Race to the Top Assessments: Common Core Standards and Their Impact on Student Testing
The Obama administration’s Race to the Top Assessment Program funds two consortia of states to develop student tests based on a common core of academic standards. In September, the Department of Education awarded grants to two groups of states – the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium. Grants of approximately $170 million and $160 million, respectively, were awarded to implement new methods for assessing achievement in mathematics and English language arts.
With the majority of states having signed on to this effort, what are the challenges facing policymakers as they try to translate common standards into assessments? How will testing methods grounded in common standards be properly implemented? What sort of accountability is required? And will these new assessment systems be an effective means of measuring student progress?
On October 28, a panel of education experts, moderated by Senior Fellow Tom Loveless, explored these questions in a discussion, focusing on implementation challenges and how common core standards, recently adopted by 38 states and the District of Columbia, will be incorporated into this latest generation of student testing. During the event, short papers on the topic were presented and discussed and are available to the public on this page.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.
Bruce Katz, of the Brookings Institution, said [land mapping] is not just about "real estate," but about access "to a talent pool." "Automobiles are essentially computers on wheels," said Katz, who focuses on the challenges and opportunities of global urbanization. "The broader Detroit area is one of the greatest hubs of technological innovation around manufacturing."