Pearson understands that concerns around the role of assessments are varied and real. We believe that quality assessments are useful to the learning experience, but they are just one measure of the knowledge and skills that learners need. They do not, and will never, completely define the sum total of what a good education ought to provide.
Assessments help school leaders make informed decisions about how well their curriculum and instructional practices are working, and what needs to improve. For parents, these tests can help them make informed decisions about their child’s education. And for policymakers, testing can help them gauge the effectiveness of public schools and how well they’re serving the needs of their students. But again, they’re only one indicator.
Our role in the U.S. is to support states in how they choose to implement their academic standards and assessment efforts. We respond to requests made by public officials to deliver testing programs and other products and services. While we do not set policy, we take our responsibility as service providers incredibly seriously. Our experts work closely with teachers and faculty as we research, design and deliver high-quality and fair assessments.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2016, recognized the need to provide more power and flexibility to the states, setting criteria for the development and use of innovative assessments and establishing that multiple factors should be used to assess schools. But, it also crucially reaffirmed a commitment to the learning of all students by requiring annual assessment in grades 3-8 and again in high school and state adoption of challenging academic standards.
Pearson is taking the lead in developing the next generation of fairer, smarter, digitally-delivered assessments, and we’ve been clear that we support the move that many U.S. states are taking to fewer, better assessments-all for the benefit of students and teachers.
College Access and Affordability
Pearson is committed helping make college more accessible for students. We understand that many students struggle to reach and stay in school and that college is a significant investment for them.
Nearly 75% of college students are now juggling work and family commitments while they are in school and, in the U.S. alone, 2/3 of full time students pay for their education with financial aid. It’s clear students need options to make the journey through college easier.
Pearson can-and is-easing the demands on student’s time and their budget. In 2017, we’ve lowered the prices on many of our products. We’re making digital learning easier and more effective by building engaging, interactive courseware. And we’re even putting that courseware into mobile apps and other digital formats that are in-sync with how faculty and students teach and learn today.