Industry News

Certica Acquires NWEA's Formative Assessment Item Bank

A provider of data management and student assessment tools for K-12, Certica, has acquired the Northwest Evaluation Association's (NWEA) Formative Assessment Item Bank line of business.

The Item Bank includes more than 82,500 items aligned to the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards and state learning standards. Included in the acquisition is the Item Bank's content management application, a tool for authoring, curating, distributing and bringing items into alignment.

The acquisition is the latest step in a partnership launched in 2007, when Certica's Certify data validation app was licensed by NWEA. Cerica has also been a distributor of the Item Bank since 2011.

"NWEA has distributed the Formative Assessment Item Bank through a network of education solution providers and publishers," according to a news release. "In acquiring the Formative Assessment Item Bank line of business, Certica will continue to support and expand this distribution model and will offer the Item Bank and Certica's assessment platform, TestWiz, only through distributors and not directly to end-user customers in the K-12 sector. Certica will, however, continue to support its current customer base directly.

"We are excited to be acquiring the Formative Assessment Item Bank line of business," said Mark Rankovic, Certica's president and CEO, in a prepared statement. "We know the Item Bank well and have worked collaboratively with the team that has created and supported it. Further, we have worked closely with instructional leaders in K-12 organizations who have prized the Item Bank as a valuable resource for assessing student mastery of standards."

Certica has current staff responsible for managing and developing the Item Bank and plans to bring on more staff to support expansion. Plans for expansion include Web-based integrations with distributors' platforms and other market needs to be identified by distributors.

"We are pleased to be entrusting the Formative Assessment Item Bank to Certica Solutions and will be working closely with Certica to ensure a smooth transition," said Jeff Strickler, executive vice president and chief operating officer of NWEA, in a prepared statement. "We are confident that Certica's market focus, management processes, diligence and enthusiasm will ensure that the Item Bank continues to bring significant value to educators."

More information is available at

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].