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Federal grant to fund Missouri education assessment

by Staff Reports | August 31, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.

The United States Department of Education is awarding more than $29 million to 10 states for programs to improve student learning, and Missouri is going to get a slice of the pie.

Missouri is set to receive more than $2.5 million for its Pathways for Instructionally Embedded Assessment, or PIE project, according to a news release from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The PIE project team will create prototype tests that measure student achievement in multiple areas. These tests will be woven into lessons and implemented formally in end-of-year assessments.

The project will play out across four years and will take place in fifth-grade math for about 1,500 students, with an option to expand to other areas.

Embedding assessments into learning allows researchers and teachers to see students' competencies while they learn and collect data that could be used for statewide assessment purposes, according to the release.

"This grant funding provides DESE the opportunity to accelerate our plans to redesign the state's assessment system," Commissioner of Education Margie Vandeven said in the news release. "The PIE project will give us a chance to advance our goal to better see where and when students need more academic support in order to become success-ready. We are very excited to get to work on this project."

The grant was awarded as a part of the Competitive Grants for State Assessments program. This year's priorities were using multiple measures to understand student achievement, more customized or personalized assessments, supporting instruction and elevating teachers, and helping families understand and use assessment data.

Grants also went to programs in Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New York and North Carolina.

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