Measurement Inc. and the Tennessee Department of Education are officially in business together.
The testing company signed an almost $108 million contract to develop Tennessee’s next standardized test. It replaces the biggest testing company in the country, Pearson Inc., as the producer of Tennessee’s end-of-year exams.
The Department of Education announced last month that Measurement Inc. had emerged victorious in a competitive bidding process to develop the state’s next standardized test, which will be aligned with the Common Core State Standards for math and English.
It’s a big win for the North Carolina-based company, which in 2012 accounted for just 6 percent of the country’s testing market.
Here are some other things to know about the creators of the TCAP reboot, most likely coming to desks everywhere in May 2016 :
1. Measurement Inc. is not new to Tennessee. The for-profit company has worked in the state for more than 14 years. Projects included helping the Tennessee Department of Education transition its writing test from paper to computer, and aligning the writing assessment to the Common Core standards.
2. Measurement Inc. is subcontracting to AIR, a much larger player in the country’s testing market. AIR already has contracts with Utah and Florida, so Tennessee educators will be able to compare scores of Tennessee students with students from those states “with certainty and immediately.” AIR is also working with Smarter Balanced, one of two federally funded consortia charged with developing Common Core-aligned exams. That means that educators in Tennessee will also likely be able to measure their students’ progress with students in the 16 states in the Smarter Balanced Consortium.
3. In its 34-year history, Measurement Inc has worked with 32 state departments of education and dozens of local school districts.
4. Measurement Inc already has had a scoring center in Nashville since 1998.
5. The five-year contract is worth $107,720,557.37. In contrast, contenders McGraw-Hill and Questar’s bid approached $130 million. The cost of Tennessee’s contract is almost exactly the cost of Georgia’s five-year contract for a Common Core-aligned test with McGraw-Hill, but significantly less than Florida’s $220 million, six year contract with AIR.