National Leaders in Dropout Prevention Named to Pearson's Graduation Success Advisory Board

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Prestigious Group to Guide Global Leader in Education in Furthering Commitment to Eradicate U.S. Dropout Problem

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At Pearson, we offer schools tools like Prevent to put the data at educators' fingertips so they can quickly identify at-risk students and intervene to ensure they don't end up like those students in my office.

Every 26 seconds in this country, a U.S. student drops out of school. To help combat this critical national crisis, Pearson has assembled seven national experts in keeping at-risk students in school to form the Graduation Success Advisory Board. This group of leaders in education, government and civic engagement will guide and advise the company as it grows and develops its programs and products to help educators identify at-risk students and quickly and effectively intervene to keep them on track.

This prestigious advisory board is part of Pearson's overall commitment to helping eradicate the dropout problem in the United States. The company has forged partnerships with national organizations focused on keeping students in school, such as CityYear and Diplomas Now, to strengthen and support its efforts. In addition, last year Pearson launched Prevent, an innovative software program that aggregates the most relevant and predictive student information data points to help educators pinpoint which students are mostly likely to drop out of school. Prevent provides an early warning system for educators, helping them determine where to spend their time most effectively to prevent students from leaving school without a diploma.

Chairing the Graduation Success Advisory Board will be Beto D. Gonzalez, who served as the assistant secretary for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education during the George W. Bush administration. In that role, Gonzalez worked to ensure that all Americans have the knowledge and technical skills necessary to succeed in postsecondary education, the workforce and life.

A Mexican-American and a native of Bakersfield, Calif., Gonzalez is currently head of the school of education at Texas A&M University - San Antonio. He formerly served as dean of students and student services at Bakersfield College (Calif.) and as a lecturer and instructor at the Graduate School of Education of Fresno Pacific University. Born into a family of farm workers, Gonzalez's early life was spent migrating each year from California to Nebraska, following the seasonal crops. The travels to areas of farm labor continued until his college graduation.

"My childhood experiences provided me with vital insights into the important role that principals, teachers and coaches play in helping students achieve academic success. The support of the caring individuals I encountered during my years in public schools helped me to overcome significant challenges and to be both academically and personally successful," said Gonzalez. "They inspired me to dedicate my career to public service as an educator. I know that chairing the group of noted education experts on the Graduation Success Advisory Board will allow me to continue to contribute to the future success of young students everywhere by helping Pearson further develop its strategies to eradicate the dropout problem in the U.S."

Other members of Pearson's Graduation Success Advisory Board are:

  • Cheree Davis, senior facilitator of professional development, Talent Development High School, Center for the Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Erika Pearson Giampietro, managing director of strategy, Teach for America, leading a team responsible for shaping the near-term and long-term strategy for teacher preparation.
  • Trish Hatch, Ph.D., president and CEO of Hatching Results, and nationally recognized expert on helping school counselors use data to make change.
  • Laura Moore, project and policy manager on youth development at Civic Enterprises, and co-author of Raising Their Voices, the fourth in a series of reports on the causes and curses of dropout.
  • Lyndsay Pinkus, policy manager at the Data Quality Campaign, a national, collaborative effort to encourage and support state policymakers to improve the availability and use of high-quality education data to improve student achievement.
  • Ryan Reyna, senior policy analyst, National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, working intensively with six states to develop comprehensive policies and programs to improve high school graduation rates.

"During my time as an assistant principal, I was stunned by how many of the students who ended up in my office were so far behind that there was little that I or the school could do to help them. How did no one recognize that they were struggling? I knew we had the data available to keep us on top of each and every one of them, but it wasn't easily accessible," said Gary Hensley, Prevent founder and director for Student Growth at Pearson. "At Pearson, we offer schools tools like Prevent to put the data at educators' fingertips so they can quickly identify at-risk students and intervene to ensure they don't end up like those students in my office."

Hensley continued, "This new advisory board of the nation's experts in drop-out prevention will guide us as we continue to refine Prevent and consider other ways that Pearson can work with educators, parents and students to ensure that every student in our country graduates from high school and is prepared to be successful in college, careers and life."

The Graduation Success Advisory Board will convene for the first time on Nov. 13 in Philadelphia in conjunction with the National Conference on Dropout Prevention.

About A4L and Pearson
The Assessment for Learning (A4L) group of Pearson combines Pearson's expertise in assessment, instruction and digital technology to create innovative products and services that support educators in personalizing learning for each student. Formerly Educational Assessment, A4L's products include Limelight™, GMADE™, GRADE™, WriteToLearn™, Pearson Inform™, Prevent™, MyVoice™, techSteps™ and Children's Progress.

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, 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, press only:
Adam Gaber, Pearson, 800-745-8489, adam(dot)gaber(at)pearson(dot)com


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