Your Order is being submitted. Please wait.
  1. View our interactive timeline »


1926: CTB is founded by Ethel Clark

In 1926, Ethel Clark founded the Research Service Company (now known as CTB). At the time, Ethel’s husband, Dr. Willis Clark, was the Assistant Director of Research for the public schools of Los Angeles, CA. He was involved in the school’s Los Angeles Diagnostic Tests in the Fundamentals of Arithmetic. The test was so impressive, many school districts were interested in purchasing it.

Ethel Clark saw a business opportunity, and bought the publishing rights to the LA test. She mailed 25 one-cent postcards to 25 school districts announcing the availability of the tests used in Los Angeles. One year later, CTB heard from their first customer; the Kansas City, Missouri school district, ordering 20,000 copies of the test.


1933: The Progressive Achievement Test, now known as the CAT, was introduced to schoolsIn 1933, CTB authors Drs. Ernest T. Tiegs and Willis W. Clark developed the Progressive Achievement Test. The test was considered to be one of the most useful, as well as valid and reliable, testing instruments of its time. It was the predecessor to the California Achievement Tests®, and now TerraNova®.
1936: The California Test of Mental Maturity introducedIn 1936, CTB published the California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM). Authored by Drs. Elizabeth T. Sullivan, Willis W. Clark, and Ernest T. Tiegs, the California Test of Mental Maturity provided insight into mental traits of individual students, rather than what had been available through group intelligence tests. Although out of print, the California Test of Mental Maturity scores are still valid as a qualifier for Mensa® membership.
1938: Created first electronic scoring servicesIn 1938, IBM® announced the Type 805 Test Scoring Machine, which scored test answer sheets 10 times faster than hand scoring with higher accuracy. Ethel and Willis Clark’s daughter June Duran Stock remembers its introduction at CTB: “The machine was as big as a desk, and the procedure was to take an answer sheet and drop it in the slot, one at a time. The graphite [from pencil marks] produced a little electrical charge, which was indicated on a volt meter on the desk. You had to drop every one of those tests in the slot, but it was an improvement over hand scoring.”
1939: California Test of Personality releasedIn 1939, CTB created the California Test of Personality to understand social interaction and disposition of children and adults. The test was composed of twelve sub-tests of “yes” or “no” questions. The results provided teachers with a Social Adjustment Score. The Social Adjustment Score translated to the test taker’s feelings of personal worth, independence, and other social skills.


1947: Personnel tests createdIn 1947, CTB authors Drs. Willis W. Clark, Ernest W. Tiegs, Louis P. Thorpe, T.W. MacQuarrie, and Elizabeth Sullivan, published the Personnel Selection and Classification Test. The test assessed reading skills, math skills, intelligence, mechanical dexterity, ability to work with others, reliability, and oral comprehension. Results from the test were used to select and place potential employees in appropriate positions.


1950: California Achievement Tests introducedIn 1950, CTB developed a next edition of the California Achievement Tests (now referred to as CAT). Authored by CTB researchers Ernest T. Tiegs and Willis W. Clark, it eventually replaced the Progressive Achievement Test. The tests measured educational progress in reading, mathematics and language.
1950: SCOREZE introducedEver since 1950, teachers have been saving substantial time in scoring tests, due to the SCOREZE® self-scoring answer sheet device, invented by CTB's then-president Ethel Clark. This patented and widely-acclaimed idea, still used today, features a hidden piece of carbon paper which goes to work for the teacher while the student marks his or her questions on the outside of SCOREZE. SCOREZE answer sheets were able to be divided so the teacher could keep part of the test for their records and immediate scoring and the rest was sent to scoring offices.
1950: CTB hires its first evaluation consultantIndicative of CTB’s feeling that a publisher’s responsibility does not end with the sale of its product, CTB hired its first Guidance and Evaluation Consultant, John Armstrong. Before joining CTB, John Armstrong had served as Director of Research for Wisconsin State Department of Education
1957: First to stage a “dual standardization”: an achievement test & an intelligence testIn 1957, CTB became the first publisher to stage a “dual standardization” of an achievement test and an intelligence test, and the first publisher to release an Anticipated Achievement score. Thousands of students throughout the country took both the California Achievement Tests and the California Test of Mental Maturity. The 1957 edition of CAT applied the standardization study to provide better measurement and diagnosis in reading, mathematics, and language.
1959: Working with IBM Corporation, CTB developed the new and revolutionary CAL-CARDIn 1959, CTB developed a new and improved answer form that was the size of an IBM® punch card. It could be processed on the Electronic Scoring Punch machine, which delivered the Right Response Record back to the school. The Right Response Records graphically illustrated the strengths and weaknesses of the students in a given class.


