Perhaps. Significantly improving student assessment is the real “moon shot” for the stimulus funds.
A new Education Week article highlights the potential impact of these funds:
What now seems to be an intractable choice between richer tasks and reliable data, though, could be mediated by advancements in technology that could improve access, cost, and reliability of performance-based testing, some experts argue….Experts add that the infusion of federal cash could also provide more opportunities to devise tests that will better engage teachers in the cognitive science about how knowledge develops over time.
But, while Secretary Duncan has set aside $350 million of his “Race to the Top” fund to improve student assessments, plans for these funds remain vague. The article quotes me and others warning that the investment could be wasted if we invest $350 million without thinking differently about our decades-old assessment practices.
Photo: IBM Type 805 Test Scoring Machine, circa 1938.