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Who we are
Mergers and Acquisitions
Who we are
The Assessment group of Pearson, formerly known as Harcourt Assessment, has a long and rich history that dates to the early part of the 20th century and is tied to some of the most respected names in publishing.
Since our establishment in 1921, we have been committed to providing quality assessments, efficient testing procedures and valid and reliable information to help all individuals succeed.
We develop and distribute tests and related products for professionals in psychology, health, business, general education, bilingual education, special education, and other areas serving people of all ages and cultures. We are committed to meeting the diverse needs of our customers through our people, service, innovation, and technology.
We are dedicated to the pursuit of professional excellence, leadership, and growth through acquisition, development, publication, and the maintenance of quality assessment tools in order to anticipate and meet the needs of our customers.
You can also learn more about us by reading our Company History below. If you have a question or comment, or if we can be of any help, we hope you’ll Contact us.
Following a distinguished academic and scientific publishing career, James McKeen Cattell, Ph.D ., established The Psychological Corporation in New York City in 1921. Dr. Cattell was a former president of the American Psychological Association, the first psychologist elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and founder and editor of Scientific Monthly.
He joined forces with two former graduate students, Robert Sessions Woodworth and Edward Lee Thorndike . Both were eminent psychologists, and Thorndike was regarded as the foremost authority on the analysis and measurement of learning.
The three men started a business to market psychological tests and related materials to educational, corporate and government clients. Dr Cattell’s plan was to form a holding company and referral service for psychologists, giving them shares of stock in exchange for their willingness to administer individual intelligence tests and promote the research and development of applied psychology. Half of the fees the psychologists received were to be put
toward psychological research.
So great was Dr. Cattell's influence that he was able to recruit almost half of the 400 APA members for his corporation. Offices were opened in New York City's Grand Central Terminal,
with the goal of locating and maintaining branch offices throughout the United States and abroad.
Dr. Cattell served as president of The Psychological Corporation until late 1926, when he was named Chairman of the Board and replaced as president by Walter Van Dyke Bingham, a psychologist with more than 10 years of experience in industrial psychology.
In 1939, the company published the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scales. David Wechsler was a former student of Woodworth at Columbia University. The company’s Wechsler intelligence tests continue to be industry leaders today.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 1960, two other growing textbook and educational test publishing companies, Harcourt Brace & Company and World Book Company, merged to become Harcourt Brace & World (later known as Harcourt Brace Jovanovich). In 1970, this firm purchased The Psychological Corporation, merging the HB&W test educational testing division into the newly acquired company.
The Psychological Corporation's New York headquarters were located in the HBJ building on Third Avenue and 47th Street until 1983, when the company relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. In 1986, the company headquarters moved again, this time to its present location in San Antonio, Texas.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, The Psychological Corporation acquired the Merrill Publishing Company Test Division (1986), Cognitronics Corporation (1993), Communication Skill Builders/Therapy Skill Builders (1994), and Assessment Systems, Inc. (1995).
The Psychological Corporation was the clinical division of Harcourt Assessment, which also had an education division called Harcourt Educational Measurement.
In late 2003, we unified the two divisions, retired their names, and officially changed our company name to Harcourt Assessment. We did this to streamline our operations and to make it easier for our customers who use the full range of our assessment products.
On 4th May 2007, Pearson agreed to acquire Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International from Reed Elsevier. The acquisition extends Pearson’s position as the world’s leading education company by adding international reach, complementary products and new capabilities.
Read History of the Pearson Group | Read Press release