1960: CTB relocates from L.A. to its current headquarters in Monterey, CAIn 1960, CTB moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to Monterey, California. The move required 10 trucks, carrying 300 tons of testing materials, files, desks, and 24 IBM® scoring machines. Along with the testing materials, came 100 professionals and their families. Ethel reported: “We are anticipating enthusiastically the establishment of our new national headquarters... the combination of the Peninsula’s scenic beauty, and its recreational, educational, and cultural facilities makes it an ideal location for our people to continue their creative work.”
1963: CAT and CTMM renormed. Diagnostic Reading Scales (DRS) publishedIn 1963, CTB renormed the California Achievement Tests (CAT) and the California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM). Through the renorming, CTB developed the Diagnostic Reading Scales (DRS). The scales measured reading skills (oral and silent) and listening comprehension of elementary school readers. The test asked students to read out loud as well as listen to their teachers.
1965: McGraw-Hill acquires On August 31, 1965 McGraw-Hill purchased CTB. Ethel announced the acquisition in a radio interview, “With the kind of financial, technical, and promotional assistance McGraw-Hill can furnish, we [CTB] think we can go far.” Ethel’s daughter, June Duran Stock remained on CTB’s team as Assistant Vice President and always enjoyed Mr. McGraw’s visits to the CTB headquarters in Monterey.
1967: Dr. Ross Green joins CTBDr. D. Ross Green worked with CTB for 39 years as Senior Research Manager and also Chief Research Psychologist. Passionate about Civil Rights, Dr. Green established procedures for assessing and reducing bias in achievement tests. While at CTB, Dr. Green contributed to multiple editions of TerraNova, the California Achievement Tests, the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills, the Tests of Cognitive Skills, DMI Mathematics Systems, and the Prescriptive Reading Inventory. CTB’s clients in many states and countries sought Ross’ counsel because of his straight, sometimes blunt, advice and his keen ability to translate complex measurement concepts into lay terms.
1967: Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE) publishedIn 1967, CTB launched first edition of Tests of Adult Basic Education (TABE®). TABE is an assessment for adult learners used to assess the basic skills and career readiness of adult students. TABE is still used today.
1968: Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS) launchedIn 1968, CTB published the first edition of Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS®). With CTBS, Multivariate Anticipated Achievement was introduced. Anticipated Achievement allowed a student’s scores to be compared to national averages, rather than just their classroom.


1970: TOBE publishedIn 1970, CTB created the Tests of Basic Experiences® (TOBE). TOBE assessed how life experiences had prepared preschoolers and kindergarteners for school. The test was administered orally and students responded by choosing the appropriate picture in a test book.
1971: Created the first criterion-referenced testIn 1971, CTB developed one of the first large-scale Criterion Referenced Tests (CRTs), the Diagnostic Math Inventory. CRT tests measure students’ mastery of specific performance, rather than comparing students against a norm group. With a more specific diagnosis, teachers could see areas of strengths and weaknesses for each student relative to the content area objectives.
1972: Prescriptive Reading Inventory publishedIn 1972, CTB published the Prescriptive Reading Inventory (PRI). PRI is a criterion-referenced method to measure reading skills in large groups of students, from kindergarten through high school.
1973: CTBS is updatedIn 1973, the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS) was updated and expanded. The new version included students Grades two through twelve and also assessed science and social studies.
1973: First K-12 publisher to apply empirical methods to detect item biasIn 1973, CTB became the first K-12 publisher to use Differential Item Functioning (DIF) techniques. DIF is used to detect bias in test items by using student data to measure how different groups perform on test items. By employing these methods to detect bias, CTB became a leader in reducing test bias, both in the test development process using rigorous review processes, and after the test was piloted using empirical analysis. DIF techniques are still in use today in the development of CTB assessments.
1977: First publisher to offer criterion-and norm referenced information from a single testIn 1977, CTB became the first major test publisher to offer criterion- and norm- referenced information from a single test (CAT/2). CTB provided information about a student’s performance against a set of content standards, as well as how the student performed on the test in comparison to a nationally-representative sample.


