Link Between Poverty and Education Will Be Explored in ASCD Panel Event

Alexandria, VA (4/23/2015)—ASCD is pleased to announce the Spring 2015 Whole Child Symposium, which will explore the crucial connection between poverty and education. The symposium will take place May 6, 2015, 1:30–4:30 p.m. eastern time, in the Knight Studio at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live for free at

Socioeconomic status is considered one of the major determinants of academic success. In this panel event, education leaders and practitioners will take a close look at this timely topic and discuss its relevance to school reform and education improvement efforts.

“As a recent report by the Southern Education Foundation has pointed out, more than half of U.S. public school students now come from low-income households,” said Sean Slade, ASCD director of whole child programs. “It is essential that we bring together experts from across the education world to explore this topic from every angle, as this issue has increased rapidly in recent years. The Whole Child Symposium panels will put educators in front of the debate to not only dissect the effects of poverty’s place in our schools, but aim to highlight what can be done to ameliorate the effects of poverty in our classrooms.”

With the amount of attention and funding spent on educational reform efforts over the past decade, should greater gains have been made in student achievement and graduation rates? The symposium panels will answer this question and more. The panelists hail from all areas of education and include the following:

Educators can watch the event at and follow @ASCD on Twitter using the hashtag #WCS15 to hear more about the topic and share their input.

Teacher Leadership Report From the Fall 2014 Whole Child Symposium
The Fall 2014 Whole Child Symposium addressed teacher leadership, another timely topic. In that event, panelists including ASCD authors Peter DeWitt and Robyn Jackson, NEA vice president Becky Pringle, and U.S. Department of Education teaching fellow Maddie Fennell discussed why collaborative, shared leadership is essential to meet increased student expectations and determined that frameworks for teacher leadership are needed, although overstandardization should be avoided. To learn more, access the fullfall 2014 Whole Child Symposium report here.

For more information about ASCD’s Whole Child approach, visit To learn about ASCD books that explore the effects of poverty on education, including those by Eric Jensen and Kathleen Budge and William Parrett, visit You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services, and memberships at

Contact Information 

  • Ross Romano, publicist, 1-703-575-5607 or by e-mail.

  • Alexandra Fenwick, associate communications specialist, 1-703-575-5482 or by e-mail.

ASCD is a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading. Comprising 125,000 members—superintendents, principals, teachers, and advocates from more than 138 countries—the ASCD community also includes 56 affiliate organizations. ASCD’s innovative solutions promote the success of each child. To learn more about how ASCD supports educators as they learn, teach, and lead, visit


SchoolBondFinder Launches Online Education Bond Tracking Solution for K12 Marketplace

This comprehensive, cloud-based tracking solution provides education companies a unique opportunity to track and act on K12 funding and bond initiatives nationwide

Minneapolis, MN April 22, 2015 SchoolBondFinder, a service of the Amos Group, has launched,  the first comprehensive, interactive database that tracks school district’s capital improvement projects across the United States.  It has been developed specifically to enable education partners the opportunity to offer the right solutions at the right time to districts

Billions of dollars are marked each year for capital improvement projects from school districts across the nation.  SchoolBondFinder provides companies the ability to filter funding projects specific to their solutions, providing invaluable insight in to current and future needs of districts across the county.  The proactive platform provides notifications to its users when something new is entered in to the system, such as a large technology bond just announced.

Navigating the funding process is a daunting task.  To ensure companies understand how to utilize bond information most effectively, SchoolBondFinder has partnered with Dr. Paula Love, a renowned funding expert in the education industry.  Known as “The Funding Doctor” she has decades of experience delivering grant strategies for non-profit and for-profit organizations, educational agencies and schools.  She provides analysis and insight that is key to navigating the twists and turns bond funded capital projects undergo.

“SchoolBondFinder will soon be our sales team’s best friend.  It focuses our time, energy and effectiveness on the right opportunities at the right time,” said Cathy Zier, EVP of Promethean Global Solution Sales & Alliances.

