TeachingBooks.net Observes Banned Books Week

Imagine someone telling you what you can and cannot read. Every year the American Library Association celebrates Banned Books Week during the last week of September, to remind Americans not to take this precious democratic freedom for granted. Observed since 1982, this event celebrates the freedom to choose or to express one’s opinion even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox, and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those unpopular viewpoints to all who wish to read them. TeachingBooks.net, a company that provides online book and author resources to more than 14,000 schools, is bringing awareness and information on banned books to educators and its staff through a number of different opportunities.

“As a company that was founded on the vision of equalizing access to educational resources about authors/illustrators and books by using the Internet, it’s only natural for TeachingBooks.net to value intellectual freedom and the freedom to read,” said Carin Bringelson, TeachingBooks.net librarian and Information Manager. “You can’t equalize access to a resource if that resource is censored.”

1) A commemorative “QuickSearch” of Banned Books resources is available for anyone to use to gain insight into the books most challenged during the past year. Search Results list author programs, book guides, book readings, author’s personal websites, valuable links and audio files of a few authors pronouncing their names. View TeachingBooks.net’s Banned Books Week resources from the QuickSearch drop-down menu or go to http://www.teachingbooks.net/BannedBooks.

2) TeachingBooks.net is freely inviting everyone to meet the American Library Association’s most challenged author of 2005 in the original TeachingBooks.net author program with Robie Harris. In the movie, everyone can now hear Robie Harris discuss the importance of accurate information in her books on puberty, sexuality and reproduction, including It’s So Amazing and It’s Perfectly Normal. The author program can be viewed at http://TeachingBooks.net/RobieHarris.

3) TeachingBooks.net is hosting its first official in-service for its five-member staff. Both Robie Harris and nationally renowned Intellectual Freedom champion Ginny Moore Kruse will join the staff for a conversation on our roles as advocates for access to all types of information found in many formats.

4) TeachingBooks.net is using this opportunity to formalize and publicize our Collection Development Policy. As an Internet company that works within the constraints of software filters in schools, the policy reinforces the importance of educating students to think critically by stating, in part, “Software Internet filters contradict TeachingBooks.net’s perspective that life-long learning and information literacy is best served by educating students to think critically so that they can be their own filters.”

5) TeachingBooks.net has created a Banned Books Week display that highlights the books of author Robie Harris and illustrator Michael Emberley. They are the creators of the most challenged book of 2005, and TeachingBooks.net is proud to be associated with them and their publications.

To learn more about TeachingBooks.net, visit http://www.teachingbooks.net/press.

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Louisiana, Dell Team on One of Most Powerful Supercomputing Grids

Dell is working with the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) to help create one of the nation’s most powerful supercomputing grids. It will include six Dell server clusters packing 30 teraflops of computing power, or the capability to perform 30 trillion operations per second.

The interconnected system is designed to provide a significant increase in computational resources for academic research, including the ability to perform hurricane tracking and storm surge modeling with much greater speed and accuracy.

LONI is a fiber optics network connecting supercomputers at Louisiana’s six major research universities. It is designed to vastly increase computation speeds and transform the research capability of Louisiana’s educational institutions.

Each LONI member campus will host a 132-node supercomputing cluster made up of Dell PowerEdge™ 1950 servers with five teraflops of storage.

“These advances position LONI and Louisiana to become a world leader in supercomputing and emerging cyber technologies,” said Charlie McMahon, LONI executive director.

To continue recruiting new businesses to Louisiana, 10 percent of the grid’s computing power will be reserved for Louisiana businesses, providing supercomputing capabilities to businesses that could benefit from it.

LONI’s member institutions include Louisiana State University; Louisiana Tech University; LSU Health Sciences Center–New Orleans; LSU Health Sciences Center–Shreveport; Southern University and A&M College; Tulane University; University of Louisiana at Lafayette; and the University of New Orleans.