1981: First K-12 publisher to apply Item Response Theory (IRT) on a large-scale test to improve accuracy of informationIn 1981, CTB implemented Item Response Theory (IRT) on a large-scale test, the Test of Cognitive Skills (TCS). IRT can provide additional information by using a full analysis of the student’s pattern of responses to the items on the test. IRT allows scoring to go beyond merely counting the number of correct answers. IRT takes into account item characteristics such as difficulty, discrimination, and guessing
1985: CAT/4 publishedIn 1985, CTB updated the California Achievement Tests (CAT). CAT/4 was the first edition of CAT to use Item Response Theory (IRT).
1986: TestMate family of software introducedIn 1986, CTB introduced TestMate®, a microcomputer software system that allows a local school system to scan, score, and report test data from norm-referenced tests. TestMate performs statistical analysis of test results, and allows the user to store and easily manage the test data.
1987: TABE Forms 5&6 introducedIn 1987, CTB introduced a new version of TABE, TABE 5&6. The updated version provided new items that measured specific sub skills and were more finely divided and identified. TABE 5&6 was the first basic skills test in which all the items were normed on adults.
1987: LAS (Language AssessmentScales) IntroducedIn 1987, CTB introduced the Language Assessment Scales (LAS®) assessment suite. LAS assessments measure oral proficiency in Spanish and English. The assessments identify limited, or non-English speaking, students who would benefit from a bilingual program. The Language Assessment Scales are still used in the LAS Links® product line.
1987: Launched Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE)In 1987, CTB published Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE®), an achievement battery in Spanish that assessed basic reading and mathematics skills. SABE provided Spanish language reference group norms.
1989: CTBS/4 publishedIn 1989, CTB updated the Comprehensive Tests of Basic Skills (CTBS/4). CTBS/4 offered a survey for educators who needed to have a shorter survey of achievement levels of their students, without the need for curriculum-referenced (or objective-referenced) information. CTBS/4 also offered a Benchmark assessment which only provided norm-referenced scores.


1990: Two-parameter partialcredit model first implementedIn 1990, CTB implemented the two-parameter partial credit (2PPC) model. 2PPC allows CTB to apply IRT to analyze students’ responses to constructed-response items, including essays and performance tasks. CTB went on to pioneer IRT methods that provide a single-scaled score combining responses to constructed-response and multiple-choice items, allowing teachers, students, and parentsa way to view students responses in a variety of formats in a single score.
1990: Play, Learn, Grow! IntroducedIn 1990, CTB introduced Play, Learn, Grow!, a binder with hundreds of activities for teachers to use in assessing kindergarten and first grade students. Each activity was based on one or more of the skills assessed in ESA (Early School Assessment) and DSC (Developing Skills Checklist).
1991: SABE/2 introducedIn 1991, CTB revised Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE/2) to include new subtests for spelling, language mechanics, language expressions, and study skills.
1992: CAT/5 publishedIn 1992, CTB updated the California Achievement Tests to create CAT/5®. CAT/5 included constructed response items. Today, CAT/5 is known as TerraNova.
1993: CTB moves from Garden Road to Ryan RanchIn February 1993, CTB relocated to its current offices on Ryan Ranch Road in Monterey, California. The move was a short distance, but provided more space for a growing company.
1995: TABE 7&8 releasedIn 1995, CTB updated TABE 5&6 to TABE 7&8. TABE 7&8 offered correlations to predict success on the GED® Tests. It included subtests in reading, mathematics computations, applied mathematics, language, and spelling.
1996: Developed Bookmark Standard-Setting Procedure for establishment of cut scores.In 1996, CTB Research Scientists developed the Bookmark Standard-Setting Procedure™. The Bookmark Standard-Setting Procedure is perhaps the most prevalent standard setting procedure for setting cut scores on state NCLB summative assessments and has been widely used across the country and internationally.
1996: TerraNova revolutionizes test format and offers multiple measures.In 1996, CTB updated the California Achievement Tests and the California Test of Basic Skills to create TerraNova. Literally groundbreaking (‘terra nova’ in Latin means ‘new ground’), TerraNova provides students with engaging content and educators and parents with valuable reports. A sixth grader said after taking TerraNova “This test is definitely cool and in a way hard. But you [CTB] make it so that kids aren’t bored with it, and that is awesome.”
1997: Introduced electronic imaging for computerized scoringIn 1997, CTB introduced electronic imaging for computerized scoring. Electronic scoring is more accurate, more reliable, and more cost-effective. Materials such as disposable test booklets that would normally have to be handscored are sent through a high-speed scanner which captures written responses into digital information to be scored by human readers online.
1997: SUPERA IntroducedIn 1997, CTB introduced SUPERA®, the Spanish language version of TerraNova. SUPERA is based on the same scales used in the English language version to compare and understand Spanish-speaking student scores and English-speaking scores.


