Press Release – April 25, 2006

Covington Associates Advises on the Acquisition
of National Evaluation Systems By Pearson plc

April 25, 2006 – Boston, MA — Covington Associates announced today that it has acted as an exclusive sell-side advisor to National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (“NES”) in its sale to Pearson plc (NYSE: PSO), an international education and information company.

Headquartered in Amherst, MA, NES is the leading provider of customized state assessments for teacher certification in the U.S. The company works directly with state education agencies to develop and administer licensing exams for teachers who want to enter the profession, teach a new subject or become certified in a different state. NES provides teacher certification tests across 15 different states.

NES was founded by Drs. William Gorth and Paul Pinsky in 1972 as an organization to commercialize the research and implementation of computer-based educational testing methodologies that they developed under a foundation grant at Stanford University. The two founders have remained with the company through its thirty plus year history, growing the company to become not only a market leader in educational testing, but also an invested member of the national educational community advocating for the growth of standards-based education.

Driven by provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, a key component of state legislation has become that all public school teachers be certified in ‘core subjects’. As a part of Pearson, NES will operate alongside Pearson Educational Measurement, which is a market leader in student assessment and testing. Pearson develops, administers, scores and reports the results of student assessments against state curriculum standards across 20 states. The acquisition of NES will allow Pearson to expand into the area of teacher certification, while allowing NES to continue growing its market leading platform of customized teacher certification.

Tom Cibotti, a Managing Director at Covington Associates said, “NES has a long history at being in the forefront of customized teacher certification in most of the largest states in the U.S. We wanted to find a partner for NES who would build upon the company’s existing successful platform and allow it to continue to expand into new markets.”

Dr. William Gorth, President of NES said, “We are excited by the opportunity to join Pearson, which has the resources to help us continue to grow our business. Covington Associates was with us every step of the way to ensure that we found the best fit for NES going forward.”

About National Evaluation Systems, Inc.
National Evaluation Systems, Inc. (NES(R)) is an educational testing company that develops and administers customized teacher certification testing programs and other assessment programs in higher education. Their work covers assessments in more than one hundred content fields, professional teaching skills, and the basic skills of reading, writing, and mathematics. In addition to its Amherst facility, the company operates regional offices and scoring centers in Sacramento, CA, Malta, NY and Austin, TX.

About Covington Associates LLC
Covington Associates is a specialty investment banking firm founded in 1991 serving business service, consumer, industrial, healthcare and technology companies throughout the country. Focused on mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity capital raising, and strategic advisory assignments for middle market companies, Covington Associates has completed transactions ranging in value from $10 million to over $1 billion for both private and publicly traded companies. To learn more about Covington Associates, visitwww.covingtonassociates.com.