News & Events

Read the latest Pearson education news and see how learning is building character, shaping dreams, and strengthening communities across the country.

Press Releases

  • New Research on the Efficacy of Connections Academy Virtual Schools for Grades K-12 Reveals Positive Academic Outcomes

    Report, Peer Reviewed by SRI International, Sheds Light on the Impact of Mobility and the Academic Performance of Students at Virtual Schools Compared to Students at Brick-and-Mortar Schools

    May 31, 2018 (Columbia, Maryland) – A new research study has identified the types of students who enroll in Connections Academy full-time, K-12 online schools and the efficacy of the program on students’ academic achievement. Conducted by Pearson over the course of the 2016-2017 school year, peer reviewed by SRI International and audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the results provide evidence that Connections Academy students can attain the same level of achievement as that offered at traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Overall findings show that students may be better positioned in Connections Academy schools than other virtual schools.

    Part of a larger research commitment by Pearson, the Connections Academy research set out to explore the types of students who attend the online schools and how they perform. The project first unveiled a distinctive set of profiles within the student body of more than 70,000 students across Connections Academy schools. Students most commonly identified as one or more of the following: academically advanced, academically struggling, experiencing health problems, experiencing bullying or seeking increased flexibility and choice. These characteristics create a unique student population with a higher mobility rate, and a host of other complex needs known to impact academic performance, that differs from traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Mobility has been shown to have a significant negative impact on math and reading achievement while increasing high school dropout rates.*

    The school comparison study then directly compared achievement at a Connections Academy school to a similar non-charter brick-and-mortar school and virtual school within the same state.

    SRI International independently reviewed and approved the following efficacy statements:

    • There was no statistical difference in percentage scoring proficient in math and reading between student cohorts in Connections Academy schools and cohorts in brick-and-mortar schools that were matched on prior achievement, and after adjusting for district-mean student mobility and school-mean student SES and other demographic factors.
    • Student cohorts in Connections Academy schools statistically outperformed (by 7.9 percentage points) cohorts in other virtual schools (matched on prior achievement) in terms of the percentage scoring proficient in reading on state assessments.
    • There was no statistical difference in percentage scoring proficient in math between student cohorts in Connections Academy schools and cohorts in other virtual schools that were matched on prior achievement.

    “We’re committed to constantly gaining a better understanding of students’ unique needs so that we can better serve them,” said Matthew Wicks, vice president efficacy research and reporting for Pearson Online & Blended Learning. “We took the most in-depth look at Connections Academy students, school performance, and student mobility to better understand the impact of Connections Academy schools on learner outcomes. When students feel like they’re constantly sprinting to catch up, that can cause even more negative impacts on their academic performance, no matter what their circumstances are. These results shed light on how impactful mobility is on academic student performance, and the need to reshape the national narrative on the accountability framework for virtual schools.”

    Pearson engages in research on the products and services it provides to better understand “what works, when, where, how and why” and applies those insights to continuously improve its offerings; ensuring that Pearson products and services can be used to deliver improved learner outcomes for more learners around the globe.

    “What defines our approach is our commitment to the rigor of our research methods, to our transparency about our findings and to producing findings that are relevant for our customers,” says Kate Edwards, Ph.D., SVP of Efficacy & Research. “Through external third-party audit and external academic peer review, we are ensuring that our statements on the efficacy of our products accurately reflect the research that has been conducted.”

    Pearson made a commitment in 2013 to report on the impact of use of its products and services on outcomes by 2018. Collectively, 12 externally audited reports were produced and represent offerings that impact the lives of 18 million learners. Visit https://www.pearson.com/corporate/efficacy-and-research.html to learn more.

    For more than 15 years, Connections Academy schools have provided students across the country access to a full-time online education complete with dedicated and credentialed teachers, high-quality curriculum, and the flexibility to learn from anywhere with an internet connection. The online school program used by Connections Academy schools is provided by Pearson.

    About Connections Academy

    Connections Academy is a leading provider of high-quality virtual schooling for students in grades K through 12. Connections Academy delivers superior, personalized education for students, with the freedom and flexibility to experience the Connections Academy online learning community from anywhere. The combination of certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, and community experiences creates a supportive and successful online learning opportunity for families and children who want an individualized approach to education. Connections Academy-supported schools offer grades K through 12, though some public school programs do not offer all grades. For more information, call 888-410-6502 or visit http://www.connectionsacademy.com/. Connections Academy is part of the global learning company Pearson.

    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

    About SRI International

    SRI International creates world-changing solutions to make people safer, healthier, and more productive. SRI, a research center headquartered in Menlo Park, California, works primarily in advanced technology and systems, biosciences, computing, and education. SRI brings its innovations to the marketplace through technology licensing, spin-off ventures and new product solutions.

