By Donald Peasley, Evaluation Staff Lead, College 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 Okay-12 faculties had been open for in-person studying, and numerous college students skilled traumas, psychological well being challenges, and tutorial 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 centered 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 Okay-12 faculties by way of the American Rescue Plan, and we allowed for unprecedented flexibilities in our Okay-12 evaluation programs, so faculties and districts might concentrate on getting college students again in lecture rooms safely, in the beginning.
The Division of Training is proud that in only one 12 months, we’ve got returned to pre-pandemic ranges of faculties being open. As we speak, practically all college districts are again to in-person studying 5 days per week. We’re seeing college students day by day interacting with their lecturers, friends, and faculty workers, receiving the educational and psychological well being helps they should recuperate. And whereas this pandemic has underscored simply how necessary it’s for our college students to be receiving in-person instruction to make sure all college students are receiving high-quality, equitable schooling, it additionally has made clearer the gaps in our schooling system—and offered a chance for us to recuperate stronger than we had been earlier than.
That’s why right this moment the U.S. Division of Training is releasing the 2022 discover inviting purposes for the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program, a program designed to boost the standard of state evaluation programs to raised mirror the wants and experiences of our nation’s college students and communities. This system will enable for states to proceed to make use of assessments to quantify the impacts the pandemic has had on our nation’s college students, establish gaps which can have gotten worse, and discover methods to direct assets and funding to deal with these gaps and roadblocks to scholar achievement. This system may also enable the Division to establish, raise up, and assist scale progressive approaches to assessments that advance instructing and studying that may higher meet the wants of our evolving schooling system.
This system will award as much as $17.7 million in grants to 4-6 state academic companies, 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 concentrate on evaluation programs primarily based on a number of measures, competency-based schooling, and improved reporting of evaluation outcomes to folks and educators.
State academic companies (or a consortium of state academic companies) are invited to submit purposes that 1) develop or implement evaluation programs that use a number of measures of educational achievement; or 2) develop or implement complete tutorial assessments that emphasize the mastery of requirements and aligned competencies in a competency-based schooling mannequin. This system additionally features a aggressive precedence that focuses on bettering how evaluation outcomes are reported to folks and educators, so members of college communities can higher help how instruction is designed to fulfill the educational wants of youngsters.
Functions can be due on April 18, 2022. Profitable candidates can be chosen, and awards can be made, by September 2022. Officers from the Division’s Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Training may also conduct a webinar for potential candidates within the coming weeks. Registration data for the webinar, the applying for this grant program, and extra details about the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program is out there at https://oese.ed.gov/places of work/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 stay up for working in partnership with faculties, households, educators, and communities to strengthen our evaluation and schooling programs, so each scholar has the chance to succeed academically and thrive.