Penuel, W. R., & DeBarger, A. H. (in press). A research-practice partnership to improve formative assessment in science. In A. J. Daly & K. S. Finnigan (Eds.), Thinking systemically: Improving districts under pressure. Washington, DC: AERA.
This chapter describes an approach to supporting and investigating teacher learning of formative assessment in middle school Earth science. The approach illustrates a framework for conducting research on and supporting instructional improvement at scale in partnership with school districts. In the project, researchers worked in partnership with teachers and leaders in a large urban district to design and test classroom assessment resources intended to improve the efficacy of district-adopted curriculum materials. The project tested the value the resources add to the curriculum in a small-scale, quasi-experimental field trial. This chapter highlights both the potential and challenges of research-practice partnerships for promoting district-wide improvements to classroom assessment, highlighting the ways the partnership supported efforts to create vertical, horizontal, and developmental coherence to a district’s assessment system.