Tennessee Department of Education Names Skyward a Preferred Vendor
Tennessee selects Skyward as a preferred Student Information System vendor to maximize
the collection and reporting of student data and information
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Jan. 7, 2014 – The Tennessee Department of Education selected Skyward, Inc., an industry leading K-12 school administrative software provider, as a preferred student information system vendor for Tennessee school districts. The state selected the Skyward Student Management Suite to provide K-12 districts with a software package that optimizes the collection and reporting of student information.

To meet the state’s diverse educational needs, the Tennessee Department of Education chose multiple vendors that met its requirements for a student information system. With Skyward, Tennessee school districts will benefit from a comprehensive web-based system that integrates all the key elements to manage student learning in one centralized system that minimizes data entry and ensures accuracy.

“Our implementation of a multi-vendor statewide student information system capitalizes on the Ed-Fi Alliance to effectively manage student information at the district and state level centered on supporting districts and teachers to positively impact student outcomes.  We refuse to accept the national norm that for a State Education Agency to deliver quality, educator-focused system solutions, districts must sacrifice choice,” said Richard Charlesworth, Tennessee Department of Education Chief Information Officer.  “We are delighted to have Skyward as one of our five partners and believe that Tennessee will benefit from their prior experience delivering Ed-Fi aligned solutions in a multi-vendor environment.”

Many districts already use the Skyward suite to monitor student information, including Oak Ridge Schools, which was the first district in Tennessee to select the K-12 school administrative software provider. As outlined in a Skyward case study about the district’s success with the software, Oak Ridge Schools chose Skyward because it was looking for a more comprehensive system. With Skyward, the district was better able to communicate with parents through the Family Access module, and with the Gradebook module, give students up-to-date progress reports.

After Oak Ridge purchased the Skyward Student Management Suite in 2007, many Tennessee districts began to acquire the software. The districts were impressed with the comprehensive data points Oak Ridge reported to the state, and the open communication Skyward provided its users. In early 2013, with districts moving away from the former state-sponsored SIS, the Tennessee Department of Education began a Request for Qualification process to fund a new multi-vendor option.

The Skyward student suite empowers administrators, teachers and parents with the information they need to make the greatest impact on improving student achievement. For more information on the Skyward administrative software and IT consulting services for K-12 districts, visit www.skyward.com.

About Skyward
Skyward is a leading provider of K-12 school administrative software that surpasses districts’ needs in state reporting, improves operational capabilities, and opens communication between schools and families. Today, the Skyward School Management System™ is used in more than 1,600 school districts worldwide, ranging from districts with as few as 50 students to statewide implementations supporting more than 800,000 students. Founded in 1980, Skyward serves school districts with its integrated student, finance, and human resources suite of products and is proudly made and supported in the United States. To learn more, visit www.skyward.com.



Insight Education Group Expands Executive Leadership Team

New hires brought on to accelerate, lead and support growth in district and state
educator effectiveness and Common Core initiatives

Encino, CA (Jan. 7, 2013) Insight Education Group (Insight) is pleased to announce the expansion of their executive leadership team naming Dr. Richard Nyankori as Executive Vice President, Jill Nyhus as Vice President of Business Development, Sharon Ren as Vice President of Finance and Operations and Errick Greene as new Managing Director. They join Dr. Michael Moody, CEO and Founder, Jason Stricker, President and Founder, and Michelle Armstrong, Managing Director, on the team.

“We created Insight in 2000 with the belief that every child deserves a great teacher. It is that belief that drives our work,” comments Dr. Michael Moody, Insight’s CEO and founder.

He goes on to say, “In recent months, we saw that it was important to expand and restructure the leadership team to lead and maximize the growth we’re experiencing. Richard, Jill, Sharon, and Errick come to us with exactly the experience and expertise in education, government and business we need to provide the best support to our clients in their educator effectiveness and Common Core implementations.”

