Formative assessment has become the most efficient way of knowing which students are learning, which are stuck and where, and which students just aren’t getting it at all. It is information teachers collect in deliberate ways: listening to class discussions, glancing over a student’s shoulder as he or she complete an in-class assignment, asking three opening questions, collecting papers for review, and so on.
Why is that after a year of Algebra 99% of the students entering Geometry cannot remember or explain what is y=mx+b and connect y=3x+2 to a graph? Teaching to the test may have improved school test results for grades K-8 but it did not help the students in the long run. Teaching to the test resulted in short cuts to get an answer and not a strategy for learning mathematics. Principles to Action by NCTM (2014) research identifies the indicates the failure of the traditional instruction methods. This is the reason for the development of the California Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CA CCSSM). If instruction must change then assessment must change as well.