PCG Education Will Present the My Brother’s Keeper Summit at the SXSWedu Conference

A panel of experts will focus on cradle-to-career strategies for improving the educational outcomes of students of color

 (BOSTON, Massachusetts) March 8, 2016 – Public Consulting Group (PCG) Education today announced that it will host the My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Summit on March 9, 2016, as part of the sixth annual South by Southwest Education (SXSWedu) conference in Austin. My Brother’s Keeper is a White House initiative created to help school districts and cities prepare children of color for long-term success.

The MBK Summit will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the JW Marriot Ballrooms 3,5, and 7. The summit will feature speakers promoting cradle-to-career best practices and shining a spotlight on success in reaching the six key milestones of the MBK Community Challenge. Those milestones include the following:

  1. All children enter school cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally ready.
  2. All children read at grade level by third grade.
  3. All youth graduate from high school.
  4. All youth complete post-secondary education or training.
  5. All youth out of school are employed.
  6. All youth remain safe from violent crime.

Austin Independent School District Superintendent, Dr. Paul Cruz, will deliver introductory remarks before the summit panel, with breakout sessions to follow. Panelists for the event will include the following:

  • Dr. Brenda Manuel: Director, Student Empowerment, Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Dr. Mark Bedell: Assistant Superintendent for High Schools, Baltimore County Public Schools
  • Diallo Shabazz: Executive Director, One Hundred Black Men, Inc.
  • Dr. Denise Tillery: Senior Director Intervention Services K-12, Wake County Public Schools, NC
  • Dr. Adriana Villavicencio: Deputy Director, Research Alliance for New York City Schools, and Adjunct Professor, NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.
  • David Watkins: Director, Equity and Academic Attainment, Broward County Public Schools, FL.

Following the summit, there will be a reception from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Icenhauer’s (83 Rainey St, Austin) where attendees will meet education colleagues, district administrators, and city officials from across the U.S. and exchange best practices on positioning children of color for long-term success.

The summit is open only to SXSWedu conference attendees. To attend the reception, you must RSVP here.

For additional information on attending the summit or reception please click here.

About PCG Education

A division of Public Consulting Group (PCG), PCG Education offers consulting and technology solutions to schools, districts, and state education agencies across the U.S. and internationally to strengthen student achievement and improve organizations’ instructional and operational capacity. In partnership with clients, PCG designs and delivers training and technical assistance to build educators’ ability to improve instruction, develop standards-based curriculum, and meet the needs of diverse learners along the pathway to college and career readiness.  PCG supports practitioners at all stages of standards implementation. More information is available at PublicConsultingGroup.com/education.


Committee for Children and Buncombe County Schools Share SEL Best Practices during March 16, 2016 Webinar


Apperson to host free webinar on social & emotional learning assessments and curriculum


Charlotte N.C. – March 8, 2016 – Assessment leader Apperson will host a free webinar at noon EST, March 16, 2016 to discuss best practices for integrating social and emotional learning (SEL) assessments and curriculum. The webinar, “Learn Why SEL Curriculum & Assessment Go Hand-in-Hand: Case Study,” will showcase the journey of Buncombe County Schools in North Carolina as it implemented a social and emotional learning program, assessed its success and reflected on the positive impact the program has had on students.


The webinar will also feature the Committee for Children which creates research-based SEL materials such as the Second Step program, a renowned SEL curriculum.


To register for the webinar, visit https://goo.gl/8v6Auh or click here. The link also provides registration information for other upcoming Apperson webinars.


The webinar is part of Apperson’s ongoing work to support educators and administrators who want to implement social and emotional learning programs within their schools.

Apperson offers an online assessment and intervention tool called Evo Social & Emotional to help educators measure students’ SEL skills and provide strategies for instruction and intervention. Evo SEL features the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (the DESSA), a strengths-based assessment system designed to screen students for social and emotional competencies.The platform has been customized for the Second Step K-5 program.


During the “Learn Why SEL Curriculum & Assessment Go Hand-in-Hand: Case Study” webinar, presenters will provide an overview of SEL and discuss how to integrate the DESSA with the Second Step program to create a comprehensive SEL program.


Attendees will receive a free trial of Apperson’s Evo SEL featuring the DESSA – Second Step edition.


