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Competitive Grants for State Assessments

Current Section  Purpose
 Office of Elementary and Secondary Education Home


Program Office: Office of State Support
CFDA Number: 84.368
Program Type: Discretionary Grants
Also Known As: Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA)

Program Description

The purpose of the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA program is to enhance the quality of assessment instruments and assessment systems used by States for measuring the academic achievement of elementary and secondary school students. This program is authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This program replaces a similar program, the Enhanced Assessment Grants (EAG) program authorized by the ESEA as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).

Types of Projects

Projects that address program objectives by producing significant research methodologies products or tools, regarding assessment systems, or assessments.

An eligible applicant awarded a grant under this program must propose activities that fit one or more of the following categories:

  1. Developing or improving assessments for English learners, including assessments of English language proficiency as required under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(G) and academic assessments in languages other than English to meet the State’s obligations under ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(F).
  2. Developing or improving models to measure and assess student progress or student growth on State assessments under ESEA section 1111(b)(2) and other assessments not required under ESEA section 1111(b)(2).
  3. Developing or improving assessments for children with disabilities, including alternate assessments aligned to alternate academic achievement standards for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities described in ESEA section 1111(b)(2)(D), and using the principles of universal design for learning.
  4. Allowing for collaboration with institutions of higher education, other research institutions, or other organizations to improve the quality, validity, and reliability of State academic assessments beyond the requirements for such assessments described in ESEA section 1111(b)(2).
  5. Measuring student academic achievement using multiple measures of student academic achievement from multiple sources.
  6. Evaluating student academic achievement through the development of comprehensive academic assessment instruments (such as performance and technology-based academic assessments, computer adaptive assessments, projects, or extended performance task assessments) that emphasize the mastery of standards and aligned competencies in a competency-based education model.

Other Information

Proficiency on State assessments required under Title I, Part A, of the ESEA is the primary indicator in the ESEA of student academic achievement and, hence, the primary measure of State success in meeting the goals of ESEA. In view of the critical importance of these State assessments, section 6361 provides formula grants to all SEAs, and section 6363 authorizes the Secretary to make competitive grant awards to State educational agencies (SEAs) to help them enhance the quality of assessment and accountability systems.

Last Modified: 01/30/2019