By Donald Peasley, Evaluation Staff Lead, College Help & Accountability, Workplace of Elementary and Secondary Schooling
Over the previous two years, the pandemic has introduced immense challenges to our nation’s college students, faculties, and communities. Only one yr in the past, solely 46% of our nation’s Okay-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 Schooling has been targeted on reopening our faculties safely, getting extra Individuals 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 techniques, so faculties and districts may give attention to getting college students again in school rooms safely, firstly.
The Division of Schooling is proud that in only one yr, we’ve returned to pre-pandemic ranges of colleges being open. At this time, practically all faculty districts are again to in-person studying 5 days per week. We’re seeing college students day-after-day interacting with their academics, friends, and college employees, receiving the tutorial and psychological well being helps they should get well. 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 training, it additionally has made clearer the gaps in our training system—and introduced a chance for us to get well stronger than we have been earlier than.
That’s why right now the U.S. Division of Schooling is releasing the 2022 discover inviting functions for the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program, a program designed to boost the standard of state evaluation techniques to higher 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 deal with these gaps and roadblocks to scholar achievement. This system will even permit the Division to determine, elevate up, and assist scale progressive 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 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 give attention to evaluation techniques based mostly on a number of measures, competency-based training, and improved reporting of evaluation outcomes to folks and educators.
State academic companies (or a consortium of state academic companies) are invited to submit functions that 1) develop or implement evaluation techniques 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 enhancing how evaluation outcomes are reported to folks and educators, so members of college communities can higher help how instruction is designed to fulfill the tutorial wants of kids.
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 Schooling will even conduct a webinar for potential candidates within the coming weeks. Registration info for the webinar, the applying for this grant program, and extra details about the Aggressive Grants for State Assessments program is on the market 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 training techniques, so each scholar has the chance to succeed academically and thrive.