USED & White House
[Webinar May 12] Competitive Grants for State Assessments Competition

Dear Colleagues:


I wanted to let you know that the Department today released the notice inviting applications for the Competitive Grants for State Assessments (CGSA) program. The purpose of this 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. It is authorized by section 1203(b)(1) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Applications are due Tuesday, June 30. The deadline for the notice of an intent to apply (which is optional and non-binding) is June 1.


This year’s competition includes three absolute priorities. These absolute priorities are:

Absolute Priority 1: Implementing the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA).

Absolute Priority 2: Planning to Apply for the Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority (IADA).

Absolute Priority 3: Developing Innovative Assessment Item Types and Design Approaches.


Applicants must address one of the three priorities above. The Department intends to fund at least one application under each priority. Complete information about each absolute priority is found in the notice inviting applications for this competition. The Department established Absolute Priorities 1 & 2 in the corresponding Notice of final priorities published on May 1st, 2020. Absolute Priority 3 was established in a similar notice on August 8, 2016.


Please take the time to review the applicable priorities, selection criteria, and all of the application instructions thoroughly. An application will not be evaluated for funding if the applicant does not comply with all of the procedural rules that govern the submission of the application or the application does not contain the information required under the program. You can find an application package and instructions document on the CGSA “Applicant Information” web page at: This document should be published no later than 12:00 p.m. on Monday, May 4.


We are hosting an applicant webinar for States to provide information about this grant opportunity. To participate, please refer to the information below.


CGSA Applicant Webinar Connection Details:

Tuesday, May 12 from 2:00-3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

Participant Dial-In:

US Toll Free: 877-226-9607

Confirmation Code: 1803329126 #

Webinar Link:

Please enter your first and last name to join as Guest.

The webinar will be recorded. A copy of the webinar slide deck along with a link to the recorded webinar will be posted to the CGSA Resources page as soon as possible after the webinar.


States must use to apply for this grant, please use the following link:

to access the for the CGSA 2020 competition forms.


Please visit the CGSA program web page for further information. If you have any questions about the program after reviewing the application package, please contact Donald Peasley at Please share this information with your colleagues.




Patrick Rooney
Director, School Support and Accountability

About the Author

Patrick Rooney is the Director of two offices--Evidence-Based Practices Assessment and Accountability and School Support and Accountability within ED’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. Before this recent appointment, Mr. Rooney was the Deputy Director of the Office of State Support.  Prior to joining the Office of State Support, Mr. Rooney worked in the Implementation and Support Unit, where he helped lead the work of the Reform Support Network, providing technical assistance to states implementing comprehensive Race to the Top reforms, and the Race to the Top Assessment program, which provided grants to groups of states to develop new assessments aligned to state’s college- and career-ready standards. Mr. Rooney also worked in the DC Office of State Superintendent of Education, where he was a senior policy advisor and worked on a wide variety of K-12 issues in the District of Columbia.