THE COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY BEEFS UP CORE TO 10 GIGABIT WITH LATEST EXTREME NETWORKS UPGRADE

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug 19, 2009 – Extreme Networks, Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR), today announced that the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) has reaped the benefits of its nine-year vendor relationship by making strategic upgrades to its campus network that bring more performance, resiliency and simplified network management.

 
The College recently upgraded its core network to 10 gigabit bandwidth with the BlackDiamond® 8800 series switches and has added Extreme Networks Summit X450a switches for a new distribution layer to create redundancy throughout its entire campus network.
 
“Our top network priorities at the College are always availability, scalability and a good migration strategy so that we’re well set for the future,” said Alan Bowen, TCNJ’s Manager of IT Security (formerly Bowen was the College’s Network Systems Engineer). “Those were the priorities when Extreme Networks was chosen back in 2000 and they remain our priorities, and we’re still aligned.”
 
TCNJ relies on its network for student administrative and financial applications, its website, videoconferencing, residence hall management, video streaming, and Internet2 connectivity. One of the most important features of the solution, according to Bowen, was network recovery due to Extreme Networks’ Ethernet Automatic Protection Switching (EAPS). EAPS allows for loop-free operation and sub-50-millisecond ring recovery of network services. According to Bowen, “There’s nothing out there like EAPS. With it, we haven’t had any major downtime since we’ve had Extreme Networks deployed.”
 
In 2000, TCNJ deployed a complete solution from Extreme Networks, and currently, more than 430 Extreme Networks switches are deployed throughout the College. BlackDiamond 8800 series switches create a redundant and scalable network core, Summit X450a switches comprise an out-of-band network for network management and the College’s point-of-sale system, while Summit X450a switches make up the distribution layer, and various Summit switches are deployed at the edge.  
 
Finally, Bowen says commitment to standards is something the College appreciates about Extreme Networks. “Extreme Networks supports all the standards, and we want to follow all the standards. We try not to use any proprietary protocols.  There are more and more standard protocols written into ExtremeXOS®. It’s not always the case that you get both performance and standards—it’s a win-win.”
 
Extreme Networks, Inc.                               
Extreme Networks provides converged Ethernet networks that support data, voice and video for enterprises and service providers. The company’s network solutions feature high performance and high availability switching that deliver insight and control enabling customers to solve their real-world business communications challenges. Operating in more than 50 countries, Extreme Networks provides wired and wireless secure LANs, data center infrastructure and Service Provider Ethernet transport solutions that are complemented by global, 24×7 service and support. For more information, visit http://www.extremenetworks.com.
 
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CTB/McGRAW-HILL’S ENGLISH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT FOR ADULT LEARNERS RECEIVES TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY AND TEXAS LEARNS APPROVAL

Monterey, Calif. – August 18, 2009 – – CTB/McGraw-Hill today announced that TABE CLAS-E™, the Company’s English language proficiency assessment for adult learners, has been approved by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Texas Learns. This approval is the latest in CTB/McGraw-Hill’s continued partnership with Texas Adult Educators through the TABE® (Tests of Adult Basic Education) family, now meeting the needs of adult ESL students with TABE CLAS-E (TABE Complete Language Assessment System – English™).

 
Agency approval of TABE CLAS-E demonstrates that the assessment system has passed Texas standards for Adult Basic Education Programs. TABE is the only test accepted by Texas Education Agency and Texas Learns that meets all statewide regulatory requirements for adult education programs, applicable to school districts, community colleges, and workforce and worksource centers.
 
CTB/McGraw-Hill has an ongoing commitment to Texas education, and we are proud to continue our partnership with the development of Texas-specific solutions,” said Ellen Haley, president, CTB/McGraw-Hill. “With the statewide approval of TABE CLAS-E, education agencies across Texas now have access to an advanced system for effectively improving English skills and accurately measuring achievement among adult English language learners.”
 
