The USA Department of Education will spend 350 million for new k-12 assessments in the next few years. These are designs by consortuims who want to move beyond the current emphasis on multiple choice bubble tests in state tests. You can read their frameworks for new designs. At least three state consortia will vie for $350 million in federal financing to design assessments aligned to the common-core standards. As part of Race to the Top, the competition aims to spur states to band together to create measures of academic achievement that are comparable across states. Two consortia – the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium and the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC – will compete for $320 million in funding. A smaller group, the State Consortium on Board Examination Systems, also will compete for funding.