Newtown, Pa.– August 6, 2007-Ann Arbor Public School District is showing it takes a village to raise a writer, thanks to an innovative community-wide initiative to increase students´ literacy and writing skills through classroom and volunteer collaboration. The program at the heart of the campaign is Vantage Learning´s MY Access!, an award-winning Web-based writing program that builds better writers by instantly scoring student essays, and providing immediate remedial instruction that engages and motivates students.
Based on Vantage Learning´s IntelliMetricT engine, MY Access! uses a rich blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and the virtualization of human expertise to accurately assess students´ competency and progress in reading and writing. In fact, MY Access! scores are consistently more accurate than human expert scorers, giving teachers the freedom to focus on one-on-one instruction, rather than extensive paper-grading, and helping students gauge their own progress through a rubric-scoring method.
"MY Access! has united our town around a love for learning and language and has quickly become the driving force behind this unique community partnership," says Wendy Correll, Executive Director of Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation. "The fun, inspirational program gives everyone the opportunity to make a difference, whether you´re the student building new writing skills, the teacher enhancing the classroom environment, or the volunteer helping kids with their homework. It´s an incredible way to engage all of our citizens in public education, and endow our students with critical communication skills."
Ann Arbor School District was first introduced to MY Access! in 2004 when they piloted the program with 2,000 students. As a result of the overwhelming response and the improvement in students´ overall writing, the district purchased additional licenses for more than 5,000 students to use MY Access!
After seeing the success of the program, the Ann Arbor Public Schools Educational Foundation has allocated $50,000 for the literacy campaign, encompassing MY Access! professional development for staff in 33 schools. Vantage Learning is committed to training 15 AAPS teachers on the MY Access! program, which includes interactive research components, instant feedback, and lively exercises. These teachers will then train other teachers as well as representatives from local learning centers, after-school groups, and other non-profit organizations who will provide students with free high-speed Internet access and after-school tutoring at their facilities.
"MY Access! promises to reach the broadest possible segment of Ann Arbor Public School District´s population, thanks to its bilingual support functions, diverse prompts, and other customizable features," says Harry Barfoot, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Vantage Learning. "The result is students will improve their literacy and-best of all-learn to appreciate and enjoy the creative process."
About Vantage Learning
Delivering more than 193 million online test transactions last year, Vantage Learning is recognized as the leader in cost-effective, high volume, secure, scalable online assessment and instructional programs for K-12 and higher education. Leveraging technology such as artificial intelligence, natural language understanding, and Web-based learning objects, Vantage provides educators with high-quality tools and resources that motivate students to learn and that create meaningful interaction between students, parents and teachers.
Acknowledged by industry leaders as the gold standard for scoring quality, consistency, reliability, and scalability of automated essay scoring using the patented IntelliMetric® engine, Vantage Learning has received accolades ranging from the prestigious CODIE Award for best instructional technology to recognition by Eduventures as one of the eight most innovative educational technology companies.