Lingo Jingo Awarded Prestigious English Language Learner Grant from U.S. DOE

 

New funding allows the company to offer pilots of its WIDA- and Common Core-aligned language-acquisition solution to a limited number of schools

 

(San Francisco, CA) November 11, 2015 Lingo Jingo, an award-winning language-acquisition solution supporting English language learners (ELLs) and educators, has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE).

 

The Small Business Innovation Research funding from the Institute of Education Sciences and the DOE allows Lingo Jingo to offer a limited number of schools the opportunity to sign up for highly-supported pilot programs.

 

“Lingo Jingo is at the top of the list as most critical to addressing a pressing need in our country,” said Ed Metz, the program manager for the Small Business Innovation Research group at the DOE. “It’s an incredible opportunity to make a difference with language educators who sometimes don’t have immediate access to materials.”

 

Lingo Jingo’s online resources include content promoting the WIDA English language proficiency standards, the Common Core State Standards, and the California English Language Development standards. Lingo Jingo offers fully customizable instructional supports that follow leading English learning curricula to improve language development.  Districts using the solution can easily map Lingo Jingo’s content over their own curriculum, ensuring that the solution adapts to the needs of educators and learners alike.

 

“Lingo Jingo is dedicated to supporting language educators and offering rigorous, fun content which aligns with language development standards being followed in the classroom, including WIDA, Common Core and the California ELD. We are committed to supporting educators by providing an effective solution and making their lives easier,” said Douglas Chrystall, co-founder of Lingo Jingo. “Language acquisition is incredibly difficult, and our solution provides educators a way to accelerate learning for ELLs. By creating a flexible, easy-to-access platform, schools and districts have the ability to customize our content to meet their needs rather than the other way around.”

 

Since Lingo Jingo launched in 2011, districts across the country have adopted the platform to support ELL education as well as the acquisition of other world languages.

 

To submit a request for your school to take part in a yearlong pilot of Lingo Jingo, click here.

 

More information about Lingo Jingo, including a brief video overview and sample lessons, is available here.

 

About Lingo Jingo

Lingo Jingo is an award-winning language-teaching platform designed for language educators. The platform provides easy-to-use tools and an extensive library of course content that is fully customizable to individual educators’ instructional objectives. Lingo Jingo is currently deployed in public K-12 schools as well as private language schools in the United States.

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Innovative school model featured at summit on high school redesign strategy

 

WASHINGTON, DC- Nov 10, 2015 Today, the White House welcomed the first-ever White House Summit on Next Generation High Schools, hosting students, education practitioners from districts and charter organizations, business leaders, philanthropic organizations, and education innovators.

New Tech Network (NTN) President and CEO, Lydia Dobyns, presented the organization’s work as a design partner for comprehensive school change already accomplished in 29 states, and highlighted plans to expand the number of schools during the next two years.

“There are no simple ways to transform schools,” said Dobyns. “Defining what we want for students, aligning resources to support systemic change, and having policies to encourage innovation are all essential for spreading school transformation. Getting to be a nation proud of its education system will mean investing in professional development and placing more trust in teachers and administrators to facilitate relevant, engaging learning so that students become problem-solvers, inventors, communicators, in a word, THINKERS.”

Earlier this year, the President — as part of his 2015 State of the Union — called for a national effort to create more Next Generation High Schools – schools that incorporate key elements of redesign including personalized learning, work-based learning experiences, deeper ties to post-secondary, including a focus on expanding STEM opportunities for girls and other groups of students who are underrepresented in high-growth, well-paying industries.

Later this week, the Administration will announce its intention to award over $20 million in federal grants through its Investing in Innovation (i3) grants specifically to support the reform and redesign of high schools that serve low-income students. i3 supports organizations that are transforming education in communities across America by implementing innovative and proven strategies while building evidence of what works to address persistent education challenges.

As a part of today’s event, the Department of Education also announced the following commitments to improving the educational experiences of our high school students:  Two new Career & Technical Education awards, a playbook for high school redesign, recommendations to transition to personalized learning, best practices guidance to reduce the course equity gap, and more.

“Plenty of examples of transformed schools abound, including the nearly 200 public schools in the New Tech Network today,” said Dobyns. “So what makes a school a New Tech school?  You’ll find a culture that empowers students, where personalized learning happens through Project-Based Learning (PBL), featuring a pervasive use of technology and classroom-based assessment systems that measure what matters.”

Through its proven school model, project-based learning platform, and powerful professional development, NTN guides schools toward lasting change and ongoing improvement. NTN also announced at the iNACOL conference its plans to expand personalized learning within its project-based learning school model. NTN Chief Operating Officer Tim Presiado led an interactive session that discussed how the union of project-based (PBL) and personalized learning can transform the way students learn. Presiado presented a strategic direction that now combines powerful elements of its school model with personalized learning strategies.

