Assessment for Learning Project Awards $2 Million to 12 Groups to Build Better Tests

ASSESSMENTS THAT MAKE THE GRADE: People from all walks of life—suburban parents, skittish students and Capitol Hill legislators—have been clamoring for fewer, and hopefully better, assessments. For them, the flexibility afforded by the Every Student Succeeds Act to states to design their own tests offers some hope.

Now there is a glimpse of what some of these new tests may look like. Twelve organizations, including public school districts, nonprofit research groups, charter networks and education state departments received awards ranging from $50,000 to $225,000 to design and implement new assessments. In total, $2 million was awarded through the Assessment for Learning Project, which is funded by the Hewlett and Gates foundations.

Grantee projects vary in scope and approach. In Hawai’i, the state department of education is exploring “culturally responsive” assessments rooted in local culture. The Center for Collaborative Education, working with schools in Rhode Island, are exploring how to combine micro-credentials with performance-based assessments. Each project proposal includes a list of participating schools who will test the tests.

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