TABE CLAS-E provides teachers with a reliable, easy-to-use system that accurately identifies the instructional needs of adult English language learners. TABE CLAS-E assesses English proficiency levels to accurately measure students’ reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills. An optional speaking test gives teachers maximum flexibility in how they assess their students. Furthermore, because TABE CLAS–E scores are linked to TABE 9&10, former ESL students can easily continue their progress towards obtaining their GED® credentials, as scores are seamlessly transitioned to the TABE 9&10 scale.

Key features of TABE CLAS-E include:
  •  Assessment – TABE CLAS-E accommodates all English proficiency levels to accurately measure students’ reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Reporting – TABE CLAS-E delivers number-correct and scale scores for each individual skill area, and for two composite skill areas – reading/writing and listening/speaking – and for the total battery of assessments. Additional scores include National Reporting System (NRS) proficiency levels, objective mastery scores, and Student Performance Levels (SPLs). TABE CLAS-E makes pinpointing student strengths and weaknesses quick and easy, and demonstrates student gains for NRS reporting.
  • Professional Development – TABE CLAS-E goes beyond proficiency measurement to help teachers develop targeted instruction. Following student assessment, teachers can tailor instructional programs with the help of TABE CLAS-E’s Instructional Guidance materials, including Teachers’ Resource Guides, lesson plans, and more. Additionally, video training materials allow efficient group or individual educator training sessions.
 
TABE CLAS-E is based on the latest research by CTB/McGraw-Hill experts, including thorough analysis of and alignment with state English as a Second Language standards, the Common European Framework, and the Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000 (English as a Second Language-For Adults). The system also provides NRS levels for measuring educational gains. TABE CLAS-E has been validated by a comprehensive field standardization study, encompassing more than 19,500 individuals, both in the United States and internationally.
 
About the TABE Family of Assessments
TABE CLAS-E is the latest addition to the TABE family of products, the nation’s leading adult basic education program comprising a complete and flexible system of diagnostic assessments and instructional support materials to meet the diverse needs of adult students. TABE measures basic reading, mathematics, and language skills, as well as optional spelling, vocabulary, and language mechanics tests. TABE has been successfully used by millions of adult students, and has been proven to provide the information educators need to ensure that their adult students will be successful in today’s society. TABE is a registered trademark, and TABE CLAS-E and TABE Complete Language Assessment System – English are trademarks of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. For more information please visit www.CTB.com.
 
About CTB/McGraw-Hill
As the nation’s leading publisher of standardized and standards-based achievement tests for pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, and adult education, CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC offers a broad range of assessments, software and services. CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. Additional information is available at www.CTB.com.
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CTB/McGRAW-HILL’S ENGLISH LANGUAGE ASSESSMENT FOR ADULT LEARNERS RECEIVES FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION APPROVAL

 

Monterey, Calif. – August 17, 2009 – CTB/McGraw-Hill today announced that TABE CLAS-E™, the Company’s English language proficiency assessment for adult learners, has been approved by the Florida Department of Education. This approval is the latest in CTB/McGraw-Hill’s continued partnership with Florida Adult Educators through the TABE® (Tests of Adult Basic Education) family, now meeting the needs of adult ESL students with TABE CLAS-E (TABE Complete Language Assessment System – English™).
 
Agency approval of TABE CLAS-E demonstrates that the assessment system has passed Florida standards for Adult Basic Education Programs, meets all statewide regulatory requirements for adult education programs, and is applicable to school districts, community colleges, and workforce centers. With this approval, TABE CLAS-ETABE CLAS-E can be used in Adult English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) or English Literacy for Career and Technical Education (ELCATE) programs for students whose first language is not English. The approval applies to placement assessments in the adult ESOL program. TABE CLAS-E provides a streamlined transition for those using the current TABE assessment that also need to transition into or out of an adult ESOL program. Additionally, TABE CLAS-E meets the federal requirements of Title II of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, which states that federal funding for adult education requires documented evidence of educational gains.
 
