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Maryland Receives $3.8 Million to Improve Alternative State Assessments

Federal Assessment Grant Will Develop Services for Students

BALTIMORE, MD – The Maryland State Department of Education has been awarded a $3,843,805 federal grant to develop supplemental resources for an alternative science exam designed for students with disabilities.

The funds were awarded as part of the U.S. Department of Education’s Enhanced Assessment Grant program. Maryland submitted as the lead state in a consortium that also includes Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Oklahoma, as well as the University of Kansas.

MSDE’s new grant will focus on maximizing science achievement and progress for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The new assessment, already developed by the consortium, incorporated the learning goals of the Next Generation Science Standards, which have been implemented in Maryland schools the past three years. The resources will provide diagnostic information on student progress.

“Maryland seeks to strengthen achievement for all students, and this new grant will provide a boost in work with our most vulnerable population,” said Dr. Karen Salmon, State Superintendent of Schools. “By leading a team of accountability experts, we can develop resources that produce meaningful information for students, parents, and educators.”

This is Maryland’s third EAG award since 2009. In 2009 MSDE won an EAG to develop interoperability and accessibility standards for online assessment systems. In 2012 Maryland won an EAG to develop item development standards for the creation of online American Sign Language assessments.