In 2013, the President issued a challenge in his State of the Union to redesign America’s high schools so that young people graduate with skills and abilities aligned with the needs of a global economy. As part of that call to action, the President visited a number of leading high schools, including Manor New Technology High School (Texas), P-TECH (New York), and Worcester Technical High School (Massachusetts).

By the 2016 school year, close to 200 public-district high schools and charter schools, along with 50 elementary and middle schools, in 29 states will be implementing the New Tech school model. In 2016, 75,000 students will be learning in NTN schools located in urban, rural, and suburban locales (15,000 more students than in 2015).

“Our strong student outcomes (increased graduation rates, college attendance and persistence, and growth in critical thinking) have been accomplished in rural, urban and suburban communities across the country.  Over the next two years we will expand to nearly 250 schools, where 4,000 teachers will serve 75,000 students. If we want this kind of teaching and learning to be the new normal, we must do a better job meeting the individual needs of students,“ continued Dobyns.

 

 

 

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“Lead Higher” Initiative Showcased at First-Ever Summit on Next-Generation High Schools

Joint effort focuses on closing high school participation gaps in college-level courses

November 10, 2015 (Washington D.C.):  The Lead Higher initiative—a partnership among Equal Opportunity Schools, College Board and the International Baccalaureate (IB) dedicated to ensuring student diversity is fully reflected in our most rigorous academic courses in US high schools—celebrated a big moment when it was showcased at the first-ever Summit on Next-Generation High Schools.  The event, hosted at the White House, highlights new actions by philanthropy, industry, school leaders, and others who are committed to re-thinking high school education in this country.

Recognizing that participation gaps in academically challenging high school courses are a significant contributor to unequal college graduation rates and, as a result, long-term life outcomes, the Lead Higher partners jointly committed to identify and enroll an additional 100,000 low income students and students-of-color per year who are ready to succeed in Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) high school classes by 2018.

“The next generation of high school students will be by far the most diverse in American history. To date, fewer than 1% of high schools fully include their diversity at the highest academic levels. We can and must change this. As America continues to diversify, the success of our democracy and our economy will depend upon it,” says Reid Saaris, Founder and CEO of Equal Opportunity Schools.

Exposure to academically intense high school curriculum has shown to be among the strongest predictors of success in college. The Lead Higher initiative—described as the largest and most-targeted effort ever to address equity at the highest levels of our K-12 schools—will ensure more low-income and students-of-color, like Tevares and RayQuan, are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Rainer Beach High School student, Tavares Tagaleo’o, 17, says the school’s culture has changed as a result of increased access to IB. “It was really a shock, going from this laid-back place into a real academic school,” he said. “I was hesitant at first, kind of intimidated. But IB is the reason why I come every day. I don’t honestly think I’d still be in school if it wasn’t for IB and how it challenged me.”

“AP opened up my eyes.” said W.T. Woodson High School senior and AP student RayQuan White. “The courses were much more rigorous, but having the support of my high school counselors put me in a mindset of wanting to be there, challenge myself, and make sure that I understood everything. They sat down with me and were there to help me find those courses that would fit just right for me.”

Lead Higher will train school leadership to ensure that capable underrepresented students are identified, engaged and supported to take rigorous courses that develop skills necessary for success in college. Each organization in the consortium will work with schools to systematize a variety of methods to help them identify students who are being overlooked for these academic opportunities.

Gary Cohn, Superintendent of Schools for Everett, WA, said his team uses the Lead Higher initiatives to spark action.

“We serve our students and families by intensely focusing on systematically removing barriers to student success. We study carefully our students’ equitable access to opportunities; we chart opportunity gaps routinely, and we set goals and display our progress for anyone to see. The new Lead Higher practices show us clear tactical actions; they are real tools we can use to make our goals achievable. Our district is richly diverse. It makes sense that the access students have to academic excellence is equally as rich.”

Since the April 2015 launch of Lead Higher, EOS received an additional $5 million from the Raikes Foundation, Fossil Foundation, Jacobson Family Foundation, and Mike & Susan Dell Foundation, among others – equipping Lead Higher to offer more school and district leaders the tools they need to consistently engage low-income and students-of-color to enroll and persist in high-level courses like AP and IB. As of the date of the White House summit, nearly 100 districts have committed to fully closing their AP and IB access gaps while boosting student success. And today, EOS is reaching out to Governors and Chief State School Officers to announce a competition through which states can receive in-depth support to become the first state in the U.S. to fully reflect its student diversity at the highest levels of its K-12 schools.

Background Information:

About the Lead Higher Initiative’s organizations:

Lead Higher Consortium is a partnership among Equal Opportunity Schools, College Board and international Baccalaureate (IB) dedicated to ensuring that student diversity is fully reflected in our most rigorous academic courses in US high schools. By 2018, the consortium will serve an additional 100,000 low-income students and students-of-color by collaborating with schools and reporting results that supports leadership to achieve a higher sense of academic possibility for students.

