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Re: Where to start (for test-makers)

----- Original Message -----
From: Monty Neill <Mneillft@AOL.COM>
To: <ARN-L@listsrva.CUA.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, September 15, 1999 1:10 PM
Subject: Re: Where to start (for test-makers)

> In a message dated 9/15/99 7:29:49 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> gbracey@EROLS.COM writes:
> > Perhaps Monty or someone else can comment on George's allegations
> > the concentration of testing companies. Where is NES these days--other
> than
> > with the MA teacher's test? Whatever happened to Measurement, Inc., or
> > Advanced Systems?
> I don't know that much. NES makes teacher tests for about 5-7 states
> (including NY and Mass). Measurement, Inc., I don't know about. Advanced
> Systems has the K-12 contracts in NH, Maine, Mass, that I know of. Mostly,
> there is concentration. Deanna suggested a "big 4," adding NCS (once had
> actual name, National Computer Systems, I think) but I think the 4th is
> mostly an adjunct, a partner, rather than a test-maker on the order of the
> big 3 -- tho I think NCS has 1-2 of its own state K-12 contracts.
> Monty Neill

I think you are right about NCS, they belong more with the second tier of
companies that are more likely to go after smaller contracts or team with
the bigger companies. One delimiting factor is the cost to submit a
proposal for one of these large contracts.

A major proposal for a large contract, which may be worth an initial 15 to
20 million and which has the potential to continue forever, may cost over a
$100, 000 just to prepare. No small company can afford spend that much on a
proposal for which they would be a long shot.

Despite the problems McGraw-Hill has had in New York, I believe they are the
strongest of the companies. If they begin having problems like Harcourt
Brace has had in California and Texas or like Advanced Systems had in
Kentucky and I think one other state, then the whole adventure in
standards-based educational reform is headed for some big problems.

George K. Cunningham
University of Louisville

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