“Louisiana is building a world-class supercomputing system that will serve as a boon to the state’s businesses and education institutions,” said John Mullen, vice president of Dell’s Higher Education and Health Care businesses. “Using standards-based Dell technology, LONI can cost-effectively scale to meet future computing needs, making the most of the state’s investment.”

For more information on LONI, visit www.loni.org.

About Dell

Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services they trust and value. Uniquely enabled by its direct business model, Dell sells more systems globally than any computer company, placing it No. 25 on the Fortune 500. Company revenue for the past four quarters was $57.4 billion. For more information, visit www.dell.com. To get Dell news direct, visit www.dell.com/RSS.

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Study: Reading First spurs achievement gains

The internal audit of Reading First by the federal Education Department was released just days after another report, from the independent Center on Education Policy (CEP), suggested the program is having a significant impact on student achievement.

The report, which surveyed state and local grant recipients, finds that Reading First has led to many changes in curriculum, instruction, and assessment. In addition, a significant majority of participating states and districts credit Reading First for student achievement gains, according to the survey.

Of the school districts that reported increased reading achievement, virtually all districts with Reading First subgrants reported that Reading First’s instructional program was an “important” or “very important” cause for gains (97 percent), and that Reading First’s assessment system was an “important” or “very important” cause (92 percent).

Of the 35 states reporting achievement gains in the survey, 19 reported that Reading First instructional programs were an important or very important cause for improvement, while 16 said that Reading First assessments were an important or very important cause. Many other state officials reported they did not yet know the impact of Reading First on achievement; 11 were unsure about the effects of the instructional programs, and 13 were unsure of the effects of the assessment system.

“Reading First is causing changes in instruction and assessment, because the program has strict requirements backed up by substantial funding,” said Jack Jennings, president of CEP.

Ninety percent of states (45) reported that they had sufficient funds for implementing Reading First instructional programs, while 43 states said they had sufficient funds for conducting Reading First evaluations. In addition, unlike other federal education programs, Reading First is a new funding stream. Therefore, funds to carry out the requirements of Reading First are not being reallocated from other uses.

While about 6 percent of U.S. public schools and 12 percent of public school districts participate directly in the annual $1 billion Reading First program, the report also finds that the law has affected many non-participating schools and districts, through expanded local instructional and assessment programs and state professional development and technical assistance that often can apply to non-participating schools and districts.

However, Reading First might not be having as much impact as it could, according to the report, as its implementation often is not coordinated with Early Reading First, a complementary federal initiative aimed at boosting pre-reading and language skills prior to kindergarten. Of 37 states responding to a survey item, 24 reported that the two programs were not coordinated, while 10 states reported that they were. Three states did not know.

Technology is a key factor in the success of many grant recipients. Eighty-seven percent of Reading First recipients said the assessments they implemented through the program, many of which are computer-based solutions, were an “important” or “very important” factor in raising student achievement.

For example, in the Chicago Public Schools, teachers at Pope Elementary said their chosen assessment, DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), works well. “It’s able to diagnose deficiencies,” explained Michael McKinney, the school’s librarian, who helps administer the assessments.

When teachers in the Boston Public Schools were given Palm Pilots to administer the DIBELS reading test required by the city’s Reading First subgrant, the initial reaction was to ask, “Have you lost your mind?” said Ann Deveny, Boston’s senior program director for elementary language arts.

Teachers, though, are finding the Palm Pilots very easy to use, said Deveny, and the immediate access to data has created a sense of urgency. Students are excited about the use of technology, and teachers feel empowered.

“Plus,” said Deveny, “I can see immediately what students are being tested and what the results are by student, classroom, and school.” Literacy coaches and principals can view results for the school and can compare these with other schools. Ultimately, the district will be able to view data longitudinally and compare the original Reading First schools with the 12 schools that are implementing the model using local or state funds, according to the report.

