Win $100,000 for your school

U.S. Cellular is asking people to go online and vote for their schools that have been entered in the Calling All Communities campaign. To enter a school into the campaign, simply visit a U.S. Cellular to get a code and register their school online. The 10 schools with the most votes will receive $100,000 to use however they choose.



New York, New York – November 13, 2009 – Regardless of geography or family income, children with autism can have access to the nation’s “most sought-after and expensive therapy for kids with autism, Applied Behavior Analysis – ABA” through a new curriculum platform available through Rethink Autism (, according to a segment that aired on ABC World News.

John Donvan reported that while “expert therapists…can cost up to $100,000 a year” and are often only found in big cities, rural moms like Chrystal Alexander can have the tools to help her son with the click of her mouse.  Ms. Alexander resides in Milan, Tennessee, a 90 minute drive from the closest large city, but she is able to work with her son, Aiden, for up to six hours a day using Rethink Autism’s ABA-based curriculum.

For the first time, children with autism have access to research-based lessons for “roughly the cost of about one hour of an expert coming in to provide you with consultation,” said Jamie Pagliaro, Executive Vice President of Rethink Autism.  “Just because you can’t afford [ABA], or you don’t have someone in your community that does it, shouldn’t preclude you from having access to the tools and the information that could potentially make a difference for your child.”

Used by parents, teachers, professionals and school districts across the nation, Rethink Autism offers a comprehensive ABA curriculum with 1200+ video-based teaching step lessons, parent and staff training modules, an assessment tool, and progress tracking features.  Geared towards children with autism from point of diagnosis through early adolescence, the curriculum spans the entire autism spectrum and covers a broad range of skills, including academics, language, social, motor, daily living, and behavior managements.

Today, families that otherwise would never have access to such high-standard tools are benefiting from ABA through the Rethink Autism platform.  As Chrystal Alexander so passionately noted, “When you see [your son] progress and be able to say something, it’s completely worth it.”

About Rethink Autism
Rethink Autism, Inc. seeks to ensure that every child on the autism spectrum has access to effective and affordable ABA-based treatment by providing families, schools and organizations with research-based tools and techniques.  The company was founded in 2007, and has its headquarters at 19 West 21st Street in New York City.

# # #

Press Contacts:
Jamie Pagliaro
Executive Vice President, Rethink Autism
ph: 646-257-2919



Los Angeles, CA, October 29, 2009 –, a leading provider of online test preparation services, recently released the results of a study that proves its effectiveness in increasing math scores for California standardized tests (CST).

The study followed 9th graders at a high school in Los Angeles and measured results for the Algebra I CST. Students used the online learning program, which was designed according to California content standards, as homework assignments aligned with the in-class curriculum.

As the study reveals, students who used the program and completed at least 90 questions scored an average of 59 CST points higher than students who did not use the program. This increase was found to be statistically significant and is noteworthy because a jump from the Below Basic to Basic performance level on the CST is 46 points, while a jump from the Basic to Proficient performance level is 49 points. In addition to the substantial 59-point improvement, it was also found that the class as a whole scored at higher performance levels when using  In 2008, when was not used, most students in this teacher’s class were at the Basic performance level or below; in 2009, when the program was used, most students were at the Basic performance level or above.   According to the teacher using the innovative program, he employed no other substantial changes to his teaching approach in 2009 vs. 2008 other than using, and the improvement in class performance could be attributed to

"This study shows extremely encouraging results for and for students not only in California but around the country," said Sharon Masek, CEO of "Our innovative, online math programs can give students the support they need to learn with greater efficiency, achieve higher test scores, and succeed more in mathematics," she added. online programs contain lessons, quizzes, and tests for all content standards in Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Probability and Statistics. The program provides practice questions for and shows student scores by individual content standards. The company’s software adapts to each student by giving more practice questions where the student is challenged and fewer questions on concepts the student has mastered. The same software is also being widely used by California high schools to help their students pass the California High School Exit Exam (CAHSEE).

Published results of the math CST preparation study can be found at To learn more about, please visit

About harnesses the interactive capabilities of the Internet to deliver highly efficient and targeted studying tools. The company’s innovative programs are effective because they instantaneously adapt to question responses, thus allowing each student to work at his or her own pace and skill level and to prepare for exams more efficiently and thoroughly.’s effectiveness also stems from its ability to complement and reinforce math, reading comprehension, and writing concepts taught in the classroom. Dramatic results have been observed when using for in-class and homework assignments. The company currently offers online studying solutions for the CAHSEE, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Probability and Statistics, SAT, and GMAT.   Our experienced content writers have 99th percentile scores on the SAT, GRE, and GMAT and have advanced degrees in math, science, English, engineering and business administration from MIT, UCLA, Princeton, Yale, and the California Institute of Technology. To learn more about, please visit


