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Press Release: Smarter Balanced Awards Reporting System Contract to Wireless Generation

(Brooklyn, New York, November 28, 2012) The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (Smarter Balanced) announced the award of a contract to Wireless Generation to develop an online, open source solution for reporting student results from its assessments.

A leader in providing digital assessment tools for teachers nationwide, Wireless Generation has an effective, decades-long track record of putting data into action. The Smarter Balanced reporting system will provide teachers, administrators, parents, and students with actionable information about student progress toward college and career readiness.

The reporting system to be developed by Wireless Generation for Smarter Balanced is an integral piece of establishing the Common Core Standards in thousands of schools in twenty-five states across the country. “This move to implement broadly shared, rigorous learning standards represents perhaps the most momentous change in American education we’ve seen in decades,” said Josh Reibel, Wireless Generation CEO. “We are proud to be an active participant shaping this new approach to teaching and learning.”

Wireless Generation—in collaboration with Educational Testing Service (ETS)—will develop the reporting system along with a broad range of stakeholders, including member states, K-12 educators, higher education faculty, parents, students, and partners. The design of the reporting system will be informed by stakeholder research and small- and large-scale user testing. In the summer of 2014, Wireless Generation will provide Smarter Balanced with a fully functional, open source reporting system for integration with the other assessment system technology components.

“Results from student assessments are most useful when they illustrate student progress and help inform instruction,” said Joe Willhoft, Ph.D., executive director of Smarter Balanced. “The Smarter Balanced assessment system will allow teachers and parents to see how students are progressing throughout their schooling, what skills they have mastered, and get access to additional tools to support their success.”

The reporting system will provide student-level results of the Smarter Balanced interim and summative assessments, as well as growth data showing whether students are on track to be college- and career-ready. Reports summarizing student achievement and growth at the classroom, school, district, and state levels will also be available to authorized users.

Explained Reibel, “This initiative is an opportunity for Wireless Generation to leverage its true core competency — making school data truly matter by helping educators, students and parents see the story it’s telling clearly, and then plan specific courses of action based on those data stories. We’re thrilled to be the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium’s partner of choice for this important work that will make a real and measurable difference in classrooms across the country.”

Smarter Balanced is developing a balanced system of assessments—with formative, interim, and summative components—that measure achievement and growth toward college and career readiness. The work of Smarter Balanced is guided by the belief that a high-quality assessment system can provide information and tools for teachers and schools to improve instruction and help students succeed—regardless of disability, language, or background.

Wireless Generation was awarded this contract following a competitive procurement process overseen by the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. An evaluation committee composed of representatives from Smarter Balanced Governing States reviewed and scored the proposals. More information on the Consortium’s procurement process—including the Reporting System RFP and Wireless Generation’s proposal—is available at: http://www.k12.wa.us/SMARTER/Jobs-Contracts.aspx.

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About Wireless Generation: A part of Amplify, Wireless Generation is dedicated to reimagining K – 12 education by creating digital products and services that empower teachers, students and parents in new ways. As the nation’s leading education innovator, Wireless Generation has pioneered the use of technology in the classroom to help educators use an increasing amount of relevant data to enhance teaching and learning. Our comprehensive set of products and services includes formative assessment, instruction and intervention, digital content, professional services, and custom software solutions. Wireless Generation’s products are used by more than 200,000 educators and 3 million children in schools and districts in all 50 states. More information is available at wirelessgeneration.com.

About Smarter Balanced: The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium brings together states to create a common, innovative assessment system for mathematics and English language arts/literacy that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards and helps prepare students for college and careers. The Consortium involves educators, researchers, policymakers, and community groups in a transparent and consensus-driven process to help all students thrive in a knowledge-driven global economy. The Consortium’s projects are funded through a four-year, $175 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, comprising 99 percent of activity resources, with the remaining support provided through generous contributions of charitable foundations. Membership is open to any interested U.S. state. For more information, please visit www.smarterbalanced.org.

About ETS: At ETS, we advance quality and equity in education for people worldwide by creating assessments based on rigorous research. ETS serves individuals, educational institutions and government agencies by providing customized solutions for teacher certification, English language learning, and elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, as well as conducting education research, analysis and policy studies. Founded as a nonprofit in 1947, ETS develops, administers and scores more than 50 million tests annually — including the TOEFL® and TOEIC® tests, the GRE® tests and The Praxis Series™ assessments — in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide. www.ets.org.

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