GLENVIEW, IL–March 5, 2007–The National Commission on Teaching and America´s Future (NCTAF) and Pearson Achievement Solutions, a provider of customized solutions for school improvement, have announced a partnership to call attention to the need to shift teachers from the practice of working in isolation to working collaboratively in learning teams to improve student achievement.

According to NCTAF, one-third of new teachers leave the profession after three years and nearly half leave after five years. This teacher retention crisis is caused by many factors, including a lack of collaborative teamwork in schools. However, when schools are organized around teamwork, teachers are more likely to remain in the classroom.

"In today´s world, teamwork is the hallmark of success. Everywhere we look, teams are working to solve problems and improve performance–everywhere, that is, but in our factory-era schools where teachers continue to work alone in isolated classrooms with little or no support," said NCTAF President Tom Carroll. "If we are to assure that all students have competent, caring, qualified teachers, we must restructure schools to break down the barriers that isolate teachers and create strong learning communities. Through this partnership we´re working to demonstrate the power of teamwork and show how educators can restructure school settings to give teachers the time, flexibility and resources to meet the 21st century needs of students."

As the first step in the Learning Teams recognition program, Pearson Achievement Solutions and NCTAF have assembled an advisory board* that will develop criteria for what an outstanding learning team looks like and how their work is reflected in student achievement, the school and the community. The board will then identify schools and/or districts with successful models and invite representatives from the finalists to attend NCTAF´s 2007 Symposium in July, where they will share their strategies for success and receive recognition for their achievements.

Like NCTAF, Pearson Achievement Solutions is committed to the learning teams approach and has a strong track record of advocating this model through its Learning Teams program. Based on 15 years of research conducted in public schools in California, Learning Teams helps schools to create and sustain collaborative environments that enable teachers to continuously improve their teaching.

"We wholeheartedly agree with NCTAF that teaching is better when teachers have the support of their colleagues and opportunities to join together for learning, inquiry, problem solving and reflection," said Beth Wray, CEO of Pearson Achievement Solutions. "When districts work to improve the quality of teaching through sustained professional learning and teacher support, the result is schools that are organized for success, improved teacher retention, lower overall professional development costs, and increased student achievement."

Pearson Achievement Solutions and NCTAF kicked off the program with a special event at the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Conference on Education in New Orleans. The event featured representatives from NCTAF and Pearson Achievement Solutions who talked about the partnership, how it supports NCTAF´s mission and Pearson Achievement Solutions´ work with Learning Teams, and the benefits learning teams bring to schools and districts.

About the National Commission on Teaching and America´s Future

The National Commission on Teaching and America´s Future (NCTAF) is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. NCTAF is dedicated to providing every child with competent, caring, qualified teaching in schools organized for success. With a network of 23 partner states and links to professional educational organizations across the nation, NCTAF provides leadership on innovation and improvement in teaching and learning in America´s schools. For more information, visit NCTAF´s website: http://www.nctaf.org.

About Pearson Achievement Solutions

Pearson Achievement Solutions develops and delivers sustainable district-wide professional learning programs that transform the culture of teaching and result in schools organized for success with increased student achievement and teacher retention. Drawing from a collection of research-based programs, evidence-based practices and program implementation processes, the company´s solutions include expanding district and school improvement efforts, optimizing the decision-making process, enhancing instruction and maximizing professional growth, among others.

Pearson Achievement Solutions is committed to improving teaching and ensuring that every child has equal access to an exceptional education. The company is part of Pearson Education, the world´s leading integrated education company, which in turn is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO) the international media company For more information on how Pearson Achievement Solutions can help your district meet and exceed federal and state mandates, go to http://www.pearsonachievement.com/.

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