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ERIC Number: ED516509
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb-18
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
National Education Standards and Tests: Big Expense, Little Value. WebMemo. No. 3157
Burke, Lindsey M.
Heritage Foundation
The federal Race to the Top (RTTT) competitive grant program awarded $4.35 billion among select states, giving preference on grant applications to those states that agreed to adopt national education standards and tests. Moreover, the Obama Administration has suggested making federal Title I funding contingent upon adoption of national standards--a move that would provide no new funding for standards and assessment implementation but would effectively mandate their adoption by withholding federal funding for low-income schools. While this carrot-and-stick approach to the adoption of standards and assessments is a cause for concern, it could also require more new spending at a time when state budgets are severely strained. The National Association of State Budget Officers reports that as of November 2010, 22 states projected budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2012 totaling approximately $40 billion. The new funding appropriated through the RTTT program will fall short of the total cost of overhauling existing state assessments. Instead of throwing out existing assessments developed at great taxpayer expense for unproven national standards and tests, this paper suggests that state policymakers should: (1) Strengthen existing state-based accountability systems; (2) Provide information to parents and taxpayers about school performance; (3) Empower parents to act; and (4) Empower states with funding flexibility in exchange for transparency. (Contains 7 footnotes.)
Heritage Foundation. 214 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002-4999. Tel: 202-546-4400; Fax: 202-546-8328; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Heritage Foundation
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Race to the Top
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test