TESTING, TESTING, 1, 2, 3: The Department of Education has opened grant applications to state education agencies and consortia wishing to rework their annual assessments, THE Journal reports. The new Enhanced Assessment Instruments program offers $9 million in grants for states to review their annual tests in hopes of reducing unnecessary testing and more effectively report scores.
The goals of the program, according to the Department's website, are to improve assessments' "quality, validity and reliability," measure student achievement from multiple sources, track student progress over time and develop new research methods and tools, particularly technology-based ones, for evaluating students. The Department also hopes that the program will give agencies and consortia the funding to collaborate with research institutions and higher education. Applications are now open and close September 22. Winners will be announced in January.