    *Source: Rumberger, Russell W. (2015). Student Mobility: Causes, Consequences, and Solutions. Boulder, CO: National Education Policy Center.

    Methodology

    PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) audited the accuracy and appropriate use of all data included in the studies. Pearson Education has retained SRI International to provide technical assistance to improve the rigor of the efficacy research and implementation research conducted by Pearson. Toward this end, SRI is: (i) conducting a third-party academic review of recent Pearson research reports in the areas of causal research, correlational research, and implementation research grounded in the WWC (What Works Clearinghouse) Standards and Procedures and the ESSA Standards of Evidence, (ii) advising on how recent Pearson research reports could be strengthened without additional data collection or significant redesign, and (iii) providing formative assistance on how future Pearson research efforts could be improved to provide more accurate and compelling findings. In addition to providing targeted research report feedback, SRI is supporting Pearson in developing its own capacity for conducting internal research reviews.

    Student profile study

    Student profile information was achieved by first merging multiple 2015-16 data files into one comprehensive database that included student demographic information, information collected via the Connections Academy Student and Family Information Forms (SIF and FIF), grading and attendance information, and student mobility data (defined as the number of times a student changed schools beyond expected grade promotions). Then, a careful examination of this data was conducted, which revealed seven distinct profiles for students choosing a Connections Academy virtual school.

    Matched comparison study

    Connections Academy student cohorts at each grade-level and subject area were matched with student cohorts at brick-and-mortar and virtual schools within the same state. Matches were based on data from either 2014 or 2015 depending on the availability of complete state-reported data. State test achievement data (defined as the percentage of students scoring proficient or above on state tests) was collected for grades 3 to 8 from 19 states’ Departments of Education where a Connections Academy school had operated for three or more years: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah. District-level student mobility data was also collected from each state along with school and district demographic data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Given the significance of mobility in the Connections Academy student population, and the importance of academic achievement in evaluating any educational program’s success, mobility rate (only publicly available at the district level) and prior student achievement were the primary factors in selecting a “matching” brick-and-mortar school for each Connections Academy school. After matching on prior achievement and adjusting for student mobility and other demographic factors, student cohorts were then statistically compared on the percent of students proficient on state math and reading state tests in 2015 and/or 2016.

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  • Pearson Partners with Columbia College on All-Inclusive Tuition Initiative for Students

    New ‘Truition’ program offers students one rate that includes all fees and course materials

    COLUMBIA, MO – Today, Pearson announced it is an inaugural publishing partner in Columbia College of Missouri’s new “Truition” initiative, which offers students an all-inclusive tuition model. By leveraging Pearson’s Inclusive Access program, the Truition (truth + tuition) initiative is able to offer predictable, affordable course material pricing that is included in a flat tuition rate. The innovative new program also eliminates all other course, lab, and activity fees and provides an honest and clear look at the price of college.

    Pearson’s Inclusive Access program enables institutions to deliver high-quality digital course materials, including MyLab™ and Mastering™, Revel™ and eTexts to students on or before the first day of class at a savings of up to 70 percent. Educators can gain valuable insights into students’ learning activity through data access, enabling them to continuously track and assess students’ progress while engaging with these immersive platforms.

    “Pearson is excited to be a part of this transparent new tuition model that ensures students have access to their course materials on the first day of class and with no surprise costs or extra fees,” said Tom Malek, senior vice president of partnerships for Pearson. “By providing students with a clear, predictable tuition, Columbia College is removing a common barrier that impedes access to higher education for so many students.”

    “Pearson has a long history of providing quality educational products and services while meeting the constantly evolving technological needs of today’s student,” said Dr. Piyusha Singh, Columbia College’s interim provost and vice president for Online Education. “Our TruitionSM initiative, which offers our adult and online students books at no cost while also eliminating all fees, includes quality partners like Pearson and we are looking forward to continuing working with them.”

    Inclusive Access is part of Pearson’s ongoing commitment to making college more accessible and more affordable for students, and establishing equity in access to critical course materials.

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    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning.  We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

    About Columbia College of Missouri

    Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College has been helping students advance their lives through higher education for more than 165 years. As a private, nonprofit institution, the college takes pride in its small classes, experienced faculty and quality educational programs. The college, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, has more than 30 locations and offers day, evening and online classes. Columbia College educates more than 20,000 students each year and has more than 86,000 alumni worldwide. For more information, visit www.ccis.edu.

