Spelling Moves Beyond Reading, Memorizing to Pattern Recognition

ST. LOUIS, MO, September 26, 2006 — Recent educational research suggests that the traditional method of teaching spelling through reading and rote memorization may not be the best approach. Rather, teaching students to recognize letter and word patterns empowers them to be independent readers.

According to J. Richard Gentry, author of The Science of Spelling, “[A] whole generation of children in America may have been disenfranchised from spelling instruction because authorities told teachers that children learn to spell by reading; consequently, many children grew up without spelling instruction.”

Orchard Software, published by Siboney Learning Group, met this change in spelling education with its latest program, Spelling Buzz. Students compete against each other or against Buzz the Bee in several spelling bee activities, earning points for spelling correctly. This flexible software program allows students to set the pace from easy to challenging, while teachers can import their own words or use the lessons provided.

“We’ve captured the excitement of a spelling bee and added superb graphics to help motivate students to learn spelling,” said William D. Edwards, President of Siboney Learning Group. “The features in Spelling Buzz get students and teachers alike excited about spelling.”

Students in kindergarten through 6th grade encounter words commonly found in basal series used by schools. Each lesson contains 10 words that share a letter or sound pattern or that relate to a subject area like science. Students learn to manipulate words and gain experience in components of words, such as roots, prefixes, and suffixes, as well as spelling patterns, such as word families.

Spelling Buzz is available as a single title through Siboney Learning Group’s Gamco product line or as part of a comprehensive solution through Orchard Software, which also provides standards-based assessments and automatic targeted assignments. With more than 150 Skill Trees covering over 3,000 concepts, Orchard’s assessments are designed to ensure that students are working on the specific skills they need to master in order to meet challenging academic standards as well as each school district’s learning objectives.

Siboney Learning Group is a dynamic publisher, integrator, and provider of comprehensive and motivational software. Its associates are passionate about the success of children and adult learners and are committed to playing a leading role in their education by providing high-quality software.

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SMART’s free, live, online training sessions support Mac users

Calgary, Alberta–September 26, 2006–SMART Technologies Inc. announces that all of its free, online training sessions are now available to Mac users. The sessions are available to all SMART customers in North America. Each week 1622 sessions (approximately 75 each month) are offered on 10 topics, including introduction to the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard, Sympodium® interactive pen display and AirLiner™ wireless slate. Also included are sessions for teachers on creating engaging interactive lesson activities with Notebook™ software. SMART is the only interactive whiteboard manufacturer in the world to offer such a large number and variety of online sessions. Conducted with SMART’s own Bridgit® conferencing software, the training can be accessed at http://www.smarttech.com/trainingcenter/online/index.asp. Session descriptions and connection instructions are also provided. “I have never seen online training sessions for any of the other software that I use in my library. SMART is really ahead of its time,” says Lynne E. Borgerson, librarian at Meramec Heights Elementary School in Arnold, Montana. “SMART is the only company I know of that doesn’t charge for technical support and still provides free upgrades.” “SMART’s name is synonymous with innovation, quality, value and commitment, and we know the importance of providing our customers with up-to-date training,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s president and co-CEO. “Our online training sessions provide a convenient resource that benefits both new and existing users.” SMART’s online training sessions include SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard Mac, Notebook Software Mac, Creating Lesson Activities (K6), Creating Lesson Activities (712), SynchronEyes® Classroom Management Software, AirLiner Slate, Bridgit Software, Sympodium Interactive Pen Display, SMART Ideas® Software and SMART Board Interactive Whiteboard Setup and Support.

About SMART

SMART Technologies Inc. is both the industry pioneer and global education market segment leader in user-friendly interactive whiteboards and group collaboration tools. The award-winning family of SMART Board interactive whiteboards is the most widely installed interactive whiteboard in the world because of its unsurpassed product quality, versatility and ease of use. School districts across the United States have standardized on SMART products, including New York City Board of Education, Atlanta Department of Education, Vermont Institute for Science, Math & Technology, and San Diego City Schools. The SMART Board interactive whiteboard is used to teach 11 million students in 330,000 classrooms in over 100 countries around the world. SMART is a private company founded in 1987. Employing more than 800 people, SMART is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with assembly facilities in Ottawa, and offices in Bonn, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York City, Chicago and Washington DC. SMART has been issued and maintains a broad portfolio of patents with numerous U.S., Canadian and other patents pending. In 1992, SMART formed a strategic alliance with Intel® Corporation that resulted in joint product development and marketing efforts, and Intel’s equity ownership in the company. SMART products are sold through dealers across North America and distributors worldwide. To learn more about SMART as a company as well as SMART products and programs visit www.smarttech.com and www.education.smarttech.com

