Pearson Educational Measurement wins California Golden State exam contract

IOWA CITY, IOWA,  Pearson Educational Measurement, a business of NCS Pearson, Inc., the nation?s largest commercial processor of K-12 student assessment tests and a leading education company, today announced that the California State Department of Education has awarded Pearson a contract for the Golden State Examination (GSE) program.  The contract is worth $39 million over three years.

Joining Pearson Educational Measurement as a subcontractor for item and test development is ACT, Inc., producer of educational and workforce development programs and services including the ACT Assessment college entrance exam. 

The GSE program is intended to measure the advanced student achievement on the academic content standards adopted by the State Board of California and the assessments are an augmentation to the California Standards Test.  The function of the GSE program is to provide an opportunity for advanced students to receive additional honors in various subject areas.  Pearson Educational Measurement and ACT will work together to develop assessments that prepare high school students for post-secondary success in keeping with the goal for the GSE program.

"This is an important contract for Pearson Educational Measurement, as it is our first prime contract in the state of California," said Gary Mainor, president of state assessments for Pearson Educational Measurement.  "We are delighted to have the opportunity to provide a complete solution for this program, which plays an important role in the California assessment environment."

"ACT is looking forward to working with Pearson Educational Measurement on developing the GSE program in California," said Cyndie Schmeiser, ACT?s vice president for development. "Our expertise in developing curriculum-based achievement tests will enable us to provide California students with opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned in school."

The program offers exams in 13 different subject areas and all are voluntary.  The exams are designed to use multiple-choice and constructed-response test items and results will measure student mastery of the subject area.  The GSE was developed to meet the same psychometric standards of other nationally accepted examinations used to measure advanced academic achievement. 

Also included is the Golden State Seal Merit Diploma program. This program recognizes public high school graduates who have mastered the high school curriculum in designated content areas.

To be eligible for the Golden State Diploma, students must complete all requirements for a high school diploma and demonstrate mastery of the curriculum in at least six subject matter areas, four of which are mathematics, English language arts, science, and United States history, with the remaining two in subject matter areas selected by the student. 

Earlier this year, California renewed its contract with NCS Pearson as the subcontractor responsible for scoring and reporting the state?s Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Program.  That three-year contract begins in 2003. 

About Pearson Educational Measurement

Pearson Educational Measurement, a business of NCS Pearson, is the nation?s largest commercial processor of K-12 student assessment tests.  The company operates as a business of Pearson Education, the world?s largest integrated education company, which in turn is a part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company.  For more information, visit

About ACT

ACT is a not-for-profit organization that serves millions of people in schools, colleges, professional associations, businesses, and government agencies with programs and services that have one guiding purpose ? to help people achieve education and career goals by providing information for life?s transitions. For more information about ACT, visit

Further Information

David Hakensen


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