HADLEY, Mass. – Aug. 19, 2009 – Pearson, the education and technology company, continues to grow its leadership position as the top provider of computer-based teacher certification tests, most recently with the spring 2009 launch of a computer-based basic skills test for Illinois teacher candidates and the announcement of the 2010 debut of its NES® (National Evaluation Series™) testing program. The NES and Illinois join Oklahoma, California, Florida, Virginia, Georgia and other education leaders working with Pearson to use technology to increase testing opportunities for candidates for teacher licensure in their states, growing the pool of knowledgeable teachers available to their schools and districts.
The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, the most experienced developer of standards-based teacher certification testing programs, is known for launching the first computer-based teacher certification content tests.
“Our more than three decades of developing, administering and scoring tests for prospective teachers has been guided by a deep commitment to the value of professional test administration,” said William Gorth, Ph.D., president of the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. “Computer-based testing reinforces and enhances the core benefits of professionally administered tests, and maintains the rigor because every test-taker completes the test in the same way, during a designated testing session. In addition, it broadens the pool of knowledgeable teachers to which states have geographic access and provides more scheduling flexibility to candidates seeking certification.”
Pearson brought its expertise in computer-based test delivery of teacher certification exams to the development of the NES, its new fully computer-based, contemporary testing program announced earlier this year, to be available in fall 2010. The NES, based on professionally accepted national academic standards, is designed to help states ensure that the educators they certify are prepared to teach effectively in 21st century classrooms. Candidates will take the NES at Pearson’s secure test centers around the country and receive immediate results for most tests. Pearson Professional Centers are completely dedicated to testing and have been awarded a patent for their unique security design, which features biometric verification of test takers. Many of Pearson’s custom teacher certification testing customers, such as Illinois, Oklahoma, Virginia, California and Florida, use Pearson Professional Centers for some or all of their computer-based teacher licensure tests.
Increasing testing opportunities for state teaching candidates and making access to test sites more convenient were among the reasons the Illinois State Board of Education turned to Pearson to help it develop its new computer-based basic skills test. Launched in late spring 2009, the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Basic Skills test has already been taken by candidates at Pearson Professional Centers in states around the country.
In late 2008, the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation worked with Pearson to launch a computer-based version of its basic skills test, the Oklahoma General Education Test ™ (OGET), a state requirement for certification that is used by many institutions for admission to educator preparation programs.
In October of the same year, Pearson helped the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing launch a two-year pilot program to assess computer-based testing as an option for the state’s basic skills examination, the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The CBEST, used by prospective California educators to verify basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics, is now available during 12 testing windows annually in addition to the program’s six paper-based test administrations. Since the pilot program began, the CBEST has been delivered via computer-based testing to more than 10,000 examinees.
Also in 2008, Pearson created for Florida the first statewide, fully computer-based custom teacher licensure testing program. The Florida Department of Education’s testing program has the most computer-based teacher licensure tests in the country, including 42 subject area examinations, four general knowledge tests, one professional education test and three Florida Educational Leadership Examinations. Performance examinations, including essay examinations, are available at 10 computer-based test centers in Florida. As one of the largest state teacher licensure programs in the United States, Florida administers more than 200,000 examinations annually.
Virginia was also among the states collaborating with Pearson on computer-based teacher certification testing when it launched the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment® (VCLA) in 2007.
In nearby Georgia, Pearson worked with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to develop computer-based tests, launched in 2007, for the Paraprofessional and Computer Skills Competency assessments for the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) program.
Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today’s digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company’s investment in innovative print and digital education materials for pre-kindergarten through professional learning, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company’s respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, the Stanford Achievement Test Series, the Wechsler family of assessments, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson’s commitment to education for all is supported by the global charitable giving initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.
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