State of Washington approves Pearson to turnaround underperforming schools

Pearson K-12 Solutions recommended for all five improvement areas

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 15, 2010 -- The state of Washington announced the selection of Pearson K-12 Solutions as a comprehensive school improvement partner in an unprecedented effort to turn around its underperforming schools.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn said, "The School Improvement funding provides an unprecedented opportunity for us to fix our struggling schools. All of us in the state of Washington are committed to prepare our children for college and careers in a technology-driven 21st century economy. We know that Pearson has the kind of expertise to offer those solutions that will create systemic change and result in sustainable high-quality, high-functioning schools."

"Washington has many wonderful schools, but it has some schools that have not been able to be successful," said Pearson's President of K-12 Solutions Scott Drossos. He added, "Superintendent Randy Dorn and his leadership team in the Office of Public Instruction believe strongly that every child can learn and every child deserves to be in a strong, high performing school. For that reason, Washington is taking the big, bold step of reaching out to other education leaders across the country to ask for extra help for schools that have great communities and wonderful kids but are struggling to help children learn."

A division of Pearson, the world's leading education services and technology company, Pearson K-12 Solutions engages in multi-year state and district partnerships to foster school improvement, create innovative new models and custom solutions, and to help turn around failing schools.

When President Obama announced funding to help struggling schools, Washington Governor Christine Gregoire said she wanted every one of the state's schools to be high performing, and to ensure teachers are able to expand their skills to be the best teachers they can be. The Governor said, "These federal grants will help us intensify our focus on these issues, and make sure our students are prepared for their next steps in life." Commenting on the Governor's statement, Drossos said, "Pearson is here to work with the Governor, the Superintendent of Education and everyone in the state of Washington to ensure the success of the next generation of Washingtonians."

Drossos added, "Our research based School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) model helps schools make fundamental changes and sustain improvements for the long term. We have the opportunity to draw from Pearson's vast research based and proven resources -- including curriculum, assessment, technology, and teacher professional development products and services -- to create a customized, coherent improvement plan for schools in the State of Washington." He continued, "This will include focusing on the state's growing population of English language learners. Pearson has a series of customizable approaches for helping teachers teach students whose first language is not English, as well as research-based programs with proven results that will address the needs of the thousands of Washington's students who are learning English at the same time they are working to master content in reading, math and their other subject areas."

Pearson's model includes a combination of core elements that have helped improve low-performing schools for years, including Pearson's Learning Team's model, now in 220 schools, which has consistently demonstrated gains in student achievement as well as improvements in school culture and distributed leadership.

Pearson's K-12 Solutions School Turnaround Education Partnership (STEP) model includes ten change elements to help schools:

  1. Systematically Plan for School Improvement
  2. Develop Instructional Leadership
  3. Create Collaborative Education Partnerships
  4. Emphasize School Culture
  5. Embed Achievement Support
  6. Align Curriculum
  7. Optimize Conditions for Teaching & Learning
  8. Foster Knowledge Driven Decision-making
  9. Utilize Technology for Learning
  10. Evaluate for Continuous Improvement

"In Washington's schools, we will employ all of the resources of Pearson to build a unified vision of quality instruction and a culture of continuous improvement involving joint planning, monitoring and evaluation, decision-making and mutual accountability," noted Drossos.

The embedded Pearson team at schools will stay on the ground working "until the job is done," Drossos said. "As the largest educational services company in the world, we have staying power - we will stay right there in the classrooms working with the teachers."

"Let's get to work," Drossos said. "The Governor and the Superintendent of Public Instruction have made the state's commitment to Washington's children clear. They, along with the leadership of school districts all around the state deserve tremendous praise for saying schools need help -- and they're going to get it."

Drossos said that Pearson is making unprecedented levels of investment in new models for education and that the company is committed to providing a broad spectrum of solutions and services to schools to ensure that their teachers and students are successful.

About Pearson

Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education, teacher training, education technology and school solutions, provides innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry.