SOURCE: EDUCATIONAL TESTING SERVICE

May 19, 2006 08:00 ET

ETS Wins Texas Educator Certification Contract

PRINCETON, NJ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 19, 2006 -- The Texas Education Agency (TEA) announced today that ETS has been awarded a five-year contract to develop and administer the state's educator assessment program. With an annual volume of approximately 138,000 tests and nearly 78 test titles over a variety of pedagogical and content areas, the Texas educator assessment program is a comprehensive and customized certification program.

Princeton-based ETS is a leader in large-scale assessments and education research. This contract is a landmark for ETS as it marks the company's entrance into the customized educator assessment market.

"The TEA's vision for the state's educator assessments is an ambitious one," explains ETS President and CEO Kurt Landgraf. "With its emphasis both on high standards for beginning teachers and technological innovation in test and information delivery and integration, this program places Texas in the vanguard of states who are taking their commitment to teacher quality seriously. ETS looks forward to making a reality TEA's vision of rigorous standards and enhanced opportunity and access to tests and information for all stakeholders."

The assessment program will encompass both paper-based assessments as well as computer-based assessments and will emphasize growth in technological capabilities over the life of the contract. ETS will implement state-of-the-art Internet-based testing to bring the most cutting-edge technology to the TEA-managed program, and will offer Texas teacher candidates greater flexibility and access than ever before.

"Texas has been a national leader in the area of customized teacher certification tests," Commissioner of Education Shirley J. Neeley says. "Our tests are based on national teaching standards and on our state curriculum, the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. The Texas assessment program helps us ensure that highly qualified teachers are entering our classrooms and teaching our children. We look forward to working with ETS to make the Texas program even stronger," she says.

The Texas educator assessment program includes the Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES); the Examination for the Certification of Educators in Texas (ExCET); and the Texas Examinations for Master Teachers (TExMAT).

A coalition of professional partners in Texas will assist ETS in managing and executing the program. Alchemy Training Systems, an Austin-based technology company, will be working with ETS to produce a comprehensive assessment registration and tracking system. When the system is complete, candidates will be able to register, manage their candidate profile, and have access to their test information online.

Austin-based Oak Hill Technology will handle logistics for teacher committees, assist in test development activities and question writing, and will operate the call center and provide additional customer services.

Further support will be provided by The Texas Association of Community Colleges, which will assist in expanding the program's computer-based testing network at community colleges throughout the state.

ETS partners Thomson Prometric and Accenture will also contribute to the program. Thomson is recognized for its state-of-the-art worldwide testing facilities. Accenture is a global management consulting and technology services firm known for its operations efficiency.

"We are delighted at the prospect of allying with Texas to help ensure that the knowledge and skills of the state's teaching professionals are thoroughly, fairly and accurately assessed," says Mari Pearlman, Senior Vice President of ETS's Higher Education Division. "We are convinced that ETS, guided by the TEA, can guarantee Texas the most advanced and highest-quality assessment program possible."

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 24 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. Additional information is available at www.ets.org.

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