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Pearson CEO Says Investments in Personalized Learning Mean Better Assessments Moving Forward

Pearson CEO Says Investments in Personalized Learning Mean Better Assessments Moving Forward

The CEO of Pearson recently talked to U.S. News about how the company is moving forward in the face of an anti-testing movement that has earned it many critics--and is negatively impacting this year’s sales.

John Fallon doesn’t seemed worried, though, as he discusses how Pearson plans to use investments in personalized learning to “help more people progress in their lives through learning.”

Through these investments, Fallon hopes to a shift towards fewer but better annual assessments facilitated through his company. This idea of “fewer, but better” assessments is being pushed by the U.S. Department of Education, as well.

In October of last year, the Department of Education recommended that students should not spend more than two percent of the school year taking tests with parents receiving a formal notice from school administration if that cap is reached.

In order to make the change, the department recommended throwing out any assessments “deemed ineffective or duplicative.”

"The guidance emphasizes that while some tests are for accountability purposes, the vast majority of assessments should be tools in a broader strategy to improve teachers and learning,” U.S. News said. 

Fallon agrees, bringing up the continual need for assessments as outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act to measure progress.

"The approach we take is that we think we should be moving to a world of fewer, better, smarter assessments that provide real-time, actionable, useful, diagnostic data to teachers, parents and students. And we also very strongly believe that any form of test should only be one part of a wider means of measuring progress. You shouldn't just use this as one measure by which you judge everything,” Fallon told U.S. News.

Read the full interview here.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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