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U.S. Department of Education to Hold Race to the Top Assessment Public Meeting on Creating Valid, Reliable and Fair Assessments

The U.S. Department of Education will host the third in a series of public meetings related to the Race to the Top Assessment (RTTA) grants on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. This meeting will convene representatives from both RTTA consortia and a panel of experts to discuss addressing the needs of students with disabilities and English learners as they work to develop next-generation assessment systems.

The RTTA program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, awarded grants to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which together comprise 45 states and the District of Columbia. The two consortia are developing comprehensive assessment systems in English language arts and mathematics for grades 3 through 8 and high school, aligned to the Common Core State Standards. The improved assessments, which will be implemented in the 2014-15 school year, will measure whether students have the knowledge and skills necessary to graduate from high school ready for success in college and careers.

The new assessment systems will include all English learners and students with disabilities, except for a small percentage of students with the most significant cognitive disabilities who may be eligible for a different assessment based on alternate academic achievement standards. The consortia are committed to ensuring the assessments are valid, reliable and fair for all students. The Aug. 10 meeting will help PARCC, SBAC and the Department address key questions from the consortia about how to improve the accessibility of assessment systems.

Future meetings on the RTTA program may include such topics as developing assessments that share or translate content and data across different technology platforms; setting achievement standards and performance levels; defining college and career readiness; and creating a uniform growth model. Funding to support these meetings is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Members of the public and the media interested in attending must go to the US Department of Education Registration site to register. If you experience problems accessing the registration site, contact [email protected].

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