Pearson Foundation's $1 Million Donation Will Create an Applied Psychometric Research Center at The University of Texas

New Endowment Furthers Innovative Educational Assessment Research.

Austin, TX (PRWEB) August 31, 2009 -- The Pearson Foundation and The University of Texas at Austin today announced the establishment of a long-term collaboration to support psychometric and measurement research through the creation of a $1 million endowment. Bringing together the highly acclaimed Department of Educational Psychology in the College of Education and Pearson's international expertise in educational assessment, the five-year endowment will enhance the application of psychometrics and educational measurement research.

The $1 million- investment will create the Pearson Center for Applied Psychometric Research, located at UT Austin, and will provide research support for innovative approaches to assessment, such as online assessment (including inquiry-based learning), automated scoring technology, and student performance-based assessment. In addition, the Center will continue to expand research and application of techniques for equitable and fair assessment, as well as assessments in the least restrictive environments.

With a focus on technology-based applications and systems, the research endowment will help further educational achievement, increase accessibility for all student group populations, and create opportunities to better measure college and career readiness, including attributes of problem solving and critical thinking, in the expanding global economy.

The Pearson Endowed Professorship in Psychometrics and the Pearson Endowed Faculty Fellowship in Psychometrics will also support career development and opportunities for psychometricians, helping to increase opportunity, measurement expertise capacity and diversity in the field.

"The Pearson Foundation's donation underscores the company's dedication to designing and delivering assessments that advance measurement best practice, help ensure greater educational equity and improve instruction and learning. Through our endowment with The University of Texas, we are investing in assessment research that will promote and personalize education for all," said Steve Dowling, Pearson Executive Vice President. "We also hope to support international collaboration in assessment practice through coordination with similar programs at Oxford University and the University of Western Australia."

"This partnership with the Pearson Foundation significantly enhances what we are already doing in the use of technology in education and assessment," said Dr. Manuel J. Justiz, Dean of the College of Education. "Through the center, faculty and students will conduct cutting-edge research in new assessment procedures which have implications for educational practices. We deeply respect the Foundation's work in the area of educational assessment and feel so honored that they have elected to collaborate with us and avail themselves of resources in our Department of Educational Psychology. This is an extremely exciting step for us."

The University of Texas at Austin endowment builds on the Pearson Foundation's commitment to innovative, pragmatic educational assessment, which includes support for similar programs at the University of Oxford and the University of Western Australia.

About the Pearson Foundation

The Pearson Foundation extends Pearson's (NYSE: PSO) commitment to education by partnering with leading nonprofit, civic, and business organizations to provide financial, organizational, and publishing assistance across the globe. The Foundation aims to make a difference by sponsoring innovative educational programs and extending its educational expertise to help in classrooms and in local communities. More information on the Pearson Foundation can be found at

About the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin's College of Education is a national leader in education innovation, including the efficient and highly effective integration of technology into teaching and learning environments. The College of Education is ranked fifth in the nation among public universities and ranked seventh overall nationally by U.S. News & World Report magazine. It is the most highly ranked college or school at The University of Texas at Austin among graduate programs that receive yearly rankings by U.S. News & World Report. To read more about the College of Education and its award winning faculty and programs, please visit