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ED Releases Early Learning Challenge Guidelines

Today, the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services jointly released the final guidelines for the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge competition. The application can be downloaded here. Deadline is Oct. 19.

A technical assistance workshop for applicants will be held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, and videoconferenced to the Education Department's regional offices around the country. During the press call announcing the guidelines' release, Jacqueline Jones mentioned that the Education Department also will host a Sept. 1 webinar offering states more information about the application process.

Officials said the hundreds of comments on the draft guidelines prompted them to offer states more choice in areas to address as part of their applications. They also reiterated their stance that the school-readiness assessments for kindergartners that states would be asked to develop should not be used for high-stakes purposes.

"We will never ask 3-year-olds to take bubble tests. That would be ludicrous," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "What they say, how they draw, and what they do demonstrates early learning and development."

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