Henrico County seeks parents’ input on laptop contract

Laptops in Henrico County, Va., middle schools are up for contract renewal next year, and the county — a pioneer in one-to-one computing when it first announced its laptop initiative — is soliciting input from parents on what to do about the machines, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The current four-year contract, which ends June 30, supplies an Apple laptop computer for every middle school student. Considerations in the renewal process will include whether to stick with Apple models, switch to Windows-based computers, or move to smaller netbooks. Parents so far have said they like for their children to have access to a computer at all times, that the program has enhanced parent-school communication, and that it helps save paper. But funding is a concern for parents and the school board. Parents have suggested more aid for families who can’t afford the $50 insurance fee and who don’t have internet access at home, and the board also expects to face a leaner budget next year because of the recession. The laptop program’s future will be discussed more thoroughly at the board’s December and January meetings, before a request for proposals goes out in February…

Click here for the full story


How to fix the STEM education ‘crisis’

scienceclassresizedAccording to experts ranging from White House advisors to leading education organizations, the state of math and science instruction in the United States is in crisis–and only a major overhaul of the U.S. education system will get the nation back on track. In a Nov. 12 webinar, experts discussed several potential ways to bring out these necessary reforms, from changing the perception of math and science to implementing common national standards.

The webinar, titled “America’s Math and Science Crisis: How to Fix It,” was hosted by the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media at Columbia University Teachers College. The event started with a list of statistics that suggested the skills of American students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are declining in relation to students from other industrialized nations.

For instance, recent results from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) suggested the top-performing U.S. high school students were bested by students from at least 20 other nations in math and science.

Presenters also discussed a story from the New York Daily News that was published on the same day as the webinar, reporting that freshman students at the City University of New York could not solve basic algebra problems involving fractions and decimals.

“It’s a problem that [exists] all across the country,” said presenter Steve Robinson, a member of the White House Domestic Policy Counsel for the U.S. Department of Education (ED) and special advisor to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. “You read about these things all the time.”

According to Robinson, the solution to the STEM education crisis revolves around ED’s four major areas of school reform: improved standards and assessments (and specifically, promoting common national standards), effective teachers and school leaders, the use of robust data systems to inform instruction, and targeting chronically low-performing schools.

Although there are many funding sources to help encourage high-quality education, Robinson cited the federal Race to the Top Fund, “which I think could specifically help STEM fields,” he said.

The fund, which will distribute nearly $5 billion to states that adopt ED’s reform goals, is now open for applications. (See “$5 billion ‘Race to the Top’ begins.”) However, there is a “Competitive Preference Priority” that says the fund will give preference to states that focus on STEM education by providing rigorous standards, partnering with national and local STEM organizations, and encouraging underrepresented groups to enter the STEM fields.

Michele Cahill, vice president for national programs and director of urban education at the Carnegie Corporation of New York, a philanthropic organization dedicated to education research and knowledge “diffusion,” said it’s not just about advancing STEM-capable kids into the STEM fields, but making sure that students who are not even moderately proficient in math and science can at least become college-ready in those subjects.

“It’s about making sure the entire country is at a proficient level–and then, of course, making sure a larger number of those students then go on to become advanced in those fields,” said Cahill.

Only by aligning school system design with standards and assessments, as well as with effective teaching and human capitol management, can students learn STEM subjects in broad, deep ways that will lead to academic success, Cahill said.

“Right now, maybe there are good standards and assessments, but only little focus on good teaching. Or maybe there’s good teaching, but no school administrative support. Everything needs to be stacked and aligned to produce good results,” she said.

The Carnegie Corporation is advancing the recommendations of its Institute for Advanced Study, which aims to transform education in the United States so that every student reaches higher levels of mathematics and science learning.

Its report, titled “The Opportunity Equation: Transforming Mathematics and Science Education for Citizenship and the Global Economy,” focuses on three recommendations to improve STEM education:

1. Establish common standards for the nation in math and science–standards that are fewer, clearer, and more advanced–along with high-quality assessments that will demonstrate proficiency effectively.

2. Improve the practice of math and science teaching and the methods for recruiting and preparing teachers and for managing the nation’s teaching talent.


Learn All About Diabetes & How To Control It By Proper Diet

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‘Credit by exam’ expands student options

Steve Foerster earned 27 college credits for about $500, completing the equivalent of one year of higher education that would have cost more than $5,000 in a distance-learning program at a four-year university. Foerster completed up to six credits at a time by taking proctored tests similar to the final exams that traditional students take after three months of classes.

Excelsior College, a New York-based online institution, and educational content and assessment company Pearson launched a program this week aimed at increasing the number of students who have access to this more affordable "credit-by-examination" model.

The non-traditional avenue to a degree could prove increasingly popular as enrollments skyrocket, college classrooms fill up, and campuses embrace enrollment caps that leave many applicants on lengthy waiting lists.

It also could have enormous implications for colleges and universities, turning the traditional model of higher education–one in which campus officials are in charge of a student’s education–on its head.

