The effective use of formative assessment practices has resulted in some of the largest gains in student learning ever documented. Given the connection between improving classroom assessment and increasing student learning, the critical question among school leaders no longer seems to be, "what classroom practices best improve student learning?" Instead, leaders interested in student learning through classroom assessment are increasingly driven to inquire into the conditions that will best foster effective assessment practices in the classroom.
Michael Bradford is an elementary school vice-principal and literacy coach for Saskatoon Public Schools. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in the middle of the Canadian prairies.