Arizona Teachers Use Online Professional Development From Pearson to Learn how to Introduce Newly Adopted Model for Scoring Student Assessments
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Arizona Teachers Use Online Professional Development From Pearson to Learn how to Introduce Newly Adopted Model for Scoring Student Assessments

PHOENIX and IOWA CITY, Iowa — April 19, 2010 —

The Arizona Department of Education announced today that teachers in the Grand Canyon State will now have access to powerful online professional development designed to introduce the state's new model for scoring students’ writing. Developed by the education technology and services company, Pearson, Perspective's “Understand Scoring” is as a low-cost, flexible way to provide professional development in constructed response scoring. A state with an ambitious goal for its schools -- "to ensure academic excellence for all students" -- Arizona understands the important connection between well trained teachers and support staff and improved student achievement.

By participating in the Understand Scoring professional development, Arizona teachers will learn how the new holistic scoring model for student writing is used to assign a summative score to student writing.

“We are excited to have Understand Scoring in place this spring to complement our change from the six trait analytic rubric to score AIMS Writing to a six point holistic rubric. The new holistic rubric is based on the six traits and will be used for AIMS 2011 scoring, and it is aligned with classroom instruction,” said Roberta Alley, Deputy Associate Superintendent for Assessment, Arizona Department of Education. “Providing this tool will allow our teachers to work at their own pace as they become familiar with the new holistic scoring model.”

Delivered through Pearson's Perspective platform, educators use Understand Scoring to learn about the scoring process, review scored exemplar items, and practice scoring authentic items on their own. Easy-to-understand reports enable teachers to compare their scoring with previously scored items. Teachers become familiar with the constructed response scoring process that produces a score based on the elements that constitute high performing student responses.

“States, such as Arizona, are leading the nation by adopting models for evaluating assessments that help them connect directly to classroom instruction and then reaching out to their entire teacher workforce with professional development, " said Douglas Kubach, president, Assessment and Information, Pearson. "Using Understand Scoring's online training will allow all state teachers to participate in this training anytime, anywhere."

The Arizona Understand Scoring professional development is available by clicking here. For more information on Perspective, please click here.

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

For more information, press only:
Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489,