Other donors and participants in Lead Higher include the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Google, and Tableau Software, Inc. who each committed to identifying and equipping education leaders toward greater Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate class access over the next three years.

About International Baccalaureate www.ibo.org

Founded in 1968, the International Baccalaureate (IB) is a nonprofit foundation, which offers four high quality and challenging education programs for a worldwide community of schools. For more than 45 years, the IB programmes have gained a reputation for rigor and high academic standards, for preparing students for life in a globalized 21stcentury, and for helping to develop citizens who will create a better, more peaceful world. Currently, more than one million IB students attend over 4,000 schools in 147 countries.

About College Board www.collegeboard.org

The College Board is a mission-driven not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity. Founded in 1900, the College Board was created to expand access to higher education. Today, the membership association is made up of over 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions and is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education. Each year, the College Board helps more than seven million students prepare for a successful transition to college through programs and services in college readiness and college success – including the SAT and the Advanced Placement Program. The organization also serves the education community through research and advocacy on behalf of students, educators, and schools.

About Equal Opportunity Schools www.eoschools.org

The Equal Opportunity Schools® organization (EOS) is a growth-stage, education-reform not-for-profit that changes lives and narrows the achievement gap by collaborating with superintendents and principals to address an inequity in our schools: under-enrollment in the best academic programs – especially of students who are Latino, African-American, or low-income. EOS identifies these “missing students” – who it has shown can succeed at the highest academic levels within their schools – and works to transition them into the best, college-bound classes.

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Teton County School District #1 (WY) Partners with PublicSchoolWORKS to Automate Staff and Student Safety Processes

 

The EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch suites ensure documentation and tracking of all staff and student safety concerns for easy compliance and trend reporting

 

Cincinnati, OH (November 10, 2015) – Managing staff and student safety consists of many aspects, which often leads districts to contract services with several vendors to get the job done and can lead to a management headache. In order to consolidate and improve their safety programming, Teton County School District (CUSD) #1 in Jackson, WY, is partnering with PublicSchoolWORKS to use its’ award-winning EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch suites. Also, Teton CUSD #1 is the first district in Wyoming to use StudentWatch’s Student Behavior Management System to report and track both positive and negative student behaviors.

 

“EmployeeSafe’s ability to manage our training digitally, be more deliberate in our expectations of employees and reinforce training deadlines is what initially attracted us to PublicSchoolWORKS,” said Brad Barker, COO of Teton CUSD #1. “The additional EmployeeSafe safety management modules such as Compliance Task Manager, made us see how beneficial it can be to our district. We also liked StudentWatch’s ability to provide consistency in student safety matters, as well as the ability to remain FERPA-compliant because of tiered access to student reports. Both suites will provide consistency district-wide and make sure we’re in compliance.”

 

Prior to using PublicSchoolWORKS, Teton CUSD #1’s staff and student safety programming was cobbled together from different programs and content providers. However, much of it – such as the online staff training – lacked tracking and management functions. For student safety matters, the district was also using multiple programs – one for student behavior reporting and one for student accidents and health records. However, the systems made it cumbersome to transfer student data between schools such as when an 8th grade student moves on to 9th grade. With EmployeeSafe and StudentWatch, Teton CUSD #1 is able to eliminate these different programs, improve tracking and management functionalities and actually address all compliance requirements – all from one vendor.

 

“Currently our human resources department is working with PublicSchoolWORKS’ Client Services to plan and schedule all mandated staff training, drills, inspections and other compliance tasks for the year,” said Barker. “PublicSchoolWORKS is even working with us to create a customized student accident reporting protocol by bridging the Student Accident Management System and our existing student medical record software. PublicSchoolWORKS will improve the fidelity of our safety reporting and instill uniformity in all of our safety processes.”

 

About PublicSchoolWORKS

Since 2000, PublicSchoolWORKS safety and regulatory compliance management solutions have helped schools easily meet ever-changing compliance requirements, improve staff and student safety, cut costs associated with risk, and reduce administrator and staff time and effort. PublicSchoolWORKS is the only, complete safety compliance management program built for K-12 schools, and is proud to provide districts with award-winning technology and support recognized by North American educators. For more information on how PublicSchoolWORKS can improve district safety programs, contact 1-877-779-6757 or sales@publicschoolworks.com.

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Goldwater Institute Wins Case to Protect School Voucher Program in Louisiana

Appeals court says federal Department of Justice can’t limit enrollment in state program based on desegregation order

 

Contact: Starlee Coleman, (602) 758-9162

 

New Orleans—In a case with national implications for parental choice programs in hundreds of school districts that still are subject to federal desegregation decrees, today the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the U.S. Department of Justice can’t limit enrollment in a state private school scholarship program.