CTB/McGraw-Hill has a longstanding partnership with Florida Department of Education, and we are excited to be able to contribute to Florida’s Adult ESOL programs,” said Sandor Nagy, chief operating officer, CTB/McGraw-Hill. “TABE CLAS-E now offers Florida educators a superior system for measuring progress and improving English skills among adult English language learners.”
 
TABE CLAS-E provides teachers with a reliable, easy-to-use system that accurately identifies the instructional needs of adult English language learners. TABE CLAS-E assesses English proficiency levels to accurately measure students’ reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills. An optional speaking test gives teachers maximum flexibility in how they assess their students. Key features of TABE CLAS-E include:
 
  • Assessment – TABE CLAS-E accommodates all English proficiency levels to accurately measure students’ reading, listening, writing, and speaking skills.
  • Reporting – TABE CLAS-E delivers number-correct and scale scores for each individual skill area, and for two composite skill areas – reading/writing and listening/speaking – and for the total battery of assessments. Additional scores include National Reporting System (NRS) proficiency levels, objective mastery scores, and Student Performance Levels (SPLs). TABE CLAS-E makes it quick and easy to pinpoint student strengths and weaknesses, and to demonstrate student gains for NRS reporting. 
  • Professional Development – TABE CLAS-E goes beyond proficiency measurement to help teachers develop targeted instruction. Following student assessment, teachers can tailor instructional programs with the help of TABE CLAS-E’s Instructional Guidance materials, including Teachers’ Resource Guides, lesson plans, and more. Additionally, video training materials allow efficient group or individual educator training sessions.
 
TABE CLAS-E is based on the latest research by CTB/McGraw-Hill experts, including thorough analysis of and alignment with state English as a Second Language standards, the Common European Framework, and the Canadian Language Benchmarks 2000 (English as a Second Language-For Adults). The system also provides NRS levels for measuring educational gains. TABE CLAS-E has been validated by a comprehensive field standardization study, encompassing more than 19,500 individuals, both in the United States and internationally.
 
CTB/McGraw-Hill is an official Sponsor of Adult and Community Educators of Florida (ACE) and will be attending the Daytona Beach, Florida ACE Conference September 21-23. For more information, visit www.aceofflorida.org.
 
About the TABE Family of Assessments
TABE CLAS-E is the latest addition to the TABE® family of products, the nation’s leading adult basic education program comprising a complete and flexible system of diagnostic assessments and instructional support materials to meet the diverse needs of adult students. TABE measures basic reading, mathematics, and language skills, as well as optional spelling, vocabulary, and language mechanics tests. TABE has been successfully used by millions of adult students, and has been proven to provide the information educators need to ensure that their adult students will be successful in today’s society. TABE is a registered trademark, and TABE CLAS-E and TABE Complete Language Assessment System – English are trademarks of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. For more information please visit www.CTB.com.
 
About CTB/McGraw-Hill
As the nation’s leading publisher of standardized and standards-based achievement tests for pre-school, elementary, middle, high school, and adult education, CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC offers a broad range of assessments, software and services. CTB/McGraw-Hill LLC is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. Additional information is available at www.CTB.com.
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2009 SIEMENS WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE NOW OPEN FOR ENTRIES

 

The Siemens Foundation, Discovery Education and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announce the 2009 Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge is now accepting entries.  The second year of this national sustainability challenge – now expanded to include elementary school students – encourages students in kindergarten through eighth grade to team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom (grades K-2), school (grades 3-5) and community (grades 6-8).

 

Teachers, students and mentors can now log on to www.wecanchange.com 2009 to register for the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge.  Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances, and  more.

 

Fostering learning, team work and problem solving around sustainability, the Web site offers robust resource guides for standards-based lesson plans and teacher materials to accompany each stage of the challenge.  In addition, the rich videos, virtual labs, and other resources found on the Web site engage students in the science of sustainability through the familiar medium of digital media.  These materials are created by Discovery Education, the division of Discovery Communications providing scientifically proven, standards-based digital content and resources to classrooms nationwide, and NSTA, the largest science teacher organization in the world dedicated to improving science education, and increasing student learning by engaging all teachers of science. 

 

The deadline for elementary level entries is January 31, 2010 (finalists and winners announced in March 2010); and the deadline for middle school entries is March 15, 2010 (state winners announced in April 2010 and national winners announced in May 2010).

 

The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge will expand to high school students in fall 2010.  For more information, visit www.wecanchange.com.

 

About the Siemens Foundation

The Siemens Foundation provides more than $7 million annually in support of educational initiatives in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math in the United States.  Its signature programs, the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology and Siemens Awards for Advanced Placement, reward exceptional achievement in science, math and technology.  The newest program, the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, encourages K-12 students to develop innovative green solutions for environmental issues.  By supporting outstanding students today, and recognizing the teachers and schools that inspire their excellence, the Foundation helps nurture tomorrow’s scientists and engineers.  The Foundation’s mission is based on the culture of innovation, research and educational support that is the hallmark of Siemens in the U.S.  For more information, visit www.siemens-foundation.org.

 

About Discovery Education

Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education.  Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement.  Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services.  Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

 

About the National Science Teachers Association

The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.  NSTA’s current membership includes more than 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.  For more information, please visit www.nsta.org.

 

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Facebook privacy lawsuit ‘a jumbled mess’

Parts of a new privacy lawsuit filed against Facebook earlier this week represent a lack of understanding of how social networks such as Facebook work, as well as how best to protect children and adults online, writes CNET blogger and internet safety expert Larry Magid. "I’m especially baffled by the allegation that Facebook violated the rights of an 11-year-old child because he disclosed that he had swine flu," Magid writes. The complaint says the child has a Facebook account that was opened without his parents’ knowledge or consent. He allegedly posted personal information, videos, and photographs, including the fact that he had swine flu. Upon learning of his account, the child’s parents removed the medical condition postings but "have been unable to learn where the minor’s medical information may have been stored, disseminated, or sold by Facebook." "I don’t know where to begin parsing young Xavier’s case," Magid writes. "First, by simply having a Facebook account, he was violating Facebook’s terms of service. And why did his parents only remove ‘the minor’s medical information?’ They should have deleted his entire account. … Facebook makes reasonable efforts to remove accounts of children where there is evidence they are under 13, but it’s not possible to catch every violator of these terms, and its attempts to validate the ages of members are consistent with industry practices. While it could be argued that [Facebook] should be using some type of age-verification technology, an exhaustive investigation of those technologies by the Harvard Berkman Center led the Internet Safety Technology Task Force (of which I was a member) determined that such technologies, at the current time, are neither effective nor necessarily desirable…"

Click here for the full story

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High-tech van part of Plano district’s plan for using stimulus funds

planoThe Plano Independent School District in Texas expects to receive $13.5 million over two years from the federal stimulus package approved in February — and a portion of the money will be used to purchase a computer-equipped van that will go to apartments and mobile homes to help teach parents of low-income and limited-English-speaking students how to speak English, read, and use a computer, reports the Dallas Morning News. “This is really, really going to be a fine piece of machinery,” said Cathy Galloway, the district’s executive director of student and family services. Plano ISD officials initially questioned taking stimulus funds because of restrictions attached to them. In the end, officials decided to accept the funds, and on Aug. 18 they presented trustees with an overview of new projects they will create with stimulus funds. Besides the high-tech van, the district plans to use some funds to expand the special-education curriculum in high schools and buy new software to help visually- and hearing-impaired students. An unknown amount of money will be used to train teachers who work with autistic students…

Click here for the full story

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Lone Star College System Turns to Oracle to Support Enrollment Growth

 