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  • Pearson Partners with Three New Online Schools Approved to Open in Fall 2018

    New virtual public schools supported by Pearson’s Connections Academy to offer school choice option for families in Florida, Michigan and Ohio

    April 30, 2018 (NEW YORK, NEW YORK) – Pearson today is announcing the approval of three new online public charter schools that will leverage its Connections Academy offering. Florida Connections Academy (FCA), Lighthouse Connections Academy (LCA) in Michigan, and Great River Connections Academy (GRCA) in Ohio join 34 other Connections Academy-supported schools in 27 states. All three schools will offer state-certified teachers, an award-winning curriculum, technology tools, electives, and in-person and online social experiences for families who want an individualized approach to education.

    The announcement showcases Pearson’s commitment to K-12 education and digital learning by supporting online schools that provide students in these states access to quality education regardless of where they live or how they learn best.

    “As the landscape of learning shifts and evolves, we are thrilled to partner with the Governing Boards of three new online schools in the United States,” said Tom ap Simon, managing director for Pearson’s Online & Blended Learning K-12 group. “Providing school options that meet the needs of the modern learner is crucial to students with diverse preferences and needs, and we are encouraged by the successes we have seen so far.”

    In Michigan, demand for the Connections Academy program has often exceeded the available space in existing virtual schools. Lighthouse Connections Academy will join Michigan Connections and Great Lakes Cyber Academy and expects to serve approximately 300 K-12 students statewide. Great River Connections Academy will join Ohio Connections Academy and can serve as many as 1,000 students in its first year. Florida Connections Academy will initially serve students in grades K-8, and and will expand to serve grades K-12 by its fifth year. The school expects to serve 1,200 students statewide. As public schools, there are no fees or tuition to attend.

    All three of the new virtual schools will follow curriculum from the nationally recognized Connections Academy® program, which combines resources from leading publishers with cutting-edge, yet easy-to-use, technology tools and hands-on materials. Learning from home, students will work closely with state certified teachers using daily lesson plans that can be personalized to meet individual student needs. A parent, or another adult “Learning Coach” helps to monitor student progress in the home.

    The virtual school approach of Florida Connections Academy, Lighthouse Connections Academy, and Great River Connections Academy aims to support an array of students who need an alternative to a traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. Students seeking out Connections Academy are often those who are significantly ahead or behind in the classroom, need a flexible schedule (such as student athletes or those with health issues), struggling with issues like bullying or who may just want a more individualized approach to learning. In many cases, families who seek more involvement in their child’s education can also find success in the Connections Academy program.

    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

    Contact

    Allison Bazin
    Pearson
    609-246-0275
    allison.bazin@pearson.com

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  • Pearson and EdTech Company Labster Partner to Make Gamified Learning Accessible to Millions of High School Students Across the Country

    Newest edition of Miller & Levine Biology to be integrated with Labster’s virtual simulations on the Realize LMS, increasing engagement and achievement in science education

    ATLANTA -- MARCH 15, 2018 -- Today at the 2018 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Conference, Pearson and Labster announced their partnership that will empower high school students by providing access to Labster’s award winning, game-based virtual simulations. The partnership comes in tandem with the release of the newest edition of Pearson’s Miller & Levine Biology textbook, and the simulations are set to be rolled out to millions of students across the U.S. over the next few years.

    Pearson and Labster will demonstrate the integration during NSTA at the Pearson booth #222 on March 15 and 16. A demo is also available at pearsonrealize.com.

    The Miller & Levine Biology package will include access to a selection of Labster simulations that will be available to students with the purchase of the textbook, and have been specifically designed to compliment their biology curriculum. Labster’s simulations have been proven to increase both learning and student motivation using elements from computer gaming combined with the psychology of learning, and it’s the goal of this partnership to ensure students stay in school and pursue careers in the field of science.

    “Partnering with Labster underscores our continued commitment to improving outcomes for learners by providing greater access to uniquely effective and innovative digital learning experiences that increase engagement and achievement,” said Bethlam Forsa, managing director, Pearson Learning Services.

    “A huge part of Labster’s mission is to empower as many students as possible by providing them with access to high quality learning materials and to transform the education space through the innovative use of new technologies. Our partnership with Pearson is set to help us do just that as over the next few years, we will provide millions of students with access to our simulations, including those who could benefit from it most,” said Mads Bonde, Labster Co-Founder and CEO.

    In a study study published in Nature Biotechnology, gamified laboratory simulations were compared to traditional teaching methods and researchers observed “a 76 percent increase in learning outcomes by using a gamified laboratory simulation compared to traditional teaching, and a 101 percent increase when used in combination.”