Link:

CEP report: “Keeping Watch on Reading First”
http://www.cep-dc.org/pubs/readingfirst

For example, in the Chicago Public Schools, teachers at Pope Elementary said their chosen assessment, DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills), works well. “It’s able to diagnose deficiencies,” explained Michael McKinney, the school’s librarian, who helps administer the assessments.

When teachers in the Boston Public Schools were given Palm Pilots to administer the DIBELS reading test required by the city’s Reading First subgrant, the initial reaction was to ask, “Have you lost your mind?” said Ann Deveny, Boston’s senior program director for elementary language arts.

Teachers, though, are finding the Palm Pilots very easy to use, said Deveny, and the immediate access to data has created a sense of urgency. Students are excited about the use of technology, and teachers feel empowered.

“Plus,” said Deveny, “I can see immediately what students are being tested and what the results are by student, classroom, and school.” Literacy coaches and principals can view results for the school and can compare these with other schools. Ultimately, the district will be able to view data longitudinally and compare the original Reading First schools with the 12 schools that are implementing the model using local or state funds, according to the report.

Link:

CEP report: “Keeping Watch on Reading First”
http://www.cep-dc.org/pubs/readingfirst

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Audit: Reading First beset by favoritism

A scorching internal review of the Bush administration’s billion-dollar-a-year reading program says the Education Department (ED) ignored the law and ethical standards to steer money how it wanted.

The government audit is unsparing in its view that the Reading First program has been beset by conflicts of interest and willful mismanagement. It suggests the department broke the law by trying to dictate which curriculum schools must use.

It also depicts a program in which review panels were stacked with people who shared the director’s views, and in which only favored publishers of reading curricula could get money.

In one eMail message, the director told a staff member to come down hard on a company he didn’t support, according to the report released Sept. 22 by the department’s inspector general.

“They are trying to crash our party and we need to beat the [expletive deleted] out of them in front of all the other would-be party crashers who are standing on the front lawn waiting to see how we welcome these dirtbags,” the program director wrote, the report says.

That official, Chris Doherty, is resigning in the coming days, department spokeswoman Katherine McLane said Sept. 22. Asked if his quitting was in response to the report, she said only that Doherty is returning to the private sector after five years at the agency. Doherty declined to comment. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings pledged to swiftly adopt all the audit’s recommendations. She also pledged a review of every Reading First grant her agency has approved.

“When something undermines the credibility of this department, or the standing of any program, I’m going to spring into action,” Spellings told the Associated Press.

Reading First aims to help young children read through scientifically proven programs, and the department considers it a jewel of No Child Left Behind, Bush’s education law. Just this week, a separate review found the effort is helping schools raise achievement.

But from the start, the program has been dogged by accusations of impropriety, leading to several ongoing audits. The new report from the Office of Inspector General–an independent arm of ED–calls into question the program’s credibility.

The ranking Democrat on the House education committee was furious.

“They should fire everyone who was involved in this,” said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. “This was not an accident; this was not an oversight. This was an intentional effort to corrupt the process.”

Spellings said the problems happened in the early days of the program, which began in 2002, before she was secretary. She said those responsible have left the agency or been reassigned.

About 1,500 school districts have received $4.8 billion in Reading First grants.

The audit found the department:

•Botched the way it picked a panel to review grant applications, raising questions over whether grants were approved as the law requires.

•Screened grant reviewers for conflicts of interest, but then failed to identify six who had a clear conflict based on their industry connections.

•Did not let states see the comments of experts who reviewed their applications.

•Required states to meet conditions that weren’t part of the law.

•Tried to downplay elements of the law it didn’t like when working with states.

The report does not name Doherty, referring to him as the Reading First director.

It says he repeatedly used his influence to steer money toward states that used a reading approach he favored, called Direct Instruction, or DI, a phonics-centric approach that was developed by a researcher associated with the University of Oregon. DI is a model of teaching that requires the use of Reading Mastery, a program published by SRI/McGraw-Hill, according to the audit. In one case, the report says, Doherty was told a review panel was stacked with people who backed that program.