Dr. Nyankori is a former teacher, principal, and DC Public Schools’ Deputy Chancellor for Special Education. He joined Insight in 2010 as the Vice President of Product Development. In that role, Nyankori led the development of Insight’s award-winning platform, myCore, which is designed to support and coach educators in creating quality lessons that meet the rigors of the Common Core State Standards. He also led the development of the Insight Core Framework, one of the only instructional frameworks that is aligned with the Common Core. In his new role as the Executive Vice President, Nyankori continues to lead the development Insight’s innovative and game-changing products, including a new tool launching in early 2014 that uses video and third-party coaches for observing, coaching or evaluating teachers.

Jill Nyhus is a former classroom teacher, start-up entrepreneur and DC Public Schools’ Senior Director of Technology. In her role in DCPS, Nyhus oversaw the digital public communication strategy, including the District’s award-winning website and several groundbreaking video initiatives. Joining Insight earlier in 2013, Nyhus brings her expertise in communications, education and technology in her new role of Vice President of Business Development to lead marketing and sales initiatives as well as to grow and support strategic partnerships.

Sharon Ren joined Insight in 2013 with more than a decade of experience in the banking industry, where she consulted on mergers and acquisitions with Salomon Brothers, Citigroup and a large multi-national conglomerate in Asia. In her new role as Vice President of Finance and Operations, she leads Insight’s financial and operational infrastructure as well as evaluates strategic partnership opportunities.

As Insight’s newest member of the leadership team, Errick Greene leads Insight’s work in New Jersey, New York, Maryland and Georgia. He most recently served as an instructional superintendent with DC Public Schools, where he led the implementation of principal and leadership effectiveness initiatives. In his new role as Managing Director, Greene looks to use his experience as a teacher, principal and district leader to lead, design and implement educator effectiveness and Common Core initiatives.

About Insight Education Group:

Since 2000, Insight Education Group has partnered with states, districts and schools nationwide to develop and implement transformative and sustaining K-12 instructional initiatives, including:

  • cutting-edge teacher and school leader evaluation systems,
  • Common Core implementations,
  • large-scale meaningful professional development programs,
  • teacher and school leader coaching, and
  • technology products to support teaching and learning.


myON Celebrates Third Anniversary With More Than

3 Million Readers

Reflections: myON’s Personalized Digital Literacy milestones

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.  Jan. 7, 2014 – To commemorate its 3rd birthday, myON, a business unit of Capstone, is excited to announce that more than 3 million learners nationwide are reading on the myON platform.  During the past three years, myON has experienced unprecedented growth, ripe with industry awards and honors as well as development and statistical milestones, but supporting more than 3 million students surpasses any honor that can be given.

Now, in January 2014, myON has built a team of more than 80 educators and professionals to support the more than 3,000,000 students on its personalized literacy platform. This platform boasts more than 5,000 titles both from its parent company, Capstone Publishers, as well as more than 40 publishers, including most recently Disney, Warner Bros., James Patterson and Stan Lee Comics. myON anticipates an additional 2,000 new titles in the coming year.

“It is hard to describe the past three years at myON; if I had to choose one word to do so, it would be rewarding,” comments myON president Todd Brekhus. “We set out to revolutionize the way students think about reading and truly personalize literacy for each and every student we support.  2014 will be another exciting year for myON and its users.”

Some of myON’s 2013 milestones include:

– Total myON users: 3,287,690

–  Books read: 4,234,998

– Time spent reading: 108 years, 82 days (59,502 Full School days)

In addition to this incredible usage, myON has secured extremely diverse implementations and renewals over the last year, including: Indiana’s “Hoosier Family of Readers,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Fairfax County Schools, and Hillsborough County Public Schools.

The myON vision of providing unlimited access for students continues to expand and create incredibly innovative learning experiences for its students, educators, families and communities striving to build and expand communities of confident readers. We look forward to expanding unlimited reading opportunities for everyone in 2014.

About myON™

myON, a business unit of Capstone, develops personalized learning environments for students. myON provides access to the largest library of enhanced digital books with multimedia scaffolds to support student reading at all levels. myON empowers teachers with real-time, actionable data—number and type of books opened and read, time spent reading, results of regular benchmark assessments, and more—based on embedded Lexile assessments that measure student reading growth. With myON, every student can have access to more than 5,000 diverse titles, which allows students to take ownership over their reading interests and literacy growth.

