Archdiocese of Boston Schools Turns to Pearson for Powerful Assessments to Support Tradition of Academic Excellence


BOSTON – Nov. 16, 2009 – The Catholic Schools Office (CSO) of the  Archdiocese of Boston, as part of its commitment to academic excellence, announced an initiative that will use a powerful assessment and data analysis tool from the education and technology company, Pearson. Beginning in March 2010, the 18,000 students in grade 2-8 throughout the Archdiocese will take the Stanford Achievement Tests 10 (Stanford 10), which will measure students’ knowledge in reading, language arts, mathematics, science and social studies, giving their teachers access to data for customizing instruction for all students.  In addition, the CSO will administer Pearson’s Otis-Lennon School Ability Test®, Eighth Edition (OLSAT 8) in conjunction with the Stanford 10 so that educators can compare students’ performance across grade levels in their schools, giving them a complete picture of each student’s overall academic potential.

            The Stanford 10 from Pearson, considered the standard of excellence in achievement testing for more than 80 years, is supported by a powerful data reporting and analysis tool that will allow CSO educators to make timely, targeted instructional decisions. As a result, they will have a clear picture of the unique learning needs of all students so that they can help them achieve at their highest level.

"At Pearson, we believe that the true power of assessment is to inform instruction. When teachers and administrators have easy and immediate access to student test results, they have a window into the best strategies for improving learning for each and every student," said Mike Medernach, Pearson’s Vice President for Educational Assessments for New England. "Over the weeks and months to come, we will work closely with educators from the Catholic Schools Office to help them dig deep into the data they  receive from our assessments and use it to meet the unique learning needs of all of their students."

Key to the successful implementation of any new assessment program is professional development and Pearson will be the CSO’s partner as it introduces the Stanford 10 and OLSAT 8 and their capabilities to teachers. Using the train-the-trainer model, Pearson will work with teachers from across the Archdiocese to prepare them to administer the assessments and, more importantly, to develop strategies for using the resulting data to support classroom instruction.

“Academic excellence has always been a core part of the mission of the Archdiocese of Boston’s Catholic schools, and we are excited to be working on a new level with Pearson, whose curriculum programs for reading and math are also used in some of our classrooms,” said Secretary for Education/Superintendent Mary Grassa O’Neill.  “Pearson will help us build a comprehensive connection between assessment and instruction that will greatly benefit students and teachers.”

Students in the Archdiocese of Boston perform above grade level across the curriculum and Catholic school teachers and administrators receive topflight professional development opportunities throughout the year.  Bringing student achievement to ever higher levels is the primary reason that the Archdiocese’s Catholic Schools Office has engaged Pearson in this latest partnership.

The Catholic Schools Office undertook a year-long study of various testing and assessment options to come to its decision on the Stanford 10 and Pearson.  This process involved gathering both local and national input.  An assessment committee of 15 elementary school leaders, including principals, regional directors, and curriculum coordinators, developed recommendations and came up with a strategic assessment plan.

More information about the Stanford 10, OLSAT 8 and Pearson’s other assessment products is available at


About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information about the Assessment group of Pearson, visit

About the Archdiocese of Boston: The Archdiocese of Boston was founded on April 8, 1808 and was elevated to Archdiocese in 1875. Currently serving the needs of nearly 2 million Catholics, the Archdiocese of Boston is an ethnically diverse and spiritually enriching faith community consisting of 292 parishes, across 144 communities, educating approximately 46,000 students in its Catholic schools and 156,000 in religious education classes each year, ministering to the needs of 200,000 individuals through its pastoral and social service outreach and in support of a health care ministry that meets the needs of some 1 million patients each year.   Mass is celebrated in nearly twenty different languages each week. For more information, please visit .


For more information, press only:

Wendy Lienhart, L. Wolfe Communications, 630-920-0182,

Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489,