Company’s Open Source Assessment Platform to be the Foundation for the K-12 Common Core Assessment System
BELVAL, LUXEMBOURG – (April 7, 2015) – Open Assessment Technologies S.A. (OAT), the leading provider of Open Source assessment solutions for the education sector, today announced that TAO, its Open Source assessment platform, has been selected by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC), a consortium of states working collaboratively to develop a set of assessments to measure if students are on track to succeed in school and in their future careers.
Under the terms of the agreement, the PARCC states will utilize the TAO Open Source assessment platform to develop the non-summative assessment delivery system for PARCC’s students from kindergarten through the 12th grade (K-12) based on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).
“Open Source was a key requirement of the PARCC non-summative assessment tools delivery system, because it allows us to more easily integrate the platform with other partners and opportunities in the future, as well as leverage the collective open source community contributions to the platform development,” said Jeff Cuff, Director of Technology at Parcc Inc., the nonprofit organization that manages the assessment system on behalf of the PARCC states. “Even more importantly, it is a highly economical approach for the states participating in the consortium, providing significant savings for maintenance compared to other options.”
OAT will work with Breakthrough Technologies, LLC to develop the PARCC non-summative assessment delivery system. The two companies have a longstanding collaborative history, with successful joint ventures dating back to 2012 when Breakthrough Technologies became a TAO Authorized Partner for the US and Canada. The OAT/Breakthrough Technologies partnership will yield a powerful, flexible system that will adapt seamlessly to the evolving needs of state education officials.
“We are pleased that the PARCC consortium selected TAO for the technical infrastructure necessary to deliver a secure, reliable, flexible, and scalable computer-based assessment solution,” said Marc Oswald, co-founder and CEO of Open Assessment Technologies S.A. “Our Open Source solution gives education officials full control over their assessment assets, and the agility to respond to changing requirements at a fraction of today’s cost.”
OAT and Breakthrough Technologies will provide PARCC states with the essential infrastructure and tools for computer-based assessment delivery, providing all the critical components such as teacher portal, student registration, test delivery and scoring, results analysis, and reporting. The PARCC non-summative assessment delivery system will measure the learning progress of more than 5 million students in 11 states and the District of Columbia toward the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Specifically, the solution will be used to evaluate progress in English language arts, literacy, and mathematics – key subject areas that align with the Common Core State Standards.
OAT and Breakthrough Technologies previously partnered on another major assessment solution for K-12 students in the US. The multi-state National Center and State Collaborative is working with the companies to develop an assessment solution designed to enhance educational opportunities for students with significant cognitive disabilities, a portion of the student population that is traditionally underserved.
“We’ve joined forces with OAT on two occasions now to address the needs of government consortia, both times providing a new level of interoperability built entirely on standards and Open Source,” said Doug Wilson, co-founder and Managing Partner of Breakthrough Technologies. “Together we are fundamentally changing the way assessment services are priced and delivered. We are saving our customers (and taxpayers) a large amount of money in the long run, and in doing so giving educators a better way to assess performance against the Common Core State Standards and other national assessment standards.”
The PARCC consortium plans to begin making TAO-based assessment tools available in the fall of 2015.
OAT is the publisher of TAO, the leading open source assessment platform for Education and Public Sector Employment. With offices in Silicon Valley and Luxembourg, OAT is working with educators and assessment professionals around the globe to develop a highly scalable, robust, and secure platform that is available without costly licensing fees. OAT leads the open source community to advance the TAO technology and roadmap, and sponsors the annual TAO Days user conference. For more information and to download the TAO platform, please visit http://www.taotesting.com.
About Breakthrough Technologies, LLC
Founded in 1998 by three Chicago-based senior software engineers, Breakthrough Technologies, LLC serves clients by creating innovative web, mobile and custom software solutions for complex problems. Collaborating with clients and partners gives Breakthrough Technologies the opportunity to combine emerging technologies with innovative thinking to empower organizations, facilitate communication, and create positive change on a global scale.
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