematic action research conducted by our FAME Research and Development team.

Other Contributions

Two Assessment Learning Network (ALN) Events in 2019 brought focus to formative assessment.  MAC also previously sponsored two ALN programs on the topic of formative assessment.  And, our ALN resource library includes several published Learning Points and recorded Learning Moment videos on the topic.

In addition, MAC provides instructional materials on the topic of formative assessment through our Assessment Learning Module: Understanding the Formative Assessment Process.

MAC contributed to the national Hewlett-sponsored pilot of the Using the Formative Assessment Rubrics, Reflection and Observation Tools to Support Professional Reflection on Practice (FARROP) in 2017-18.


Who Informs Our Work?

Margaret Heritage:  A Learning Moment Video
Shifts from Assessment of Learning to Assessment for Learning


To learn more about our Policy and Practice work, please contact Kathy Dewsbury-White at (517) 816-4520.

Contact Us

Our resource bank contains additional materials and resources to support educators in the effective use of assessment.

Visit Resource Bank