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Educational Testing Service

(Non-profit)  
Education - Teaching - Administration
HQ: Princeton, NJ   |   2,500 - 5,000 employees  |  
Overview
In 1947, Henry Chauncey brought to life a concept first proposed by James Conant a decade earlier – that a single organization devoted to research and testing could "make fundamental contributions to the progress of education in the United States."

Nearly 60 years later this independent, nonprofit organization has expanded that objective to include learners worldwide. Today, ETS is known for its commitment to sound research, to advancing learning, and to increasing opportunities for all students.

The ETS heritage is rooted in the concepts and principles our founders believed in. And these concepts and principles guide us today.

At ETS, we are continuing a heritage of helping prepare each new generation.

Educational Testing Service (ETS) is a world leader in educational assessment with more than 50 years' experience in promoting effective teaching and learning. With a staff of 2,600 professionals — including educators, researchers, psychometricians, statisticians, and policy specialists — the organization is dedicated to serving individuals, educators, businesses, and government bodies in more than 180 countries.
Career Opportunities
Teaching in At-Risk Schools Focus of New National Partnership
Three Organizations Team Up to Address "National Imperative"


Washington, DC (Feb. 9, 2005) — A new national partnership unveiled here today will focus on the policies and steps required to ensure the country's neediest students get the best teachers. The National Partnership for Teaching in At-Risk Schools was announced by Virginia Governor Mark Warner, who chairs the partnership, which includes the Education Commission of the States (ECS), ETS and Learning Point Associates.

The three organizations believe it's time for a national effort to address and resolve the problems that the nation's poorest, lowest-performing schools face in recruiting and retaining well-prepared teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act's requirement that every classroom be headed by a highly qualified teacher makes it even more imperative. The partnership will work to raise the visibility of the issue and to mobilize policymakers, education and community leaders, funders and other key leaders to address the problem at the state and local levels.

"Many Americans assume the achievement gap among our nation's students is the inevitable result of poverty, poor family structure and social problems," Warner said in the foreword to the partnership's inaugural report. "And, indeed, these are daunting factors and challenges. But research suggests that if our poorest children are given a succession of motivated, well-prepared and experienced teachers, the gap in achievement between these children and their more affluent peers can be narrowed, if not completely closed."

According to Gina Burkhardt, CEO of Learning Point Associates, the intersection between improving teacher quality and closing achievement gaps is where the National Partnership will have the greatest influence – especially in the most at-risk and hardest-to-staff schools. "Channeling the research, development and policy expertise of the partner organizations will drive the changes needed to meet this national challenge," she said.

The partnership will focus on five areas it believes are most critical in solving the problems of at-risk schools: teacher supply, teacher distribution, teacher recruitment, beginning teacher support and school environment. It will work to:

Galvanize public and policymaker attention at the national, state and district levels
Broaden understanding of the problems of teaching in at-risk schools
Work with policymakers and education and community leaders to develop and implement promising solutions grounded in research
Stimulate the growth and dissemination of research-based knowledge about the problem and potential solutions.
The partnership's inaugural background report, Qualified Teachers for At-Risk Schools: A National Imperative (PDF), also released today, reviews the status of efforts nationally to address the quality of teaching in at-risk schools, summarizes the research and calls for the issue to be a national imperative.

The report points out, for example, that National Center for Education Statistics research shows nearly twice as many teachers in high-poverty schools have three or fewer years of teaching experience than those in low-poverty schools. Another study cited, by researcher Richard Ingersoll, found significantly more teachers in high-poverty schools lack a major or a minor in their content area than teachers in more affluent schools. In mathematics, for example, 43% of teachers in high-poverty schools lacked a major or minor, compared to 27% in low-poverty schools.

"A significant body of research confirms that what happens in the classroom can make or break a student's chances of academic success," said Michael Nettles, vice president of ETS' Policy Evaluation and Research Center. "This is particularly true when it comes to quality teaching. Numerous studies have found that at-risk students succeed, and even excel, when taught by highly qualified teachers."

"Our challenge, then, is to get these quality teachers into the classrooms where they're needed most – and then keep them there," he added.


The National Partnership will collaborate with the Teaching Commission, Education Trust, National Governors Association, Hunt Institute and other organizations interested in improving the quality of teaching in hard-to-staff schools.

"ECS is delighted to be part of this collaboration, which has chosen as its focus one of the most critical issues facing our education system today," said Piedad F. Robertson, ECS president. "Our communities and states, and our nation as a whole, simply will not make the progress we need if all of our children are not educated to the best of their abilities."

Warner also highlighted a new Virginia pilot program aimed at getting better teachers in the neediest schools. The Virginia Teacher Retention Initiative will give $15,000 bonuses and other incentives to teachers who agree to work in schools that have difficulty hiring and retaining effective teachers. The program also will provide annual $3,000 bonuses to highly qualified teachers already teaching in participating hard-to-staff schools. In addition, schools that reduce the failure rate on Virginia's Standards of Learning tests by at least 10% during the second year of the pilot will receive grants equal to $200 per student, half of which must be used for salary incentives for all faculty members.

A list of the participants and key staff involved in the National Partnership for Teaching in At-Risk Schools is available in pdf format. A fact sheet is also available in pdf format.

For more information on the National Partnership or the inaugural report, see www.ecs.org/NPTARS, www.ncrel.org/quality or www.ets.org. A National Partnership Web site is under development.

Partners:
The Education Commission of the States (www.ecs.org) is a 40-year-old nationwide, nonprofit organization recognized for its ability to facilitate the exchange of information and innovations for the improvement of education through public policy. ECS' cross-role constituency includes governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, state higher education executive officers, state board members, business leaders and other key education leaders.

Learning Point Associates (www.learningpt.org) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to helping educators improve student learning by equipping them with research-based strategies that meet their needs and produce results. Founded in 1984 as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory, Learning Point is grounded in nearly 20 years of successful research-based solutions for educators and policymakers.

ETS (www.ets.org) is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization. Its mission is to advance quality and equity in education worldwide. Its products and services measure knowledge and skills, promote learning and performance, and support education and professional development.
Vision
The ETS Vision: To be recognized as the global leader in advancing quality and equity in learning every step of the way.

ETS's vision is to be recognized as the global leader in providing fair and valid assessments, research and related products and services to help individuals, parents, teachers, educational institutions, businesses, governments, countries, states and school districts, as well as measurement specialists and researchers.

The ETS Values: Listening. Learning. Leading.

ETS is driven by the core values of social responsibility, equity, opportunity and quality. We practice these values by listening to educators, parents and critics. We learn what students and the institutions they attend need. We lead in the development of products and services to help teachers teach, students learn, and parents measure the intellectual progress of their children.
Contact
Corporate Headquarters
Educational Testing Service
Rosedale Road
Princeton, NJ 08541 USA
(609) 921-9000
FAX: 609-734-5410
Diversity
ETS's mission is to help advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services. Our products and services measure knowledge and skills, promote learning and educational performance, and support education and professional development for all people worldwide.