·         Lone Star College System (LSCS), one of the largest and fastest growing community college systems in the country, has selected a comprehensive suite of Oracle® applications to help meet the changing needs of its students, faculty and staff, as well as support projected enrollment growth of 3,000 new students every year. 
·         The 18-month implementation will include Oracle’s PeopleSoft Enterprise Financial Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Supply Chain Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Human Capital Management, PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions, PeopleSoft Enterprise Performance Management Warehouse and PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions Warehouse, as well as Oracle’s Hyperion Planning.  This integrated solution will provide LSCS with an integrated administrative system that supports agility, innovation and enhanced decision making – sustaining the growth and business transformation that LSCS plans to undertake. 
·         LSCS will work with Oracle Consulting to implement the applications system-wide for all five colleges – replacing an existing Datatel system.
·         The Oracle applications will enhance service to more than 52,000 LSCS students per semester and streamline operational processes for more than 5,000 employees.
·         Lone Star College System consists of five colleges including LSC-CyFair, LSC-Kingwood, LSC-Montgomery, LSC-North Harris and LSC-Tomball.  With more than 52,000 students in credit classes, LSCS is the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area and third largest community college system in Texas.
 
Supporting Quotes
·         “Our continuous and rapid growth in enrollment and renewed focus on student success were our main drivers for change.  We had to either get an entirely new system or re-implement the legacy administrative system.  After a fast yet comprehensive evaluation, we determined that Oracle offered an attractive rapid development solution and proved to be a better long-term strategic fit for our goals compared to the competition,” said Shah Ardalan, vice chancellor and chief information officer, Lone Star College System.  “Lone Star College System is positioning itself to be the premier college system in the country and we strategically selected Oracle to be our partner in this journey”
·         “Oracle is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of community colleges – helping them move forward to support growth and operate cost-effectively to manage limited budgets.  Like many community colleges, Lone Star College System is facing growing enrollments and realizing the limitations of its legacy systems to scale.  At the same time, it is working to achieve its goal of becoming the best college system in the country,” said Steve Koporec, vice president, applications, Oracle Higher Education.  “We are committed to helping Lone Star achieve its goals and admire the comprehensive evaluation process it has already undertaken.  In the coming months, Oracle will work closely with Lone Star, and we look forward to a successful implementation.”
 
Supporting Resources
·         Oracle in Higher Education
 

 

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Pearson Continues to Grow Leadership Role as Top Provider of Computer-Based Teacher Certification Tests

HADLEY, Mass. – Aug. 19, 2009 – Pearson, the education and technology company, continues to grow its leadership position as the top provider of computer-based teacher certification tests, most recently with the spring 2009 launch of a computer-based basic skills test for Illinois teacher candidates and the announcement of the 2010 debut of its NES® (National Evaluation Series™) testing program. The NES and Illinois join Oklahoma, California, Florida, Virginia, Georgia and other education leaders working with Pearson to use technology to increase testing opportunities for candidates for teacher licensure in their states, growing the pool of knowledgeable teachers available to their schools and districts.

The Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, the most experienced developer of standards-based teacher certification testing programs, is known for launching the first computer-based teacher certification content tests.

“Our more than three decades of developing, administering and scoring tests for prospective teachers has been guided by a deep commitment to the value of professional test administration,” said William Gorth, Ph.D., president of the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson. “Computer-based testing reinforces and enhances the core benefits of professionally administered tests, and maintains the rigor because every test-taker completes the test in the same way, during a designated testing session. In addition, it broadens the pool of knowledgeable teachers to which states have geographic access and provides more scheduling flexibility to candidates seeking certification.”

Pearson brought its expertise in computer-based test delivery of teacher certification exams to the development of the NES, its new fully computer-based, contemporary testing program announced earlier this year, to be available in fall 2010. The NES, based on professionally accepted national academic standards, is designed to help states ensure that the educators they certify are prepared to teach effectively in 21st century classrooms. Candidates will take the NES at Pearson’s secure test centers around the country and receive immediate results for most tests. Pearson Professional Centers are completely dedicated to testing and have been awarded a patent for their unique security design, which features biometric verification of test takers. Many of Pearson’s custom teacher certification testing customers, such as Illinois, Oklahoma, Virginia, California and Florida, use Pearson Professional Centers for some or all of their computer-based teacher licensure tests.