“That’s the funniest part–yes!” he responded in eMail dating to 2002. “You know the line from Casablanca, ‘I am SHOCKED that there is gambling going on in this establishment!’ Well, ‘I am SHOCKED that there are pro-DI people on this panel!'”

Spellings took issue with the use of such eMail messages in the audit. She said they could be used to draw unfair conclusions about a person’s intentions.

The inspector general rejected that. It said the eMails were written by Doherty in his role as director, and there is no evidence they were inaccurate or pulled out of context.

The audit also faults other officials who had a big hand in Reading First, including Susan Neuman, the former assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education.

Spellings, who became secretary in 2005, said she is not aware of any effort to favor certain reading programs. That, however, is just what the audit says has happened.

“I’m doing everything I can at this point,” she said. “I can’t undo what’s been done.”

Link:

Inspector General’s report
http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oig/whatsnew.html

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Hamilton County, TN Increases Carnegie Learning Implementation to 33 Schools

Pittsburgh, PA, September 25, 2006 — Carnegie Learning, Inc., the leading publisher of research-based math curricula for middle school and high school students, announced today that Hamilton County School District in Tennessee has purchased additional licenses of the company’s research-based Cognitive Tutor® Bridge to Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II curricula. This purchase doubles the number of students in the county using the program to nearly 10,000. The new implementations began last month.

“We have seen significant changes in attitudes and performance among most of our students including the most challenged students in the district,” said Christy Evans, Secondary Math Coordinator for Hamilton County. “Our goal is to expand the reach of the curricula to a larger number of students. Ultimately, we anticipate seeing continuous improvement in our math scores and, ideally, higher graduation rates over the long-term.”

Two Hamilton County middle schools made the Carnegie Learning Bridge to Algebra purchase with funds from the Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) program. This federal initiative is a discretionary grant program designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education. GEAR UP provides six-year grants to states and partnerships to provide services to underserved middle and high schools.

Carnegie Learning’s curricula are based on more than two decades of cognitive science research at Carnegie Mellon University studying how students think, learn, and apply new knowledge in mathematics. The full-curriculum instructional format prescribes three days a week of classroom instruction and two days a week in a teacher-supervised software lab environment. The Cognitive Tutor software was developed around an artificial intelligence model that identifies weaknesses in each individual student’s mastery of mathematical concepts, customizes prompts to focus on areas where the student is struggling, and sends the student to new problems addressing those specific concepts. A Teacher’s Toolkit provides the instructor with a report on each student’s progress on an ongoing basis.

About Carnegie Learning (www.carnegielearning.com)

Carnegie Learning is a leading publisher of core, full-year mathematics programs as well as supplemental intervention applications for middle school and high school students. The company’s Cognitive Tutor® is helping more than 375,000 students in over 1000 school districts across the United States succeed in math by integrating interactive software sessions, text, and student-centered classroom lessons into a unique learning platform for algebra readiness, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II and Integrated Math programs. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes Carnegie Learning’s Cognitive Tutor Algebra I program as one of only two math curricula scientifically proven to have significant, positive effects on student learning. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Learning was founded by cognitive science researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in conjunction with veteran mathematics teachers.

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Survey Reveals Only 14 Percent of America’s Best Colleges Compliant with Web Standards

ATLANTA, September 26, 2006–Hannon Hill Corporation, makers of web content management solutions, today announced survey results revealing only 14 percent of America’s Best Colleges ranked by US News & World Report are compliant with HTML/XHTML web standards recommended by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The key benefits to maintaining a W3C standards-compliant website include having better accessibility for a wide range of disabled users and improved search engine rankings.

“Given that standardized tests like the SAT and GRE are major evaluation criteria American colleges depend on for selection processes, it only works to their benefit to apply standardized practices to official college websites,” said David Cummings, founder and CEO, Hannon Hill Corporation. “By upholding W3C website standards, colleges take the same approach to making a website accessible as they would to making physical walkways and structures accessible to persons with disabilities. And to understand how these guidelines aid accessibility, it’s important to understand how individuals with disabilities might interact with the web.”

