Our History

Born from the common goals to improve the education system and encourage learning for each and every student, NWEA was founded in 1974, creating one of the first computerized adaptive assessments. Today, we're proud to be the champions of every child. See how we've developed over the years.

1974
Partnership between members of Portland (OR) area school districts and Seattle (WA) Public Schools first formed.

1977
NWEA incorporates as a non-profit organization.

1978
Students in Portland (OR) Public Schools and Hillsboro (OR) Union High School District take the first Achievement Level Tests.

1986
First computerized adaptive tests are given to students in Portland (OR) Public Schools.

1988
Allan Olson, one of the founding partners, is hired as executive director.

1992
First Annual Members' Seminar is held; 12 people representing 5 districts attend.

1997
Development begins for refinement of NWEA's computerized adaptive tests, now called Measures of Academic Progress (MAP).

2000
17,000 students take the first MAP tests.

2001
The Learning Continuum is published by NWEA, in conjunction with partner district Allentown (PA).

2002
Half-million dollar grant awarded for the creation of the Growth Research Database.
Idaho is the first to adopt NWEA assessments as the state-wide test.

2003
NWEA partners with more than 1200 school districts and educational agencies, providing nearly 3 million MAP tests to students.

2004
NWEA introduces DesCartes: A Continuum of Learning.

2005
NWEA releases the Dynamic Reporting Suite.