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Pearson Provides Recommendations for Performance Scoring of Next Generation Student Assessments

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. — March 23, 2011 —

The learning goals set forth by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) present states and consortia with new challenges in assessing students' knowledge and skills. To help guide education leaders as they develop next generation of assessments, Pearson, the global leader in education and education technology, today released a white paper, "Considerations for Performance Scoring When Designing and Developing Next Generation Assessments."

"Along with this new era in student learning brought on by the adoption of the CCSS, comes a new day in testing as states and consortia strive to produce higher quality assessments for assessing student progress toward successfully meeting those standards," said Walter "Denny" Way, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Assessment and Information Group of Pearson. "At Pearson, we are committed to helping states, consortia and other education leaders identify best practices in psychometrics, technology, test item development and scoring for use in creating a sustainable assessment system that will support next generation learning needs and ensure all students graduate prepared for college and careers."

This latest addition to a growing collection of resources on the company’s Next Generation Assessments web site focuses on the considerations of using a wider variety of item types including performance tasks in order to accurately measure college and career readiness of students. The paper explores interactions between test design and scoring approach and the implications for performance scoring quality, cost and efficiency. A detailed chart, followed by narrative, describes the various assessment item types, their cost, complexity and ability to measure the critical thinking skills required by the CCSS. The paper also explores how the roles both human and automated scoring play in assessing students for the types of knowledge and skills that are delineated in the CCSS. In addition, examples of how states are employing innovative performance scoring strategies are included in this free resource from Pearson.

States can use the recommendations made in the white paper to develop assessment programs that balance the need for richer, timelier information with the need to create affordable, sustainable assessments. To access a free copy of "Considerations for Performance Scoring When Designing and Developing Next Generation Assessments," go to

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, visit

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