FOLLETT INVESTS IN SHOW EVIDENCE, INC.

Partnership Focused on Advancing Solutions for Educational Assessment

 

RIVER GROVE, Ill., March 6, 2014 – Follett Corporation today announced an investment in ShowEvidence, Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based education software company that provides innovative solutions for assessing student and teacher performance. The investment is the first from the Follett Knowledge Fund, a $50 million venture fund focused on disruptive technologies in the education/technology space.

“ShowEvidence has created a cloud-based platform that gives schools the ability to embed digital learning materials within curriculum and assessment programs, and to score student work against state standards,” said Mary Lee Schneider, President and CEO of Follett Corporation. “ShowEvidence has the potential to expand the effectiveness and scope of testing in education in ways that will drive greater levels of student achievement. Follett is delighted to partner with this innovative company.”

The ShowEvidence solution is a comprehensive system for authoring, performing, and rating student and teacher work that automates the scoring based on evidence found within the work products. Unlike testing systems that focus on multiple choice tests for basic skills, and e-portfolio tools that merely assemble artifacts with rudimentary scores, ShowEvidence enables users to evaluate competency by identifying evidence in work products such as essays, projects, videos and presentations.

“By focusing on evidence to drive scoring, our system delivers improved rater efficiency and reduces bias—a major milestone for the field,” said Eric Docter, CEO and co-founder of ShowEvidence.  “We are excited to have the support of Follett, a company that is an innovator in its own right in delivering digital content and technology solutions at all levels of education.”

“ShowEvidence is an ideal first investment for the Follett Knowledge Fund,” said Russell B. Pyne, Managing Partner of Atrium Capital, the co-manager of the Follett Knowledge Fund. “They are an early leader in a rapidly growing market with a best-in-class solution. The ShowEvidence management team uniquely blends a deep understanding of educational assessment with educational software experience and is intensely focused on improving teacher practice and student learning.”

About ShowEvidence

ShowEvidence streamlines the process of evaluating proficiency by allowing users to easily assign tasks and tag evidence in authentic work product to generate scores.  Initially, the company is focused on the student assessment, teacher and principal certification, and professional development markets in K-12 and Higher Ed. The platform could also have applications in other markets where tagging evidence to justify scores is critical to evaluating performance. More information is available at www.showevidence.com.

About the Follett Knowledge Fund

The Follett Knowledge Fund is a venture capital fund for new technologies with the potential to improve and even disrupt the way educational content is delivered and consumed. The fund is co-managed by Atrium Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has been co-managing and advising strategic corporate venture programs for more than two decades. More information is available atwww.atriumcapital.com.

About Follett Corporation

Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 80,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company. More information is available at www.follett.com.

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FCC Reveals Proposed E-rate Program Updates For Funding Year 2015
Commission issues Public Notice detailing E-rate modernization efforts and seeks input on measures being considered

Edmond, Okla. (March 6, 2014) – The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today issued a Public Notice revealing E-rate program reform actions under consideration by the agency. Changes are slated for Funding Year 2015. Planning begins this fall, with new changes impacting the flow of funds beginning no earlier than July 1, 2015. The Public Notice requests input from stakeholders, with comments due by April 7, and reply comments due by April 21.

The FCC emphasized the significance of the E-rate program and the need for improvements. The Public Notice seeks specific comment on:

– Restoring discounts for on-campus broadband connectivity, and doing so in an equitable manner for all eligible schools and libraries.
– A one-time targeted surge of support for schools and libraries that lag behind in broadband connectivity to their facilities.
– A reduction, or lower prioritization, of support for analog telephone services.
– Further ideas for well-defined, time-limited demonstration projects to achieve cost savings and innovation within the E-rate program.

The Public Notice did not directly address increases to the program’s annual budget, currently set at $2.38 billion; however, the FCC left open the possibility that other changes, not identified in the Public Notice, could be made by the Commission.

Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate consulting firm, remains an active voice in E-rate reform conversations with policymakers in Washington, D.C. and with administrators in school districts and libraries across the country.

