Why are we here?

It all started at UC Berkeley in 1996...

As a graduate student observing in public school classrooms, Dr. Dawson was shocked by the stark contrast between the educational experiences available to advantaged versus disadvantaged students. She feared that this contrast would only deepen due to the rapidly growing high-stakes testing industry. It seemed clear that these “right answer” focused tests would narrow the curriculum and drive teaching—especially in disadvantaged schools—toward the memorization of facts, vocabulary, definitions, and procedures, and away from practices that foster deep understanding and skill. Recognizing that testing drives instruction, Dawson set out to create a radically different testing technology—one intended to drive the kind of teaching that increases engagement while continuously building skills for thinking and learning.

The result of these efforts is a new technology Lectica uses to develop and deliver sophisticated learning tools called Lectical Assessments.

Our nonprofit mission serves K-12 learners, but we've also been serving adult learners since 2002 when we began developing the LDMA (Lectical Leadership Decision-Making Assessment) for the US Federal government.

Selected funders

IES (US Department of Education)

The Spencer Foundation


Dr. Sharon Solloway

The Simpson Foundation

The Leopold Foundation

Donor list

Selected clients

Glastonbury School District, CT

The Ross School

Rainbow Community School

The Study School

Long Trail School

The US Naval Academy

The City of Edmonton, Alberta

The US Federal Government

Advisory Board

Antonio Battro, MD, Ph.D., One Laptop Per Child

Marc Schwartz, Ph.D. and former high school teacher, University of Texas at Arlington

Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Ed.D., University of Southern California

Willis Overton, Ph.D., Temple University, Emeritus