Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Race to the Top Assessment Program

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, has set aside up to $350 million of Race to the Top funds for the potential purpose of supporting States in the development of a next generation of assessments. As an important next step in contemplating and designing a competition for these funds, and as a means of providing technical assistance to States, the Department of Education is pleased to release a notice for public meetings announcing a series of expert and public input meetings. (Please click here to view the executive summary of the notice.)

The goals are two-fold: first to gather technical input to inform the development of a Race to the Top Assessment Competition; and second to enable states, who will be the competition applicants, and the public to participate in and learn from these events. Given the highly technical nature of this work, the vast body of knowledge that exists around how to best develop assessments, and the many promising practices currently employed across the country and world, we will solicit a wide range of input from assessment practitioners and researchers as we prepare to take important next steps.

Over six days of meetings in November and December in three cities, department officials will solicit a wide range of input from expert assessment practitioners and researchers about how innovative and effective approaches to the development of the next generation of assessments. The department is inviting states, in particular, to attend the meetings and will share on its website both the transcripts of the meetings as well as all written input received.

The meetings will be held on the following dates and locations:

Thursday, November 12 – Friday, November 13
Full-day panel (Thursday, Nov. 12, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.): General assessment
Half-day panel (Friday, Nov. 13, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.): Technology & innovation
Half-day panel (Friday, Nov. 13, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.): High school assessment

Tuesday, November 17 – Wednesday, November 18
Full-day panel (Tuesday, Nov. 17, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.): General assessment
Half-day panel (Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.): Assessment of students with disabilities

Tuesday, December 1 – Wednesday, December 2
Full-day panel (Tuesday, Dec. 1, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.): General assessment
Half-day panel (Wednesday, Dec. 2, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.): Assessment of English language learners

The meetings are open to the public. The official notice, along with information on how to RSVP for the meetings, can be found on our web site at www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment. The Department encourages the submission of written input (see details of submission process on our web site), and plans to post transcripts of every meeting session and all written input submitted to the agency at www.ed.gov/programs/racetothetop-assessment.

Make sure your voice is heard and participate in the public discussion! J.T.

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