Data analysis from Funds For Learning reveals new insights into applicant needs

Edmond, Okla. (May 29, 2014) – Demand for E-rate funding continues to grow across the country, with the most growth coming from Rural and Rural Remote applicants. Funds For Learning, the nation’s largest E-rate consulting firm, provided this insight from its analysis of all Funding Year (FY) 2014 E-rate applications submitted by schools and school districts.

The analysis reveals requests for proposals for Internet access and Wide Area Networks services have continued to shift to higher broadband speeds. The number of unique participating vendors, which were listed on applications for internal connections and maintenance, has continued to drop, which suggests less competition in that space.

“Historic change is coming to the E-rate program. The FCC is considering proposals to reform and modernize the E-rate, bringing about the most significant changes to the program since its inception,” said John Harrington, CEO of Funds For Learning. “To help the FCC and other stakeholders make informed decisions about the future shape of the program, Funds For Learning has prepared a detailed analysis of FY2014 school demand for telecommunications and Internet discounts.”

 

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June 4th K-12 Roundtable: 
Are Schools Ready for Online Assessments?
Washington, DC (May 29, 2014) – Join CoSN (Consortium for School Networking) and the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, June 4 for an important discussion exploring the technology readiness of America’s schools for delivering next generation online assessments. The next school year, 2014-2015, will be the first time a majority of states assess most or all students online.
The event will feature expert perspectives of education technology leaders from both the district and state levels.
WHO:
Co-hosted by CoSN and NASBE, speakers will include:
  • John Williams, Executive Director, Technology & Information Services, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools
  • Dr. Tom Ryan, Chief Executive Officer of the eLearn Institute and former Chief Information Officer, Albuquerque Public Schools
  • Patrick Mara, State Board of Education Member, Washington, D.C.
WHEN:
Wednesday, June 4
11 a.m. – 12 p.m.
WHERE: 
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 430
Washington, D.C.
REGISTRATION:
Interested press should contact Michael Kaplun, michaelkaplun@cosn.org, or Renee Rybak Lang,reneerl@nasbe.org.
About CoSN 
CoSN is the premier professional association for school system technology leaders. The mission of CoSN is to empower educational leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning environments. Visitwww.cosn.org or call 866-267-8747 to find out more about CoSN’s focus areasannual conference and eventsadvocacy and policymembership, and the CETL certification exam.
About the National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE)
The National Association of State Boards of Education is the only national organization giving voice and adding value to the nation’s state and territorial boards of education. A nonprofit organization founded in 1958, NASBE works to strengthen state leadership in education policymaking; advocate equality of access to educational opportunity; promote excellence in educating all students; and assure responsible lay governance of education. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.

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Bridgewater Academy changes name to Odysseyware Academy

Virtual school aligns itself with top online learning curriculum

 

(CHANDLER, Ariz.) May 29, 2014 — Bridgewater Academy, a leading distance learning school that provides individualized 3-12 instruction, has officially changed its name to Odysseyware Academy.

 

Odysseyware Academy works with schools nationwide to provide technology-driven distance learning for 21st century students. More than 96 percent of Odysseyware Academy’s school partners return every year, retaining current students and attracting new ones.

 

“Bridgewater has always used Odysseyware online curriculum, so the name change was a natural one. As Odysseyware Academy we will continue our mission to personalize learning and support schools with students who can benefit from distance learning,” said Tami Murray, vice president of Odysseyware Academy. “The name is new, but our commitment and proven approach to individualized education has not changed.”

 

Odysseyware Academy is fully accredited, which means state and local public school funding applies and there is no out-of-pocket tuition charged to students. Students earn their diplomas from their local high schools with full participation in sports, activities and the school community. Students can also earn their diplomas directly from Odysseyware Academy. The web-based platform is accessible any time and from any device with Internet access.

 

“Odysseyware Academy is committed to being the best solution for our partner schools and districts,” said Beth TeGrotenhuis, the president and COO of Odysseyware’s parent company, Glynlyon. “We provide the experienced teachers, a dedicated support staff, the finest curriculum and all necessary professional development. Enrolling with us is truly a partnership.”

 

About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, Arizona, Odysseyware is an innovative, multimedia-enriched online curriculum. Completely web-based, Odysseyware provides 21st century educational solutions by offering the core subjects of history and geography, math, language arts, and science along with enriching electives, CTE, placement testing, diagnostics and professional development. Odysseyware Academy is located in Rock Rapids, Iowa and they can be reached at 888-399-4267. To learn more, visit www.odysseyware.com.

 

ACT Report Highlights the Challenge of Catching Up At-Risk Students

IOWA CITY, IOWA—Very few students from at-risk demographic groups—including ethnic minorities, English language learners, those from low-income families and those with disabilities—who start off “far off track“ academically are able to get back on track by four years later, according to a policy report released today by ACT.

The report, Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge is Greater for At-Risk Students, defines “far off track” students as those who scored more than a full standard deviation below the “on track” target for their grade level. In grades 8 and 12, the “on track” targets are the ACT College Readiness Benchmarks on ACT Explore® and the ACT® college readiness assessment, respectively. In grade 4, the “on track” target is the state test score that predicts the student has at least a 50 percent chance of meeting the ACT Explore benchmark.

The report shows the difficulty of closing student performance gaps even when they are identified as early as 4th or 8th grade.

It is the third in a series of ACT reports on the importance of early learning across the educational continuum. The first report,Catching Up to College and Career Readiness, demonstrated the difficulty of getting far-off-track 4th and 8th grade students caught up by middle and high school, respectively. The second report, Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Importance of Early Learning, identified the key components of a strong preschool and elementary school education program that can keep students on track for later success. The new report, the last in the series, shifts the focus to students from at-risk demographic groups.

Following are some notable findings from the new report:

  • Only 2 percent of low-income, far-off-track 8th graders were able to meet the 12th-grade ACT College Readiness Benchmark for science by high school graduation, compared to 6 percent of their non–low-income counterparts.
  • It may be slightly easier to catch up low-income, far-off-track students in earlier grades. By the time they reached 8th grade, 9 percent of low-income 4th graders in the far-off-track group were able to meet the 8th-grade science benchmark.
  • The same pattern is evident in mathematics: only 1 percent of low-income, far-off-track 8th graders were able to meet the 12th-grade benchmark for mathematics by high school graduation, while 5 percent of low-income, far-off-track 4th graders were able to meet the 8th-grade benchmark for mathematics by the time they reached 8th grade.

“The findings for at-risk students are particularly concerning,” said Scott Montgomery, ACT vice president of policy, advocacy and government relations. “Preparation gaps that are already evident in elementary school appear to become harder to close as students progress through school. The findings are an urgent reminder of the need to monitor student performance and intervene as early as possible.”

The ACT report uses data from approximately 245,000 students in two states: Arkansas and Kentucky. The state education agencies supplied the data needed to link student enrollment and test records across the grade spans and to disaggregate students into multiple demographic groups.

Catching Up to College and Career Readiness: The Challenge is Greater for At-Risk Students report can be viewed and downloaded for free on the ACT website at: http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/reports/catchingup.html

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ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Headquartered in Iowa City, Iowa, ACT is trusted as the nation’s leader in college and career readiness, providing high-quality achievement assessments grounded in more than 50 years of research and experience. ACT offers a uniquely integrated continuum of solutions that help people succeed from elementary school through career, providing insights that unlock potential. To learn more about ACT, go to www.act.org.

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