Invitation to June 10 Race to the Top Assessment Public Meeting on Automated Scoring

On Friday, June 10 in Chicago, the U.S. Department of Education (Department) will host the second in a series of public meetings related to the Race to the Top Assessment (RTTA) grants. This meeting will bring together representatives from the two RTTA consortia and a panel of experts to discuss automated scoring of assessments.

The RTTA program, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, awarded grants to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which together comprise 45 states and the District of Columbia. The consortia are developing comprehensive assessment systems in English language arts and mathematics in grades 3 through 8 and high school aligned to the Common Core State Standards to measure whether students have the knowledge and skills necessary to graduate from high school ready for success in college and careers. For more information on the assessment systems design, please see the approved RTTA applications at

Both consortia’s planned assessment designs use a mix of scoring by educators and automated scoring systems. The purpose of the meeting is for PARCC, SBAC and the Department to better understand the reliable and valid use of automated scoring of various formats and types of items. The information shared at this meeting will help inform the use of automated scoring in the new assessment systems that will be administered for the first time in school year 2014-15.

The meeting is open to the public and an opportunity will be provided for members of the public to provide input. Space is limited, however, so registration is required and we encourage each organization interested in attending to limit itself to no more than two representatives. The meeting will be held on Friday, June 10, 2011, at the Hilton Suites Chicago/Oak Brook from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CDT. To register, go to If you experience problems accessing the registration site, contact

In addition, the Department will hold a third public meeting on the RTTA program in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, August 10, 2011. That meeting will focus on the inclusion of students with disabilities and English language learners in the assessment systems. More information about this meeting, including how to register, will be made available when details are finalized.

Future meetings on the RTTA program will include such topics as achievement standards setting and performance level descriptors, and selection of a uniform growth model consistent with test purpose, structure, and intended uses. Funding to support these meetings is provided by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.


  1. The race to the to concept is good. However, Mississippi will use this to pad the pockets of universities that do not understand poverty and low income children.

  2. I am confused about the race to the top funds.. If every state is supposed to increase student learning.. Then why is this a contest ? .. Shouldn’t every state receive funds? I understand that every state who receives the RTTA must prove what they will do with the funds first. However.. couldn’t the funds be given to the states then told how to use it ??

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