The National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing, known as UCLA CRESST, will design an assessment for English learners with significant cognitive disabilities in its role as the project management partner for a $7.8 million grant awarded to the Iowa Department of Education by the U.S. Department of Education.

Participating states in the four-year grant, including the lead state of Iowa, will design and develop an assessment for this small and under-served population of students. It would be very difficult for an individual state to develop an assessment of this type due to the small number of students.

“At CRESST, we believe assessment design is a critical linchpin to understanding and improving the quality of education for every student,” said Li Cai, professor of education in the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and director of CRESST. “This grant award is particularly exciting as it addresses a long-standing assessment concern — and federal requirements — for assessing this small and very important population of students.”