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Federal Action to Support Competitive Grants for State Assessments

Article
March 18, 2022

By: Lillian Pace

Last week, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2022 Appropriations bill which provided $390 million in funding for state assessments, a $12 million increase from 2021. This investment includes $21 million for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program, the highest amount of funding the program has ever received.

KnowledgeWorks collaborated closely with our federal partners including the Aurora Institute, the Center for Innovation in Education, the Learning Policy Institute, the Center for Assessment, Great Schools Partnership and Envision Learning Partners, and other key stakeholders to make this historic investment possible. We thank the Department of Education and Congress for making the program a priority and look forward to continuing our work together to serve the needs of all students, educators and families.

COVID-19 provided states the opportunity to accelerate their progress in rethinking state assessment systems to ensure they support the individual learning of all students. Learn more about how states are continuing to make progress in rethinking system accountability and K-12 assessment systems.

This funding coincides with the Department of Education’s invitation for new applications for the CGSA program. The application includes two absolute priorities:

  • Measuring student academic achievement using multiple measures of student academic achievement from multiple sources
  • Evaluating student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment instruments that emphasize the mastery of standards and aligned competencies in a competency-based education model

These priorities align perfectly with our goal of developing innovative assessments so that educators, administrators and parents have a better understanding of their child’s growth.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their notice of intent to apply by March 18. States have until May 3 to apply. KnowledgeWorks urges states to take advantage of this opportunity and we stand ready to serve as states move forward with innovative assessments. More information on the competition can be found here.

We are excited to continue this important work with key stakeholders, states, Congress and the administration to ensure assessments are better aligned to student-centered teaching and learning approaches.

Will new resources emphasize a return to normal for our schools? Or will policymakers and educators aim for something bolder that promises to dismantle the shortcomings of the past?

THE AUTHOR

Lillian Pace
Vice President of Policy and Strategic Advancement

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