Prentice Hall School and ETS Technologies Launch Web-Based Essay Scoring Service

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, NJ, January 31, 2001 - Prentice Hall School, a division of Pearson Education, and ETS Technologies, a subsidiary of Educational Testing Service, today announced the introduction of e-rater™, a ground-breaking Web-based writing evaluation service that scores essays in seconds based on specific evaluation criteria.

Prentice Hall School has entered into an exclusive partnership with ETS Technologies to offer this newly-developed electronic essay-grading service to adopters of its two market-leading language arts programs, Prentice Hall Writing and Grammar: Communication in Action and Prentice Hall Literature: Timeless Voices, Timeless Themes.

Commenting on the partnership, ETS Technologies' President, Richard Swartz, noted that e-rater™ is based on the same technology which currently scores the GMAT exams. The system is programmed or "trained" for each writing topic with several hundred essays scored by teachers; the information from the teachers' scores then provides the basis for electronically evaluating essays submitted to e-rater™. Mr. Swartz added that research by ETS Technologies indicates that e-rater™ scores agree 94 to 97 percent of the time with human scorers.

Teachers using Prentice Hall School's language arts programs will submit students' essays to e-rater™ over the Internet and receive holistic scores based on a 4-point or a 6-point scale, as well as an explanation of the score, an analysis of the essay's sentence structure, and a list of misspelled words.

"You can always spot the English teachers leaving any high school or middle school at the end of the school day," noted Martha Smith, President, Prentice Hall School Division, "They're the ones with briefcases bulging with student essays." She added that many English teachers are responsible for the grading of as many as 150 or more student essays every few weeks - or every week in many school systems.

Ms. Smith commented, "The e-rater™ system is one of the most exciting innovations I've seen in all my years in educational publishing. This new technology will give teachers more time to help their students improve their overall writing skills."

"This partnership brings the power of the e-rater™ scoring technology to the classroom," said Mr. Swartz. "We're delighted to be able to link this breakthrough assessment technology with Prentice Hall School's outstanding language arts instructional programs."


Prentice Hall School, a division of Pearson Education, is a leader in the U.S. middle and secondary education market, providing educators with more than 100 programs in language arts, social studies, mathematics, science, and modern and classical languages, in every medium to motivate learning across diverse student populations in grades 6-12. For more information, visit

Pearson Education is the world's leading integrated education business. Pearson Education offers a full range of rich content across electronic and print media for all students everywhere, from early childhood to professional education and training. Pearson Education's leading brands include: Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Longman, Allyn & Bacon, Scott Foresman, Pearson Learning, NCS Learn, and NCS Pearson. Pearson Education is the global education publishing business of Pearson plc, the international media group. For more information, visit

ETS Technologies, Inc. is a subsidiary of Educational Testing Service. Established n May 2000, ETS Technologies, Inc. was formed to advance ETS's many technological innovations in the field of assessment. Its goal is to identify, develop and deploy innovative technologies in support of online learning and assessment applications. Through ongoing, scientifically based research, ETS Technologies aims to expand and improve educational opportunities by harnessing proven technologies in the service of learning. For more information, visit

Educational Testing Service is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization and a leader in educational research. A nonprofit company, ETS develops and annually administers more than 12 million tests worldwide. For more information, visit

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Pearson Education


Kate Miller



ETS Technologies


Richard Swartz