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Minnesota Turns to Pearson to Develop, Manage New Generation of Teacher Licensure Tests

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — December 14, 2010 —

The Minnesota Board of Teaching and Pearson today announced the launch of the new Minnesota Teacher Licensure ExaminationsSM (MTLESM). Developed under a five-year contract between the Minnesota Board of Teaching and the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, this new generation of educator licensure tests is now the required examination for Minnesota K-12 teacher candidates. The first round of administration and score reporting of the computer-based MTLE was conducted in September 2010.

The MTLE are a set of comprehensive statewide educator licensure assessments of basic skills, pedagogical and subject-area knowledge. All Minnesota K-12 teacher candidates for an initial license in the state are required to pass the basic skills test, which includes reading, writing and mathematics subtests, as well as pedagogy and content knowledge tests. Thirty-three of the 37 tests in the MTLE program are offered at Pearson computer-based test centers in Minnesota and across the United States. The program’s four World Language assessments are available at convenient locations throughout Minnesota that are dedicated to the specialized testing necessary for language knowledge and skills.

“As we developed the next generation of teacher licensure tests for our state, we view these tests as much more than just a hoop to jump through to earn a Minnesota teaching license. We have worked hard with our Pearson colleagues to ensure that these tests are a meaningful measure for those seeking a Minnesota license,” said Karen Balmer, executive director, Minnesota Board of Teaching. “We have confidence in Pearson as our new testing program developer because of the company’s deep expertise in the development of comprehensive examinations and its firm foundation in using state-of-the-art technology to create, deliver and score tests. The test development process reflected an unprecedented partnership with Minnesota educators, and the resulting tests have the strength of our Minnesota expertise and input.”

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson is the most experienced developer of standards-based teacher certification testing programs. Evaluation Systems has more than three decades of experience developing, administering and scoring tests for prospective teachers in the United States and, through its custom work for states, has created teacher licensure tests for more than 100 content fields, professional teaching skills and basic skills of college-level reading, writing and mathematics.

“Minnesota is among the states leading the nation as it launches its new, comprehensive teacher licensure testing program,” said William Gorth, Ph.D., president of the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. “We are proud of our new relationship with the Board of Teaching and other state education leaders as they strive to ensure that all Minnesota students are taught by high-quality teachers.”

In addition to free web-based resources that include details about test content, format, and sample questions for all MTLE test fields, a series of expanded MTLE study guides are available on the website for Basic Skills, Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 3) and Elementary Education (Grades K–6). Each comprehensive study guide includes an annotated test framework that describes the content that is being assessed, sample test questions with an explanation for each correct answer, and a guide to additional preparation resources.

Pearson has also provided an instructive, technological tool that presents a full-length MTLE practice test in a simulated online testing environment. These MTLE practice tests offer candidates complete tests featuring sample test questions and comprehensive performance feedback. Practice tests are now available for the following MTLE tests: Basic Skills, Early Childhood Education (Birth to Grade 3) and Elementary Education (Grades K–6). Expanded study guides and full-length practice tests for other MTLE tests will be developed over the five years of the contract.

For more information about the MTLE, go to http://www.mtle.nesinc.com/.
For more information about the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, go to http://teacher.pearsonassessments.com.

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 licensure testing, 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 & Information group of Pearson, visit http://www.pearsonassessments.com/.

For more information, press only:

Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489, adam.gaber@pearson.com,
@Apgaber (twitter)

Lisa Wolfe, L. Wolfe Communications, 773-227-1049, lwolfe@lwolfe.com