July 01, 2008 13:27 ET

ETS, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Collaborate on Criterion(SM) Online

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwire - July 1, 2008) - Educational Testing Service (ETS) has signed a deal with education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company whereby Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will be the exclusive Criterion(SM) distributor to K-12 institutions in the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and dependencies. Developed by ETS, the Criterion Online Writing Evaluation service is a comprehensive, instructional, web-based tool that helps students plan, write and revise essays while providing diagnostic and holistic feedback to students within 20 seconds of submission.

The agreement covers public, private and parochial schools as well as K-12 home-school associations and U.S. Department of Defense Schools. The deal should vastly expand the market penetration of the Criterion service.

"This agreement means that the Criterion service will reach a far broader market than ever through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's extensive sales organization," said ETS President and CEO Kurt Landgraf. "Wider distribution means that more students will be able to use Criterion to improve their writing and communication skills, which are so critical to success in the global economy."

"In terms of business strategy, the agreement allows ETS to focus our resources on further developing and enhancing our intellectual property while relying on Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to get it to market," said ETS K-12 Learning & Development Associate Vice President, Robert Block.

The agreement will be supported by Riverside Publishing, the assessment division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt based in Chicago. Riverside serves both the K-12 educational assessment market and the clinical assessment market with high-quality assessment tools delivered in print and online. Among Riverside flagship products are The Iowa Tests®, the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests®, Woodcock-Johnson® III NU, the Edusoft® Assessment Management System as well as DataDirector™, and Assess2Know®.

"The addition of the Criterion Online Writing Evaluation service further enables Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Riverside Publishing to provide full-service instructional and assessment tools to educators," said Riverside President, Richard Swartz. "We look forward to partnering with ETS to bring this effective writing service to the marketplace to help educators improve student writing with timely and reliable feedback."

In addition to being the exclusive distributor in the K-12 market, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has the right to sell the Criterion service on a non-exclusive basis to community colleges, adult education centers, corrections facilities and to K-12 resellers. The agreement does not affect distribution into the global and non-community college higher education markets.

About ETS

ETS is a nonprofit institution with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research, and related services for all people worldwide. In serving individuals, educational institutions, and government agencies around the world, ETS customizes solutions to meet the need for teacher professional development products and services, classroom and end-of-course assessments, and research-based teaching and learning tools. Founded in 1947, ETS today develops, administers, and scores more than 50 million tests annually, in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is a global education company with approximately $2.5 billion in combined revenue. The Company publishes a comprehensive set of best-in-class pre-K-12 educational solutions, ranging from research-based textbook programs to instructional technology to standards-based assessments for students and educators. The Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. With origins dating back to 1832, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt combines its tradition of excellence with a commitment to innovation. To learn more about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, visit

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