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    Richard Vespucci
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For Release: January 14, 2003


ETS Selected to Develop New 3rd and 4th Grade Tests

Educational Testing Service (ETS) of Princeton has been selected to develop the New Jersey Elementary Assessment program that will be given to public school students in the third and fourth grades this spring.

An evaluation panel at the Department of Education concluded that of four bidders, only ETS proposed an assessment program that would align with and measure New Jersey’s Core Curriculum Content Standards (CCCS).

The evaluation panel concluded that to award any of the other three bidders a four-year contact for testing in grades 3-4 in language arts literacy and mathematics would constitute a retreat from the state’s longstanding commitment to standards-based education.

This commitment is paralleled at the federal level by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. At the state level, this commitment is embodied not only in state statute and administrative code for standards and assessment, but also in the three current assessment programs – the ESPA, GEPA and HPSA – each of which is aligned to the CCCS.

The contract for ETS is to develop and score new 3rd and 4th grade language arts literacy and mathematics tests for 105,000 students in the first year and 110,000 students in the subsequent three years starting in Spring 2003. The contract also requires ETS to develop and score a 4th grade science assessment for 110,000 students beginning in Spring 2004. The total contract is for $35,256,000. This figure is less than the per pupil cost of the current 4th grade Elementary School Proficiency Assessment (ESPA) the new test will replace.

www.state.nj.us/education