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States Rush to Join Testing Consortia — From EdWeek.org by Stephen Sawchuk
Many sign on to boost chances for Race to the Top funding.

Spurred by the promise of $350 million in Race to the Top money for improved tests—as well as an opportunity to strengthen bids for part of the federal fund’s larger $4 billion pot—states are scrambling to join consortia to develop common assessments.
Six state consortia are now engaged in discussions about common tests, and the multiple partnerships may put to rest for now speculation that federal support inevitably will lead to a single national set of exams.

Since it isn’t yet clear what the U.S. Department of Education expects to see from the consortia, most states have hedged their bets by signing up for more than one partnership. For the most part, their signatures on the “memorandums of understanding” listing the principles of each consortium are nonbinding.

The situation remains fluid, with the number of states involved in each consortium changing almost daily.

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