For example, people with little or no sight must rely on electronic readers to read web pages to them. Those with severe myopia may use screen magnifiers or text enlarging browser settings. Color defected individuals will miss the nuances communicated by color and must look for other indications which convey the same meaning. People with decreased motor skills generally rely on keyboard shortcuts for navigation. What all these individuals have in common is that they must rely on assistive technology to help them navigate the web and find the information they need.

University of California, Davis is one school that maintains web standards. “At UC Davis it’s our mission to share widely the fruits of our teaching and research, and we feel very strongly that everyone deserves access to those resources,” said Craig Farris, webmaster. “Our challenge, at this large decentralized university, is to encourage and support everyone’s compliance with accessibility regulations.”

The W3C is an international consortium that develops Web standards and guidelines to ensure long-term growth for the Web. The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) was developed by the W3C in an effort to improve the accessibility of the World Wide Web especially, but not only, for people with disabilities. The WAI has developed a number of guidelines that helps to make websites more accessible, especially from the view of physically disabled people.

WAI was recently appointed to the Advisory Committee for the revision of U.S. Section 255 guidelines and Section 508 standards, which include Web accessibility. In addition to following best-recommended practices, being compliant with W3C standards helps colleges to stay current with federal government requirements under Section 508.

“To a large degree, improving a website’s accessibility is not geared toward directly assisting the disabled visitor, but toward helping these various technologies better read the site. Conveniently, many of the techniques that make a website easier to access for assistive technologies are the same techniques that make it more attractive to search engines, and therefore improve a site’s rating,” said Cummings.

Web Content Management solutions (WCM), such as Hannon Hill’s Cascade Server, can aid in this process by providing automatic checkers to ensure that all content managed with the solution is valid XHTML/XML, and adheres to the requirements for accessible content. One way colleges can ensure their sites comply with the standards set forth by WAI is to select a WCM solution that automatically checks for compliance. For example, with the click of a button, Cascade Server will check web content for compliance, and alert users to any potential errors.

Hannon Hill also surveyed America’s Best Hospitals ranked by US News & World Report and found that 99 percent are not compliant with HTML/XHTML web standards recommended by the W3C.

For more information about the Hannon Hill surveys for higher education organizations and hospitals, please download the free white paper at www.hannonhill.com. Hannon Hill (booth #1606) will also be offering colleges and universities studied in the survey a report card grading their web standards compliance at the upcoming EDUCAUSE 2006 conference, October 9-12 in Dallas, Texas.

For more information on accessibility web standards recommended by the WAI, please visit http://www.w3.org/WAI/.

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Demand for Mirage Networks’ NAC Solution Spikes in Higher Education

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mirage Networks(R), developers of award-winning Network Access Control (NAC) technology, stated today that it is experiencing a spike in demand across the higher education vertical as students return to school for the fall semester.

IT managers at institutions of higher learning are taking preventive action against network security threats and vulnerabilities. These threats are inherent in networks consisting of dispersed, unmanaged and out-of-policy users.

The Pennsylvania State University, The Thomas Cooley Law School, Lafayette College and The University of Tokyo are among more than 50 higher education institutions that have implemented Mirage Networks. The Mirage NAC technology provides increased visibility into network traffic and surgically isolates endpoints that exhibit bad behavior before they can do serious network harm.

“In the education vertical, unmanaged endpoints make up the largest population of devices on the network,” stated Greg Stock, executive vice president of worldwide operations for Mirage Networks. “Universities try relentlessly to maintain an open environment for students to learn, while trying to keep that environment operational and secure. These objectives are often in conflict with each other. Mirage offers a unique solution that can surgically quarantine a single student whose computer may be infected, while keeping the network up for all others to utilize.”

