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Dallas Independent School District, Austin Independent School District, and Tulsa Public Schools began their journey to adopt formative assessment in 2017, as part of the How I Know initiative, funded by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Learn from district leaders about how each district developed a unique vision and approach for student ownership and agency. Explore how they engaged student voice, model classrooms, district coaches, leadership, and district policy – to introduce and spread dramatic shifts in student and teacher roles.

Session Learning Outcomes:

  1. Learn how each presenter’s district used design thinking to utilize assets and leverage points to develop different approaches to implementing formative
  2. Discover how student voice, flexible models of asset-based learning, and showcasing examples of learner agency at different levels of a school system guide systems change.
  3. Learn about the developing formative assessment implementation models and the critical elements necessary to support new roles for teachers and students.


  • Nancy Gerzon, WestEd
  • Jessica Jollife, Austin Independent School District
  • Kierstan Barbee, Austin Independent School District
  • Jeni McIntyre, Tulsa Public Schools
  • Cheryl Niehaus, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation