PR Newswire | August 29, 2023
Teaching Strategies, the country's leading developer of early childhood education solutions, has unveiled a first-of-its-kind curriculum tailored specifically to California's expanding universal transitional kindergarten program (TK). The program aims to build a bridge from preschool to kindergarten for close to 3 million children under the age of 5.
The new curriculum, which was built in close partnership with California educators, builds on the company's widely-recognized Creative Curriculum® but is aligned to California's early learning guidelines. The Creative Curriculum® for Transitional Kindergarten: California is paired with observational assessments that measure how well children are mastering academic and social skills, professional development for educators, and tools to keep families engaged in their child's learning–all in one, easy-to-use digital platform.
"With 90% of brain development occurring before kindergarten, TK is a critical stepping stone for many children. California is leading the way to ensure all learners have an age and developmentally appropriate learning environment, and we're proud to be helping more schools deliver on that vision," said Breeyn Mack, a former preschool teacher and Senior Vice President of Education at Teaching Strategies. "Building on our 45 year legacy of translating play-based learning research into practice, we've designed a comprehensive ecosystem of solutions— including curriculum, assessment, family engagement, and professional development—to help California educators meet each child's unique needs and prepare them with the skills needed for kindergarten."
California began expanding its free, optional, universal TK program last year by extending its cutoff date for eligibility. The state will continue to extend the date range until all 4-year-old children are eligible statewide.
The Creative Curriculum® for Transitional Kindergarten: California prepares children for kindergarten by balancing direct instruction with project-based learning that is critical to whole-child development. It provides progressions of learning and development that span the entirety of early childhood in order to individualize learning for each child, and it focuses time each day on building foundational reading, mathematics, and STEM skills.
In addition, the curriculum includes guidance and support tools for teachers to access in real time, including a suite of videos that model for teachers how to teach activities in their classrooms. It also connects families to their child's learning seamlessly through automated playlists of activities directly tied to daily classroom instruction.
Oakland Unified School District is among the growing number of school districts that have invested in the new curriculum for the 2023-2024 school year. Educators in Oakland also provided valuable feedback on the curriculum as it was being created.
"Transitional kindergarten is this magical time for children, so selecting a curriculum was important for our team," said Dr. Bernadette Pilar Zermeño, a PreK/TK English Language Learner and Multilingual Achievement specialist for the Oakland Unified School District. "We created a very detailed rubric for evaluating a TK curriculum, and we decided it should be whole-child focused, honor the needs of teachers, engage their families, and provide equitable and inclusive experiences for both children and families. After evaluating four different early childhood curriculums, we selected The Creative Curriculum®."
About Teaching Strategies
Driven by research that shows a child's first eight years form a critical foundation for success in school and in life, Teaching Strategies has been an advocate for the early education community for over 40 years. Today, Teaching Strategies connects teachers, children and families to inspired teaching and learning experiences, informative data, stronger family partnerships, and professional learning through the leading early learning platform and resources. Its products, including the most widely-used curriculum and assessment solutions The Creative Curriculum® and GOLD®, are found in over 250,000 classrooms and more than 80 countries around the world and reach over 4 million children each year.
PR News Wire | August 31, 2023
Instructure, the leading learning platform and maker of Canvas, today announced that the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), the system of public community colleges in Alabama, has selected the Canvas learning management system (LMS) as part of a major statewide initiative to transform and modernize its learning experience and increase student success. By unifying the learning experience on Canvas LMS along with Canvas Studio, Impact by Instructure and Canvas Credentials, educators across the state can access foundational, evidence-based edtech solutions to support their instruction.
Comprised of 24 community and technical colleges, ACCS offers 2-to-4-year transfer, dual enrollment, technical training, adult education and community education for Alabama residents. In 2021 ACCS expanded its usage of Canvas to 12 member institutions. After a successful implementation, increased student access due to a robust mobile application, increased reliability due to decreased downtime and an improved user experience, ACCS now expands its investment by choosing a statewide deployment of Instructure Learning Platform solutions.
The proposed solution, which is backed by research and ensures a consistent learning experience across the state, provides a proven approach to extending access at scale. The statewide implementation of the Instructure Learning Platform solutions will be available to all ACCS students by fall of 2024.
The statewide implementation is a key milestone for Chancellor Jimmy H. Baker, whose efforts to modernize and streamline operations has improved the department's focus on the needs of higher education students. By scaling operations, including information security, IT and a consolidated approach to edtech, ACCS can now address challenges in a more effective and efficient manner.
"Anything that Alabama's community and technical colleges can do to consistently deliver higher education and training in an accessible way that leads our residents to finding their best success is why we exist," said Baker. "We have seen through our academic programs and work-based learning programs, such as Skills for Success and Alabama Career Essentials, that a resident's ability to start their student experience on one platform opens the door to a wealth of other training opportunities throughout our community and technical colleges across the state."
"ACCS and the state of Alabama are taking a giant leap forward with accessibility as they address learning deserts, or areas where students traditionally have less access to educational resources and opportunities," said Steve Daly, CEO of Instructure. "We're honored to play a significant role in elevating student success and amplifying the power of teaching throughout Alabama."