2000: First in industry to offer inclusive norms on norm-referenced testsIn 2000, CTB updated TerraNova with TerraNova The, Second Edition. The 2000 norms reflected a more representative group of the nation’s students including students with disabilities and students limited in English proficiency.
2001: Fox in a Box introducedIn 2001, CTB introduced Fox in a Box®. Fox in a Box provides individual diagnostic assessment for kindergarten through second grade. It measures literacy development based on nationally marked standards. The kit includes engaging activities to evaluate literacy skills and a fox puppet to put students at ease. Teachers can use the detailed diagnostic information about each child to monitor and plan instruction.
2002: i-know online assessment system launchedIn 2002, CTB introduced the i-know® online assessment system. i-know was a secure, web-based classroom-level assessment system that provided an easy to use, fast, and cost-effective way to measure student skills. Teachers could use the i-know tests or build their own tests from item banks to match curriculum and state standards. The system scored tests in seconds and provided a variety of individual and class reports.
2002: Customized state solutions to align to state standardsWith No Child Left Behind enacted, CTB was prepared to offer customized testing solutions for state-specific needs that met federal requirements. CTB was also able to provide enhanced NCLB-compliant student achievement reporting systems.
2003: Writing Roadmap IntroducedIn 2003, CTB introduced Writing Roadmap™. Writing Roadmap is a web-delivered, cost-effective program that instantly scores classroom-writing assessments. With Writing Roadmap, teachers can spend more time teaching, and less time scoring. The scoring reports provide analytic information to improve writing skills.
2003: TABE tests software introduced that align with the new GED national Tests.In 2003, CTB updated TABE 7&8 to TABE 9&10. The new advanced-level, criterion-referenced tests in writing, social studies, science, and algebra/geometry link TABE even more closely to the new advanced content areas of the GED® Tests. TABE 9&10 covers core reading, language, and math skills, and offers optional tests in language mechanics, vocabulary, and spelling for adult learners.
2003: TABE Online introducedIn 2004, CTB released an online version of TABE. TABE Online measures skills in reading, language arts, and mathematics, and was the first adult basic skills assessment available online.
2004: CTB leads the creation of the first Education Leadership PanelIn 2004, CTB announced the creation of the industry's first Education Leadership Panel. The panel brought together key national-, state-, and district-level education decision makers from around the United States to address major issues ranging from accountability to data-driven instruction.
2004: First Performances introducedIn 2005, CTB expanded the Fox in a Box product to become First Performances™. First Performances is a suite of engaging observational assessments in literacy and mathematics for Pre-K–Grade 3 that allows teachers to monitor each child's progress along key benchmarks aligned to national and state curriculum standards.
2005: McGraw-Hill acquired TurnLeaf Solutions, Inc..In 2005, McGraw-Hill acquired TurnLeaf Solutions, Inc., a national provider of customized online reporting and data analysis. 
2005: First in industry to offer measurement-based, formative, online predictive assessmentsIn 2006, CTB announced the award-winning Acuity® solution. Acuity supports high-quality, individualized instruction and informed decision making and helps educators improve achievement for every student. With Acuity InFormative Assessment™ resources, educators can quickly and easily diagnose, predict, communicate, and instruct—all with one powerful, integrated assessment system.
2006: TerraNova, Third Edition introduced.In 2007, CTB updated TerraNova, The Second Edition to TerraNova, Third Edition. TerraNova 3 was the first NRT (norm-referenced test) that features a combination of custom and off-the-shelf scoring and reporting services. Educators can mix and match reports and services to build an assessment program to meet their needs.
2007: TABE CLAS-E releasedIn 2007, CTB released TABE Complete Language Assessment System–English™ (TABE CLAS-E™). TABE CLAS-E assesses English proficiency levels in adult ELL students. TABE CLAS-E scores are linked to TABE 9&10 which helps ease students’ transition into adult basic education programs.
2007: TABE Online enhancedIn 2007, CTB enhanced TABE Online. The new version of TABE Online incorporates online reporting and more robust Internet functionality.
2007: Acuity UnWired offers real-time capture of student responses using “clicker” devicesIn 2008, CTB launched Acuity UnWired®. The launch of Acuity UnWired marked an education technology first: the integration of online, benchmark, interim, and formative assessments with student response devices. Teachers can immediately act on assessment responses and generate standards-aligned Acuity reports within minutes. The instantaneous feedback provided through Acuity UnWired gives educators the ability to make data-driven instructional decisions without delay, providing students with targeted instruction in real-time.
2009: Acuity wins CODiE Award for "Best Student Assessment Solution"In 2009, Acuity was awarded “Best Student Assessment Solution” as the best stand-alone, computer-based or online solution for K-12 student assessments. “The CODiE Award win is a noteworthy achievement, demonstrating that Acuity is a superior assessment system, one that makes real differences in student learning and achievement,” said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. “We are pleased and honored that Acuity has been recognized by CODiE judges, especially considering the high level of competition in this year’s entries.”
2009: National Center on Response to Intervention assigns highest ranking to Yearly ProgressProIn 2009, Yearly ProgressPro™ was ranked highest in all measured criteria, including classification reliability, validity, and sensitivity to student improvement. "This National Center on Response to Intervention rating is an independent demonstration confirming that Yearly ProgressPro provides valid, evidence-based assessments," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. Yearly ProgressPro provides an assessment tool that can be used for screening and progress monitoring in RTI programs.
2009: CTB adds Lexile measures to TABE reading assessment.In 2009, CTB announced an agreement with MetaMetrics® to provide adult students with Lexile® measures from TABE. By converting TABE reading scores into Lexile measures, teachers have a better indicator of their adult students' ability to comprehend and retain information, which has been shown to increase literacy skills. Lexile measures enable students to compare their reading ability to the demands of particular occupational materials and classroom texts.
2010: Acuity wins CODiE Award for “Best Student Assessment Solution” againFor the second year in a row, Acuity was awarded “Best Assessment Solution.” "We are honored that Acuity has received the CODiE Award for the second year in a row," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. "We very much appreciate the industry's recognition that Acuity is the best available formative assessment solution, and we are pleased that our assessment software provides innovative, classroom-practical educational technology and high-quality assessment content that helps teachers enhance the classroom learning experience for their students."
2009: TABE and TABE CLAS-E receive a full 7 year approval by U.S Department of Education National Reporting SystemIn 2010, CTB’s TABE assessments received approval by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Reporting System (NRS) for Adult Education. The approval demonstrates that TABE and TABE CLAS-E pass stringent federal accountability standards for learner outcomes. “This reauthorization of the TABE assessments ensures that adult education agencies nationwide will continue to have access to reliable and complete information about their adult students’ abilities, helping guide them on paths to success,” said Ellen Haley, president of CTB.


