I did promise that I'd be back to blogging once I turned in the formative assessment book to Harvard Education Press. It's done--done for now, at least. There are twelve chapters by 24 authors, and then the introductory and concluding chapters written by me and my co-editor, Dan Hickey of Indiana. David Ellis, former president of Boston's Museum of Science sent me the comment that trying to get a bunch of academic authors all to turn in their chapters on time and in the right format is like pushing a wheelbarrow full of toads uphill. I have to say that although they are kindly and attractive toads, they do tend to hop out of the wheelbarrow!
The book will be called New Frontiers in Formative Assessment, and if all goes well it will come out next fall. We hope the audience will include teachers, professional developers, a professor or two, curriculum developers, and assistant superintendents for curriculum and instruction.
First, though, there will be a lot of back and forth with the press and the authors, refining the chapters, copy-editing, and most of all, making the charts and figures consistent, attractive, and informative. When it's done, I think it will be something to be proud of, with chapters on formative assessment in math, literacy, and science, and with and without substantial use of digital technology. We mean the book to paint a hopeful but realistic picture of how to use assessment in the classroom to improve the quality of teaching and the depth of student understanding.