Montana Alternative Student Testing pilot program gets $3M grant

Funding for the Montana Alternative Student Testing (MAST) pilot program has been completed by a $2,967,259 Competitive Grant for State Assessments (CGSA) from the federal government, which was the total amount requested for the four-year pilot.

“I am very pleased that the federal government is agreeing with Montana’s innovative solution of linking learning and teaching in our state assessments,” said Montana’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen. “This will allow Montana to get back to the basics of Math and Reading while focusing on student and teacher success.”

This grant along with private resources will provide funding for the following strategies in Montana schools: Stakeholder engagement, test design and deployment, report development and deployment, research and evaluation, professional development and stakeholder communication, said an official at the state Office of Public Instruction (OPI).

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The U.S. Department of Education invited applicants to apply for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program on Feb. 16, 2022. Only 11 states received the grant, including Montana, which applied for the Absolute Priority 2 of the CGSA. The awards totaled over $29 million, according to the U.S Department of Education.

“Congratulations to these new

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