About Apperson

Apperson’s K-12 assessment solutions help educators develop a 360° panorama of the student and his or her strengths, as well as areas of opportunities, that can inform curriculum decision-making and create positive learning outcomes. Whether it’s DataLink scanners, or the Evo assessment platform, Apperson’s products support and encourage a holistic learning and development approach by helping teachers turn assessment data into actionable information.  For more information, visit Apperson.com.


Edthena Hosts Conversation With Best-Selling Author And Researcher Jim Knight On Using Video For Instructional Coaching



SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 8, 2016 – In February, Adam Geller, founder and CEO of Edthena, a leading online video coaching platform for classroom observation, sat down with author/researcher Jim Knight. They talked about Knight’s new book Better Conversations: Coaching Ourselves and Each Other to Be More Credible, Caring, and Connected and how video supports the instructional coaching process.


Knight has spent nearly 20 years studying how teachers get better at teaching. He is a research associate at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and the president of the Instructional Coaching Group.


The conversation is posted on the Edthena blog at http://tinyurl.com/hvlucgm.


Knight started by speaking about his book, how technological advances have made it easy to use video for professional learning and how seeing Mick Jagger recording a World Cup game with a flip camera inspired him to action.


He stated, “In working on coaching, we ended up spending a lot of time on video, and I’ve come to believe that video is the most significant technological innovation in education in maybe decades. It’s an extremely powerful and a disruptive technology that has great potential.”


Knight also talked about courage it takes for teachers to look at a recording that may threaten the perception they have of their skills.  “But the thing is, most people want to be good at what they do,” he said. “And to be good at what you do, you have to get a clear picture of where you are.”


Another major point Knight made was on the issue of trust. “If someone doesn’t want to use video, it’s probably not about the camera. It’s probably about the absence of trust,” he stated. He said that trust is usually an aspect of organizational culture rather than an individual matter.


Knight also addressed an array of topics:

●      Creating an environment/culture that’s psychologically safe for video coaching

●      Effectively jump-starting a video coaching process with teachers who are new to video

●      Two characteristics that lead to a technology being embraced

●      Five factors of trust that are critical to successful implementation

●      Online video’s potential for expanding the geographical scope of teachers’ professional learning and collaboration


“I’m really excited to have had the opportunity to speak with such a distinguished scholar,” said Geller. “It was particularly gratifying to hear him discuss essential tactics for effective video-based coaching, such as ensuring privacy, that we had also prioritized at Edthena.”

In fact, Knight had positive things to say about the Edthena platform in general. “The first thing that strikes me about platforms like Edthena is that you can make it easy for people to use the video,” he said. “We already know that it’s powerful, but if it’s a real hassle to share the video and you can’t upload it … it’ll fall by the wayside.”

About Edthena
Edthena is a classroom observation and instructional coaching platform that makes teacher videos the core of teacher professional development. Teachers upload classroom videos and share to colleagues who leave time-stamped comments. Edthena also offers specialized collaboration tools to help organizations implement best practices for video learning.


For more information, visit www.edthena.com.

For more news about Edthena, visit blog.edthena.com.


MUSIC Partners with Scenario Learning for Online Safety Training
Missouri United School Insurance Group members given access to SafeSchools Staff Training Systems
Cincinnati, Ohio (Mar. 8, 2016) – Scenario Learning, the leading developer of safety and compliance solutions for schools, colleges and workplaces, and the Missouri United School Insurance Group (MUSIC) announce a new partnership bringing the SafeSchools Online Staff Training Systems to MUSIC’s members. Members now have complimentary access to a suite of 10 award-winning online safety courses covering important school safety topics.
The partnership presents a convenient way for staff and administrators to receive the training they need in certain situations, and an easy way to track compliance as they complete their training.
To learn more about the partnership, visit here. To learning more about Scenario Learning, please contact me.
Combination Creates Industry’s First SaaS Platform That Integrates Professional Growth and Student Assessment Tools with Powerful Educational Analytics Capabilities
Enables School Districts to Meaningfully Evaluate the Impact of Professional Development and Educator Effectiveness on Student Learning 
NEW YORK – March 9, 2016 – Weld North Holdings LLC, a leading education investment company led by former Kaplan CEO Jonathan Grayer, announced today their continued expansion in the big data and educational analytics technology market with the acquisition of Performance Matters, a leader in student assessment systems and analytics. As part of this transaction, Performance Matters will merge with Truenorthlogic, the leader in educator professional growth solutions acquired by Weld North in April, 2014. The combination creates the first company with educator evaluation and professional development data; student achievement data; and powerful analytics capability to better understand the drivers of student outcomes. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.