The market for testing products and services is booming and could continue to surge over the next few years, according to industry analysts and company officials, who say that growth is being fueled by the shift toward common-core tests.
Federal education policy since No Child Left Behind has fueled the testing boom which in turn has driven even more testing down to lower and lower grades. Many states and districts have approved policies tying teachers’ and administrators’ evaluations to students’ academic progress, as measured in part by state tests—policies supported by the Obama administration through its Race to the Top program.
In an article sponsored by the Gates Foundation, Edweek's Sean Sean Cavanagh writes:
Changes in testing policy with nationwide implications are invariably “good for any provider of testing materials,” said Scott Marion, the associate director of the National Center for the Improvement of Educational Assessment, a Dover, N.H.-based nonprofit organization that consults with states on assessments. “You knew the common core was going to be a big change from what [we] had before.”It is estimated that the current market for technology-based testing and assessment products and services in fiscal 2011 was $1.6 billion. Preliminary results that are still being analyzed show the market grew by at least 20 percent for fiscal 2012. The biggest player in the testing market is London based Pearson Publishing which has close ties to the Obama administration and Ed Secretary Arne Duncan.