NWEA Acquires Assets from ETS and Questar, Expanding Opportunity to Provide States with Impactful Assessment Systems
New agreement positions NWEA and ETS to leverage respective strengths in service of state efforts to improve K-12 student learning
Portland, Ore. – Sept. 24, 2021 – NWEA – the not-for-profit research and education services provider – announced today a new agreement with ETS – nonprofit research, learning and assessments organization – and ETS’s wholly-owned subsidiary Questar to acquire specific technology and contracts. As part of this agreement:
- NWEA is acquiring from ETS its cloud-based enterprise assessment platform as well as a non- exclusive license for innovative content and performance tasks from the Winsight assessment program, strengthening its ability to offer flexible, innovative assessment solutions that meet state needs.
- Subject to each state’s permission, NWEA will acquire and operate multiple state assessment contracts and associated technology from Questar Assessment Inc., a subsidiary of ETS. Technology connected with the state contracts, including the testing and scoring systems, is part of the acquisition.
- NWEA will offer employment to a group of ETS staff working on the ETS enterprise platform and to Questar staff who work on the state contracts or associated testing and scoring systems. Until such time as states approve the assignment of contracts, Questar will continue providing all contracted services for
States NWEA will serve, pending approval of contract and regulatory authorities, are Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, and New York. Services provided for each state include such services as alternative assessment, 3-8 summative assessment, and end-of course assessment. Starting immediately, the leadership at Questar and NWEA will work closely to ensure that there is no interruption in the provision of state assessment services.
“Beyond the acquisition of powerful technology, the agreement represents the addition of valuable knowledge and experience as we welcome talent from ETS and Questar, as well as new state partners, to the NWEA family,” said Chris Minnich, CEO of NWEA. “This is a big step forward in our efforts to partner with states to create balanced assessment systems that leverage data in new ways to avoid redundant testing and maximize informed action at both the classroom and systems level.”
“We could not be more excited about this opportunity to partner with new states and serve more educators and students,” said Jason Mendenhall, President of the State Solutions Division at NWEA. “With a flexible technology portfolio, a cadre of subject matter experts, and a diverse group of state partners who can inform our work, we are committed to doing our part in the national effort to transform systems of teaching, learning, and accountability in support of education equity.”
“NWEA and ETS have worked together in support of state partners in the past and we see this agreement as an extension and expansion of that long-term relationship,” said Walt MacDonald, President and CEO at ETS. “We have a shared mission of supporting education equity, and this deal allows for ETS to continue our work in the K-12 market to support students, parents, educators and states in expanding education opportunities.”
ETS is a subcontractor with NWEA for the Alaska statewide assessment program for grades 3-9 and a subcontractor to Questar on the New York program. ETS will continue to collaborate with NWEA to serve these and other states in a similar capacity, with a focus on providing psychometric services, content development, scoring, and research services.
With the addition of Questar experts and capabilities, states will have access to an even broader set of summative capabilities at NWEA, as well as its industry-leading research services and expertise in creating and providing interim solutions, including its pioneering statewide through-year assessment models and other innovative designs.
To learn more about NWEA’s solutions for state systems, go to https://www.nwea.org/state- solutions/
NWEA® (Formerly known as Northwest Evaluation Association) is a mission-driven, not-for-profit organization that supports students and educators in more than 146 countries through research, assessment solutions, policy and advocacy services, professional learning and school improvement services that fight for equity, drive classroom impact and push for systemic change in our educational communities. Visit NWEA.org to learn more about how we’re partnering with educators to help all kids learn.
At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education, and by conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series® assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org
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