Pearson awarded five-year contract renewal for administering California Teacher Certification Testing Programs

Pearson announced today that its Evaluation Systems group has been awarded a five-year renewal on its contract to manage teacher certification testing for the state of California. Under the renewed agreement with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, Pearson will continue to administer the California Subject Examinations for Teachers® (CSET®), the California Basic Education Skills Test™ (CBEST®), the California Teacher of English Learners® (CTEL®) and the Reading Instruction Competence Assessment® (RICA®) programs.

The CSET tests subject matter competence, ranging from mathematics, science and social studies to more than 20 world languages. The CBEST is designed to test basic reading, mathematics and writing skills found to be important for the job of an educator. The CTEL is used to demonstrate that candidates have the knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively teach English Learners. As part of the California Reading Initiative to improve students’ reading abilities, the RICA was developed to ensure that California teachers have the knowledge and skills important for providing effective reading instruction.

“Our mission at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing is to ensure that all of the state’s 6 million students receive the best possible education from qualified professionals,” said Beth Graybill, interim executive director. “We know that our continued collaboration with the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson will allow us to leverage the power of technology to ensure that all teachers in our public school classrooms meet each and every state requirement.”

During this continued relationship, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing has tasked Pearson with continuing to grow computer-based testing (CBT) for all of its programs, including by-appointment, year-round CBT for CBEST, the RICA Written Examination, and the CSET Multiple Subjects and Writing Skills tests, beginning in the fall of 2011. CBT will be expanded to additional CSET test fields over the life of the contract as well.

To support this technology-based expansion in California, Pearson will redesign the testing program’s websites to include information about CBT and specific test preparation materials, as well as a video and photo tour of the CBT experience. The number of testing locations in California will also be increased to meet the needs of the potential number of candidates reached.

“We are honored to continue our long-standing relationship with the Commission on Teacher Credentialing as it implements teacher certification testing programs that will put California children on track to meet the state’s education goals,” said William Gorth, Ph.D., president of the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. “As the largest and one of the most diverse states in the country, California is meeting its educational challenges head on by recognizing that putting highly qualified teachers in its schools must be a top priority.”

For more information about the CSET, CBEST, CTEL and RICA programs, visit For more information about the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, go to