CAE and Pearson Partner to Bring Critical Thinking Assessment to Secondary Education Students

CAE’s CCRA+ is now available through Pearson to help students, educators and school leaders measure progress against Portrait of a Graduate competencies

NEW YORK, May 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Council for Aid to Education, Inc. (CAE), a leader in designing innovative performance tasks for measurement and instruction of higher order skills, today announced the immediate availability of its College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+) through a non-exclusive partnership with Pearson [FTSE: PSON.L], the world's leading learning company. Pearson will resell CCRA+ as part of its Pearson Assessment for Learning Suite (PALS).

Designed for students in grades six through 12, CCRA+ assesses critical thinking, problem solving and written communications – essential skills that are predictive of positive academic and career success. These skills are highlighted in Portraits of a Graduate profiles, yet most states and districts do not have an effective and reliable approach to measure these skills.

“CAE is proud to partner with Pearson to help schools and districts access our assessment tools to support student growth,” said Bob Yayac, president and CEO, CAE. “While more than 125 districts have developed or are developing a Portrait of a Graduate, our research and conversations indicate most have not identified how they will measure these skills in an objective, consistent and standardized manner. CCRA+ addresses this important need.”

With PALS, student results from CCRA+ can be combined with data from other Pearson assessments to create a more holistic view of the student’s strengths and areas of opportunity. CCRA+ can be used for formative, interim, and summative purposes, including establishing a baseline for students, evaluating how their essential skills have progressed, and showcasing their skills upon graduation.

CCRA+ results include norm and criterion reference data as well as detailed subscores to provide a more complete picture of students’ readiness for the rigors of today’s academics and their next steps following graduation. CCRA+ results can be aggregated and analyzed at all levels – student, class, school, district, and state – to identify opportunities for improvement and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions and curriculum changes.

"By adding CCRA+ to our Pearson Assessment for Learning Suite, we're giving educators a comprehensive view into student skills development, all from a convenient, single online location,” said Trent Workman, Pearson senior vice president, school assessment. “CCRA+'s insights into critical thinking complement academic performance data and will help state, district and local school leaders target support and instruction to ensure students have proficiency in the skills needed for positive academic, career, and life outcomes.”

A performance-based assessment, CCRA+ situates students in real-world scenarios that require the application of critical thinking, problem-solving, and written communication skills. Using supplied reference materials, students must organize information, define the problem, address issues, consider and evaluate solutions, and recommend and defend a course of action. Student scores reflect a range of plausible and effective response strategies — a process that, by design, mimics real-world, decision environments.

To learn more about CAE’s assessments, visit

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About CAE
As a nonprofit whose mission is to help improve the academic and career outcomes of secondary and higher education students, CAE is the leader in designing innovative performance tasks for measurement and instruction of higher order skills and within subject areas.

Over the past 20 years, CAE has helped over 825,000 students globally understand and improve their proficiency in critical thinking, problem solving and effective written communication. Supported by best practices in assessment development, administration and psychometrics, CAE's performance-based assessments include the Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA+) and College and Career Readiness Assessment (CCRA+). To learn more, please visit and connect with us on LinkedIn and YouTube.


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