The Obama Administration and Assessments 2.0

Earlier this year in a speech to state leaders at Achieve’s American Diploma Project Leadership Team Meeting, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan remarked, “Today is the day that marks the beginning of the development of a new and much-improved generation of assessments for America’s schoolchildren. Today marks the start of Assessments 2.0”  (Duncan, 2010). Duncan was referring to the development of new assessments by two large state consortia, the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, who won awards totaling $330 million through the Race to the Top competition (Duncan, 2010). These two consortia will work over the next few years “designing and implementing comprehensive assessment systems in math and English language arts” so that by 2014 the assessments will be ready for use in any state (Duncan, 2010). Continue reading