 

The Department of Justice was attempting to use an unrelated, decades-old desegregation case to assert federal jurisdiction over the state program. When it initially filed the case, DOJ asked for an injunction to block students in school districts under desegregation orders from using vouchers. DOJ backed off its request for an injunction, but pressed ahead with its case, placing a cloud of uncertainty over the school options for Louisiana scholarship families.

 

In the 2-1 decision written by Judge Edith Jones, the court referred to the Department of Justice’s tactics as “disingenuous,” purporting merely to seek information and enforce desegregation while “imposing a vast and intrusive reporting regime on the State without any finding of unconstitutional conduct.” The decision also called the process as “burdensome, costly, and endless.”

 

“This is a victory for minority and low-income schoolchildren, not only in Louisiana but around the country,” said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, which is representing the Black Alliance for Educational Options and voucher families. “The decision should put an end to efforts to use long-ago desegregation decrees to thwart educational opportunities for their intended beneficiaries, whether through vouchers or charter schools. The educational horizon just brightened.”

 

The Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program was created in 2012. The statewide program provides private school tuition vouchers to children from families with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty line and who otherwise would attend public schools that the state has graded C, D or F. In the 2013-14 school year, nearly 6,800 students were awarded scholarships, a 20 percent increase from the year before. More than 85 percent of the children receiving scholarships that year were African American, nearly twice their representation among the Louisiana public school population.

 

Bolick argued and won the Zelman v. Simmons-Harris case before the U.S. Supreme Court, upholding the constitutionality of school vouchers more than a decade ago. He now leads the litigation efforts at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Knovation Increases Opportunities for Reading Comprehension with Texthelp

Partnership with literacy software provider expands learning opportunities for all students

CINCINNATI, OHNovember 10, 2015 – To ensure exceptional learning opportunities for all students with access to its dynamic collection of online resources, Knovation has partnered with literacy software provider Texthelp to upgrade the text-to-speech and dictionary services in netTrekker and icurio. The partnership demonstrates Knovation’s commitment to supporting Universal Design for Learning (UDL), a research-based framework that builds flexible learning environments to support individual learning differences.

Through this partnership, netTrekker and icurio subscribers have access to improved read aloud and dictionary tools, including faster, speech-responsive text highlighting, an integrated dictionary in the read aloud tool bar, a picture dictionary and text translation. Texthelp services provide multiple point-of-need support tools directly within Knovation’s solutions, ensuring all learners have quality opportunities to engage with the resources presented to them.

Research demonstrates the benefits of quality text support – speech synthesis with dual color highlighting is proven to raise comprehension levels by 8 percent and dictionary tools improved performance on word meaning tasks by 25 percent.* Text-to-speech technology decodes with an accuracy and fluency that children who struggle with text can’t attain on their own, according to Dr. Michelann Parr, Schulich School of Education at Nipissing University.

“Our UDL partnership with Texthelp will allow Knovation to better support subscribing districts in honoring the fact that every learner is unique,” said Steve Nordmark, Chief Academic Officer at Knovation. “Together, we will enable teachers to accommodate and design for learner differences, well beyond creating accessibility for special education students.”

As leaders in K-12 education strive to support a spectrum of learners, including students struggling with text comprehension or ESL students, the Texthelp partnership serves as another step for Knovation in creating student-centric, flexible approaches to digital learning.

For more information about upgrades to Knovation’s read aloud and dictionary tools through Texthelp, visitwww.knovationlearning.com/blog/texthelp.

* Assistive Software Tools for Secondary-level Students With Literacy Difficulties, Alissa A. Lange, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK JSET Vol 21 2006.

About Texthelp

Texthelp believes that everyone shares a fundamental need to be understood by others, and language is our passport to academic, social and professional success. This is what drives Texthelp to create smart, easy-to-use support technologies that enable young people and adults read and write with confidence and independence and to benefit from the English language.

Texthelp’s world leading assistive and language learning software is used daily by students and educators in schools, colleges and universities worldwide. Our corporate software tools continue to be used by blue-chip companies, as well as large and small scale public departments and government organisations and agencies globally. Texthelp has been recognized in the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 for 14 consecutive years.

About Knovation

Since 1999, Knovation has delivered on the promise to do something good for kids, every day, by helping districts meet the needs of diverse K-12 learners in blended digital learning environments.

Knovation makes it easy to find, manage, and use free digital content for learning by professionally evaluating, standards aligning and continuously maintaining a collection of over 360,000 digital resources covering all subjects and all grades. Knovation’s collection can be accessed through the company’s award-winning solutions (netTrekkerand icurio) or through custom integration with several instructional or assessment platforms. For more information, please visit knovationlearning.com.

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