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Rangel Applauds Department Of Education's Initiative To Improve Student Assessments

Press Release

Location: New York, NY

Congressman Rangel applauded the U.S. Department of Education's initiative to develop a new generation of student assessments that will provide ongoing feedback to teachers during the course of the school year, measure annual student growth, and move beyond narrowly-focused bubble tests.

"Education holds the key to tackling global competition and the social challenges that we face as a nation," said Congressman Rangel. "I applaud President Obama and Secretary Duncan for investing in the students who are future of America."

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of Education's Secretary Arne Duncan announced the winners of two groups of states to receive federal grants as part of the Race to the Top Assessment Program. These grants, totaling approximately $330 million, will be awarded to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) in the amounts of approximately $170 and $160 million respectively.

New York is part of the coalition of 26 states that make up the PARCC coalition that will test students' ability to read complex text, complete research projects, excel at classroom speaking and listening assignments, and work with digital media. PARCC will also replace the one end-of-year high stakes accountability test with a series of assessments throughout the year that will be averaged into one score for accountability purposes, reducing the weight given to a single test administered on a single day, and providing valuable information to students and teachers throughout the year.

The new tests will be aligned to the higher standards that were recently developed by governors and chief state school officers and have been adopted by 36 states. Moreover, the consortium will design their assessment systems with the substantial involvement of experts and teachers of English learners and students with disabilities to ensure that these students are appropriately assessed. The assessments will be ready for use by the 2014-15 school year.

"American primary and secondary system has been falling behind the ranks in the world. My Democratic colleagues and I will keep fighting in Washington to ensure American students receive the necessary support they need to rise to the very top," said Rangel.

On Monday, August 30, 2010, Congressman Rangel invited U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Anthony Miller to address nearly 200 principals from the Congressman's Upper Manhattan district who gathered at Columbia University to ask various questions, such as on the recent $700 million New York's Race to the Top win. The live forum and reception following the event was co-hosted by Dr. Susan Fuhrman, President of Teachers College in New York.

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