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Formative assessment

Written by Michael Silver, College of Education
June 24, 2010

 The fourth annual Northwest Catholic Educational Leadership Institute, June 22-24 at Seattle University, brought together 180 Catholic school administrators and teachers from 47 schools in Washington and Oregon. The theme of this year's institute, “Formative Assessment: Linking Instruction to Assessment,” featured nationally known presenters Dr. Laura Lipton and Peggy Olcott. The institute is co-sponsored by the College of Education and the Catholic Schools Department of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Michael Silver, director and assistant professor of educational administration programs at the College of Education and Kay Purcell, assistant superintendent of the Catholic School Department of the Archdiocese of Seattle, were co-chairs in the planning and directing of the institute.
The institute was initiated from conversations of a 10-member Educational Leadership Advisory Council, formed in 2006 by the College of Education and the Catholic Schools Department. The Advisory Council has continued to identify the needs for professional development specifically tailored for leaders and teachers in Catholic Schools. The advisory council selected formative assessment as this year’s theme because of the importance placed on assessing student learning in schools. According to Silver, formative assessments include both the informal and formal strategies and tools used by teachers to check student understanding and learning on an ongoing basis.