Think Together | September 13, 2022
Think Together, one of California's largest nonprofits serving K-12 schools today announced it has completed the merger with Orenda Education, a top school improvement and professional development consultancy. Upon the close, the combined organization will serve more than 200,000 students across the state with more than $150 million in annual revenue. Moreover, the organization will be better positioned to rapidly scale their impact.
"We're thrilled to bring our two organizations together in our combined efforts to improve student success and close the achievement gap,This merger is the natural evolution of Orenda's existing relationship with Think Together and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring that the more than 2 million California students that are performing far below grade level have the support they need during the school day and beyond to succeed academically."
Think Together Founder and CEO Randy Barth
Over the past seven years, Think Together and Orenda have had an affiliate agreement in place while the full acquisition builds the long-term financial and operational capacities for Orenda to continue to scale. Orenda's work focuses on transformingeducation systems, either across a school district or by cohorts of schools, providing professional development to all levels of district staff, around a specific data-driven but people-centric school improvement model. Think Together partners with over 60 school districts and charter management organizations to provide more than 900 direct-to-student academic and enrichment programs at more than 450 school sites across California, serving more than 100,000 youth. Orenda Education works behind-the-scenes with school district leaders and educators to identify inequities in schools and then transform their systems to ensure all students have access to a premium education. "Think Together has always been an incredible partner, infusing the infrastructure needed to provide an efficient model for changing the odds for kids," said Orenda Education Founder and CEO Dr. Robin Avelar La Salle. "Our two models have always complemented each other but now, we can efficiently scale our vision for all students to receive the premium education they deserve." The acquisition comes as both organizations experience tremendous growth due in large part to new and renewed state investments in education to accelerate learning recovery efforts and provide educators with needed support amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "Now more than ever, teachers, school leaders and administrators need to think outside the box to address the issues impacting students including socio-economic biases, social emotional learning, and more," added Barth. "Providing these much-needed supports to educators means districts and schools can provide the skills they need to teach, lead and counsel during and following a period of great disruption during the pandemic. Recently the U.S. Department of Education reported a dramatic decline in scores from the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) known as the nation's scorecard. Two decades of growth for American students in reading and math were wiped away by just two years of pandemic-disrupted learning, according to national test scores released last week. And, the declines were much larger for students at lower performance levels, widening already-huge learning disparities between the country's high- and low-achievers. Orenda's approach to school improvement has proven to accelerate student outcomes, such as mastery of grade-level standards (measured by math and English language SBAC scores), improved A-G class completion rates, and improved graduation rates. They also provide administrative coaching, teaching strategies, and leadership clinics. To expand these services, Orenda was recently awarded a $4 million Education Innovation and Research grant by the U.S. Department of Education to digitize and distribute their school improvement approach through an online platform that is effective and highly scalable to schools and districts in any geography, and to those who require less in-person support. Think Together adds Orenda to their growing list of services that support student education in and around the school day. Think Together's flagship afterschool programs support students in underserved communities with homework help, enrichment, social-emotional learning and physical well-being, all to enable students to strive for college or a fulfilling career. To provide high-quality programs, Think Together partners with philanthropic organizations like the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Breaking down the barriers to opportunity, equity and access in education by keeping students and their success as the centered focus is one of the most meaningful investments for our future generations" said Alyssa Santino, Program Director of the Joseph Drown Foundation. "Ensuring the educators, leaders and structures around students are supported and inspired and effectively trained with research-based, proven and engaging strategies is imperative for thriving students and communities. We are pleased to partner with Think Together and Orenda Education as they excel in this space and continue to transform the trajectory of students and the schools they attend." Barth sees the combination of direct services to students through expanded and early learning, coupled with equity-based professional development, as an effective combination to supporting student achievement alongside their school district and charter partners. Dr. Paul Gothold, Superintendent of County Office of Education in San Diego agrees. His former district, Lynwood Unified School District, realized astonishing improvements when partnering with both Think Together and Orenda, including increasing graduation rates from 56% to 90.8%, and A-G college eligible rates from 18% to 53%. Orenda provides the technical expertise for true district turn-around. The systems approach and professional development modules to build staff capacity ensures all leaders have the tools and resources to provide a premium education for all students, said Gothold. "With Think Together's financial and operational support, Orenda is well positioned to continue providing much-needed education innovation to schools throughout the state and beyond.
About Think Together
For over 25 years Think Together has partnered with schools and communities to pursue educational equity and excellence for all kids. As a nonprofit organization, Think Together innovates, implements, and scales academic solutions that change the odds for hundreds of thousands of California students. Think Together's program areas include early learning, afterschool, school support services and leadership development for teachers and school administrators.
