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Race to Top Assessment Consortia Get More Money

Remember a couple weeks back when the federal government gave out $330 million to groups of states that are designing new assessments for the common standards?

Well, now comes news that those state consortia are getting a chunk more cash from the feds. According to my intrepid colleague Alyson Klein, it seems there were "leftover" funds lying around, unused, after the Race to the Top and other competitions, so they decided to channel it to test design.

(Wait, wait, I'm still trying to digest the idea of leftover funds. Leftover. Funds. Please give me a few minutes.)

Remember that the Race to the Top assessment competition was originally for $350 million, but $20 million of it wasn't handed out. There was a high school exit-exam piece of that contest that didn't get funded. That might be some of what's creating the excess, at least in the RTT-A competition. Some of this windfall today comes from other federal competitions as well, as Alyson reports.

Interesting though, that the excess is for implementation. That's been a gripe in some of the states: it's wonderful that you're giving us all this money to design new tests, and please don't think we're ungrateful, but how are we going to pay to sustain this new system once we give it legs? This money—divided among the 44 states represented in the consortia—won't go a very long way toward answering that question, either, I'm guessing.

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