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Higher Education Institutions to Realize Significant Cost Savings through CDW-G and Horizon Resource Group Partnership

Vernon Hills, Ill.–Sep. 27, 2006–CDW Government, Inc. (CDW-G), a wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation [NASDAQ: CDWC] and leading source of Information Technology (IT) solutions to governments and educators, announced today that the group purchasing organization Horizon Resource Group (Horizon) has selected CDW-G to be its exclusive technology provider. The Nashville, Tenn.-based Horizon leverages the buying power of higher education institutions to drive savings in purchasing and lower overall operating costs. Its exclusive national partnership with CDW-G will enable Horizon’s over 700 higher education member institutions, many of whom are faced with IT budget cut-backs, to purchase software, software licensing and maintenance, hardware and peripherals at competitive prices–ensuring that higher education institutions can continue to provide students with the highest quality technology. The agreement also will help Horizon members streamline their purchasing processes since they can address all technology needs with CDW-G, rather than dealing with multiple vendors. “Today, colleges and universities face mounting financial pressures as costs rise and budgets shrink. They also must deal with unique purchasing challenges when acquiring technology to support campus programs. The new partnership between CDW-G and Horizon Resource Group will enable higher education institutions to address these challenges more effectively,” said Julie Smith, director of higher education for CDW-G. “Each Horizon member institution will be able to purchase best-in-class technology at prices competitively solicited for the entire group, as well as to take advantage of CDW-G’s industry-leading customer service.” “In addition to thousands of technology products, CDW-G offers institutions the highest quality technology advice and customer service. Our members will benefit from the company’s expertise in the market, as well as from our exclusive national technology partnership for higher education institutions,” said M. Todd Abner, president and chief executive officer, Horizon Resource Group. Beginning immediately, Horizon members, representing four-year and community colleges in 32 states, can purchase best-in-class technology products from CDW-G with no change in their purchasing processes in order to benefit from the new agreement. About CDW-G

A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW Corporation (NASDAQ: CDWC), a FORTUNE 500 company, CDW Government (CDW-G) is a trusted technology advisor to federal, state and local government agencies, as well as to educational institutions at all levels. CDW-G offers best-in-class technology products and services from top-name brands such as Acer, Adobe, Cisco, HP, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony, Symantec, and Toshiba. For more information about CDW-G product offerings, procurement options, service and solutions, call 1.800.863.4239, or visit the CDW-G Web site at CDWG.com.

About Horizon Resource Group

Horizon Resource Group is the first and only group purchasing organization (GPO) of its type for institutions of higher education. By leveraging the national purchasing power of hundreds of institutions nationwide, Horizon provides an expanding portfolio of competitively solicited agreements in order to drive savings and lower overall operating costs. The resulting supplier agreements are available for all member institutions and provide significant savings to institutions, regardless of size or location. There is no fee to become a member of Horizon Resource Group.

Alan Kuebler, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Executive Director for Resource Management at Washington University says, “Washington University in St. Louis is a strong proponent of group purchasing and finds great value in its relationship with Horizon Resource Group. Horizon has brought us countless opportunities to save money, streamline processes and realize benefits that are the result of the collective purchasing power of the group’s nationwide membership.” For more information about Horizon Resource Group, visit the Web site at www.horizonrg.com.

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States tout ‘one-stop’ college sites

Admissions officers and others interested in the college-application process are monitoring the development of one-stop, state-wide web sites that streamline the college enrollment process for prospective students and their parents.

The need for such accessible information was underscored not long ago by the plight of one mother in Georgia.

With her first child headed for college this fall and two more soon to follow, Carol Wright was lost. Campus tours, applications, financial aid forms, transcripts, SAT scores, class planning–and that was just the beginning.

“It’s unbelievable,” the Carrollton, Ga., mother said. “You don’t know where to start or what to do. It’s trial and error, at the mercy of everybody telling me what to do.”

Then she heard about Georgia’s year-old web site, gacollege411.org–a one-stop shop for applying to the state’s colleges and requesting financial aid. Modeled after a similar site in North Carolina, Georgia’s already has registered more than 100,000 students and families in just 18 months.

