Cash-Strapped School Districts Use Stimulus Funds for Pearson Programs to Accelerate Learning for at-Risk Students

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Educators Choose Data-driven, Personalized, and Digital Resources With "Once-in-a-Lifetime" Funding

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The stimulus funds provide school districts with the opportunity to make large-scale investments in universally effective education that will have a sustainable positive impact on student achievement.

Last year when Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced the billions in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds for schools throughout the country, he emphasized that America is facing a "once in a life-time opportunity to lay the groundwork for a generation of education reforms" and that the stimulus package provided a "magical" chance to take a giant leap forward in improving teaching and learning, especially for the nation's most at-risk students. Schools around the country have taken advantage of the first round of this "magical" opportunity by choosing innovative education programs with those funds specifically earmarked for boosting outcomes in America's classrooms.

During the past year, the education services and technology company Pearson provided hundreds of school districts and individual schools - from Florida to California and Texas to Maine - with a wide variety of effective programs and services purchased with ARRA funds and aimed at turning around America's lowest-achieving schools.

Millard Public Schools in Omaha, Nebraska, for example, used ARRA funding to purchase the technology components of Pearson's Quick Reads, a research-based fluency program, for its students. Millard's Curriculum Facilitator Susie Wooster said, "The Quick Reads program helps our teachers monitor student progress and listen to students' fluency without having to sit right next to each student at the exact time the student reads. And, it helps students by giving them repeated reading and comprehension practice at their own pace, using technology, which is very motivating. But, without ARRA funding, we would not have been able to purchase this important learning tool."

With additional funds looming for 2010, school districts are quick to note that they have also invested ARRA funding in teacher and administrator training to ensure personnel are adequately prepared to effectively implement today's innovative curriculum programs. In Alabama, Mobile County Schools opted to purchase professional development aligned to Pearson's Reading Street and targeted at preK-5 reading with their Title I stimulus funding.

"The ultimate beneficiaries of this funding are our children. None of this extensive professional development would have been possible without the ARRA funds. And, I believe that should additional funding be available for the 2010-2011 school year, it will be used for continued Pearson professional development for our teachers," said Mobile County's Director of Curriculum and Instruction Marilyn Howell.    

In addition to professional development services and core curriculum, some of the other Pearson programs chosen by districts with stimulus dollars included: the digital products Waterford Early Reading and Waterford Early Math & Science for grades K-2, SuccessMaker for grades K-8 and NovaNET for grades 6-12; Opening the World of Learning preschool curriculum; Good Habits Great Readers literacy program; My Sidewalks elementary reading intervention; DRA2 (Developmental Reading Assessment); Words Their Way for building spelling, vocabulary and word recognition skills, and the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model to facilitate high quality instruction for English Learners in content area teaching, to name a few.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, District Title 1 resource teacher Michele Halliday said, "The availability of the ARRA funds provided an opportunity for Albuquerque Public Schools Title I, to expand Waterford and SuccessMaker into 20 more schools. This will help schools provide Response to Intervention to increase student achievement."

"Pearson's educational solutions match the goals of the Obama administration: providing technology to personalize learning, developing innovative assessments aligned to data systems that inform instruction, investing in effective teachers and leaders, and turning around America's lowest-performing schools," said Peter Cohen, Pearson's CEO of K-12 Curriculum. He added,
"The stimulus funds provide school districts with the opportunity to make large-scale investments in universally effective education that will have a sustainable positive impact on student achievement."

To assist districts in navigating the complexities of funding options, Pearson's http://www.fundingforschools.com online resource center can help educators research stimulus opportunities, assess their needs, and learn about resources for grant-writing assistance. The website also offers informational videos, frequently asked questions, and Pearson's email hotline for all stimulus-related questions at grantexperts@pearson.com.

With Title I, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Enhancing Education Through Technology (EETT), and Stabilization funds - all available through ARRA, school districts are opting for a spectrum of Pearson education materials that focus on student needs, including professional development, intervention programs, core curriculum materials, assessments for learning, early-learning products, and the complete array of Pearson's digital offerings.

Learn more about upcoming ARRA funding at a webinar, found here: http://www.pearsonschool.com/index.cfm?locator=PSZhBm.    

About Pearson
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education services, 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. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to http://www.pearsonschool.com.

Contact: kate(dot)miller(at)pearson(dot)com -- 800-745-8489

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Kate Miller
Pearson
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