The current forms of state educational assessments do not allow us to fully measure critical thinking skills and higher-order problem solving and performance. With the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act there is a new unprecedented influx of resources to build assessments used to measure such student progress. This request from the Counsel of Chief State School Officers (Washington DC), a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in most states, will help develop a more extensive knowledge base of state officials, measurement experts, national organizations, and most importantly, the US Department of Education (USED), as the development of new assessments is financially supported. CCSSO's goals include: 1. Educate key policymakers about the components for a new system of assessments. 2. Support a more coordinated body of testimony, reflecting an assessment framework, that will be offered by key state experts in three regional briefings sponsored by USED. 3. Develop a detailed framework to guide states and state consortia in building new assessments. 4. Establish a cadre of key leaders who are knowledgeable about new assessment possibilities and prepared to develop integrated systems of assessment, supported by curriculum, instructional supports and professional development. This request would be an important building block for the Education Program's proposed 21st century competencies component, as it would create openings for states to develop new assessments that measure these competencies across various grade levels and disciplines. (New, $100,000/6 months; 100.00% of project budget)
About the Grantee
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Grants to this Grantee
for support to states in adopting and implementing the Common Core assessments
This national association of state education commissioners has been helping a small number of states transition to new assessments aligned with the Common Core. This grant would finance planning for a larger project to help states make policy changes and address technical issues involved in using the new tests. The aim of this grant is to increase the likelihood that states will adopt the new assessments with fidelity to deeper learning.
for the SMARTER Balanced consortium's capacity and higher education and standards framing activities
Representing thirty-one member states, the Council's SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium is one of two federally funded consortia formed to develop a common K-12 student assessment system. The Consortium will coordinate with the higher education community to foster consensus on reasonable, rigorous student performance standards. This grant also would support improvements in the Consortium's management, outreach, and engagement with constituents. Its success is expected to be the centerpiece of the Education Program's Deeper Learning agenda, assuring that the K-12 common assessment system will involve rigorous testing and innovation, align with the postsecondary sector, and be widely adopted by states.