RISE 2019: DeVos calls $5B school choice proposal 'critical' for nation's students

educationdive | April 12, 2019

Nearly two months after U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos unveiled her latest school choice-centered proposal, she addressed an audience of hundreds Thursday on why its companion legislation needs to pass in Congress.Speaking at the 2019 Reagan Institute Summit on Education (RISE) and sitting alongside Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz — who introduced Senate Bill 634 at the end of February — DeVos said Education Freedom Scholarships (EFS) "will ultimately mean a better education for more kids." "We’ve encouraged people to think very broadly about what school choice can mean," she said, calling the initiative "critical in continuing to ... boost the momentum to offer more choice for more kids."Under the proposal, taxpayers can choose to contribute to the program in exchange for dollar-for-dollar federal tax credits, meant to foster choice, that are capped at $5 billion annually. The credits would be for private donations to scholarship-granting organizations, and states could use the funds for dual enrollment, private schools, homeschooling and more.

Spotlight

Colleges and universities everywhere are preparing for a world in which distance learning has become a critical capability and an important differentiator in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While providing a substitute for in-person lectures is important, successful distance learning also means ensuring that students have access to the computing services and applications they need. The ability to deliver a good user experience is essential.

Spotlight

Colleges and universities everywhere are preparing for a world in which distance learning has become a critical capability and an important differentiator in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. While providing a substitute for in-person lectures is important, successful distance learning also means ensuring that students have access to the computing services and applications they need. The ability to deliver a good user experience is essential.

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ONLINE EDUCATION

Red Lake Nation College Announces TutorMe Partnership

TutorMe | January 28, 2022

TutorMe, the online tutoring solution of the future, and the Red Lake Nation College, today announced an agreement to provide more of its students with free access to TutorMe's online 24/7 tutoring service for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year. With more than 15,000 tutors available anytime to help with more than 300 subjects, TutorMe provides immediate expertise whenever and wherever students need it. Whether it's homework help or a study session, students pair up with their private tutor for a personalized 1-on-1 lesson in the advanced lesson space. "We are very excited about our partnership with TutorMe, since it is in full alignment with our flexible, personalized, one-on-one, academic and social support for all of our students," said Chief Dan King, President of Red Lake Nation College. King added, "Our students can now get additional academic support 24/7, at whatever time works into their busy life schedules." TutorMe's virtual classroom provides interactive features including a text editor, code editor, two-way audio/video chat, screen sharing, and a virtual whiteboard for engaging and enriching education. Each session is archived so students can conveniently access past lessons to help them with coursework and studying. "TutorMe has been on the frontline of online education assistance well before the pandemic arrived, providing top-notch tutors and on-demand academic support to ensure students never feel lost. The community of students, staff, and families at Red Lake Nation College can rely on TutorMe to provide 1-on-1 learning during critical times of need and beyond." TutorMe's co-founder and CEO Myles Hunter About TutorMe TutorMe, a subsidiary of Zovio, is an on-demand online education platform that empowers students of all ages, backgrounds, and learning styles to get the personalized live support they need to achieve their academic goals. Trusted by thousands of schools nationwide, over 1.5 million students have free access to expert 1-on-1 guidance 24/7 in more than 300 subjects, as well as a Writing Lab for quick, detailed feedback on papers. Since 2013, TutorMe has been an invaluable resource for K-12 school districts, higher education institutions, employers, and nonprofits, bridging learning gaps, increasing educational equity, and improving student outcomes. About Zovio Zovio is an education technology services company that partners with higher education institutions and employers to deliver innovative, personalized solutions to help learners and leaders achieve their aspirations. The Zovio network, including Fullstack Academy and TutorMe, leverages its core strengths to solve priority market needs through education technology services. Using proprietary, advanced data analytics, Zovio identifies the most meaningful ways to enhance the learner experience and deliver strong outcomes for higher education institutions, employers, and learners. Zovio's purpose is to help everyone be in a class of their own.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

LearnPlatform Releases Evidence-as-a-Service Subscription to Help Solution Providers Lower Costs

