Pearson K-12 Solutions Recommended as Partner to Provide School Turnaround and Professional Development for Teachers

New York, NY. July 1. 2010. Ohio has approved Pearson K-12 Solutions to partner with the state to help turn around its struggling schools and provide Professional Development training for teachers. Yesterday at Ohio State University, Pearson K-12 Solutions experts met with representatives of the schools identified by the state for turn around to discuss customized solutions to address their individual needs.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Deborah Delisle said, “With the infusion of the school improvement grant federal funding, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to put all of our students on an even playing field, and we are turning to Pearson as a partner to help make the systemic changes that will set us on that course. Our joint goal is to prepare every single one of our students to be college and career-ready.”

Superintendent Delisle’s colleague, Dr. Cynthia Lemmerman, Associate Superintendent of Ohio’s Center for School Improvement, added, “This transformation will not be easy, but Pearson has the resources to do this very challenging turnaround work. We will be looking to their comprehensive expertise in improving struggling schools as they collaborate closely with us to make the reforms that will result in long-term academic success for the students and teachers in our state.” She added, “We can point to the success we have had with Pearson’s Learning Teams here in Ohio over the past few years where we have partnered to create collaborative teacher workgroups to improve both teaching and learning. We have the opportunity now to build on that successful work to turn around our underperforming schools.”

K-12 Solutions president Scott Drossos noted that when the U.S. Department of Education approved Ohio’s application for School Improvement Grant funding, Governor Ted Strickland said, “We need to do our part to help struggling schools meet their administrative and academic challenges and ensure a quality learning environment for the students in those districts.” Drossos said, “All of us at Pearson stand ready to support the Governor and Ohio’s educators, parents and students with our comprehensive research-based School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) model that helps schools make fundamental changes that will sustain improvements for the long term. We have the opportunity to draw from Pearson’s vast resources — including curriculum, assessment, technology, and professional development for teachers at every stage of their careers — to create a customized, coherent improvement plan for the struggling schools in the state of Ohio.”

A key component of Pearson’s turnaround strategy is a strong, multi-pronged focus on providing comprehensive training and resources to teachers. The Pearson Teacher Professional Development plan is comprised of several components, including its proven Learning Teams model which already has a history of success in Ohio. The Learning Teams concept provides an explicit framework to guide teacher collaboration efforts and build leadership capacity of administrators and teacher leaders. Reading and math scores for Ohio’s students whose schools have adopted the Learning Teams model have surpassed the state’s average gains for the past three years.

Drossos said that for students, a positive school culture is linked to a strong sense of school membership, which in turn is linked to academic and behavioral outcomes, including reduced dropout rates. The Pearson STEP model strives to help schools create a culture that is family-friendly and safe, where all students and families are respected, and where students feel connected to their learning and their school, and where expectations are high.

Pearson K-12 Solutions’ School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) plan includes a combination of 10 core elements that have helped improve underperforming schools for years, and have consistently demonstrated gains in student achievement as well as in school culture and distributed leadership:

1. Systematically Plan for School Improvement
2. Develop Instructional Leadership
3. Create Collaborative Education Partnerships
4. Emphasize School Culture
5. Embed Achievement Support
6. Align Curriculum
7. Optimize Conditions for Teaching & Learning
8. Foster Knowledge Driven Decision-making
9. Utilize Technology for Learning
10. Evaluate for Continuous Improvement

Drossos noted that Pearson is making unprecedented levels of investment in new models for education and that the company is committed to providing a broad spectrum of solutions and services to schools to ensure that their teachers and students are successful.

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education, teacher training, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry.

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