Increasing testing opportunities for state teaching candidates and making access to test sites more convenient were among the reasons the Illinois State Board of Education turned to Pearson to help it develop its new computer-based basic skills test. Launched in late spring 2009, the Illinois Certification Testing System (ICTS) Basic Skills test has already been taken by candidates at Pearson Professional Centers in states around the country.

In late 2008, the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation worked with Pearson to launch a computer-based version of its basic skills test, the Oklahoma General Education Test ™ (OGET), a state requirement for certification that is used by many institutions for admission to educator preparation programs.

In October of the same year, Pearson helped the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing launch a two-year pilot program to assess computer-based testing as an option for the state’s basic skills examination, the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST). The CBEST, used by prospective California educators to verify basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics, is now available during 12 testing windows annually in addition to the program’s six paper-based test administrations. Since the pilot program began, the CBEST has been delivered via computer-based testing to more than 10,000 examinees.

Also in 2008, Pearson created for Florida the first statewide, fully computer-based custom teacher licensure testing program. The Florida Department of Education’s testing program has the most computer-based teacher licensure tests in the country, including 42 subject area examinations, four general knowledge tests, one professional education test and three Florida Educational Leadership Examinations. Performance examinations, including essay examinations, are available at 10 computer-based test centers in Florida. As one of the largest state teacher licensure programs in the United States, Florida administers more than 200,000 examinations annually.

Virginia was also among the states collaborating with Pearson on computer-based teacher certification testing when it launched the Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment® (VCLA) in 2007.

In nearby Georgia, Pearson worked with the Georgia Professional Standards Commission to develop computer-based tests, launched in 2007, for the Paraprofessional and Computer Skills Competency assessments for the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators (GACE) program.

For more information about the Evaluation Systems group of Pearson, go to http://teacher.PearsonAssessments.com. More information about the NES is available at www.NEStest.com.

 

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today’s digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company’s investment in innovative print and digital education materials for pre-kindergarten through professional learning, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company’s respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, the Stanford Achievement Test Series, the Wechsler family of assessments, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker and many others. Pearson’s comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson’s commitment to education for all is supported by the global charitable giving initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson’s other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to www.pearson.com.

 

 

For more information, press only:

Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8469, adam.gaber@pearson.com

Wendy Lienhart, L. Wolfe Communications, 630-920-0182, wlienhart@lwolfe.com

Lisa Wolfe, L. Wolfe Communications, 773-227-1049, lwolfe@lwolfe.com

 

 

 

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Rapid Notification Leads to Rapid Growth




RALEIGH, NC / August 19, 2009 – AlertNow, a Raleigh-based rapid notification company serving the education market, has attained several noteworthy rankings in the 2009 Inc. Magazine 500/5000 list, released on August 12th. 

 

Overall, AlertNow ranked as the 504th fastest-growing company in America, with revenue growth of 527% from 2005 to 2008. In addition, AlertNow achieved the following Inc. Magazine growth rankings:

 

  • 6th fastest-growing company serving the American education industry
  • 15th fastest growing company based in North Carolina
  • 17th fastest-growing company in the Telecommunications industry

 

AlertNow is an industry-leading rapid communications service, delivering exceptional 24/7/365 customer support with cutting-edge tools. With AlertNow, schools are able to deliver voice, e-mail or text messages, in multiple languages, at a rate of more than two million per hour to telephones, mobile phones, PDAs or any Internet-enabled device.  

 

Schools can contact parents immediately with accurate, time-sensitive information during emergencies.  In addition, AlertNow can also deliver informative messages designed to enhance parental involvement, increase student attendance and bridge language barriers between parents and schools, all without the need to install or support additional computers and software.