The program, called UExcel, will be made available at 2,800 locations in 152 countries, said Randy Trask, a vice president of marketing development for Pearson, and each test will be accredited through Excelsior, which has administered credited tests since opening in 1971. All UExcel exams have been reviewed and approved by the American Council on Education’s College Credit Recommendation Service. 

UExcel tests will be taken at centers run by Pearson, which administers about 6 million exams annually, Trask said.

"I’m aware that there are traditionally minded people who believe there can only be one way" to earn college credit, said Foerster, 36, an adjunct professor of information technology at LCO Ojibwe Community College in Hayward, Wis.

"This was material that might have been challenging for a traditional-aged student but was relatively simple for an intellectually curious adult," Foerster said, adding that he was "entirely prepared" for graduate studies that year after reviewing and passing exams that granted college credits. 

Students enrolled in the UExcel program will be granted credit hours if they get an A, B, or C on a proctored test, said Patrick Jones, Excelsior’s dean of assessments. The exam grade will be registered on the student’s official transcript, and those credit hours will be deemed acceptable to thousands of colleges and universities listed as cooperating institutions on the ACE web site.

"To them, it’ll look like any other class," said Trask, who added that the UExcel "sweet spot" will be freshman courses that could be a waste of time for adults who could test out of the introductory-level courses and begin regular lectures, homework assignments, and quizzes in intermediate classes.

Students must present a picture ID before taking an exam for credit at a Pearson center, and photographs of each student are taken and reviewed before a UExcel transcript is completed.

UExcel students pay $85 per exam, officials said. Last year, college students paid an average of $447 per credit hour at a public university, according to Department of Education statistics. That price jumps to more than $1,000 for each credit on private campuses.

Open courseware managed by some of the most esteemed universities in the world can play an important role in prepping students for credit-by-examination tests, Jones said.

Online course content made available free of charge by institutions such as Carnegie Mellon University (See, "Program goes beyond open course model") can be a studying tool for UExcel students hoping to brush up on introductory subjects before they take an exam at a Pearson testing center. 

"We see credit-by-examination as a chance for individuals to take advantage" of free content such as syllabi, recorded lectures, and class readings, Jones said.

Foerster, who tracks the availability of free, web-based course material from respected campuses, said students might have to sift through pages of online resources to find lessons that apply to the credit-earning test they’re preparing for.

"Student may have to go through an awful lot of material to prepare," he said. "I think the tests are better suited for people who already have a broad understanding of the subject. … [Open courseware] isn’t perfectly designed for this."

William Stewart, Excelsior’s assistant vice president, said the credit-by-exam model also could save gas money for adult students who often make lengthy drives to and from campus to attend lectures covering material they’ve already learned.

"[Students] can instead spend that [commuting time] on studying independently for exams" that can earn them college credit, Stewart said.



Pearson VUE

American Council on Education cooperating colleges


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Wondershare Announces Release of Photo Recovery 1.0 and 30% Discount

Nov 13th, 2009 – Wondershare Software, after announcing the release of Data Recovery on Oct 30th, today announced the release of its second item of system security software Wondershare Photo Recovery V1.0, which provides users a safe, easy and fast way to recover lost photos in computer and other storage devices.

Wondershare Photo Recovery is specially designed for digital camera players and image enthusiasts to help them get lost images and photos back by themselves. This tool enables users to perform recovery not only on PC but also on other storage devices. The recovery process is safety guaranteed and the recovery result is quite reliable.

"We want our users to easily perform the whole recovery process all on their own," said Nina Zhang, Product Manager of Photo Recovery at Wondershare System Utility Division. "And on account of the particularity of Photo Recovery tool, we add preview function to our software which enable users preview the recoverable image and get more precise result."

Key Features of Wondershare Photo Recovery V1.0:
1. Clear interface and simple step-by-step operation.
2. Preview recoverable photos and images before performing the recovery.
3. Enable users to change the sizes of the target photos.

System requirement:
OS: Windows 9x/Me/2000/XP/2003/VISTA
File systems: FAT12/16/32 or NTFS/NTFS 5.
Minimum hardware requirements: 200 MHz Processor, 128 MB Memory, 10 MB of free space

Pricing and Availability:
Wondershare Photo Recovery is now available at Competitively priced at US$29.95 for a single user license, Wondershare offers 30% off, at $19.95 now.
For free trial download, please visit:

Special Offer:
A special offer of free license for Wondershare Data Recovery is provided to webmasters, bloggers, and columnists who write a review of software on their website, blog or column link back to our website.

About Wondershare:
Established in 2003 and located in Shenzhen, adjacent to the international financial and trade center Hong Kong, Wondershare has extended its business worldwide, consistently dedicated to satisfy customers with diversified consumer software products and services.

Maggie Gao
Tel: +86-755-86117747
Fax: +86-755-86117737