CORPORATE EDUCATION AND TRAINING, TALENT DEVELOPMENT
Prescient | September 16, 2022
Prescient, a biopharma product and portfolio strategy firm, has announced the launch of its learning and development platform – Prescient Academy.Developing its staff is a strategic priority for Prescient, and its vision is to empower people to fulfill their potential and enable them to succeed. To this end, the firm has heavily invested in a world-class learning and development platform to elevate the capabilities of its people and become a more dynamic partner to its pharmaceutical clients.The Prescient Academy will deliver a blend of learning experiences, ranging from in-person workshops delivered across the firm's global offices to virtual or hybrid events and, crucially, a new digital platform with on-demand resources to support learning anytime, anywhere. The platform will enable Prescient team members to access on-demand digital learning from both in-house experts and external faculty; specialist content to expand their capabilities and expertise; a calendar of learning and development events so they can better plan their learning journey; and a dedicated space for social learning, where individuals can pose questions, start debates or upload content, so everyone at Prescient can continually learn from each other.
"It is so exciting to be leading the Learning & Development team as we embed a culture of continuous learning,Developing people is regarded as one of the strategic levers to help Prescient achieve its ambitious growth objectives and enable us to deliver the very best solutions to our clients. I am proud of the work my team is doing, in collaboration with business leaders and subject matter experts across the firm. The platform we are building will ensure our people have the skills to perform at their very best and accelerate the performance of new joiners."
Diane Whelan, Director and Head of Learning at Prescient.
Prescient® is a pharma services firm specializing in dynamic decision support and product and portfolio strategy. We partner with our clients to turn science into value by helping them understand the potential of their molecules, shaping their strategic plans and allowing their decision making to be the biggest differentiating factor in the success of their products. When companies partner with Prescient, the molecules in their hands have a greater potential for success than the same science in the hands of their competitors. Founded in 2007, Prescient is a global firm with a footprint in 10 cities across three continents. Our team of more than 500 experts partners with 27 of the top 30 biopharmaceutical companies, the fastest-growing mid-caps and cutting-edge emerging biotechs, including some of the biggest and most innovative brands. More than 80% of our employees hold advanced life sciences degrees, and our teams deliver an impressive depth of therapeutic, clinical and commercial expertise.
CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS
WorkRamp | September 29, 2022
WorkRamp, the All-in-One Learning Platform, today announced the release of WorkRamp Content, powered by one of the world's largest corporate education content hubs, Go1. WorkRamp Content is one of the most comprehensive content solutions for organizations that are invested in developing their people to unlock exponential growth.With this product, relevant industry- and role-based content can be curated to complement the organization's learning strategy, and businesses can leverage the power of prebuilt, proven content to build impactful programs that attract, develop, and retain talent and mitigate corporate risk by maintaining compliance.
"Businesses need their workforces to be highly skilled if they are to stay competitive in today's market, and that means learning cannot stop,Those that really invest in making learning a growth engine for their organizations recognize that effective content is fundamental to this strategy. Now they can find not only flexible content creation and collaboration within WorkRamp's platform but also the most relevant expertise to uplevel their people."
Ted Blosser, CEO and Co-Founder of WorkRamp
With over 85,000 course resources from more than 250 providers in one learning center of excellence, WorkRamp Content provides exactly what employees want, in whichever format, length, and style are effective for them. The catalog of resources from the world's top providers such as EasyLlama, ej4, The Expert Academy, Mind Tools, Pluralsight, Sandler Training, Skillsoft, and Traliant empowers learning administrators to upskill their teams for more meaningful business contributions. They also have access to complimentary content recommendations and curation in partnership with Go1's team. Customers should expect learner engagement to increase sixfold once they leverage the ability to quickly provide employees with meaningful content within their learning platform. Businesses want their learners to be able to develop and apply their skills in the flow of work and in systems they recognize. Those that invest in WorkRamp to support their development strategy and growth can now really achieve this most effective approach to learning by accessing Go1's vast training and content libraries, said Marc Havercroft, President of Go1. With WorkRamp Content, customers are now able to draw on all levels of instructional design capability and better align their learning content strategy with an overall learning strategy. The All-in-One Learning Platform provides course authoring tools out of the box for building content just the way the business wants it, customizable course templates to set teams up with solid starting points, and now prebuilt, proven content that can be rapidly deployed for immediate business impact.