PRnewswire | July 04, 2023
Newsela, the leading K-12 instructional content platform, announced today that it has acquired Formative, the leading real-time instruction and assessment platform. This acquisition brings together two beloved classroom products to provide a comprehensive instructional solution that engages students and accelerates learning.
"Newsela has led the transition away from static classroom instructional materials to become the digital platform of choice for teachers seeking to accelerate student growth with accessible, real-world content and scaffolding activities that support all learners," said Pep Carrera, Chief Executive Officer at Newsela.
"Combining Newsela's best-in-class, accessible content with Formative's data-rich assessment activities will give students and teachers the complete, meaningful learning experience they want, while providing the deep insights that teachers and administrators need to effectively impact student outcomes."
Craig Jones and Kevin McFarland founded Formative as graduate students at UCLA in 2013. Today, Formative is used by educators and administrators globally and has a presence in the majority of U.S. school districts. In the past year alone, more than four million students have engaged with the platform.
"All teachers know the importance of being responsive to their students, but that individual attention requires a lot of time and resources. As a teacher, I saw greater improvements when I had the time to provide daily formative assessments, targeted intervention, and quicker feedback loops. Formative was created to apply this approach at scale, so teachers can do it better, faster, and take swift action with real-time data," said Craig Jones, Co-Founder and CEO of Formative. "Our goal was to give teachers the most effective tool for assessment and analysis. Now, the most effective assessment tool can be used with the best content."
As school districts look for the best pathways to improve student outcomes following the disruption of the pandemic, the role of formative assessments in concert with authentic, engaging content, could not be more critical in the effort to accelerate learning. Teachers will soon be able to apply Formative's powerful technology to Newsela's 15,000+ content library to gauge learning immediately, provide even more powerful scaffolds and support, while course-correcting in real time to meet academic goals throughout the year.
"We've learned that schools can have the best assessments and the best content, but that won't matter if teachers don't have the resources to make actionable changes based on data. Formative's success to date has been giving teachers real-time data that helps make informed decisions," said Kevin McFarland, Co-Founder and COO of Formative. "Now with Newsela, teachers will have all the resources—the best content and the best assessments—to help students achieve their goals."'
Built by teachers for teachers, Formative's mission is to accelerate learning and close the opportunity gap for all students. Formative empowers educators to super-charge their existing lessons and teaching tools into data-rich, formative-learning experiences across every grade level and subject matter. Formative's world-class Customer Success team ensures that administrators and teachers get the most from the platform, providing expert support for any level of technology in the classroom.
Newsela is an education technology company dedicated to meaningful classroom learning for every student. With over 15,000 authentic texts published at five reading levels, teacher scaffolding tools and activities, and flexible formative assessments, Newsela's products provide K-12 teachers with the instructional content they need to support and grow every learner.Newsela's platform is backed by learning science and purpose-built to drive outcomes and unlock student motivation. Today, over 3.3 million teachers and 40 million students have registered with Newsela for relevant, real-world content that accelerates learning and engages every learner.
Businesswire | August 08, 2023
PowerSchool the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America, today announced it is joining the K-12 Education Technology Secure by Design Pledge, a voluntary pledge for K-12 education technology software manufacturers, developed by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the U.S. Department of Education. PowerSchool also announced new commitments to further secure the education technology ecosystem by offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources to all U.S. schools and districts.
“Our primary mission is to personalize education for every student and that journey starts with our responsibility to protect and safeguard the over 45 million students we serve today in the U.S.,” said Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool. “That is why we have made significant investments in cybersecurity and successfully defend our districts against over 1 billion cyber-attacks each year. We are honored to sign this pledge and even provide additional free and subsidized security-as-a-service trainings, tools, and resources to support and enable all U.S. school districts to fight against cybersecurity threats.”
As part of First Lady Jill Biden’s Back to School Safely: Cybersecurity Summit for K-12 Schools event on August 7th, 2023, PowerSchool CEO Hardeep Gulati will highlight PowerSchool’s cybersecurity leadership and initiatives including cloud infrastructure security, cyber defense, and governance risk and compliance, that secure over 80% of the school districts across all U.S. states, including 90 of the top 100 districts by student population.
“Let’s face it: in today’s digital age, our students and their teachers will increasingly use technology in the classroom. Schools have access to more devices and connectivity than ever before, and this technology in education has incredible potential to help students better connect with their learning and achieve, and teachers better engage with their students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “But to make the most of these benefits, we must effectively manage the risks.
Just as we expect everyone in a school system to plan and prepare for physical risks, we must now also ensure everyone helps plan and prepare for digital risks in our schools and classrooms. The Department of Education has listened to the field about the importance of K-12 cybersecurity, and today we are coming together to recognize this and indicate our next steps.”
PowerSchool already adheres to several commitments outlined in the pledge, including offering single sign-on for free to customers, providing audit logs to any customer upon request, maintaining a published vulnerability disclosure policy administered by an independent third party, and embracing vulnerability transparency by openly engaging with customers on vulnerabilities, threats, and risks the company identifies.
