Pearson Announces Key Findings of the 2016 Trends in Executive Development Survey


Results show new emphasis on cognitive readiness, a continued focus on critical thinking, and a significant skills gap for emerging leaders


NEW YORK – March 22, 2016 – Pearson today announced the results of the “2016 Trends in Executive Development: A Benchmark Report” biennial survey of leaders from 466 of the world’s most notable organizations across the globe. The 2016 Trends Report, which is used by organizations to benchmark their own executive development practices, shows that the shifting markets and impact of technology are pushing executives to learn new skills and make changes in their approach. In 2014, the trends showed that the ability to create a compelling vision and engage others around it was the most important capability needed for next generation leaders. That remains true in 2016. While the need for leadership remained steady, the new results indicate a slight shift in how leaders approach challenges with a new emphasis on cognitive readiness and a continued emphasis on critical thinking.


“While critical thinking has remained a key focus for leadership development, the fact that cognitive readiness has also emerged as a top area for development clearly reflects the changing world that organizations are operating in,” said Karen Chiang, vice president, emerging markets, Talent Assessment at Pearson. “It’s the ability to apply strategic thinking, decision making, creativity and problem solving in ever-changing complex situations that distinguishes leadership. The challenge for organizations is how to instill these skills into all levels of the organization; starting from the recruitment stage of entry level employees through to senior management.”


The survey findings also revealed the most lacking competencies of emerging leaders. Specifically, 28.8 percent of respondents believe the ability to attract, hire, and retain talent is a significant skills gap for emerging leaders. In addition, the results show that employees want leaders who can envision a positive future state for the organization and then engage and inspire the workforce.


To track the growth and evolution of executive education and development trends, Pearson TalentLens and Executive Development Associates, Inc. have conducted this research every two to four years since 1983. The survey is the product of collaboration between Pearson TalentLens, Executive Development Associates (EDA), and Performance Assessment Network (PAN).


The 60-page Trends report may be obtained through Pearson TalentLens. For more information, contact Amy Ferris, manager of sales and strategic partnerships, or 301-977-9185.


Pearson TalentLens publishes scientific assessments that are used globally to hire and develop the 21st century workforce. These instruments measure critical thinking, problem solving, and a range of job skills to deliver data-driven insights that inform and clarify an organization’s human capital decisions.


About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s learning company, with 36,000 employees in more than 70 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information about Pearson, visit


About EDA

Executive Development Associates is a leader in creating custom-designed executive development strategies, systems and programs that help organizations build the capabilities needed to achieve their strategic objectives. EDA leads the way in the use of executive development to help organizations successfully address their marketplace challenges and accelerate the execution of their business strategy utilizing various approaches including custom executive development programs, c-suite and executive coaching, action learning, leadership workshops, executive assessment and more.  For more information,


About PAN

Performance Assessment Network (PAN) is the talent measurement platform built for the new world of work. Flexible, on demand, and configured to be as unique as your jobs. With content from 50+ publishers just a click away, you get the world’s best talent assessments & technology in one platform so you can create the perfect hiring or development process in less time, at less cost, with greater results. Learn more at




The Virtual High School Introduces New Course on Mussar Teachings and Practices


The Online Judaic Studies Consortium course encourages students to reflect on

 the Jewish ethics tradition and its effect on their thinking and behavior


Boston — March 22, 2016 — This spring semester, the Virtual High School’s Online Judaic Studies Consortium (OJSC) is offering a new course: Mussar: Practical Ethics for Living a Meaningful Life. Developed by Rabbi David Jaffe, founder of the Kirva Institute, the course focuses on Mussar, the Jewish wisdom tradition that teaches individuals how to make the choices most aligned with their best selves.


Rooted in text, the course will explore the following questions:

  • What does it mean, from a Mussar perspective, to live an ethical and meaningful life?
  • How might the study and practice of Mussar lead to personal growth and behavioral change?
  • Why do the choices we make everyday matter?


“Students will be asked to think, reflect and will apply what they are learning to their own lives,” said Jaffe. “Our goal is to have a positive impact on the lives of every student who takes this course.”


The course begins by introducing Mussar history and theory and explaining how it compares to other theories of human psychology and development. Students then learn about free will and choice as a major factor in all aspects of their lives. Next, they explore the variety of ways that character traits such as patience, trust and respect influence the people and the world around them, from popular culture, to politics to sports. The course concludes with a unit that demonstrates how aligning behavior with core values is a way of living a holy, spiritual life.


Jaffe is the former spiritual advisor at Gann Academy in Waltham, Mass. where he created and continues to supervise an acclaimed, school-wide Mussar program. Jaffe was the lead educator and curriculum writer for the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Tikkun Middot Project, which brought Mussar to 28 synagogues, community centers and schools across North America. He teaches and leads retreats for rabbis with The Mussar Institute in Vancouver, British Columbia. His upcoming book, “Changing the World From the Inside Out” integrates Mussar teachings with social change activism.


“It’s very gratifying to collaborate through the OJSC to bring this unique online course to day school curriculum offerings,” said Carol Ribeiro, President and CEO of VHS.


