Pearson makes history with innovative Social Studies program for California

Majority of State Schools Choosing Pearson Scott Foresman's New Curriculum; Publisher Forecasts Nearly One in Two California K-5 Students Will Use Program

Sacramento, California - Millions of California elementary school students will soon be learning history in a revolutionary new way developed by publishing leader Pearson Education, which is being credited by many of the state's teachers and school districts for redefining how the subject is best taught.

The research-based Pearson Scott Foresman program blends printed text, digital, and activities-based instructional methods that focus purely on state standards. It provides a complete digital curriculum with online books, video, assessment and interactive learning tools - allowing teachers easily to build a lesson, teach the whole class or assign work to an individual child. It allows teachers to accommodate students' learning styles, as well as their own teaching preferences and needs.  Furthermore, the entire program is available in Spanish, and includes tools - such as audio student text and leveled content readers - that support English learners.

Seven of the largest local districts within the massive Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) recently adopted Scott Foresman's History/Social Science for California; several hundred other districts across the state are following suit. Pearson estimates that close to fifty percent of all K-5 students in the state will learn history/social studies from this unique new program.

Why all the buzz?

Simply put, the program works - and not just in teaching history/social studies, but also in ensuring that California's stringent reading standards are met. The program also offers direct benefits to the state's large population of Latino and other English language learners. The program is designed to help ensure that history and social studies are incorporated into a typical school day. According to the National Assessment of Educational Programs (NAEP), 80 percent of the nation's fourth graders spend less than three hours a week learning social studies.

"Schools are recognizing that our program is highly effective," said Paul McFall, President of Pearson Scott Foresman. "The rapid and enthusiastic acceptance of our curriculum confirms the huge appetite for our new approach."

In November, the California State Board of Education unanimously approved the program as part of the California 2005 History-Social Science Adoption for Instructional Materials. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell, California's highest-ranking education official, recently spoke about the value of technology in education during an announcement about technology funds available to California schools.

"Technology in the classroom can be used strategically to improve student achievement and help prepare our students for success in the competitive global economy of the 21st century," O'Connell said in a news release last week.

In addition to LAUSD, the state's largest school district, more than 200 other districts throughout California have already selected the program, and are providing glowing feedback.

"I'm really impressed with how the program uses the Strategic Reading Initiative techniques embedded in the text," said Chris Hoover, a fifth grade teacher at the Taylor Street School in Sacramento's Robla School District. 

Prior to the state's approval, the Lamont School District located near Bakersfield, California successfully piloted the Pearson Scott Foresman program last year, and became the first district in the state to purchase the program. Schools officials there rave about the program.

"This is a potent weapon for us in meeting a number of educational challenges we face," said Cheryl McConaughey, assistant superintendent at Lamont. "We don't have to worry about extraneous content; our teachers have a lot of options to help them teach and reinforce social studies and reading standards at the same time."

Lamont and other school districts that have selected Scott Foresman's History/Social Science for California say they like the fact students can work directly in their text-workbooks, which are more condensed and focused than the standard textbooks. They also find that the array of digital and activity tools help engage students like never before.

"History/social science comes to life with exciting text, vibrant media clips and activities developed by real California teachers and historians at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation," said McConaughey. "Our teachers are thrilled with virtually all aspects of the Pearson Scott Foresman program."

Further information

Stevan Allen (916) 448-1336
Jami Warner (916) 761-7699
Wendy Spiegel, Pearson Education, 1-800-745-8489

Notes to reporters

Click on the following link to experience the program via an online demo:

About Pearson Scott Foresman

Pearson Scott Foresman is the world's leading elementary educational publisher. Its full line of educational resources supports teachers and helps schools and districts meet new demands for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) and reporting. Pearson Scott Foresman publishes school curriculum materials in all subject areas, including reading, language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, music, art, bilingual, ESL/ELL, and religion. Its educational resources and services include textbook-based instructional programs, curriculum Web sites, digital media, assessment materials, and professional development.

About Pearson Education

Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education ( is the global leader in educational publishing, providing scientifically research-based print and digital programs to help students of all ages learn at their own pace, in their own way. Named one of the 100 best places to work by Working Mother Magazine for the sixth year in a row, Pearson Education is home to such renowned publishing brands as Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Longman, Pearson Scott Foresman, Pearson Learning Group, Pearson Digital Learning, Pearson Educational Measurement, Pearson School Systems, Pearson Assessments, and Pearson Addison Wesley. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. In addition to Pearson Education, Pearson's primary operations include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group.