Always Learning

Our History

Pearson’s roots are grounded in global innovation that transforms the landscape and stands the test of time. Our London-based company started in 1844 as a construction company building such noteworthy projects as the Sennar Dam in Egypt and the Manhattan tunnels in New York. Over the years, we diversified into media, global book publishing, and education.

A new purpose

Then, in 1997, everything changed. In a bold and somewhat controversial move, Marjorie Scardino was hired as one of the first female CEOs of a major FTSE company. The decision ushered in an even bolder aspiration: to transform education globally in order to improve people’s lives through learning.

Recognizing that assessment is an integral part of the learning process, we started gathering the best of the best in educational, certification, and clinical assessment. Today, we are the only company who can bring together all aspects of learning into one personalized solution focused on improving student outcomes and educator effectiveness at all levels—and at scale.

Here’s a list of some important assessment first steps in our history:

1923 Publishes first edition of the Stanford Achievement Test (World Book Co.)
1953 The first organization to successfully machine score a large scale assessment, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) and Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) (Measurement Research Center)
1953 Supports the launch of the ACT assessment program from American College Testing (Measurement Research Center)
1968 Scores the first National Evaluation of Student Progress (NAEP) writing assessment (Measurement Research Center)
1976 Publishes the first customized, multi-field teacher certification testing program in the US for the state of Georgia (Evaluation Systems)
2001 Pioneers secure online testing system for state exams (Pearson)
2002 Introduces the first SIF Zone Integration Server to the education market, making standards-based data integration possible (EduStructures)
2005 Introduces online distributed performance scoring for the College Board’s new SAT writing exam (Pearson)
2009 Launches new computer-adaptive ACCUPLACER system for the College Board with auto-scored essays (Pearson)