PowerSchool is also taking additional steps to provide industry-leading cybersecurity support to educational institutions. This includes offering free and subsidized security-as-a-service resources, including on-demand webinars, toolkits, and trainings to U.S. schools and districts, as well as offerings from partners including Abnormal Security, Amazon Web Services, and KnowBe4. These resources will be available to any U.S. school or district, regardless of their customer status.
“Keeping our students and our schools safe from cyberattacks comes down to equipping schools with three things – knowledge, resources, and people,” said Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Advisor for Cyber and Emerging Technologies. “This week, the White House worked to do just that – mobilizing funding, cybersecurity fact guides tailored for schools, and cybersecurity teams to visit schools and help them fight ransomware. We appreciate the innovative and meaningful private sector commitments in this ransomware fight, as we work together to keep kids cyber-safe online and in schools.”
PowerSchool’s significant investment in advanced security technologies, including static and dynamic code scanning, best-of-breed Web Application Firewalls, and more than 30 annual penetration tests, reinforces its unwavering commitment to providing unparalleled protection and trust to districts and schools. As a signatory of the Student Privacy Pledge 2020, PowerSchool adheres to all applicable state, province, and federal regulations and goes beyond those by independently verifying its security management system annually to third-party audited, internationally recognized standards for security management systems, achieving the ISO:27001 certification and SOC2 Type 2 – the gold standard data security certification for business service providers. PowerSchool is also partnered with the Consortium for School Networking (COSN) on their recently rolled-out K-12 Community Vendor Assessment Tool (K-12CVAT) and is an active partner of 1EdTech, focusing on industry standards, interoperability, and data privacy and security best practices. PowerSchool products have been vetted and certified as TrustEd Apps by 1Edtech, based on the organization's rigorous data and privacy rubric.
PowerSchool is the leading provider of cloud-based software for K-12 education in North America. Its mission is to power the education ecosystem with unified technology that helps educators and students realize their full potential, in their way. PowerSchool connects students, teachers, administrators, and parents, with the shared goal of improving student outcomes. From the office to the classroom to the home, it helps schools and districts efficiently manage state reporting and related compliance, special education, finance, human resources, talent, registration, attendance, funding, learning, instruction, grading, assessments, and analytics in one unified platform. PowerSchool supports over 50 million students globally and more than 15,000 customers, including more than 90 of the top 100 districts by student enrollment in the United States, and sells solutions in more than 90 countries.
PRnewswire | July 03, 2023
edX, a leading global online learning platform from 2U, Inc. , today announced that the University of Cape Town (UCT), Africa's leading university, is the newest member of the global edX partner network, joining hundreds of universities and institutions in expanding access to the world's best education. Additionally, UCT is partnering with edX to create 15 new courses and five new professional certificate programs, with more content launching throughout 2023.
UCT has been at the forefront of online education for the past 15 years and has worked closely with 2U since 2007 to develop over 80 online executive education courses that have been taken by 120K+ students. UCT's partnership with edX will further strengthen the University's online footprint, allowing it to continue providing transformative educational opportunities to more people worldwide.
"We are thrilled to be joining the edX global community of universities," said Professor Harsha Kathard, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning at the University of Cape Town. "Our partnership with 2U revolutionized the way we deliver education, bringing UCT's unique blend of academic excellence and social consciousness online. As we further our commitment to making our diverse areas of expertise accessible to all, our partnership with edX opens an exciting new avenue for this mission. We're particularly enthusiastic about the opportunity to enrich the edX platform with a breadth of courses and specialized knowledge highlighting the diverse aspects of Africa as a continent."
UCT's full portfolio of online program offerings developed with 2U encompasses a wide range of disciplines, including finance, investment, technology, business leadership, marketing, project management, and engineering the built environment, among others.
"UCT, as one of our most significant executive education partners, is a pivotal addition to the edX community," said Andrew Hermalyn, President of Partnerships at 2U, the parent company of edX. "Our partnership not only underscores edX and UCT's shared commitment to providing accessible, high-quality education to learners across the globe, but also plays a critical role in bridging the skills gap for people in South Africa. UCT's expertise in African-centered content enriches our platform and brings invaluable diversity to our learning community."
edX is the global online learning platform that exists to help learners everywhere unlock their potential. edX was founded by Harvard and MIT in 2012 to make the world's best education available to everyone. Today, as a 2U, Inc. company (Nasdaq: TWOU), edX connects 76 million people worldwide with the skills, knowledge, and support to achieve their goals. Together with the world's leading universities and companies, edX offers thousands of free and open courses, professional certificates, boot camps, credit-bearing micro credentials, and undergraduate and graduate degrees.
About the University of Cape Town:
Founded in 1829, University of Cape Town has a proud tradition of academic excellence and effecting social change and development through its pioneering scholarship, faculty, and students. UCT's reputation for excellence is underpinned by its distinctive research, led by its distinguished faculty, many of whom are leaders in their field.