Core-ECS, which specializes in web-enabled applications and data warehousing solutions for state education departments and regional school districts, debuted edPortal–an electronic dashboard with a single point of entry, linking individual applications at the data level. Through edPortal, school officials can access a variety of tools, the company says: edOps, a school management solution; edMastery, an assessment tool with real-time measurement; edMiner, a student performance solution; edAcademy, a catalog of professional development tools to increase teacher effectiveness; and iRespond, a wireless scoring and reporting system.

Excelsior Software, whose Pinnacle Plus student-assessment suite tracks and reports student progress and attendance data, introduced Pinnacle Web, a browser-based tool than can be integrated with student information systems. The company said Pinnacle Web offers a single portal through which all teachers in a district can access a variety of applications, including an enhanced, standards-based grade book, data analysis tools, and just-in-time embedded videos for staff development. The product does not require software installation, special downloads, or plug-ins, Excelsior said, and it requires “minimal training” to use. The privately owned company reported that Pinnacle Web–which uses Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), the same technology behind Google Maps–has been endorsed by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

LearningSoft demonstrated the Indigo Learning System, a wireless handheld solution for K-12 classrooms that now includes a text editor and also accommodates web clippings and eBook clippings. The handheld devices at the core of the Indigo Learning System function as interactive instructional content players, eBook readers, and text editors. Through the accompanying Indigo Classroom Manager software, educators can create assessments using the Indigo test bank of questions, which are aligned with state standards for math, language arts, science, and social sciences, LearningSoft says.

MAXIMUS highlighted its school and data management products, TIENET and SchoolMax. TIENET, a web-based instructional management solution focusing on special education, was picked up in May by the Chicago Board of Education for all Chicago public schools. It documents all special-education activities, including pre-referral, eligibility, IEP development, service documentation, reporting to parents, and billing for Medicaid. SchoolMax is a district-wide, web-based, real-time student information management system for administrators, teachers, and parents.

Pearson School Systems announced the launch of PowerTeacher, a new web grade book and classroom tool set. Reportedly designed in consultation with more than 1,000 K-12 teachers, PowerTeacher combines Pearson’s newly developed grade book with its existing teacher portal. As a core component of a school system’s student information system (SIS), PowerTeacher allows teachers to access and report key student data, such as attendance, student logs, demographic information, daily bulletins, parent contact information, guardian and health alerts, lunch counts, assistance tracking, communication tools, and classroom or individual assignments. PowerTeacher also allows for progressive grading practices, Pearson says, such as formative, summative, and diagnostic grading–enabling teachers to tailor their curriculum to the individual needs of each student. PowerTeacher currently integrates with Pearson’s PowerSchool Premier SIS and soon will integrate with the company’s Chancery SMS and SASI programs as well, Pearson says.

Siboney Learning Group debuted an online test-preparation solution, called PracticePlanet, that gives students a way to practice taking standardized tests 24-7. The product’s management system automatically aggregates data, including pre- and post-test scores and real-time progress reports that can be shared with administrators and parents. Teachers load their class roster, and the management system takes it from there, freeing teachers to spend more time on direct instruction, Siboney says. In addition, gaming segments can be used to motivate students. Students “earn” their time on the games by the number of correct answers they give during the test practice sessions. Teachers can control access to the games, so they don’t interfere with test practice. The system is aligned with state testing standards, allowing teachers to pinpoint precise skill development and providing students with targeted practice that increases scores, the company says.

Software Technology Inc. (STI) , which provides data-management solutions for the K-12 field, unveiled STI Achievement Services, a “professional coaching” component for its student assessment software. STI says its new offering is “a blended model of face-to-face and web-based professional development for instructors.” The company also announced that its STI Assessment, which debuted in 2004, has been selected by the Alabama Department of Education to help schools satisfy requirements under No Child Left Behind.

TetraData, a subsidiary of Follett Corp. , launched new versions of its data warehousing and analytics tools. According to the company, these latest tools will make it easier to access and analyze student data and will let administrators establish data-security policies that are uniquely tuned for specific K-12 environments. Improvements to TetraData include DASH web components delivered via Microsoft’s SharePoint technology and a more secure Analysis Suite. New TetraData products include Academic Planner and Warehouse studio.

Turning Technologies unveiled TouchPoints for Education, a complete K-12 assessment solution based on the company’s TurningPoint student response technology. With the purchase of a TurningPoint student response system, educators now will receive TestingPoint, an add-on summative assessment solution that helps teachers develop paper-based assignments and tests within their standard word-processing application; QuestionPoint, a comprehensive databank of 30,000 standards-aligned questions powered by LearnStar; and–through a partnership with Excelsior Software–Excelsior’s Pinnacle Gradebook software. In addition, customers can purchase a new web-based assessment and data management system, called VantagePoint, for an additional charge.