RESTON, Va., July 14, 2009 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today announced the release of a new version of the Assessment Solutions Promoting Instruction, Reflection, and Evidence (ASPIRE) of Learning Assessment System. ASPIRE is a comprehensive assessment system designed to support both formative and summative student assessment.

Formative assessment is the process of evaluating students during the learning process to help ensure learning and close the achievement gap, allowing teachers and schools to focus on areas where students need help. Summative assessment is the evaluation of student learning after the teaching process is complete.

Northrop Grumman's Information Systems sector developed ASPIRE in conjunction with educators as a tool with a strong emphasis on formative assessment and teacher collaboration in their own learning communities. By providing structure through the automation of the assessment process, ASPIRE helps teachers in the classroom improve their instructional practice. Access to real-time student performance data drives instructional decisions and helps to target students in need of intervention.

"To help address the challenges of an increasingly competitive world, Northrop Grumman is preparing students through the ASPIRE system," said Dave Nastase, vice president of Advanced Public Services for Northrop Grumman's Civil Systems division. "Many schools are experiencing the benefits of ASPIRE through its tracking of critical performance information, and realizing more effective teaching practices and improved student learning results."

ASPIRE promotes teacher collaboration and helps educators determine what works in the classroom. With ASPIRE, teachers can share assessment results, identify trends, reflect on teaching practices and develop collaborative intervention strategies for addressing problem areas. Teachers can also work together or individually to create assessment questions in ASPIRE and develop an in-depth understanding of their teaching curriculum.

"ASPIRE is helping to improve educator's teaching proficiency, which leads to increased student learning and achievement," said Mark Scheffel, director of business process solutions for Northrop Grumman's Civil Systems division.

The latest version adds several features and enhancements that expand visibility into student performance through reporting. New features include:

  *   Schools Interoperability Framework agent that provides a standard
     definition and method of exchanging information with other
 *   Question review process that enables teachers to submit questions
     for review by school district instructional support personnel and
     inclusion to a test questions bank that is available for school
     district use.
 *   Project-based assessments that help students format responses and
     essay questions by including graphics and adding hyperlinks, a
     feature not previously available in standard assessments.
 *   Student entry of complex mathematical responses.
 *   Longitudinal reporting framework that provides information on how
     a student is progressing over time and across school years.
 *   Print-ready versions of paper-and-pencil tests.
 *   Increased reporting and enhanced usability.

The ASPIRE Assessment System is currently in use in school systems throughout the country, including Fairfax County (Va.) Public Schools, Deer Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Az., and the Ascension Parish School Board in Donaldsonville, La.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Christy Whitman
          Northrop Grumman Information Systems
          (571) 213-5302