LearnPlatform | February 11, 2022

Today, LearnPlatform announces the release of Evidence-as-a-Service, a subscription model to support all edtech solution providers and their partners with the necessary evidence to meet market demands, demonstrate compliance with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and efficiently serve all students and educators. LearnPlatform, known for its innovative edtech effectiveness system trusted by districts, state agencies and their partners serving millions of students, worked closely with partners for over a year to test different service offerings to help edtech providers quickly and cost effectively develop the necessary evidence base to inform their product plans and comply with Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). ESSA requires federal funding and stimulus dollars to be used for "evidence-based interventions." "The adoption of technology is here to stay. Districts manage an average of over 1,400 edtech products, and the numbers are not dropping this year," said Mary Styers, Ph.D., LearnPlatform's Director of Research. "Knowing how these tools are working, in which situations, and for which students and teachers is a critical question every district leader is asking." LearnPlatform offers three subscription packages to support any size and type of education solution provider and their partners. The packages are curated to help all providers meet ESSA compliance and build evidence-based interventions that empower districts and states to buy and use their products to drive student outcomes. Furthermore, given the influx of stimulus funds for nearly two years, this type of evaluation will provide districts with valuable evidence about the effectiveness of their education technology investments. Administrators can apply this evidence to inform their decisions and establish a solid foundation for sustainable, long-range financial planning. "As the country modernizes learning during and after the pandemic, everyone needs rigorous, practical evaluation to provide evidence at the speed of decision-making," said Karl Rectanus, CEO and Co-founder of LearnPlarform. "Our technology, team and model equips providers to work with their state and district partners quickly, safely, cost-effectively and, most importantly, towards the shared goals of better outcomes for students and teachers, no matter their size, solution, or context." In the face of massive change for schools, Evidence-as-a-Service offers providers at any stage – early, growth and established – to build an evidence base for their product(s) to better partner with districts and states to equip them with the ability to modernize their learning environments with ESSA-aligned evidence. Each subscription aligns with one or more of the four levels of evidence outlined in ESSA to demonstrate rationale and identify and show promising, moderate, or strong evidence that their product positively impacts student outcomes. Age of Learning®, creator of the ABCmouse® online learning program, leveraged LearnPlatform's services to validate and evaluate research for My Math Academy™, the company's personalized, adaptive math program that helps young learners master essential math concepts and skills. "We developed My Math Academy and My Reading Academy™ to support educators in providing equitable instruction and addressing the varying needs of young learners in order to ensure all students achieve proficiency in math and reading," said Sunil Gunderia, Chief Innovation Officer and Head of Mastery & Adaptive Products, Age of Learning. "We are partnering with LearnPlatform to develop a modernized approach to gathering evidence as it is an important element in validating the learning gains that our programs are designed to help students achieve. This evidence is essential to assisting schools and districts in identifying solutions that will work in their specific contexts to deliver learning outcomes." Whether a solution is for core curriculum, tutoring, learning loss, or another educational purpose, the Evidence-as-a-Service model provides a path to ESSA compliance in weeks, at a fraction of the cost of traditional models. "We work every day to fundamentally change outcomes for students through reimagining the role of assessments in the learning process. As soon as we spoke to LearnPlatform's team, we knew they were the right partner to run an independent study to examine just that," said Craig Jones, CEO and Co-founder of Formative, a web app for classrooms that allow teachers to give live assignments to students, enabling instant feedback and long-term student growth tracking. "The results found promising evidence and also confirms what we already know: the more visibility educators have into student learning, the stronger the learning outcomes can be." Nepris, an edtech platform that virtually connects working professionals to students, is another early adopter using this offering to work with district and state partners. "We have always known our platform increases student engagement in school and prepares students for the future of work, but outside third-party research was too expensive and no one read it. With LearnPlatform, we found a fast, practical approach that helps our state and district partners have confidence in what we do – and what we will do together – to reach their goals." Sabari Raja, CEO and Co-founder of Nepris About LearnPlatform LearnPlatform is a comprehensive edtech effectiveness system used by educators, leaders, and their partners to modernize their learning environments and ensure academic and financial return on their investments. The research-driven technology, central office automation, data-rich insights, and evidence services equip school districts, states, and providers to organize, streamline and analyze their edtech interventions to ensure they are safe, equitable, cost-efficient, and effective for all students.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Savvas Learning Company Teams Up with EveryoneOn to Provide Free WiFi to 100 Families with K-12 Students to Support Digital Learning at Home

Savvas | May 06, 2021

To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Savvas Learning Company, a K-12 next-generation learning solutions leader, has partnered with EveryoneOn.org to honor teachers by helping close the digital divide for students from low-income families. As part of its #SavvasThanks campaign for Teacher Appreciation Week 2021, Savvas is making a donation to EveryoneOn.org that will provide free high-speed Internet service to 100 families with school-aged students who are in need of reliable WiFi in their homes for digital learning. EveryoneOn.org is a nonprofit that works to connect low-income families to affordable Internet service, computers, and other digital resources. "Over the past year, as students' homes became their classrooms, we have developed a deeper gratitude for everything teachers do. We've also seen during this time how a lack of reliable Internet access at home can serve as a barrier to learning, placing students in vulnerable communities at risk of falling behind their peers," said Bethlam Forsa, CEO of Savvas Learning Company. "We can't think of a more meaningful way to honor teachers for all their hard work than by doing something that really matters to them: helping advance digital equity." About Savvas Learning Company At Savvas, we believe learning should inspire. By combining new ideas, new ways of thinking, and new ways of interacting, we design next-generation learning solutions that help prepare students to become global citizens in a more interconnected, digital world.

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