If you have been following my posts on the Race to the Top assessment competition, you might remember that I was stumped, mystified and intrigued by one of the four groups recently proclaiming their intent to apply for a portion of those funds. (See my post for the run-down.)
The two groups applying for $320 million to design comprehensive assessment systems were groups we knew would apply, and which we’ve told you about before. We knew of only one group, however, that was going after the $30 million for high school end-of-course assessments, and we had told you about them, too. So we were surprised to see another group, the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards on Career Technical Education, file a notice of intent for the high school money.
Well, the Mystery Consortium is no longer such a mystery. After a bunch of phone calls and emails, I have learned that it’s a group of directors of career and tech ed from various state departments of education. Most or all of the states involved are also part of the Council of Chief State School Officers’ State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards, which seeks to offer partnership and resources in building good standards and assessments.
Exactly which states belong to this consortium, what their plans are, and how firm their plan is to actually apply for RTT money are all open questions at the moment. But I do know that there has been concern in the CTE community that as assessments take shape to measure “college and career readiness,” aligned to the common standards, the “career” part risks being overlooked. So perhaps this is the beginning of a CTE community response to make sure that readiness tests truly measure that students are prepared for good jobs as well as for college.
I’ll bring you more when I get it.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.