For more information, please visit www.myON.com


Protect Student Data on Lost & Stolen Android Devices with the Click of Your Mouse

Prey Anti-Theft Software announces remote device-wipe for data protection on lost and stolen Android devices

Santiago, Chile January 08, 2013- PREY, K12’s partner in device security, announces a new level of information security with the addition of Device-Wipe for Android users – the ability to wipe all the data from missing or stolen devices. To date, millions of students, school & district personnel, and parents around the world rely on PREY anti-theft software to help them locate and recover a device that is lost and stolen.  They can now rest even easier as their devices can be remotely wiped to protect all sensitive information that may be on them.

Device Wipe is the perfect solution for Prey users to protect the highly sensitive data and identifying content on your devices like student’s email and pictures, student or teacher information records, or district network access. Simply login in to your Prey Pro account and identify the missing device. Prey takes care of the rest, erasing all the information and keeping students’ and districts’ safe from prying eyes.

“At Prey, we work hard to meet the unique needs of our school-based users. One of their primary concerns when implementing 1:1 or BYOD in their districts is protecting their most vulnerable users and keeping data private. Device recovery is the first step, but privacy is the most important factor for many and for that reason, we implemented Device Wipe,” comments Prey Co-Founder and CEO, Tomas Pollak.

Prey, a leading provider of cross-platform, anti-theft and device recovery, is being included in school district’s device management & security portfolios to protect their various tech initiatives. Prey Pro Accounts let schools access Device Wipe, allowing administrators to manage hundreds of devices from one account, run hardware scans to identify device changes and check-in information, letting a user know when the last time any single device was used.

From MacBooks and iPads, PC’s and Window’s devices to Android and Linux platforms, Prey offers all users features like geolocation, lock & delete passwords; as well as the ability to lock and delete passwords or to take screen shots & photos from a device camera once a device is reported missing.

Remote device wipe features for Windows, Mac and Linux platforms will be available in 2014, please watch for more exciting news from PREY.

For more about Prey and to sign up for a complimentary trial, visit them online at: www.preyproject.com/education

About Prey:

Prey is a privately held software company founded in 2008.  The Prey team is comprised of developers and tech folks with years of experience in building platforms, apps and more that are always looking for ways to keep technology and its users protected and safe.

At Prey, our users and the devices we protect always come first.  Our creative thinking and dedication to detail allows Prey to provide the best possible solution for any device, regardless of platform.


ASCD to Live Stream 21 Sessions from 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show

Alexandria, VA (1/7/2014)—ASCD, the global education community, announced today that 21 sessions from the association’s 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show will be available to the public via live streaming. The live stream option offers global educators an accessible and affordable alternative to attending ASCD’s 2014 Annual Conference.

Virtual attendees may log in during or after the conference to receive access to more than 30 hours of content from global education’s thought leaders, including Daniel Pink, Sir Ken Robinson, Robert Marzano, Jane McGonigal, Tony Wagner, and Grant Wiggins. The sessions range in topic from an international panel hosted by ASCD’s CEO and Executive Director Dr. Gene R. Carter, to features on gaming, innovation, and more.

“ASCD understands that budgets can be tight and that travel and lodging costs are a key aspect of the decision to attend a conference,” said Carter. “For educators who can’t attend in person, ASCD’s live stream is a great opportunity to attend high-quality sessions right in your home or school that you can watch on your own time.”

The ASCD 69th Annual Conference and Exhibit Show Live Stream will integrate the ASCD EDge® social networking community and will be viewable on standard PCs and Macs, as well as on most iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android-based devices. Most sessions will also be available to participants in an archive for up to six months after the event; however, three key sessions by Pink, Robinson, and McGonigal will not be archived and will only be viewable live. ASCD encourages participants to attend these, and as many sessions as possible, live.

Year after year, thousands of educators representing a diverse range of professional roles, countries, and experience levels, as well as leading education experts, hundreds of exhibitors, and journalists and education bloggers turn to ASCD’s Annual Conference and Exhibit Show for an unrivaled, world-class professional development experience. The official hashtag of the 2014 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show is #ASCD14, and the official Twitter handle of the conference is @ASCD.

