Examining Common Formative Assessment in Middle School English Language Arts: Maximizing Collaborative Data Inquiry for Teacher and Student Success

The study evaluated teacher practices in middle school English language arts when teaching teams use common formative assessment to inform instruction. Data for this study was collected through standards based testing, measures of academic performance (MAP), content area team meeting notes for data inquiry steps in process, and teacher feedback reflections. The finding revealed that implementing common formative assessments creates a supportive learning structure for teachers while they evaluate student work, reflect on teaching practices, and plan future instruction through a collaborative process. Furthermore, the finding revealed that most teachers find the practice meaningful not only for raising student achievement, but also for improving teaching and learning - two pieces of the puzzle. Based on the literature reviewed and research data for "using common formative assessment in middle school English language arts", teachers are better informed for planning differentiated instruction when using (CFA) and teaching teams participate in data-based dialogue and reflection with their colleagues.