“The Amos Group is thrilled to bring such a unique offering to the education marketplace.  SchoolBondFinder allows for sales and marketing teams to make decisions based on the needs of schools and districts across the country, making interactions between vendors and decision makers much more meaningful,” said Chuck Amos, founder and CEO of the Amos Group.  “Time is one of those things we cannot create more of, we look to save both educators and vendors as much of it as possible by providing insight in to funding that facilitates actionable conversations more quickly and effectively.”


About SchoolBondFinder:

SchoolBondFinder, a service of the Amos Group, is the first comprehensive online database tracking K12 bond funded capital improvement projects in the United States.  This online tool enables education partners the opportunity stay informed on relevant bonds along with changing the conversation to be more meaningful at the district level.   With SchoolBondFinder organizations become more proactive and can be a more informed, helpful resources at the right time for districts, helping shape, smart decisions.   For more about SchoolBondFinder, please visit



ETIN of SIIA to Hold Education Industry Summit May 3-5

For Immediate Release
SIIA Communications Contact: Allison Bostrom, +1. 202.289.7442,
PR Contact: Lauren West, C. Blohm & Associates, 608.216.7300,

ETIN of SIIA to Hold Education Industry Summit May 3-5
Nation’s premier education technology industry conference to explore what’s coming next in the teaching and learning process in a post-PC world

Washington, D.C. (April 23, 2015) – The 12th annual Education Industry Summit (EIS), hosted by the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), will be held May 3-5 at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. EIS is the nation’s leading industry conference for the K-12 and postsecondary education technology marketplace, featuring content-rich sessions on the ed tech market and connecting industry executives through networking sessions.

This year, the Summit’s theme is “Navigating the New.” Sessions will focus on preparing conference attendees with what’s coming next for teaching and learning in a mobile and global world by providing the skills to build the infrastructure, products and services to suppose the changes that schools want and need. Conference attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in speed networking, attend the Innovation Incubator Program and the CODiE Awards Dinner and presentations and meet the honorees of the 2015 Ed Tech Impact and Education Lifetime Achievement Awards.

During the conference, industry leaders will provide strategies, case studies and success stories about best business practices on strand-based topics, including: Game-Based Learning; Privacy Enhancing Technologies; Market Data and Trends; Leveraging Social Media; Trends in Learning with Mobile Devices; Building New Learning Models for our ‘Next-Gen’ Students; Doing Business in Texas, NY and CA.

Monday’s opening keynote will feature conversation by Minnie Bredouw, design lead at IDEO, on “A Human-Centered Lens to Digital Tools”. Bredouw is a Design Lead for IDEO’s Education Studio. She focuses on its digital portfolio, supporting creative strategy, user research, experience design, and digital build. Her projects range from designing a mobile app & coaching program that supports first generation college students transitioning from high school to college, to building a digital platform that helps Fortune 500 executives apply creative skills in the workplace. Recently, projects she has led have won the Robin Hood prize, an Edison Award, and an IDSA Award.

Tuesday’s keynote will feature David Hoffer, head of design, San Francisco, McKinsey and Company, discussing “Design is Free: Rethinking Design for the 21st Century”. Hoffer has worked both within and for Fortune 500 companies providing strategic design perspectives to build product or serve client needs. Working with clients as diverse as AT&T to Xoom, Dave has led efforts to conceptualize and craft new experiences in service design, physical product, in-store experiences and of course Digital efforts from websites to enterprise software to mobile. Dave spent 5 years at Frog Design, a leading global design consultancy, where he worked closely with the Healthcare vertical. In addition to the numerous projects at Frog in the mobile space, Dave was also the Director of User Experience at a startup called OpenPeak where he led efforts for proprietary implementations of Android and iOS secure software. 

As part of collaboration between SIIA and Digital Promise, more than a dozen leading educators will help identify best practices for product pilots. A breakfast roundtable will feature lessons learned from successful educators and will inform joint publication of a sector best practices guide.

SIIA, in collaboration with Future of Privacy Forum and ReThink Education, is offering a one-day, interactive workshop on Student Privacy & Data Security for K12 School Service Providers. Workshop participants will emerge with a comprehensive framework for safeguarding student data, including with regard to legal requirements, conducting a data map and audit, product design, security protocols and contract terms. Information and required registration.