2010: Formative online assessment for English Language in China launchedIn 2010, CTB created an assessment tool for use in China, English Online System (EOS). "This project marks a major milestone as we expand our presence in China," said Sandor Nagy, chief operating officer of CTB "The Ministry of Education believes, as we do, that assessment is much more than just testing—it is an integral part of the overall learning process. With this project, we will address the most pressing issues facing us as we incorporate online formative assessment into English classrooms in China."
2010: Online Community launched for CTB’s Acuity AssessmentIn 2010, CTB launched the Acuity Community. The Acuity Community is a web-based social networking forum where Acuity users can collaborate and exchange ideas. "The Acuity Online Community promotes engagement between Acuity users, and allows visitors to the site to benefit from their collective experiences," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB.
2010: CTB acquires BooketteIn 2011, CTB acquired Bookette, a privately held software company. Bookette's smart-scoring engine evaluates high volumes of student writing responses, enabling assessments to incorporate writing while easing the burden of scoring and providing constructive feedback to students. "The Bookette acquisition strengthens McGraw-Hill's digital capabilities at a time when there is sharpened focus on technology and innovation in education and increased demand for online testing in the classroom," said CTB/McGraw-Hill president Ellen Haley.
2010: Three CTB products are finalists in the CODiE awardsIn 2011, three CTB products were named finalists in the CODiE awards; Acuity InFormative Assessment Solution for “Best Student Assessment Solution,” Acuity PhD for “Best Professional Development Solution,” and Yearly ProgressPro for “Best Assessment Solution.”
2011: CTB celebrates its 85th anniversaryIn 2011, CTB celebrates its 85th anniversary. From the beginning the Clarks established a company mission to “Help the Teacher Help the Child.” Today CTB is proud to carry on this mission with the most widely recognized assessment solutions in education. CTB serves more than 18 million students in all 50 states and in 49 countries.

We're loading your reports.
Thank you for your patience.

Next Steps

Contact us