Georgia is now among about 35 states with such sites, an effort by education officials to make college more accessible by demystify the daunting application process while making it easier for students to enroll in schools within their borders.

The $1.5 million site includes free preparation classes for the SAT college-entrance exam, a class planner for students entering high school, applications to more than 100 colleges, virtual campus tours, and information on getting one of the state’s full-ride, lottery-funded scholarships.

Most states’ sites have information on every college in the state–both public and private–and what kind of programs are offered.

But they do have private-sector competition, such as princetonreview.com.

Rob Franek, publisher of Princeton Review, said his company’s site has many of the same features but takes a national perspective. It also includes annual rankings based on student surveys about quality-of-life issues.

“We’re unapologetic listeners to student opinion,” Franek said.

But some state sites offer advantages unavailable elsewhere, including the ability to apply electronically for state-sponsored scholarships. For the individual states, the sites also help standardize admissions technologies and directly support efforts to bolster access to college.

North Carolina’s cfnc.org, which launched in 2000, has been credited with helping increase the state’s college-enrollment rate from 57 percent to 68 percent of high school graduates.

“What we were trying to do is level the playing field,” said Bobby Kanoy, senior associate vice president for academic and student affairs with the University of North Carolina system. “We had to get that information in the hands of students and parents who otherwise wouldn’t have thought about going to college.”

On the majority of the sites, students must register to get access to the features. Once they register, they have an account that they can monitor and update throughout high school, which makes applying for college as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. Students can submit applications, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and financial aid forms all electronically.

North Carolina, which spends about $1 million a year to maintain its site, has 1.3 million students and families registered for accounts. That’s up from just 14,000 after the site’s first year.

“It’s very helpful,” said 19-year-old Jessica Priddy of Eaton, N.C., who used cnfc.org to help determine that she wanted to attend the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, where she is now a sophomore.

Kentucky launched its “Go Higher Kentucky” campaign in 2000, part of which is gohigherky.com, the state’s college web site. Since then, the number of high school students going on to college has grown from 55 percent to 62 percent.

“When we launched this, the idea of trying to market higher education was a strange bird,” said Jim Applegate with the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. “But today it’s catching on. It’s a result of the recognition that the success of states and the nation depend on an educated population.”

In West Virginia, wvapply.com has been running for five years, but the state’s higher-education policy commission wants to beef up what’s offered.

The trend of one-stop college web sites reportedly began in California in 1996, when the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system saw a need to fill in the gap left by a shortage of college counselors in high schools. Allison Jones, assistant vice chancellor of academic affairs for the Cal State system, said csumentor.edu cut down on the red tape involved in applying to college and reduced the amount of paper required to admit students.

CSU now prints only 100,000 applications, compared with several million before the web site. Close to 98 percent of the 500,000 applications received are through the site, he said.

California also has developed a statewide site, called californiacolleges.edu, that gives a comprehensive look at all the colleges in the state rather just one system.

Liz Dietz, CEO of Xap Corp., which has created many of the sites across the country, said they are especially popular in the South, where states are trying to revive their economies.

“It speaks to a change in economics, moving from agrarian or manufacturing to knowledge based,” Dietz said. “Those high-paying agricultural and manufacturing jobs just don’t exist any more.”

Wright, whose daughter, Kristen Shackelford, is a freshman at LaGrange College in Georgia, said gacollege411.org was especially helpful in finding financial aid.

“We were looking for major scholarship opportunities,” she said. “It was hunt and peck in different places, where this was everything in one spot.”

Links:

Xap Corp.
http://www.xap.com

Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education
http://cpe.ky.gov

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THINKRONIZE ANNOUNCES CANADIAN BACK-TO-SCHOOL LAUNCH OF netTrekker d.i.

Cincinnati, OH, September 26, 2006–Thinkronize, the developers of netTrekker, North America’s #1 educational search engine, makes its back-to-school debut at the Ministry of Education Tools for Learning: Effective Practice for the Use of Assistive Technology for Students with Special Education Needs Conference, September 26-27, Toronto, Canada. netTrekker d.i., the award-winning search engine for schools, has been localized for the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario by incorporating respective outcomes and expectations. Additionally, with the support of Canadian teacher evaluators, relevant content is being reviewed and mapped to expectations and outcomes, to allow for easy search capabilities through the netTrekker d.i. search engine.

