By Donald Peasley, Evaluation Workforce Lead, Faculty Assist & Accountability, Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Training
Over the previous two years, the pandemic has introduced immense challenges to our nation’s college students, faculties, and communities. Only one 12 months in the past, solely 46% of our nation’s Ok-12 faculties have been open for in-person studying, and numerous college students skilled traumas, psychological well being challenges, and educational disruptions. Some college students fell behind, and a few disconnected from their faculties altogether. That’s why since Day One of many Biden Administration, the Division of Training has been targeted on reopening our faculties safely, getting extra People vaccinated, and addressing the impacts of the pandemic on college students of all ages. As a part of this effort, we invested $130 billion in America’s Ok-12 faculties by way of the American Rescue Plan, and we allowed for unprecedented flexibilities in our Ok-12 evaluation methods, so faculties and districts may give attention to getting college students again in lecture rooms safely, before everything.
The Division of Training is proud that in only one 12 months, we’ve returned to pre-pandemic ranges of faculties being open. Right this moment, practically all college districts are again to in-person studying 5 days per week. We’re seeing college students each day interacting with their academics, friends, and faculty workers, receiving the tutorial and psychological well being helps they should get better. And whereas this pandemic has underscored simply how vital it’s for our college students to be receiving in-person instruction to make sure all college students are receiving high-quality, equitable training, it additionally has made clearer the gaps in our training system—and offered a chance for us to get better stronger than we have been earlier than.
That’s why at this time the U.S. Division of Training is releasing the 2022 discover inviting purposes for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments program, a program designed to boost the standard of state evaluation methods to raised replicate the wants and experiences of our nation’s college students and communities. This system will permit for states to proceed to make use of assessments to quantify the impacts the pandemic has had on our nation’s college students, determine gaps which can have gotten worse, and discover methods to direct assets and funding to handle these gaps and roadblocks to scholar achievement. This system may even permit the Division to determine, raise up, and assist scale revolutionary approaches to assessments that advance educating and studying that may higher meet the wants of our evolving training system.
This system will award as much as $17.7 million in grants to 4-6 state academic businesses, with estimated grant awards of as much as $3 million per grantee. Grantees will use these grant funds over a interval of as much as 4 years. This system will give attention to evaluation methods based mostly on a number of measures, competency-based training, and improved reporting of evaluation outcomes to oldsters and educators.
State academic businesses (or a consortium of state academic businesses) are invited to submit purposes that 1) develop or implement evaluation methods that use a number of measures of educational achievement; or 2) develop or implement complete educational assessments that emphasize the mastery of requirements and aligned competencies in a competency-based training mannequin. This system additionally features a aggressive precedence that focuses on bettering how evaluation outcomes are reported to oldsters and educators, so members of college communities can higher help how instruction is designed to fulfill the tutorial wants of youngsters.
Functions might be due on April 18, 2022. Profitable candidates might be chosen, and awards might be made, by September 2022. Officers from the Division’s Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Training may even conduct a webinar for potential candidates within the coming weeks. Registration info for the webinar, the appliance for this grant program, and extra details about the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program is offered at https://oese.ed.gov/offices/office-of-formula-grants/school-support-and-accountability/competitive-grants-for-state-assessments/applicant-information/.
As we proceed our work to help our nation’s college students of their restoration from the pandemic, we sit up for working in partnership with faculties, households, educators, and communities to strengthen our evaluation and training methods, so each scholar has the chance to succeed academically and thrive.