The Mirage announcement coincides with the findings of the EDUCAUSE 2006 IT survey which reveals that Security and Identity Management surpassed Funding IT for the first time as the top IT-related issue of strategic importance to institutions of higher learning.

Mirage Networks plans to demonstrate how its NAC technology benefits institutions of higher learning with an exhibit at EDUCAUSE 2006 in Dallas, Texas October 9-12. EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology. For more information about EDUCAUSE 2006, please visit http://www.educause.edu/e06.

About Mirage Networks

Mirage Networks(R) is the leading provider of Network Access Control (NAC) solutions, including both pre- and post admission security. The company’s patent-pending technology gives organizations control over unknown, out-of-policy, and infected devices resulting in increased network uptime, policy compliance and reduced operational costs. Mirage’s NAC appliances work in all network environments, deploy out-of-band and require neither signatures nor agents to enforce policies and terminate Zero-Day threats. Based in Austin, Texas, Mirage Networks’ Endpoint Control is a consistent winner of industry awards and recognition. Learn more at http://www.miragenetworks.com.

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Texas Instruments and CBS to Continue Award-Winning “We All Use Math Every Day” Education Program

Dallas and Los Angeles – (September 18, 2006)–Texas Instruments (TI) and the CBS television show “NUMB3RS” announced today they will continue the award-winning national math education program, “We All Use Math Every Day™,” for season three of the hit television series premiering on September 22nd. Developed by TI in partnership with CBS and in association with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NC™), the collaborative education program highlights how math is relevant in students’ daily lives and encourages them to study and learn more about the subject.

The “We All Use Math Every Day” program provides free classroom activities online at cbs.com/numb3rs that help students explore the math derived from the concepts highlighted in each show. New activities are posted weekly to correspond with each week’s show episode. The classroom activities are developed jointly by TI and NC™, written by classroom educators and mathematicians who are leaders in the field of mathematics.

Since “We All Use Math Every Day” launched in September 2005, thousands of educators are downloading the classroom activities on a weekly basis and more than 32,000 have signed up for the teacher kits, inspiring more than three million students to become more engaged and interested in math.

“This innovative program combines math learning with entertainment to help educators teach students that math is not only fun, but it is relevant and important to their everyday lives and sets the stage for future success in school and life,” said Melendy Lovett, president, Educational & Productivity Solutions business, Texas Instruments. “TI is greatly encouraged by the positive response from educators, students, parents and industry leaders, and we remain dedicated to working with CBS and NC™ to continue this breakthrough program.”

“NUMB3RS,” which premiered on January 23, 2005, focuses on FBI Agent Don Eppes (Rob Morrow) who recruits his mathematical genius brother Charlie (David Krumholtz) to help solve a wide range of challenging crimes in Los Angeles. Inspired by actual cases, the series depicts how police work and mathematics provide unexpected revelations and answers to the most perplexing criminal questions.

“‘NUMB3RS’ shows students that using math every day is a reality,” said “NUMB3RS” Executive Producers and co-Creators Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci. “It is rewarding to know that, alongside TI and NC™, we are continuing to provide resources and tools to help educators inspire their students.”

The activities corresponding with season three of “NUMB3RS” will be available for download beginning in mid-September. Educators can also sign up to receive a free teacher kit which includes program information, classroom activities, a classroom poster and bumper sticker, as well as a weekly e-mail packed with classroom activities and insider information about the “We All Use Math Every Day” program.

This year’s program enhancements include: Spanish-language classroom activities will be available for download at cbs.com/numb3rs

*Enhanced Web site with a complete library of Season Two activities

*TI and NC™ have plans to develop activities that correspond with Season One of “NUMB3RS”

“NC™ is excited to continue our association with TI and CBS to show students exciting applications of mathematics,” said Francis (Skip) Fennell, NC™ president. “Our goal is to encourage students to explore a wide range of mathematical applications as they increase their understanding of why math plays an important role in our lives.”