“E-rate reform is a pressing issue for every school and community, and we’re encouraged by the FCC’s actions to ensure ubiquitous access to high-speed Internet,” said Funds For Learning CEO John D. Harrington. “Funds For Learning continues to work closely with the FCC and other E-rate stakeholders to implement meaningful change that best serves our nation’s students and library patrons.”

During a free webinar on March 13, Harrington will discuss the latest news and analysis related to the future of the E-rate program. Presented in partnership with edWeb, the event will provide detailed information about proposed regulatory changes to the program, as well as information about how E-rate participants can voice their opinions to the FCC.

For more information and to register for the free online event, visit the edWeb registration page.

About Funds For Learning
Funds For Learning, LLC, is an E-rate compliance firm specializing in guiding E-rate applicants through the E-rate regulatory process and is an advocate for the use of educational technologies and student Internet access. Formed in 1997, Funds For Learning provides professional advice and assistance relating to the E-rate program to clients in all 50 states. For more information, visit www.FundsForLearning.com or phone 405-341-4140.

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CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATORS TELL CONGRESS MORE SUPPORT IS NEEDED

More than 400 career and technical educators, counselors and students advocate on Capitol Hill

ALEXANDRIA, VA –The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) concluded its annual National Policy Seminar event Wednesday, bringing the premiere three-day policy and advocacy event for the career and technical education (CTE) community to an end.

“It was inspiring to see so many CTE professionals come together to communicate how our nation’s career and technical education system is positively impacting issues such as student achievement, the skills gap and the economy at large” said ACTE Executive Director LeAnn Wilson. “The knowledge and passion that our members displayed in advocating gives me confidence that we can make a difference in Congress and across the country. Increasing understanding about CTE means that more legislators will value and support it, and that’s a win for students.”

In one of the event’s highlights, ACTE presented Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Mark Begich (D-AK) with its Policymaker of the Year Award for 2013. “These Senators have earned recognition and appreciation from ACTE’s 25,000 members due to their leadership and steadfast commitment to prepare America’s 21st century workforce,” Wilson continued.

“In my home state of Wisconsin, we have a long tradition of making strong investments in our schools because we understand that a quality education is at the foundation of building a strong path to the middle class,” Baldwin said upon receiving the award. “That’s why I have always worked to help build a strong path through career and technical education.  Because everyone should have the opportunity to gain the skills they want and need to pursue their dreams.”

Though Senator Begich was unable to attend the event in person, attendees were greeted by a video recording of his acceptance remarks.

“In my time in the Senate, I’ve worked hard to ensure Alaska’s student have access to high quality education in STEM and CTE,” Begich said. “Our global economy is changing, and we need to help our young people gain the resources and skills to be competitive in the 21st century workforce.

During the session, attendees also heard remarks from Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Congressman Glenn Thompson, both of whom expressed an appreciation for the value of CTE in connecting Americans with rewarding careers via secondary and postsecondary levels.

In addition, attendees enjoyed opening remarks from keynote speaker Catherine “Kiki” McLean, co-founder of the bipartisan citizens’ movement “No Labels,” on the need for greater cooperation between Democrats, Republicans and independents to restore a functional legislative environment in Washington. Later, members echoed this sentiment to their lawmakers as they garnered support for CTE policy priorities from both sides of the aisle.

The average high school graduation rate for students concentrating in CTE programs is 90.18 percent, compared to the national average of 74.9 percent. ACTE advocates for policies and programs that connect students with relevant, real-world learning opportunities to prepare them for careers. For more information on CTE and its positive impacts for students, schools, communities and the country, visit www.acteonline.org.

About ACTE

The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) is the nation’s largest not-for-profit association committed to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers. ACTE is 25,000 members strong, representing educators, administrators, researchers, guidance counselors and others involved in all levels of career and technical education. ACTE is committed to excellence in providing advocacy, public awareness and access to resources, professional development and leadership opportunities.

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