“netTrekker d.i. is on the cutting edge of educational search engines! It delivers powerful learning resources to students and teachers, all at their fingertips,” said Leon Lenchner, Teacher Librarian, Joyce Public School, Toronto District School Board.

Thinkronize proudly welcomes award-wining Joyce Public School into the Cornerstone Pilot Program (CPP). Under the leadership of principal, Cheryl Paige, her team of teachers will work closely with Thinkronize in the coming year to ensure that teachers and students access the best possible learning resources in netTrekker d.i. to support student achievement, as well as provide vital feedback to Thinkronize as part of the Cornerstone program.

“We view the Canadian market as a strategic and natural progression in doing business in North America. Our efforts to localize netTrekker d.i. for the Canadian market reflect our desire to meet the needs of all learners,” said Randy Wilhelm, Thinkronize’s CEO. “We’re also proud to welcome award-winning Joyce Pubic School into the Cornerstone Pilot Program.” Thinkronize serves nearly 9.3 million students in 47 states and two Canadian provinces. In addition, the company has developed a number of key partnerships with such leading brands as Apple, Dell, and Promethean.

About the netTrekker Product Suite

The netTrekker product line includes award-winning educational search products for both the education (netTrekker classic and netTrekker d.i.) and consumer (netTrekker home) markets. Unlike ordinary search engines, products from the netTrekker suite provide fast and easy access to only the best, pornography-free, educational resources from the entire Internet in a safe, organized, standards-aligned format. Using netTrekker search engines, educators, school librarians, students, and parents save valuable time because they are directed to relevant, reliable, educator-selected websites every time–meaning less time spent on searching and more time focused on learning. For more information about the netTrekker suite, visit www.nettrekker.com.

About Thinkronize

Thinkronize, an Internet developer of K-12 educational products, was founded in 1999 and grew out of a passion for and commitment to enhancing teaching and learning with the Internet and standards-based online resources. The company launched its flagship product, netTrekker classic, in October 2000 and has since expanded the product line to include netTrekker d.i., designed for use in schools to help educators meet individual students’ learning needs, and netTrekker home, available for purchase by parents whose district or school has not yet purchased a netTrekker subscription. Peers, educators and parents have honored Thinkronize and the netTrekker product suite 16 times for their contribution to education. Thinkronize currently serves nearly 9.3 million students in 47 states, including adoptions by key districts and states nationwide. For more information visit www.thinkronize.com or phone 877-517-1125.

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“GENERATION Rx™” PITS TEENS AGAINST PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE

Potomac, MD: WILL Interactive, Inc., the Potomac, MD-based leader in virtual experience behavior modification gaming, has created Generation Rx”, an interactive gaming simulation, in collaboration with Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. (KRCC), a private non-profit organization dedicated to mental health. A high-tech “choose-your-own-adventure” program with serious consequences, Generation Rx” was developed to tackle the devastating national epidemic of prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among 12-17 year-old youth.

Teenage abuse of over-the-counter and prescription drugs is an increasingly alarming national crisis. New abuse of prescription opioids among children 12 to 17 years old was up by 542% between 1992 and 2002, and in 2004, 2.3 million 12 to 17 year-olds abused at least one controlled prescription drug. [Source: “Under the Counter: The Diversion and Abuse of Controlled Prescription Drugs in the U.S.”–The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University].

Generation Rx”, created with students in Eastern Kentucky as part of KRCC’s substance abuse prevention program in schools, will be available to schools and organizations across the country, via the Internet, and on CD-ROM. Designed to improve critical thinking, judgment and decision-making, Generation Rx” uses WILL Interactive’s patented VEILS® (Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations) technology, which has been proven effective in changing behavior and enhancing positive decision-making.

A cross between a video game and a feature film, VEILS® enables users to role-play the lead characters in live-action, research-based interactive movies that depict real-life decisions and consequences in the safety of cyberspace. The goal is to enhance the user’s decision-making skills by creating realistic, stressful situations where the user must make decisions in a slice of life context. The experiential learning provided by WILL Interactive’s programs teaches users how to think rather than what to think.

Generation Rx” allows students to role-play as three characters of different age, gender, education and socio-economic status. *Leslie is an ambitious freshman who is beginning her high school career on the varsity cheerleading squad and with her well-liked new boyfriend Justin, a senior. What does she decide when Justin, starts to pressure her into taking pills to party and have a good time with him and his older friends? She doesn’t want to let him down.

