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Pearson Sets Forth Vision for Next Generation Assessment Interoperability Standards

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — November 15, 2010 —

As states and school districts around the country adopt and implement the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS), an unprecedented level of interoperability will be essential for the next generation of large scale assessments used to capture student performance and track student growth. Pearson, the global leader in education and education technology, sets forth the vision for achieving these heightened levels of interoperability with the release of its white paper, "Next-Generation Assessment Interoperability Standards."

"In this exciting time of educational change in our country, it is more critical than ever before that the assessment systems adopted by states and school districts achieve a seamless level of interoperability with other educational systems," said Walter “Denny” Way, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Assessment and Information Group of Pearson. "This white paper details Pearson's vision for how to achieve the assessment interoperability standards needed to support the next generation Common Core assessments."

The U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top Assessment Program, and states adopting the CCSS, have identified interoperability as essential to ensuring the feasibility and affordability of next generation assessments. This interoperability must exist across student information, instructional, and assessment systems. Over the past decade or more existing standards, such as the Schools Interoperability Framework (SIF®) and the Question and Test Interoperability standard (QTI) from IMS Global Learning Consortium, have made great strides in facilitating interoperability in education systems.

Pearson’s new white paper makes recommendations for how vendors and assessment governance boards can collaborate to extend these standards to support new and innovative types of assessments and delivery systems, including:

  • Minimize Technology Constraints. Assessment interoperability standards must maximize the potential for delivery on a range of devices as well as minimize constraints that come from connections with technology delivery platforms that are subject to inevitable shift in the near term or obsolescence in the long term.
  • Separate Content and Formatting. The separation of content and formatting within an assessment standard is critical to support greater accessibility and a range of devices.
  • Support Wide Range of Content. Assessment interoperability standards must support a wide range of content for greater interactivity, increased accessibility, more sophisticated assessments, and easier item authoring.
  • Address Assessment Structure, Accommodations and Additional Standards. Assessment interoperability standards must address assessment structure and test-level accommodations and integrate well with other standards and other instructional resources.

To achieve this next generation level of assessment interoperability, Pearson recommends that the existing standards boards, such as IMS Global and the SIF Association, engage and collaborate with industry organizations such as the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Association of Test Publishers.
To access a free copy of "Next-Generation Assessment Interoperability Standards," go to www.pearsonassessments.com/nextgeninteroperability.

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, Assessment and Information Group of Pearson
(212) 641-6118
Adam.Gaber@Pearson.com
@Apgaber (twitter)