Three groups seek federal funds to redesign student tests

Groups competing for a chance to design academic tests to match a common national curriculum would focus less on multiple-choice questions and instead combine end-of-year testing with performance-based tasks students complete throughout the year. Three state consortia are competing for $350 million in federal Race to the Top money and the chance to design the tests. Two of the groups would administer the end-of-year tests via computer, and one group, which consists of 31 states, would tailor the difficulty of the questions to each student's ability.

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