How Mississippi is prioritizing student learning and safety

COVID has undeniably changed education, and as schools, districts, and states move forward with educating students in a new reality, the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) is focusing on student learning and student safety.

MDE is investing up to $49 million of its American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds in four new services to support student safety and learning statewide.

“These student and school support services will help all district and school leaders manage the challenges of the pandemic and help students accelerate their learning,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “Along with a system to make schools safer, we are offering districts services that will give students access to high-quality content, college and career planning tools, and live tutors 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”…Read More

Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment Named to the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) Approved List of Dyslexia Screeners

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., April 3, 2022—The Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment to its approved list of dyslexia screeners. With this approval, districts throughout the state can now use the program’s online Diagnostic and offline literacy assessment tasks to screen kindergarten and first grade students for risk factors associated with dyslexia. Today, the award-winning i-Ready program serves more than 10 million students and 25 percent of all students in Grades K–8 in the United States.

“The recent MDE approval will help streamline the overall assessment process for Mississippi educators as they can now use i-Ready for both universal screening and targeted dyslexia screening,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “By eliminating the need for multiple and redundant assessments, educators will have more time to deliver personalized instruction, and specialized supports as needed, to help all students succeed.”

According to the MDE, each local school district is required to screen students for dyslexia using an instrument approved by the State Board of Education (SBE) in the spring of kindergarten and the fall of first grade. A panel of reading, dyslexia therapy, and speech-language pathology experts conduct a comprehensive review of all proposed instruments to determine which ones are included on the MDE Approved List of Dyslexia Screeners.…Read More

PBLWorks Partners with the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) on a Four-Year Initiative to Scale Gold Standard PBL Across State

Novato, CA (March 30, 2022)– PBLWorks, the leading provider of professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has partnered with the Kentucky Department of Education on a four-year initiative to increase high-quality Project Based Learning in K-12 schools throughout the state.

The Scaling Gold Standard PBL Kentucky initiative will provide Gold Standard PBL training and support to Kentucky educators and leaders across Kentucky through a blend of face-to-face workshops, personal online coachings, school site visits and deep collaboration via a peer network of fellow Kentucky PBL leaders. The Kentucky PBL Leader Network, the first leader cohort in the state, launched in November 2021. The next Kentucky leader cohort launched in March 2022 and concludes in January 2023, with more leader cohort start dates to be announced. Training for teachers will begin in the summer months.

“Strong leadership, targeted professional development, and ongoing support are all critical for high-quality Project Based Learning to occur. We encourage Kentucky educators and school leaders looking to gain the skills and knowledge for successful and sustainable implementation of PBL to join this initiative,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks.…Read More

Emergent Bilingual Students Using Lexia English Scored Higher than Their Peers on California’s English Language Proficiency Assessment

BOSTON (March 9, 2022) – A 2020 report from the U.S. Department of Education stated that the number of Emergent Bilinguals – also known as English language learners – in U.S. public schools has increased by more than a million since 2000. A recent study on the Lexia® English Language Development (Lexia English) program found that emergent bilingual students who used the program scored an average of 15 points higher than nonusers on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for California (ELPAC) test.

The study focused on 2,034 emergent bilingual K-5 students across 21 schools in a mid-sized northern California district. During the 2020-21 school year, the district used Lexia English as part of a hybrid or remote instruction, primarily in English Learner (EL) or English as a Second Language (ESL) instructional periods.  Across all student groups, Lexia English users scored higher than non-Lexia English users. Compared to non-Lexia English users, Lexia English users scored higher regardless of their gender, race or ethnicity, eligibility for free-or-reduced price lunch, or language spoken at home.

All emergent bilingual students using Lexia English benefited from its culturally relevant pedagogy as well as its support of English language development through academic conversations. By focusing on the assets that each student brings to the classroom and having already mastered one language, they are able to build new language skills in a timely manner. In addition to their overall score being 15 points higher, on average, than peers who did not use the program, Lexia English users scored an average of 18 points higher on the ELPAC’s oral domain than nonusers. These results are consistent with Lexia English’s emphasis on speaking and supporting students’ English language development through academic conversations.…Read More

Milestone reached as NH takes advantage of free instructional materials

CONCORD, NH (March 3, 2022) — In less than eight months, more than 215,000 digital resources have been used by New Hampshire educators, students and families through Discovery Education’s innovative learning platform.

“These instructional materials have been incredibly valuable to the state’s educational system. Connecting teachers to a vast collection of standards-aligned content that is easily accessible in digital lessons provides them with a unique opportunity to support students,” said Frank Edelblut, commissioner of education.

Last July, the New Hampshire Department of Education launched a partnership with Discovery Education to provide school systems statewide access to high quality, digital instructional materials through the state’s Canvas Learning Management System.…Read More

Arizona Department of Education Selects Riverside’s CogAT for Statewide Universal Screening of all Second-Grade Students for Gifted Education Services

ITASCA, Ill. – Feb. 23, 2022 – The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) selected Riverside Insight’s Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®), the most respected and widely used test of student ability, to screen Grade 2 students state-wide for gifted programs. The ADE’s assessment choice supports the Department’s vision of promoting equity for all students to help them achieve their full potential. CogAT was specifically developed to be accessible to the broadest range of students and to ensure the greatest equity with valid and reliable results for identification and placement. 