*Ryan is a 17-year-old basketball star, who has just started his senior year with a career-ending injury. He’s prescribed painkillers by his doctor, but after seeing his father’s downfall due to prescription drug abuse, Ryan is wary of taking them. What should he do when his girlfriend asks him for his extra pills, and the kids around school start pressuring him to share his stash?

*Roy is a 17 year-old, who is half a step away from being a high-school dropout. His grandfather first gave him a prescribed pain pill to help a toothache two years ago, and now Roy sells pills to support his own addiction. After a near-death overdose due to using a mix of prescription and illegal drugs, should he continue on his path or seek help to get clean? Does he go back to his pill-popping friends – the only ones he’s ever known – or does he go back to school and get a job?

“We are pleased to work with KRCC in confronting this health crisis, which is affecting communities across the U.S.,” said Sharon Sloane, CEO of WILL Interactive. “WILL has had much success in dealing with powerful and realistic subject matter in a format that engages today’s video game generation youth.”

“The prescription drug abuse which started six years ago in eastern Kentucky has now become a national public health issue,” said David Mathews, Ph.D. Director of Adult Services at Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. “Through this innovative program we hope to lead the nation in demonstrating a new way to involve teenagers in avoiding future drug abuse.”

Previous WILL Interactive programs for students include “Hate Comes Home,” created in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League, which follows high school students as they navigate such issues as hate crimes, racism and bias; “Just 2 Days,” which addresses school violence; and “Interactive Nights Out 2,” which helps 11-17 year olds make smart choices about alcohol and illegal drugs, as well as family and peer relationships.

WILL Interactive Inc., founded in 1994, pioneered and patented the advanced form of digital game-based learning called Virtual Experience Immersive Learning Simulations (VEILS®). WILL works with America’s leading organizations to help address their most critical education and training challenges, including issues of national concern. VEILS® uniquely enable users to role-play the lead characters in live action, research-based movies and experience real-life decisions and consequences in the safety of cyberspace. WILL’s products are used by millions of military and law enforcement personnel, and are also part of the curriculum in thousands of middle schools, high schools and colleges. WILL Interactive’s unique blend of art and science allows them to create immersive learning simulations that have been shown in independent pilot evaluations to improve individuals’ decision-making under real-life stresses.

Kentucky River Community Care, Inc. (KRCC) is a nonprofit Community Mental Health Center dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the people of our region. We help individuals and families in the eight counties of the Kentucky River region by providing mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse and trauma services. KRCC seeks to promote public safety, boost economic wellbeing and improve community and individual quality of life.

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Discovery Education Helps Schools Earn While Students Learn Through New COSMEO Fundraising Initiative

Silver Spring, MD (Sept. 26, 2006) – This Fall, Discovery Education is partnering with schools nationwide to launch “Learning Adds Up” (www.learningaddsup.com), a new fundraising initiative that allows learning and earning to go hand-in-hand. Schools and districts participating in Discovery Education’s program can raise funds through the sale of subscriptions to COSMEO, the most comprehensive online homework help service for K-12 students.

Currently, more than 2,900 schools and school districts, including schools across New York City, Baltimore City Public Schools, Columbus City School District in Ohio and Wichita Public Schools, are signed up to participate in “Learning Adds Up.” Unlike other supplemental fundraising programs, “Learning Adds Up” packs a double fundraising punch, giving it the potential to change how schools and school districts raise money. When a school sells a subscription to COSMEO, it benefits not only from the initial sale, but also receives revenue for as long as the subscription remains active. Schools can then use this money without restriction for needs such as computer equipment, books, core instructional resources such as after-school tutoring, school clubs and more.

Any organization associated with K-12 public, private, parochial or military schools within the United States can enroll. All participating schools or organizations must be tax-exempt organizations with a 501(c) (3) or tax-exempt letter. Parents, teachers, school administrators and PTA/PTO organizations can also sign their school up to participate.

COSMEO also provides a compelling fundraising alternative for schools moving away from candy and junk food sales. “Everyone wins with this fundraising model, because parents are purchasing a product that reinforces what their kids learn in school, and the school receives much-needed resources,” says Carole Gooden, a teacher and distance learning specialist in Florida who is currently engaging schools in her district to participate in Learning Adds Up.