To register for the 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show live stream, visit the live stream website. The full live stream experience is available to ASCD members for $129 and to nonmembers for $159. For bulk registrations, contact the ASCD Service Center at 1-800-993-ASCD (2723). All paid, in-person conference registrants will have access to the live-streamed sessions as part of their conference registration fees.

To register for the 2014 Annual Conference and Exhibit Show, visit the conference website. The early-bird registration rate is available through January 15, 2014, and is $259 for ASCD members and $325 for nonmembers. Attendees who register for the full conference at the nonmember rate will automatically receive a free, one-year Select Online membership to continue their learning long after the conference is over. Learn more ways to save on registration fees by visiting the Annual Conference registration information page.


Noted Penn GSE Researcher Howard Stevenson Investigates Racial Stress in Schools

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference explores the ways in which racial stereotypes

haunt American education—and what to do about it

Racial conflicts in schools often remain hidden at the expense of a healthy school climate and the well being of students of color, says clinical psychologist Howard C. Stevenson in his provocative new book, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools: Differences That Make a Difference (Teachers College Press, January 12, 2014).  Dr. Stevenson, Professor of Education and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, has studied racial socialization for the last two decades.

A forceful wake-up call about racial conflicts in schools and a prescription for meaningful reform, Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools is must reading for policymakers, practitioners, teachers, and parents—and anyone committed to removing barriers that prevent any child from achieving his or her full potential academically and socially.

Despite our best efforts to avoid the subject, much like ignoring the elephant in the room, racism and racial stereotyping continue to haunt American society—and American schools, particularly predominantly white schools.  Racial stereotypes, Dr. Stevenson explains, undermine the quality of relationships between students and their teachers and among students within the classroom, and lay the groundwork for the academic underachievement that helps gives rise to the stereotypes in the first place.

Drawing on his two decades of research and clinical practice, Dr. Stevenson argues that the problem of American race relations is rooted not simply in our failure as a society to have an in-depth meaningful conversation about race—but in our denial and refusal to admit to our fears of what such a conversation will ignite.  Most schools, he says, fail to act on racial micro-aggression because the stress of negotiating such conflicts is extremely high.  Stress affects thoughts, feelings, body reactions, relationships and actions, and racial discourse is so stressful physically, physiologically, and intellectually that instead of facing conflict directly, educators and school leaders perpetuate a set of avoidance coping strategies.

A healthier and competent approach, says Dr. Stevenson, is to cultivate racial literacy—the ability to read, recast, and resolve racially stressful social interactions—by means of storytelling, journaling, relaxation, debating, and role playing. “Racial storytelling is the first step toward racial literacy,” he writes.  “In stories, we can relook at our roles, the information we were given, and question or research its authenticity. As each person shares his or her own story of racial micro-aggressions, he or she can begin to recast the racial politics of avoidance from one’s childhood. Storytelling of racial experiences, small and large, makes room for one to see the television, the neighborhood, the street corner, the supermarket, and the classroom as different contexts of social interactions.”

Promoting Racial Literacy in Schools stresses methods of noticing and lessening the racial fears and the stressful reactions that teachers, parents, undergo when they experience racial conflicts.  The book offers:

  • A model that applies culturally relevant behavioral stress management strategies to address racial stress in schools
  • Workable solutions for students, parents, teachers, and administrators
  • Measurable outcomes and strategies for developing racial literacy skills that can be integrated into the K-12 curriculum and teacher professional development
  • Teaching and leadership skills that will create a more tolerant and supportive school environment for all students

A noted clinician whose research has been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, the Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development, Dr. Stevenson has shared his insights with audiences on such programs as ABC’s Nightline and NPR’s The Tavis Smiley Show.

About the Author

Howard C. Stevenson is Professor of Education and Africana Studies and former Chair of the Applied Psychology and Human Development Division in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania.  His research publications and clinical work involve developing culturally relevant in-the-moment strengths-based measures and therapeutic interventions that teach emotional and racial literacy skills for families and youth and have been funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, and the National Institutes of Mental Health and Child Health and Human Development. He has served for 28 years as a clinical and consulting psychologist working in poor rural and urban neighborhoods across the country.  He is the author of Playing with Anger: Teaching Coping Skills to African American Boys Through Athletics and Culture.