“We are excited to provide this opportunity that will help our schools more equitably identify our state’s Gifted learners,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. “Universal screening removes barriers to access and is a proven strategy to help identify students that have been traditionally underrepresented in Gifted Education programs – especially students who may be culturally, linguistically and socioeconomically diverse.”

CogAT, the #1 ability test in the market, according to an EducationWeek report, is the assessment tool that most effectively addresses the challenges of equity by identifying each student’s unique learning potential and empowering educators with the insights to help them achieve it. With demonstrated effectiveness with special populations, CogAT is uniquely positioned to meet the ADE’s requirements, supporting all learners including students with a disability or students acquiring the English language. CogAT is standardized with a representative sample of students from across the nation to provide both national and local norms, and it offers age-based Standard Age Scores (SAS) for the most fair comparisons of young students at different development and maturation levels.…Read More

Louisiana Department of Education Rates Lexia Reading Core5 as Highest Tier of Efficacy

BOSTON (Feb. 10, 2022) – The personalized literacy solution Lexia® Core5® Reading (Core5) from Lexia® Learning, a Cambium Learning® Group company, has received the highest rating of Tier 1 from the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). The Tier 1 rating means that the LDOE has designated Core5 as “exemplifying quality.” The LDOE website now lists the evidence-based, educational technology program among the most intensive intervention tools for grades three through five.

“Core5 met all the LDOE’s non-negotiable criteria and received the best possible score on all indicators of superior quality,” said Lexia Learning President, Nick Gaehde. “LDOE is committed to helping educators find interventions that are data-driven, individualized for students, and systematic. It’s wonderful to see Core5 added to such a prestigious list.”

To support local school districts’ decisions on purchasing instructional materials, the LDOE evaluates products on program design, instructional design, usability and support, and other criteria for high quality. A committee of Louisiana educators reviews the materials.…Read More

New Teacher-Focused Program Launched to Drive Literacy Results for Alaska Students

Portland, Ore., Oakland, Calif., Juneau, Alaska – February 3, 2022 –  NWEACORE® and  Alaska Staff Development Network (ASDN),  in partnership with the  Alaska Department of Education and Early Development (DEED), announced today a new learning, collaboration, and coaching program that will empower 100 literacy specialists, instructional coaches, and teachers to enhance their instructional practices, ultimately driving better outcomes for Alaska’s elementary students. The program will utilize federal funds under the Every Student Succeeds Act, Title II and feature CORE’s Online Elementary Reading Academy (OERA), as well as individualized coaching sessions for each participating teacher.

“Better outcomes for Alaska students start with access to teachers utilizing research-grounded, evidence-based instructional practices in the science of reading,” said Jason Mendenhall, President of State Solutions Division at NWEA. “We’re excited to partner with DEED, CORE and ASDN to offer this program to Alaska’s teachers and support their efforts to continuously hone their professional skills in service to their state’s children.”

CORE’s OERA course is a 10-week intensive professional learning experience rooted in the science of reading and focused on accelerating reading achievement. Participants access learning via textbooks, video clips, interactive learning tasks, and webinars and have opportunities to practice skills via weekly online discussion forums, webinars, collaboration activities, self-check exercises, and homework assignments. Instructors will provide support to participants through feedback and dialogue.…Read More

Arizona Department of Education Names i-Ready® Assessment an Approved Universal Literacy and Dyslexia Screener

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., January 27, 2022—The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment as an approved universal literacy and dyslexia screener for the 2022–2023 school year. With this approval, schools across the state can use the online Diagnostic and offline literacy assessment tasks to screen for risk factors associated with dyslexia. This dyslexia screening process is part of Arizona’s Move on When Reading policy, which is designed to provide students with evidence-based, effective reading instruction in order to position them for success as they progress through school, college, and career.

“As a longtime partner to the Arizona education community, Curriculum Associates developed dyslexia screener items specific to the needs of Arizona students as required by state law,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This recent approval by the ADE reinforces the power and validity of our assessment in identifying potential risk factors for dyslexia, which is necessary so educators can provide the specialized supports students need to succeed.” 

According to the ADE, Arizona students in Grades K–3 will be given a universal literacy and dyslexia screener within the first 45 calendar days of the school year and will also be screened during the winter and spring benchmark periods. Each benchmark data set will then be submitted to ADE’s Move on When Reading team during specified dates throughout the school year.…Read More

VHS Learning Celebrates Twenty-Year Partnerships with Schools and Educational Consortiums

Boston – Jan. 27, 2022 – VHS Learning is pleased to celebrate its partnership with four educational organizations that have been with the program for twenty or more years. These schools, districts, and consortiums helped to pioneer the use of VHS Learning’s online program to build equity and expand educational opportunities for their students.  

“In 1996 we were awarded a U.S. Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant. Online learning was in its infancy, and we worked closely with a small group of innovative schools who helped us establish a strong foundation for the work we do today,” said Carol DeFuria, President & CEO of VHS Learning. “Without them, our program could not have grown to its current size, serving students in all 50 US states and 63 countries around the world. This year marks our 26th year of operation, and we want to recognize these forward-thinking partners who are true pioneers in online education.”

The four partners are:…Read More