Newtown, Pa. — September 4, 2007 — On the heels of a recent National Writing Project survey, which confirms writing skills are more important than ever, Vantage Learning, the leading provider of instructional writing and automated essay scoring tools, today announced it has expanded its district-wide partnership with the Milwaukee Public Schools. Vantage Learning will provide its online writing tool, MY Access!, to 30,000 students in grades 4 through 8 through 2014. The award-winning, Web-based writing program builds better writers by instantly scoring student essays and providing immediate instructional feedback that engages and motivates students. This school year, teachers will deploy this proven, research-based method in their classrooms to improve overall writing skills, and help students achieve their academic goals. Additional students and teachers will transition into the program over time.

?We believe effective communication skills are essential to student success. Our goal is to equip all students with the knowledge and skills needed to utilize the technological tools of the 21st century. MY Access! is a Web-based resource that will assist teachers as they work to help students meet the challenges of the MPS Learning Targets in English Language Arts,? said Patricia Ball, K-12 English Language Arts Curriculum Specialist for MPS.

A small number of Milwaukee Public School teachers have used the program as part of the curriculum since 2002 and report that students are more engaged and motivated to learn with MY Access!. Its graphic organizers and other pre-writing components give teachers more tools to help students at different levels organize their thoughts and successfully complete the writing process. In addition, MY Access! lets students complete assignments from any computer with an Internet connection, such as from home or the library.

MY Access! provides instant, accurate feedback on student essays and analyzes over 350 semantic, syntactic, and discourse characteristics, and scores students on focus and meaning, organization, content and development, language use and style, mechanics and conventions, and overall writing proficiency. The program scores the essays on a scale from 1 to 4 and provides feedback and suggestions to the students, which save teachers valuable grading time they can instead use for personalized, targeted student instruction.

?MY Access! helps students become better writers, and when they are better writers, they become better students,? says Fred Bentsen, Vice President of Sales for Vantage Learning. ?MY Access! encourages students to evaluate and revise their work throughout the writing process in ways they can?t do in a traditional classroom environment. Vantage Learning is committed to help Milwaukee Public School students become 21st century writers. With the leadership of the administration and teachers, we can prepare every student for success.?

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.

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