Virginia Approves Pearson to Turn Around Underperforming Schools

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Pearson K-12 Solutions Chosen as a Comprehensive School Improvement Partner

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A state contract with qualified providers like Pearson spares school divisions from having to search on their own for turnaround partners who can help them create and implement effective programs that offer real choices for students and parents.

The Commonwealth of Virginia has announced the selection of Pearson K-12 Solutions as a comprehensive school improvement partner to turn around its underperforming schools.

"The recent award of nearly $60 million in federal school improvement funds to Virginia provides an unprecedented opportunity to raise student achievement and reform the Commonwealth's persistently lowest-achieving schools," Superintendent of Public Instruction Patricia I. Wright said. "A state contract with qualified providers like Pearson spares school divisions from having to search on their own for turnaround partners who can help them create and implement effective programs that offer real choices for students and parents."

"The need to improve low-performing schools is urgent, and we're privileged to have the opportunity to work with officials and hard working educators across Virginia to help school districts make the massive changes needed to turn these schools around," said Scott Drossos, president of Pearson's K-12 Solutions Group. "Virginia's commitment to reform these schools is clear, and we're ready to help."

A division of Pearson, the world's leading education services and technology company, Pearson K-12 Solutions engages in multi-year state and district partnerships to foster school improvement, create innovative new models and custom solutions, and to help turn around failing schools.

Recently Governor Bob McDonnell announced his "The Opportunity to Learn" education reform and said, "We all agree that every Virginia student, in every community, should have the opportunity to learn and to grow and to compete in this global economy." Commenting on the Governor's statement, Drossos said, "Our team of experts is committed to working with Governor McDonnell, Superintendent Wright and everyone in Virginia to ensure that all students are prepared for the challenges they will face in the 21st century workplace."

Drossos added, "Our research based School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) model helps schools make fundamental changes and sustain improvements for the long term. We have the opportunity to draw from Pearson's vast research based and proven resources -- including curriculum, assessment, technology, and teacher professional development products and services -- to create a customized, coherent improvement plan for the struggling schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia."

Pearson's model includes a combination of core elements that have helped improve low- performing schools for years, and has consistently demonstrated gains in student achievement as well as in school culture and distributed leadership.

Pearson's K-12 Solutions School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) model includes ten change elements to help schools:

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 said 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.

Contact: Kate Miller, kate.miller@pearson.com, 800-745-8489

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Kate Miller
Pearson
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