- McGraw-Hill Education, one of the nation’s largest education material providers, announced this summer that it is ending its work on high-stakes summative testing in order to focus on classroom materials.
- The shift is likely the result of internal policy changes: the company was purchased three years ago by Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm, and has dramatically increased its number of adaptive learning courses and ed tech-focused staffers.
- But the shift may also be a result of market forces, as legal battles and other challenges have altered the high-stakes state testing landscape.
No Child Left Behind upended the testing market. According to Education Week, prior to NCLB-mandated testing regimens, companies typically sold tests on their terms and the tests were typically used for several years. In the wake of Common Core-related shifts in the state-testing landscape, big names like McGraw-Hill and Pearson have increasingly been forced to compete with smaller companies. Profit margins for test development have dropped as states have requested unique tests, and digital testing regimens have further increased technical demands.
Now, more emphasis is shifting toward the lower-stakes in-class tests and resources where McGraw-Hill will focus its energies. In 2013, classroom assessments outstripped state-level testing for market share. Overall, classroom-based tests brought in $1.3 billion in 2013 and 2014, compared with $1.1 billion for state tests.