Alongside Canvas, ACCS students will benefit from Impact by Instructure, a data and analytics solution that improves adoption and evaluates the impact of edtech. Educators and administrators can use these insights to make informed decisions and evolve educational offerings to best suit the needs of students. With access to this timely data, ACCS can help students accelerate the completion of programs and enable them to take any program at any institution statewide. Extending needed educational moments to students in every circumstance will lead to a new generation of educated learners previously excluded. "As a unified system of community colleges, utilization of a common Learning Management System makes sense," said Cynthia Anthony, President of Lawson State Community College. "One of our goals is to eliminate barriers that hinder seamless student experiences. I think a single LMS is a win-win for our students and colleges. We must look at the big picture and remain laser-focused on student success."
The ACCS investment further magnifies the impact of the ACCS Innovation Center, an ambitious effort bringing together the state's community colleges, business, industry and community partners to deliver rapid, industry-recognized non-credit training within some of the state's most in-demand career fields. Adding Canvas Credentials to the training programs will play a key role in allowing learners to demonstrate skill mastery in a competitive workforce.
"The strategic decision for the Alabama Community College System to have a standardized Learning Management System will simplify the learning process for students that take classes at different community colleges or transfer to another system college, which is significant," said Todd Shackett, President of Southern Union State Community College. "Additionally, it will allow colleges to more easily share faculty and curriculum across schools for better service and more efficiency."
This far-reaching program serves as a model for other states seeking to address complex problems prevalent in modern learning environments, such as equitable access and student engagement. By implementing an all-Canvas Higher Education system throughout the state, Alabama promotes continuity and a consistent mobile-ready learning experience which shrinks learning deserts. The Instructure Learning Platform brings together students, instructors, and tools for a familiar digital learning environment in the physical, blended, or online classroom.
Instructure is an education technology company dedicated to elevating student success, amplifying the power of teaching, and inspiring everyone to learn together. Today the Instructure Learning Platform, comprised of its flagship product Canvas LMS and several products serving K-12 and higher education, supports tens of millions of educators and learners around the world.
PR News Wire | September 01, 2023
Discovery Education, a global education technology company backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, "Clearlake"), today announced it has agreed to acquire DreamBox Learning®, a PK-12 education technology provider serving more than 6 million students and 600,000 educators nationwide. DreamBox Learning's current investors Elliott Investment Management L.P. and TPG's The Rise Fund will retain minority stakes in the company. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Bellevue, WA, DreamBox Learning offers the only dual-discipline solution rated "Strong" by Johns Hopkins University's evidenceforESSA.org in both mathematics and reading. Through its high-quality adaptive learning solutions independently proven to accelerate student growth, DreamBox Learning empowers educators with data analytics and content-specific professional development solutions to complement instruction.
"Discovery Education is excited to welcome DreamBox Learning, a brand synonymous with quality, research-based math and reading edtech solutions to our growing family of services," said Discovery Education Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Cowdrey. "Combining an expertise in learning science with adaptive, effective instructional solutions, DreamBox Learning's solutions can help students excel regardless of who they are or where they live. Through this latest acquisition, Discovery Education is better positioned to broaden its impact on student success by providing our existing network of partner school systems access to DreamBox Learning's collection of supplemental math, reading, and professional learning solutions."
The acquisition of DreamBox Learning supports Discovery Education's mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today's world. DreamBox Learning's products complement Discovery Education's other successful digital solutions, which include Discovery Education Experience, the company's award-winning K-12 platform, the Techbook series of digital textbooks, Mystery Science, and more, in supporting student achievement.
The acquisition of DreamBox Learning comes at a time when school districts are seeking comprehensive, yet consolidated platforms to address a wide range of core and supplemental learning needs, backed by research that underscores meaningful gains in achievement. The addition of DreamBox Learning's intelligent adaptive learning technology to the Discovery Education suite will provide educators and students with more options for engaging, personalized learning experiences across a variety of disciplines.
"DreamBox Learning was founded in 2006 with the mission to transform the way the world learns through our pioneering intelligent adaptive learning technology, and today's announcement represents a significant next step to achieving that mission. Building upon our existing math and reading solutions, we can now leverage Discovery Education's highly scalable global footprint to reach more students and deepen our partnerships with educators around the world," said Jessie Woolley-Wilson, President and CEO of DreamBox Learning.
DreamBox Learning will be Discovery Education's most recent acquisition, joining Pivot Interactives and DoodleLearning, which were acquired in August of 2022, and Mystery Science, which was acquired in 2020.
Sidley Austin LLP served as legal advisor to Discovery Education. Moelis & Company LLC acted as lead financial advisor and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP served as legal advisor to DreamBox Learning on the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2023, pending customary regulatory approval and the satisfaction of customary closing conditions.
About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 100 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners.
Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. is an investment firm founded in 2006 operating integrated businesses across private equity, credit, and other related strategies. With a sector-focused approach, the firm seeks to partner with experienced management teams by providing patient, long-term capital to dynamic businesses that can benefit from Clearlake's operational improvement approach, O.P.S.® The firm's core target sectors are technology, consumer, and industrials. Clearlake currently has over $70 billion of assets under management and its senior investment principals have led or co-led over 400 investments. The firm is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA with affiliates in Dallas, TX, London, UK, Dublin, Ireland, and Singapore.