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Race to Top Test Competition: Who's in the Game?

Remember that other Race to the Top competition? The one that will dole out $350 million for development and implementation of assessments aligned to common standards? Well, we have our first official indication of who's going to apply for that money.

Those of you wonky enough to have followed every breath of this thing are going to jump all over me and say that we already had an inkling of who was going to apply. And that's true; we've reported on the evolution of the applicant groups, or "consortia," and how their applications will be judged, in stories here and here, and in blog posts here and here.)

But now consortia have submitted official "letters of intent to apply" for the money. And there is one group in the mix that we haven't told you about before.

In this list of applicants, you'll see a consortium applying for the high school exit-exam money called the "State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards on Career Technical Education." It's a bit of a mystery to me at this point; I'm bugging the department to tell me more, and I'll share it with you when I get it.

The other contender for the high school piece, the National Center on Education and the Economy, is one we told you about before. And both groups applying for the money to design "comprehensive" assessment systems are ones we've described for you as well. (The "Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Career" is the group earlier known as the "Florida-Achieve" consortium before it picked out a snazzy name for itself. The "Smarter Balanced" consortium has apparently stuck with a shorter version of the nickname that it got when three earlier groups—the SMARTER, Balanced, and MOSAIC consortia—merged into one.)

Keep in mind that just because these four groups met the April 29 deadline to file notices of intent to apply doesn't mean they'll actually apply, and it doesn't mean they are the only ones who will apply. The final regulations on this competition encourage applicants to submit these notices, but don't require them to do so. That means we won't really know who's applying until applications come in (deadline June 23).

The list of groups that filed notices of intent to apply is on the Ed Department's resource page for the assessment competition, along with a summary of the program, slides from an April 9 webinar about it, and information from an April 22 technical-assistance session the department hosted in Minneapolis for folks thinking about applying.

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