 

“As a company, we are very pleased with this year’s Inc. Magazine ranking,” said AlertNow CEO Robert Bruce.  “We have reached this level of achievement because of the daily effort and commitment of our employees to our customers.  We truly have a tremendous team of people.  Our culture has manifested itself from core values of strength, courage, tenacity and caring, and our employees demonstrate those values every day.

 

“This ranking validates our efforts to create and deliver the best service in the industry,” added Jason Bedford, Vice President of Business Operations. “Experiencing this level of revenue growth over the last three years is quite an accomplishment. For that growth to continue in today’s economy is even more so. In just the last 100 days, we have experienced a 17% increase in the school districts we serve. The continuing confidence of our long-time customers, combined with our ever-increasing number of new customers, makes AlertNow the undisputed leader in rapid notification services, and one of the premier companies serving America’s educators.”

 

Companies in the 2009 Inc. Magazine 500/5000 are ranked by their percentage of revenue growth from 2005 through 2008. In addition, they must be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independently operated as of December 31, 2008. For additional information, visit www.inc.com/inc5000.

 

AlertNow delivers millions of messages every month on behalf of more than 25,000 school administrators in all 50 states. For additional information, visit www.alertnow.com.

 




STN AlertNow

4000 Westchase Blvd., Suite 190,

Raleigh, NC 27607

Contact: Dan Clem at (800) 213-7168 or

pr@alertnow.com

www.alertnow.com

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Stimulus could spur more virtual charter schools

As states compete for more than $4 billion in federal “Race to the Top” stimulus grants, Education Secretary Arne Duncan has made it clear that states willing to embrace charter schools and other favored innovations will get preference. That, in turn, could prompt a rise in the number of virtual charter schools and other charters that open across the country.

Eleven states have said no to charter schools so far, though some of these states operate state-run virtual schools. They soon might pay a penalty for their choice.

The power Duncan wields through his use of the federal Race to the Top fund to spur the kind of school reforms favored by President Obama puts state lawmakers in a tough spot. Many teachers’ union members strongly oppose charter schools, most of which employ non-union teachers. And school districts themselves don’t like giving up resources to the schools, which get government dollars but operate independently from the local school board.

But supporters of charter schools–the president and Duncan among them–think they are key to turning around failing schools, in part because charter operators have a strong motivation for boosting student achievement. If kids don’t do well, the schools can be shut down.

Charter schools also can keep kids in school longer, offer more one-on-one attention, and try different ways of teaching and learning–including fully online or blended (both face-to-face and online) instruction.

Duncan recently wrote in an opinion piece, declaring that states with limitations on charter school will decrease their odds of getting Race to the Top grants. Duncan has proposed a rating system to separate the winners from the losers, noting that not every state will get a share of the grant money.

At the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Conference this summer, Duncan called the charter movement “one of the most profound changes in American education–bringing new options to underserved communities and introducing competition and innovation into the education system.”

Starting at a competitive disadvantage will be 10 states that have never allowed charter schools: Alabama, Kentucky, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. An eleventh, Mississippi, which recently let its charter schools law expire, is expected to adopt a new law when its Legislature convenes in 2010.

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire says her state has a shot at some of the education reform money, but not as much as if it had a charter law.

Washington state has rejected charter schools three times in eight years. In 2004, voters repealed a charter school law after a hard-fought campaign reportedly financed largely by the statewide teacher’s union, which argued that charters would siphon money from other public schools.

Unions and their members do not oppose all charter schools, but they do want more say in how teachers are chosen. The American Federation of Teachers is actively seeking a bigger role in charter schools and has helped to unionize several.

Gregoire, who recently talked with Duncan about the grants, is hoping to convince the education secretary that her state has other creative programs and is willing to change.

“The secretary was clear, that’s what they’re looking for–nontraditional schools that allow students to excel,” Gregoire said. “I would like to show him some of our alternative schools and get his feedback.”

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