California State Board of Education Approves Pearson's Breakthrough Reading Programs for State's Students

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Revolutionary Tools Bridge Achievement Gap, Ensure Equity for All Learners, and Prepare Students for World of Digital Learning.

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The world has changed dramatically since the last reading adoption six years ago

The California State Board of Education has unanimously approved six revolutionary reading programs for students in Kindergarten through grade 12 developed by Pearson, the world's leading education and technology company.

"The new instructional materials are customized for California and specifically designed to close the achievement gap in California's schools," said Vicky Bush, Pearson's vice president for the state. "Our integrated approach to curriculum, intervention, assessment, and 21st century learning provides teachers all the tools they will need to ensure that each and every student can be successful."

"The world has changed dramatically since the last reading adoption six years ago," she said. "Our research-based approaches for 21st century learning are proven to boost reading achievement among all ages and ethnic groups, so we are eager to offer our curriculum with all of its tools and resources to California's students, teachers and parents."

Pearson is the only publisher whose materials are being recommended in all five curriculum categories, said Bush.

She added, "Pearson's newly-approved programs extend well beyond a strong foundation of core instructional reading materials."

Noting that there are more than 1.5 million English learners in the California school system speaking 300 different languages, Bush said, "We have a mandated responsibility to ensure that our English learners receive the same high quality education as their classmates. The programs we have developed for California's English learners provide them the identical opportunity for success that we are offering to their peers."

Bush said, "California is our country's most diverse state, with virtually every ethnic group in the world represented in California's schools. The Pearson programs speak to all students about diversity through the involvement of Pearson author Dr. Sharroky Hollie of California State University, an expert in the field of cultural relevancy." Bush noted that the focus on cultural relevancy sets the Pearson offerings apart from any other reading or language arts programs.

The Pearson programs also recognize the reality that the state's students are reading and writing on computers, surfing the Internet, gaming, and texting on cell phones many hours every day. Bush said, "If we are to engage our more than six million California students effectively, we need to meet these digital natives on their own turf and ensure that teaching and learning embraces the technologies that are such a pervasive part of the world they live in. This component is one of the key differentiators of our Pearson programs."

Pearson-approved programs include an integrated array of instructional materials with embedded intervention and assessment, and digital media, all aligned to Reading First requirements and revised California State standards. The offerings are published in identical formats in Spanish and include professional development for teachers.

"Our authors represent the top reading experts in the nation and they infuse our programs with an unmatched credibility and quality," said Bush. She said that in addition to the renowned core content reading authors, noted academics who have joined the California author teams include:

  •      Dr. Grant Wiggins, whose renowned leadership in curriculum design is revolutionizing learning.
  • Dr. Donald Leu, the leading expert in the "new literacies," and how educators must meet the iPod generation on their turf - including effective use of the Internet, techniques for reading online, and projects to bring students around the globe together to communicate and learn from each other.
  • Dr. Sharroky Hollie from California State University, the leading expert on urban literacy whose contribution includes a focus on embedding relevant materials into curriculum programs that recognize the cultural differences among California's diverse student population.
  • Dr. Jim Cummins, who leads the Pearson team in ensuring that English learners receive the same high quality education programs as their peers, provides his expertise in literacy development in multilingual school contexts, as well as on the potential roles of technology in promoting language and literacy development.
  • Dr. Connie Juel, professor of education at Stanford University, and expert in the powerful role vocabulary plays in reading comprehension, and in closing the achievement gap.
  • Jon Scieszka, the award-winning children's writer and recently-named Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress, has focused on the needs of boy readers, who as a group are in a crisis and falling behind girls in reading performance.

The following Pearson programs are now available to California schools:

1. Pearson Reading Street for California (grades K-6), a customized curriculum steeped in five years of research and development to create the Scott Foresman Reading Street program. The top-selling reading curriculum in the U.S last year, the program has been enhanced and customized for California, adding a visually-engaging and entertaining digital path and including California authors and literature.

2. Pearson California Language Central(grades K-6), a component for intensive English-language development. Instruction is built from Grant Wiggins' Understanding by Design concepts. Instructional support for English learners of various proficiency levels includes: an explicit and efficient path to the Reading Street curriculum; frontloading of language and literacy skills; and connections of common unit and weekly concepts of Pearson Reading Street for California and Pearson calle de la lectura.

3. Pearson Calle de la Lectura (grades K-3), a parallel Spanish version of Pearson Reading Street for California. A comprehensive, research-based program developed specifically to support the teaching and learning of California Spanish-Language Arts Content Standards, with differentiated instruction for struggling readers, grade level readers and advanced readers.

4. Pearson Literature California Reading and Language (middle/high school), is a comprehensive literature program developed specifically for California and based on the most recent reading research. Organized around Big Questions and the Understanding by Design model of Grant Wiggins, the program also provides differentiated instruction for struggling readers, English learners, and advanced learners, making the program curriculum accessible to all students and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to master the State's English-Language Arts Content Standards. A corresponding online program provides an unprecedented level of interactive digital content, providing a natural and motivating learning tool to empower today's tech-savvy secondary students.

5. Pearson California Language Central (grades 6-8). Customized to meet California's rigorous standards, this program provides students with an additional one hour of instruction each day to help ensure that English learners acquire proficiency in English as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. Pearson California Language Central is directly aligned with Pearson Literature California Reading and Language and focuses on common units and lesson concepts and is consistent with its scope and sequence.

6. Pearson Longman Keystone, a stand-alone, multi-level intervention program for struggling readers and English learners whose academic achievement is two or more years below grade level, blends rigorous, research-based reading and language skills instruction together with a balance of content-area readings and age-appropriate, high-interest literature. The program incorporates the instructional principles of Understanding by Design, with the goal of equipping students with the key transferable academic skills necessary to transition successfully into mainstream basal programs.

Pearson's programs are complemented by SuccessMaker Enterprise, digital courseware providing a diagnostic and individualized 21st Century approach toward learning to meet the needs of different learning styles - including students who are gifted, at-risk, or English language learners and those served by special education. With a proven record of improving student success for California students, SuccessMaker Enterprise addresses the full range of learner abilities through standards-based, targeted curriculum.

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About Pearson in California: Pearson, the world's leading education publisher, has been providing education materials to California schools as far back as the 1800s. You may know us individually as Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Longman, SuccessMaker, NovaNet, Educational Measurement, Educational Assessment, Learning Teams, Achievement Solutions, and so many more - names in the world of education that are recognized and respected across the State and the globe. In fact, most teachers in California have learned their profession by studying with Pearson's Merrill or Allyn & Bacon textbooks, and many have benefited from our professional development programs. Today, nearly a thousand Pearson people are living and working in the State, providing educational materials that cover the gamut from birth through professional learning. Whether in science, math, social studies, music, middle/high school language arts, English as a second language, foreign languages, or AP courses, hundreds of thousands of California's preK-12 students are learning with our Pearson products every day. In addition to Education, Pearson's other major businesses include The Financial Times Group and The Penguin Group.

Media Contacts:
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