“It’s always fun to come up with new and different activities to help make the mathematics concepts I learned more than 40 years ago interesting and relevant to today’s students,” said Tom Butts, one of the nine classroom activity writers. “This unique project has been both challenging and rewarding at the same time, and I feel honored to be a part of an education program that motivates students to study mathematics.”

The program has won numerous national awards in recognition of its innovation and impact on inspiring greater math achievement, including the 2006 Council of Scientific Society Presidents Citation for Leadership and Achievement, the Quality Education Data (QED) 2006 Pacesetter Award for excellence in education marketing, and the ComputED 2006 Bessie Award for outstanding educational website.

Educators can download activities, find program information, order a classroom start-up kit, and sign up for the weekly e-mail newsletter at cbs.com/numb3rs. About Texas Instruments

Educational & Productivity Solutions, a business of Texas Instruments, provides a wide range of advanced tools connecting the classroom experience with real-world applications and enabling students and teachers to explore mathematics and science interactively. Designed with leading educators and researchers, Texas Instruments’ educational technology and services are tested against recognized third-party research on effective instruction and improved student learning. Such research shows that use of graphing calculators and wireless collaborative technology in the classroom helps teachers implement instructional strategies that lead to higher student interest, engagement and achievement in mathematics.*** For more than 15 years, TI has worked closely with educators and administrators to develop student-focused curricular and supplemental classroom materials, and it supports the world’s largest professional development organization for the appropriate use of educational technology. More information is available at www.education.ti.com.

Texas Instruments Incorporated provides innovative DSP and analog technologies to meet our customers’ real world signal processing requirements. In addition to Semiconductor, the company includes the Educational & Productivity Solutions business. TI is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and has manufacturing, design or sales operations in more than 25 countries.

Texas Instruments is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TXN. More information is located on the World Wide Web at www.ti.com.

About “NUMB3RS”

Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Barry Schindel, David W. Zucker, Nicolas Falacci, and Cheryl Heuton are executive producers of NUMB3RS, which was created by Cheryl Heuton and Nicolas Falacci. NUMB3RS is produced by Scott Free in association with CBS Paramount Network Television for CBS. CBS Paramount Network Television is a division of CBS Studios Inc.

About the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With 100,000 members and 240 Affiliates, NC™ is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics includes guidelines for excellence in mathematics education and issues a call for all students to engage in more challenging mathematics. More information is available at nc.org.

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Broadcast Pix Installs 200th System

BURLINGTON, Massachusetts (September 25, 2006) Broadcast Pix™ Inc. today announced the delivery of its 200th system. The customer, PBS affiliate, WLAE-TV in New Orleans, recently installed a Broadcast Pix 2000 switcher in a remote truck being used by the station’s production company, LAE Productions. LAE Productions won a contract to begin broadcasting area high school football games on the local cable system, Cox Cable of Baton Rouge. The first game was broadcast live on August 25th.

“Broadcast Pix was the only switcher that featured a built-in CG and clip store,” said Ron Yager, Station Manager, WLAE-TV and LAE Productions. “We can complete a production with our new switcher and never need to run anything through post. Plus, it’s really compact, so fits easily within our truck. Because of its high-quality graphics and integrated approach, we’re confident it will greatly improve the quality of our field productions as well increase our overall speed and efficiency.”

Broadcast Pix systems are used in the Americas, Europe and Asia for news, events, training, presentation, sports, and all live video production applications. Broadcast customers include affiliates of ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, PBS and European broadcasters, as well as many independent and cable stations. Corporate and institutional customers include Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Cisco, Morgan-Stanley, General Motors, Johns Hopkins, Viacom, NASA, the US Army, colleges, mobile studios, stadiums, towns, churches and high schools.