For information on Mussar: Practical Ethics for Living a Meaningful Life and the rest of the OJSC catalog, visit: more information, visit


The OJSC is grateful to the AVI CHAI Foundation for sponsoring this project for Jewish day schools. AVI CHAI is a private foundation established in 1984 committed to the perpetuation of the Jewish people, Judaism, and the centrality of the State of Israel to the Jewish people.


About The Virtual High School Inc.

The Virtual High School (VHS Inc.) is an online learning pioneer. Since 1996, the nonprofit organization has set the standard for quality online education. VHS provides courses taught in global online classrooms for secondary school students and online professional development for educators.  The organization also meets the unique educational needs of schools through custom course development and individualized course offerings. VHS design and delivery standards are the model used by the National Education Association in their recommended standards for online learning. The organization has won numerous awards, including the Stockholm Challenge Award for Global Excellence in Information Technology, and is a three-time winner of the United States Distance Learning Association’s (USDLA) award for Excellence in Programming and Excellence in Best Practices. For more information, visit or call (978) 897-1900.


Washington State Approves Odysseyware Academy as a Multi-district Online Provider


The high-quality, standards-aligned curriculum will be used by educators through the state to customize distance learning for their students


(Chandler, AZ) March 22, 2016 – Odysseyware, a leading provider of rigorous and customizable online courses for K-12 education, announced today that Odysseyware Academy has been approved as an online provider in the state of Washington. To earn this approval, the online academy had to meet the rigorous requirements of the multidistrict online provider review process created by the Washington Office of Public Instruction’s Department of Digital Learning.


Odysseyware Academy is accredited nationally by AdvancED and has had several courses approved by the NCAA. Powered by Odysseyware’s award-winning curriculum and staffed by highly qualified teachers, Odysseyware Academy has been providing online courses and partnering with school districts for many years. Odysseyware Academy is committed to helping schools across the United States create and implement a customized distance-learning program that meets the needs of every student. At the foundation of Odysseyware’s mission are today’s students and their future.


“We are thrilled to be approved in Washington and to continue offering Washington schools and districts more pathways for virtual school solutions and flexible learning opportunities for their students,” said Beth Te Grotenhuis, the president of Odysseyware. “Odysseyware Academy is uniquely equipped to create a personalized learning environment for students at a level that will help them achieve their best, both in academics and in life. This educational program combines state-of-the-art lessons and dedicated, qualified teachers to help students fill their learning needs and meet their goals.”


Odysseyware Academy looks forward to providing high-quality digital content and virtual teaching services to districts and schools in Washington.


About Odysseyware

Headquartered in Chandler, AZ, 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. This curriculum is sold directly through regional education specialists.


Odysseyware Academy and Academic Services are a part of the comprehensive Odysseyware solution. Providing virtual teaching services to districts and schools since 2009, Odysseyware Academy has helped thousands of students successfully complete their educational careers.


To learn more, visit or call (877) 795-8904.



Bloomz Wins Best New Product in 2016 EdTech Digest Awards

The teacher-parent communication app was honored as a finalist in three other categories

(Redmond, WA) March 21, 2016 — The fast-growing teacher-parent communication app Bloomz has won the 2016 EdTech Digest Cool Tool Award for “New Product or Service.” The free app was also honored as a finalist in three other categories: “Communication Solution,” “Early Learning,” and “Classroom Management Solution for Teachers.”

The EdTech Digest Awards Recognition Program shines a spotlight on the best and brightest tools, leaders, and trendsetters pushing forward today’s education revolution. The 2016 finalists and winners illuminate the dark corners of education by showcasing brilliant minds at work resolving the challenges that educators and students face. The people behind these methods, ideas, apps, platforms, products, services, and environments for learning are getting workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of.

“Technology is opening a door to a renaissance in education,” said Victor Rivero, the editor-in-chief of EdTech Digest. “With so much quality out there, we’re very excited to honor the best and brightest in education technology today. These cool tools are standouts among a robust field, all of them energizing education with workable solutions and inspiring spirit.”

Bloomz is a teacher communication app that provides real-time updates, event and volunteer coordination (including parent-teacher conference signups), and community-building tools to engage with today’s generation of parents. The highly rated app also allows schools to be proactive with their communication, helping teachers reduce communication and coordination time, and getting parents and families involved.

“Having Bloomz recognized as a finalist in four award categories and taking home the ‘New Product or Service’ award is a great honor for our entire team,” said Chaks Appalabattula, the founder and CEO of Bloomz. “We are proud to be ranked among so many outstanding leaders in education. This award gives us strong validation that we are providing schools and communities an easy-to-use communication solution that works.”

About the EdTech Digest Awards Program

Recognizing cool tools, trendsetters, and leaders in the education and technology sector, the mission of the annual awards program is to get workable technology solutions for education widely known about and well thought of, with the purpose of reshaping the education culture and creating a new and better future for students. Over the years, the best products and brightest minds have been featured helping millions of students, teachers, parents, administrators, and others in and around education. For more information, please visit

About Bloomz

Bloomz is the free mobile and web app that connects educators with parents in a secure, social, private environment. In Bloomz, parents feel more connected than they ever have to their children’s world, and teachers have more time than ever before, because they have everything they need in one simple-to-use tool. Learn more at