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Foundations and Firsts

Photo of a student smilingACT Aspire, LLC is founded on a tradition of assessment thought leadership, originating through our partnering companies ACT and Pearson.

The Chronology on this page shows many “firsts” in that legacy of leadership.  They are intermingled with events in the evolution of next generation assessment to better establish the context of our background, and highlight our participation in the national development of assessment expertise.

CRAFTING THE FUTURE FOR OVER 150 YEARS

1844

1844

The firm Pearson and Son was first established in England in 1844. It has grown to become a leading provider of electronic learning programs and of test development, processing and scoring services to educational institutions, corporations and professional bodies. It now operates in 70 countries around the globe.

1959

1959

University of Iowa education professor E.F. Lindquist launched the forerunner to today’s ACT test. By focusing on practical knowledge rather than cognitive reasoning, Lindquist’s assessment was groundbreaking and achieved his goals to help students make better decisions for themselves — while enabling institutions to improve student success. ACT, Inc. is founded.

1987

1987

ACT begins formal college and career readiness research — the first of its kind — recognized as the foremost such body of data and related analysis. ACT research is not static, but ongoing, and contributes to the knowledge basis of ACT Aspire.

1997

1997

ACT is the first to research and produce the landmark body of empirically based readiness measures — recognized internationally — and known as the ACT College & Career Readiness Standards.

2001

2001

ACT joins in Next Generation Assessment’s first Higher Standards conference.

2003

2003

ACT is the first to research, publish and apply the authoritative, empirically based, and predictive, College Readiness Benchmarks – thus raising the bar for readiness initiatives across the country.

2008

2008

Joint Council of Chief State School Officers /Next Generation Assessment calls for a new system of national standards.

2009

2009

While ACT had been releasing academic levels of the ACT graduating class for over 25 years, in 2009 it changed the format to be more robust and inclusive of key college readiness indicators. ACT is first to launch the acclaimed state-by-state Conditions of College and Career Readiness research reports, used as guiding research for both state and district solutions; ACT convenes state chiefs to discuss next generation of assessment; the draft of Common Core State Standards is released; two Federally-funded consortia begin.

2010

2010

ACT sets out to pioneer new development of a groundbreaking next-generation assessment solution, focused on college and career readiness — with a simply stated goal: Every child can achieve.

2012

2012

As a leader in the mobile learning revolution, in 2012 Pearson releases a new generation of interactive, mobile texts and lessons for the Apple iPad. ACT and Pearson, established leaders in their fields, partner to create a new entity dedicated to next-generation assessment. Thus, ACT Aspire, LLC is founded.

2013

2013

ACT Aspire College and Career Readiness System is the first of its kind to complete comprehensive field testing, thus informing new development with authentic data from over one-half million full student tests.

2014

2014

ACT Aspire, LLC is the first to launch its College and Career Readiness System, a three-through-high school assessment system. This solution features testing for five subject areas, an unparalleled knowledge base from the nation’s leading college and career empirical research, and the application of powerful, 21st century assessment technologies.