About Broadcast Pix

Broadcast Pix provides the industry’s only live video production switchers with a built-in character generator, clip store and full-motion monitoring. They are more powerful, easier to use, and much more cost effective than a traditional control room of individual components, yet retain a fast action human interface and robustness. Broadcast Pix switchers enable a single operator to create engaging live television that used to require a team, yet gracefully adds operators when desired. They are also the only switchers that can be controlled remotely over the Internet. Broadcast Pix is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in California and Europe. Customers include leading broadcast, cable, corporate, education, entertainment, mobile, faith and government studios. For more information on Broadcast Pix, go to www.broadcastpix.com.

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Blue Zones: Unlocking the Secrets of Longevity

MINNEAPOLIS, September 19, 2006–On January 29, 2007, the Quest Network will take students on a Blue Zones quest, a three-week, inquiry-based, online, adventure learning project. Together they will unlock the secrets of longevity and learn skills for healthy living. The Blue Zones Quest and curriculum guide are offered free of charge to teachers thanks to corporate sponsors Allianz and Davisco Foods. Teachers can obtain the guide by visiting www.bluezones.com.

The Blue Zones web site (www.bluezones.com) offers additional activities to extend the Quest beyond the online component which include:

The Blue Zones Challenge, a four-week health and fitness program that empowers students to take charge of their own health. Students apply what they find in the Quest to their own lives and create their own personal Blue Zones for a healthier life. As part of the challenge, they sign a contract to record and share daily health habits with schools around the world.

Families may also participate in the Blue Zones Challenge and compete for prizes, including the grand prize of an iPOD shuffle.

The Legacy Project, a multi-disciplinary research project for students to find “super seniors” in their community. Students become real scientific sleuths, using the same techniques the Quest team in the field is using to identify and learn from successful agers. Results submitted to the Quest team by students will be shared with research scientists who are investigating healthy aging.

The Blue Zones Financial Challenge. Financial health is an important aspect of overall healthy living and is a skill to learn at a young age. The Blue Zones Financial Challenge is a financial literacy program allowing students to work toward a healthy and wealthy old age.

About the Blue Zones Quest

During the Blue Zones Quest, students across the United States will direct Quest Network founder and renowned explorer Dan Buettner and his team of scientists, journalists and videographers as they explore a tiny cluster of remote Central American villages for clues to explain why the villagers are living longer than anyone else in this hemisphere.

For three weeks, students will vote to direct the team’s explorations, make logistical, ethical and content development decisions and help create a cross-cultural formula for living a long and healthy life. Daily content will include professionally written dispatches, videos and photographs delivered to classrooms. The Blue Zones Evidence Tracker will help students track the clues and data delivered daily and at the end of the live expedition, reach their own conclusions about the secrets to longevity.

Educators who register at the site will have access to a curriculum guide aligned to national education standards for language arts, math, science, health and geography. The guide contains teaching resources and classroom activities for grades four through eight to help teachers successfully integrate the Blue Zones program into their instruction. Allianz, Davisco Foods and the National Institute on Aging, along with the National Geographic Society, are supporting the Blue Zones program so that any classroom in the country can join the expedition and receive curriculum materials, free of charge.

According to Buettner, “We’re exploring the four parts of the world that experts call Blue Zones, places where people live the longest, healthiest lives. These expeditions will help students develop a deeper sense of cultural and environmental awareness and positively influence their health and lifestyle choices.”

This is the second Blue Zones quest and each year, Buettner will lead his team on an exploration of another longest-lived part of the world for a total of four Blue Zones. The first Blue Zones Quest traveled to Okinawa, Japan–where residents live, on average, seven years longer than Americans–to determine “Seven Tips for Adding Seven Years.” Findings from the three subsequent Quests will be combined to create a recipe for longevity to help people live longer, better.

About Quest Network

Quest Network, Inc. creates experiences for audiences to explore the world around them, question what they find, and act to affect change. Live Quests connect with students and the public via satellite and a highly interactive Web site (www.bluezones.com). The education programs commit to giving students control over their learning environment, and giving teachers an easy-to-use vehicle to strengthen students’ 21st century skills of collaboration, problem-solving, critical thinking, and communication while meeting State and National standards.

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