COSMEO is correlated to grade level and state curriculum standards, and provides easy-to-digest homework help for all key subject areas: science, math, social studies, English, health, art and music. COSMEO features include more than 30,000 educational video clips that make complex topics easier to understand; 15,000 interactive quizzes; 20,000 high-resolution images and clip art; hundreds of interactive brain games, online reference materials and more.

“I’m especially proud of the ‘Learning Adds Up’ program, because it allows Discovery Education to express its gratitude to the educational community for its support of Discovery over the past 20 years,” said Ron Reed, executive vice president, School Services, Discovery Education. “This is a terrific way for parents to support their children’s educational experiences outside the classroom and their children’s schools simultaneously.”

About Discovery Education Discovery Education is a division of Discovery Communications, the leading global real-world and knowledge-based media company. The leader in digital video-based learning, Discovery Education produces and distributes high-quality digital video content in easy-to-use formats, in all core-curricular subject areas. Its award-winning digital learning resources are available to 30 million students across the United States. Discovery Education is committed to creating scientifically proven, standards-based digital resources for teachers, students, and parents. Through strategic partnerships with 25 public television stations across the country, its public service initiatives, products, and joint business ventures, Discovery Education helps educators around the world harness the power of broadband and media to connect their students to a world of learning. For more information, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.

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Milwaukee College Preparatory School Chooses “Success Highways” to Help At-Risk Students Take Academic Initiative

MILWAUKEE & DENVER – Sept. 27, 2006 – ScholarCentric announced today that Milwaukee College Preparatory School has adopted its innovative program, “Success Highways,” to help engage students fully at a critical time in their academic careers – the middle school years. “Success Highways,” which helps students build personal skills that motivate them to stay in school and achieve at the highest possible levels, will be integrated into the curriculum for 280 fifth- through eighth-graders.

“Our teachers were integrating academic success and life skills into the curriculum to varying degrees, but Success Highways’ really systemized our approach,” said Robert Rauh, principal, Milwaukee College Prep. “The lessons are presented in a way that is appealing and powerful to the students, and the program supports our goal of helping students take charge of their own learning.”

Developing proactive learners is a key part of the education process at Milwaukee College Prep. Several local business executives created this innovative and award-winning charter school for middle school students, to help narrow the wide achievement gap between black and white students. When Milwaukee College Prep students move on to high school, teachers and administrators want them to be confident about setting and achieving goals on their own, without relying on close adult supervision.

“Taking initiative is something many at-risk students have never done before – they simply haven’t been in an environment where they could develop these skills,” said Steven Weigler, president and founder, ScholarCentric. “That’s why a program like ‘Success Highways’ can be so successful at Milwaukee College Prep. Outstanding teachers and a challenging curriculum are supported by a program that gives students the tools to overcome the obstacles that may have kept them from academic success in the past.” Based on more than 15 years of research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, “Success Highways” was developed by V. Scott Solberg, associate professor of educational psychology, who began with the thesis that students have to become emotionally invested in learning before they can reach their potential. For more information, visit www.ScholarCentric.

About ScholarCentric

ScholarCentric™ is a K-12 educational publishing company focused on helping students succeed in school and life. The company’s flagship product, “Success Highways,” is an innovative, teacher-driven program designed to put middle and high school students on the right track for academic success. With “Success Highways,” students stay in school, score higher on achievement tests and prepare for future education. The research-based program is aligned with state standards and was developed from the results of 15 years of research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a seven-year pilot in an urban school district. For more information, visit www.ScholarCentric.

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Pearson Assessments Offers a New Assessment for College Counselors

BLOOMINGTON, Minn.–Sept. 26, 2006–Nearly half of all college students are at some point so depressed they have difficulty functioning, according to research conducted by the American College Health Association. To help college counselors identify and address critical issues that trouble students, Pearson Assessments now offers one comprehensive tool: the newly developed MCCI™ (Millon™ College Counseling Inventory) assessment. The MCCI test is the only comprehensive personality assessment available that was created for use with college students. The MCCI test is the latest assessment developed by Dr. Theodore Millon based on his theories of personality and development. Areas that the test covers include:

*personality styles

*typical concerns of college students, such as loneliness, family difficulties, academic concerns, and financial worries

*clinical signs that counselors look for, including suicidal tendency, depressive outlook, anxiety, eating dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, and more.

“The MCCI test represents both time and cost savings to counseling centers. This single tool will provide information for multiple issues that are most relevant to college students,” said Carol Watson, publisher and executive vice president of Pearson Assessments.

