Kentucky has contracted with NCS Pearson Inc. to provide content-area tests for public school grades 3 through 8 and for writing assessments at the high school level.

Pearson provides large-scale assessment services in more than 25 states and for the U.S. Department of Education. The company will provide project management; test development; administration materials; test scoring and resolution; data files; score reporting; quality assurance; security; and technical specifications. The initial contract period of April 15, 2011, through June 30, 2012, is for a total of $7,661,811 and may be renewed for three additional two-year periods.

Pearson will provide blended criterion-referenced and norm-referenced tests in reading, mathematics, science, social studies and writing for grades 3 through 8 and writing on-demand tests for high schools.

Senate Bill 1, enacted in the 2009 Kentucky General Assembly, requires a new public school assessment program beginning in the 2011-12 school year. The legislation requires the use of specific types of content-area tests for grades 3-8 and for high schools. These new assessments will be administered in 2012 during the last 14 days of school in a district’s instructional calendar.

The Kentucky Board of Education has adopted an end-of-course (EOC) assessment program for high school. The procurement process for the EOC exams is ongoing.