The federal Race to the Top (RTTT) competitive grant program awarded $4.35 billion among select states, giving preference on grant applications to those states that agreed to adopt national education standards and tests. Moreover, the Obama Administration has suggested making federal Title I funding contingent upon adoption of national standards—a move that would provide no new funding for standards and assessment implementation but would effectively mandate their adoption by withholding federal funding for low-income schools.
While this carrot-and-stick approach to the adoption of standards and assessments is a cause for concern, it could also require more new spending at a time when state budgets are severely strained. The National Association of State Budget Officers reports that as of November 2010, 22 states projected budget shortfalls for fiscal year 2012 totaling approximately $40 billion. The new funding appropriated through the RTTT program will fall short of the total cost of overhauling existing state assessments. read full analysis on Heritage.org or here>>