For more information on the 2015 Innovation Incubator Program, visit To learn more about the CODiE Awards program, visit

Conference Details

What:     The SIIA Education Industry Summit
When:    May 3-5, 2015
Where:   The Palace Hotel, San Francisco

To register for the conference, visit Members of the media are invited to attend. For more information or to register for the conference, members of the media should contact Allison Bostrom at

SIIA thanks all 2015 Education Industry Summit sponsors. To learn more about this year’s sponsors visit,

About SIIA
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit

About ETIN
The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide educational software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the K-20 sector. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information on ETIN of SIIA, visit





Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill Creating New School Funding Accounts for Students with Special Needs to Governor Haslam

State could become fourth in nation with special-needs “education savings accounts”

Nashville—Last night, on the last day of its session, the Tennessee Legislature passed SB 27, the Individualized Education Act. Governor Haslam will have 10 days to sign or veto the bill once it reaches his desk. The bill was sponsored by Sen. Dolores R. Gresham and Rep. Deborah Moody.


This new law will create state-funded accounts of approximately $6,500 that families of special needs students can use to pay for educational therapies, tutoring, online curriculum and even private school tuition.


“Children with special needs across Tennessee—children that families and policymakers and the media in that state have known for years were falling through the cracks—now will have better educational opportunities,” said Jonathan Butcher, the education policy director at the Goldwater Institute. “This new program gives these children the chance at a brighter future.”


Tennessee becomes the fourth state in the country to pass these unique accounts for families with special needs students. The law was first put into place in Arizona five years ago and was adopted last year in Florida. Arizona’s program is open to students with special needs, students in failing schools, and from active duty military or foster care families. Last month lawmakers passed an expansion of the program to include all students living on Native American reservations. About 1,200 students in Arizona are using the program this school year. About 1,800 special needs students are using Florida’s program. Mississippi lawmakers passed a similar program just weeks ago.


The Goldwater Institute proposed the idea of a state-funded bank account for K-12 education expenses a decade ago, and has continued to research, develop and refine the idea and legislative language. The Institute regularly hosts delegations of state lawmakers so they can learn about these “education savings accounts” and see first hand the impact they are making on families lives. Lawmakers from Tennessee visited Arizona in 2014 to learn more about the program. This year, lawmakers in a dozen states are considering similar accounts.


“The groups working on the ground in Tennessee—especially the Beacon Center, Senator Gresham and Rep. Moody—deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the work they have done to bring this policy to the Volunteer State. Special needs students will be the beneficiaries of their hard work,” said Butcher.




About the Goldwater Institute

The Goldwater Institute drives results by working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and strengthen the freedom guaranteed to all Americans in the constitutions of the United States and all 50 states. With the blessing of its namesake, the Goldwater Institute opened in 1988. Its early years focused on defending liberty in Barry Goldwater’s home state of Arizona. Today, the Goldwater Institute is a national leader for constitutionally limited government respected by the left and right for its adherence to principle and real world impact. No less a liberal icon than the New York Times calls the Goldwater Institute a “watchdog for conservative ideals” that plays an “outsize role” in American political life.



ParentSquare CEO Named Finalist for Spirit of Entrepreneurship Award
Anupama Vaid recognized for achievements in the science and technology industries
Santa Barbara, Calif. (April 23, 2015) — Anupama Vaid, CEO of ParentSquare, a simple and secure communication platform designed to reach and engage every parent, has been named a finalist in the 205 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards. Thirty-three women were named finalists and will be recognized in Santa Barbara County for their achievements in their respective fields. Vaid is a finalist in the science and technology category.
The Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards were created by the Spirit of Entrepreneurship Foundation and are designed to recognize the contributions of women entrepreneurs supporting the Santa Barbara County economy, as well as support the future economic growth through recognition and education of student entrepreneurs.
To view the full list of finalists, please visit the foundation’s website. To learn more about ParentSquare and Anupama Vaid, visit