Central Union School District

Formative Assessments

The Formative Assessment Process is a deliberate process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides actionable feedback that is used to adjust ongoing teaching and learning strategies to improve students’ attainment of curricular learning targets/goals.

Families and staff can learn more about what is and what is not the Formative Assessment Process by watching a video and and/or reviewing this 1 page guide.

California Department of Education (CDE) has developed the Formative Assessment in Action Video Series. Each of the six videos in the series is just 13 minutes or less. This is a great opportunity to see formative assessment in action in classrooms.

Illuminate Education

Illuminate DNA is a powerful tool to support teachers in the formative assessment process. Teachers are able to create and administer standards-based assessments with instant scoring. Common Formative Assessment are created to measure student mastery of Critical Learning Targets from Grade Level Essential Standards. Illuminate includes access to an extensive standards-based and SBAC aligned Item Bank with questions that can be in a variety of ways during classroom instruction for formative assessment purposes. Prebuilt and Custom Reports are available to guide teachers in planning for improved learning outcomes.

Illuminate (teacher login)

 ESGI logo


ESGI (teacher login)

 Renaissance logo


Renaissance (teacher login)

 CAASPP logo

Through the Smarter Balanced Consortium and California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), teachers have access to several online formative assessment tools.

These tools include:

  • Tools for Teachers (K-12),
  • Smarter Balanced Content Explorer (Grades 3-12),
  • Smarter Balanced Annotated Response Tool
  • Lexile & Quantile Hub Resources.

    More Information about each of these tools and access for teachers is provided below. 
 Tools for Teachers logo

Tools for Teachers is a website with resources to support parents and Teachers. Parents and Teachers can access the website at https://smartertoolsforteachers.org.


Parents have access to general information including an Quick Start information, an Overview Video, and Explore More Tools. Teacher click at the bottom of the page to log in for access to additional tools specific to California.


This website supports Teachers in differentiating instruction to accelerate student learning. Teachers have access to educator-created lessons, activities, strategies and professional learning. All resources go through a quality vetting process. More information for understanding and utilizing the Formative Assessment Process is also available at Tools for Teachers.

 Smarter Content Explorer logo

Smarter Content Explorer is an interface to explore the range of ELA/literacy and math knowledge and skill important for college and career readiness on the Smarter Balanced Assessments. Use this site to learn how test items connect to academic standards.

 Smarter Annotated Student Respong Tool logo

 Smarter Balanced Annotated Response Tool (SmART) is designed to help educators better understand the rubrics that are used to score students' written responses to Smarter Balanced constructed -response items and performance tasks. Educators can view examples of student writing, scoring annotations, and rubrics to help understand what to look for when reviewing student responses and understand where to provide support to students in a specific writing area.

 Smarter Content Explorer Lexile & Quantile Hub Resources contains resources for California educators instructional planning resources and a variety of tools that support the monitoring of student growth in reading and math toward goals of college and career readiness.

The Lexile Framework for Reading is a scientific approach to measuring both reading ability and the text complexity of reading materials on the same developmental scale. Central uses iReady Diagnostics and STAR Reading which provide Lexile information. CAASPP English Language Arts assessment provides a Lexile level report.

Access:  Families and staff have access to Smarter Content Explorer at https://contentexplorer.smarterbalanced.org  




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