Department Awards Over $29 Million to 10 States for Innovative, Equitable Approaches to Improve Student Learning

3 months ago
AMERICA NEWS NOW

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced 11 awards totaling over $29 million to 10 state educational agencies (SEAs) under the 2022 Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program, underscoring the Biden-Harris Administration's ongoing efforts to enhance the quality of educational supports. As the 2022-23 school year begins, the Department is redoubling its commitment to providing states and communities with additional resources to accelerate student learning.

Through these awards, the Department is encouraging high-quality, innovative and authentic assessments that advance teaching and learning and continue­­ state effo­rts to provide timely and meaningful information to educators, parents, and students themselves. Funded initiatives will support multilingual learners and students with disabilities, improve the utility and instructional relevance of assessment results, and develop local capacity to design and implement performance-based assessments.

These awards reflect this year's CGSA competition priorities, which emphasized better understanding student academic achievement using multiple, high-quality measures; piloting assessment systems that are more customized and personalized (including competency- and technology-based assessments); supporting effective instruction and building educator capacity through the development of high-quality assessments of student learning; and helping parents and families better understand and use assessment data to support their child's education.

"Congratulations to these new grantees on their innovative approaches to better understanding student achievement and growth," said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. "With more authentic, relevant, and engaging assessments, educators and school leaders have more tools to personalize instruction to meet students' diverse needs; make critical, data-informed decisions that can positively affect student opportunities and outcomes; and communicate progress to parents and families. With this enhanced data and the resources from the American Rescue Plan, our school leaders have the resources to support students who need them the most, which is vital as our nation recovers from the pandemic. Ultimately, student assessment data should be focused on driving resources to students who need the most support, not on labeling schools and teachers especially while we are recovering from a pandemic."

The CGSA grants will help position these states to develop assessments that align with depth and breadth of state academic standards, measure high order thinking schools, enhance collaborations between K-12 and postsecondary institutions, emphasize equity considerations in assessment design, and pilot new assessment types, including assessments designed to be more instructionally relevant.

Statewide summative assessment can be designed to incorporate multiple measures of student learning that can provide valuable information to educators, students, parents or caregivers, and the public about gaps in student opportunities and outcomes. These systems are critical tools as states, districts, schools, and educators use multiple, high-quality measures to better understand the impacts of the pandemic on student learning, especially for underserved students, and chart plans for continued academic recovery.

The SEAs, project titles, and award amounts are shown below:

CGSA Project Title for Each Funded State

Award Amount

Arkansas Division of Elementary and Secondary Education 
Making Improved Decisions for Students on the Cusp of Alternate Assessment Participation
Using Multiple Measures of Academic Achievement from Multiple Sources (MIDAS)

 $2,145,418

Hawaii Department of Education
Expanding the Classroom-Based Assessment System Components in Hawaii's
Comprehensive Assessment Program

 $2,998,466

Illinois State Board of Education
Transición Early High School Spanish Language Arts Assessment

 $3,000,000

Kentucky Department of Education 
United We Learn: Transforming Educational Opportunity for Kentucky's Youth Through the
Creation and Scaling of Competency-based Assessment and Accountability

 $3,000,000

Louisiana Department of Education 
Testing What's Taught: Equity in Test Design Project

 $2,943,173

Louisiana Department of Education 
Project INTEL: Interim Assessments for English Learners

 $2,953,137

Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education 
Pathways for Instructionally Embedded Assessment (PIE)

 $2,544,344

Montana Office of Public Instruction 
Demonstrating the Full Potential of a Through-Year Assessment System in Montana

 $2,967,259

Nebraska Department of Education 
Coherence and Alignment for Science Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (CASCIA)

 $2,999,858

New York State Education Department 
Performance Learning and Assessment Networks (PLAN) Pilot

 $2,999,713

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Multilingual-Multimodal Science Inventory (M2-Si)

 $1,171,196

Additional information about CGSA, including more information about each funded project, is available here.

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