Principal test author Theodore Millon, PhD, DsC, is a renowned personality and developmental theorist and author of several tests based on his theories, including the MCMI-III™ (Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III), MACI™ (Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory), and MIPS® Revised (Millon Index of Personality Styles Revised) tests. Pearson Assessments publishes and distributes the entire line of Millon personality inventories.

The introduction of the MCCI test represents one of several recent advances for the Millon Clinical Inventories, which include the new M-PACI™ (Millon Pre-Adolescent Clinical Inventory) assessment designed to help detect early signs of Axis I and Axis II disorders in children ages 9-12; the addition of Grossman Facet Scales to the MACI and MCMI-III tests to more clearly define results; and Bariatric norms for the MBMD™ (Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic) test. To request a free trial of the MCCI test, visit PearsonAssessments.com/tests/mcci.htm. For more information about the MCCI test or any of the full suite of Millon instruments, available only from Pearson Assessments, visit PearsonAssessments.com or call (800) 627-7271.

About Pearson Assessments Pearson Assessments provides assessment instruments and data capture tools and technologies for use in education, health care and business settings. Backed by nearly a half century of knowledge and expertise, Pearson Assessments — integrating Pearson NCS and the assessment division of AGS Publishing with the original Pearson Assessments business — offers products and services to deliver the accurate, reliable and usable information that professionals seek. Pearson Assessments is a business of Pearson Education, the world’s largest integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson’s other primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.

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Capital One, JA Worldwide Unveil Mobile Financial Literacy Program for Middle School Students

WASHINGTON (September 26, 2006)–Results of a new survey by Capital One Financial Corporation show that 94 percent of 8th graders have never had a personal finance class, yet 48 percent would like to learn more about managing money. Capital One and JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement) have teamed up to create the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park that will be unveiled today in Washington before it heads to Fairfax and Richmond, Va., this fall.

The Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park™ (Finance Park) is a mobile, interactive classroom–two 53-foot semi-trucks that feature 2,000 square feet of training space and can host up to 60 students at a time–where students are given real-life financial situations and taught how to make important decisions on money matters and establish a personal budget.

Prior to arriving at Finance Park, students prepare by participating in twenty-four hours of classroom instruction led by their teachers on financial literacy topics including saving, investing, taxes, budgeting and career planning. When they arrive, each student receives a life scenario that includes job and salary information, family situation (single, married with children) and existing financial commitments (student loans, car payments, rent). Their challenge is to take what they’ve learned in the classroom and apply it at Finance Park to make sound financial decisions and maintain a personal budget.

“Students can be adults for a day,” said David S. Chernow, president and CEO of JA Worldwide, which developed the curriculum for the program. “Through our partnership with Capital One in developing our mobile Finance Park, together we will provide more middle school students the opportunity to get a head start on learning about some of the financial decisions they may encounter down the road.” “With this new mobile classroom, we hope to provide middle schoolers access to financial education resources and instill money management skills that will last a lifetime,” said Richard Woods, senior vice president at Capital One. “Finance Park allows us the flexibility to bring financial education to our local communities–our associates will play an active role in opening possibilities and building self-confidence in these young adults.”

Finance Park will make its inaugural stop in Washington on September 26 before pulling into Fairfax from October 12-October 25 and Richmond from October 30-November 8. More than 200 Capital One volunteers will staff the Capital One/Junior Achievement Finance Park and mentor the nearly 1,000 students who will pass through the mobile, interactive classroom this fall. Plans are under way to bring Finance Park to the Washington D.C. area, Richmond, Va.; and communities in Texas in 2007.

About JA Worldwide™ (Junior Achievement) JA Worldwide is the world’s largest organization dedicated to inspiring and preparing young people to succeed in a global economy. Through a dedicated volunteer network, JA Worldwide provides in-school and after-school programs for students in grades K-12. JA Worldwide offers educational programs that focus on seven key content areas: business, citizenship, economics, entrepreneurship, ethics/character, financial literacy, and career development. Today, 139 individual area operations reach approximately four million students in the United States, with more than 3.5 million students served by operations in 100 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.ja.org.

About Capital One

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation (www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company, with more than 324 locations in Texas and Louisiana. Its principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., Capital One Auto Finance, Inc., and Capital One, N.A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had $47.2 billion in deposits and $108.4 billion in managed loans outstanding as of June 30, 2006. Capital One, a Fortune 500 company, trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “COF” and is included in the S&P 500 index.

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