    Labster provides an easily accessible way for students from all over the world to experience science. The tech company is made up of learning psychologists, game designers, biologists and teachers who work in collaboration in order to achieve the highest level of motivation and learning outcomes for students.The simulations can be accessed anytime, and from anywhere and are currently being utilized by top tier Universities internationally.

    For more information, visit pearsonschool.com/millerlevine
    Or https://www.labster.com/pearson-partnership/

    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

    About Labster

    Labster is a company dedicated to developing fully interactive advanced lab simulations that are designed to stimulate students’ natural curiosity and highlight the connection between science and the real world. Founded in 2012 by Mads Tvillinggaard Bonde and Michael Bodekaer, the company has already received more than $20 million in grant funding and investments. Students of all ages can access Labster’s virtual labs for a reasonable monthly subscription. The company has customers at over 150 institutions in 25 countries, including ETH in Zurich, MIT and Imperial College. www.labster.com

    Contacts

    Amanda Persi
    +41 78 755 68 32
    amanda@labster.com

    Media Assets

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  • Pearson, Barnes & Noble Education Expand Partnership to Offer Inclusive Access Model at Nearly 1,500 Campus Bookstores

    Partnership enables Barnes & Noble Education campus stores to provide millions of students seamless access to Pearson digital content at significant savings

    WASHINGTON, DC -- Pearson and Barnes & Noble Education (NYSE: BNED) today announced an agreement to offer Pearson content through inclusive access models at BNED’s nearly 1,485 physical and virtual campus bookstores nationwide, serving more than 6 million students and their faculty. This collaboration provides students with affordable access to high-quality course materials, including MyLab™ and Mastering™, Revel™ and eTexts, on the first day of class, at a savings of up to 70 percent.

    The seamless delivery is made possible by BNED’s First Day™ inclusive access program and Pearson’s technology integrations with campus systems. Through First Day, students at schools serviced by Barnes & Noble College and MBS Direct, BNED subsidiaries, receive their materials on or about the first day of class, and faculty and administrators gain valuable insights into students’ learning activity through data access, enabling them to continuously track and assess students’ progress while engaging with these immersive digital learning platforms.

    “We are excited to further expand our partnership with Barnes & Noble Education to bring students across the country affordable access to high-quality course materials,” said Nik Osborne, senior vice president, strategy & business operations for Pearson. “The evidence is overwhelming that student performance improves, and faculty can begin instruction immediately, when course materials are available on the first day of class. Inclusive access helps support these efforts by providing all students with day-one access to their required course materials at an affordable price point.”

    “We are pleased to partner with Pearson to offer our students and faculty an even greater selection of content through inclusive access models,” said Patrick Maloney, President of Barnes & Noble College. “First Day, our inclusive access program, has been an incredible driver of affordability and convenience on our campuses nationwide, and as more schools look to adopt this model, our growing partnership with Pearson will ensure students and faculty have access to all of the affordable content they need to drive success in the classroom.”

    More than 425 colleges and universities across the country have partnered with Pearson to implement the inclusive access model. Inclusive Access is part of Pearson’s ongoing commitment to making college more accessible and affordable for all students, through equitable access to critical course materials. In addition, Pearson has significantly lowered the cost of eBook access--up to 80 percent off the price of a new print textbook.

    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.Pearson.com.

    About Barnes & Noble Education, Inc.

    Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. (NYSE: BNED), a leading provider of educational products and services solutions for higher education and K-12 institutions, enhances the academic and social purpose of educational institutions. Through its Barnes & Noble College and MBS subsidiaries, Barnes & Noble Education operates 1,483 physical and virtual bookstores and serves more than 6 million students and faculty, and offers a suite of digital software, content and services including direct-to-student study tools. The Company also operates one of the largest textbook wholesale distribution channels in the United States. Barnes & Noble Education acts as a strategic partner to drive student success, provide value and support to students and faculty, and create loyalty and improve retention, while supporting the financial goals of our college and university partners.

    BNED companies include: Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC, MBS Textbook Exchange, LLC, BNED LoudCloud, LLC, Student Brands, LLC, and Promoversity, LLC. General information on Barnes & Noble Education may be obtained by visiting the Company's corporate website: www.bned.com.

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  • Pearson and littleBits Partner in Nationwide Program to Bring Innovative Science Curriculum to a New Generation of Students

    Elevate Science + The Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox Will Prepare Students For Careers That Have Not Been Invented Yet

    NEW YORK, Jan 29, 2018 – The call to revamp top-down model of instruction has been heard loud and clear. Pearson, the world’s learning company leading the K-12 science market in the United States, has partnered with littleBits, the technology startup that is empowering everyone to create inventions, large and small, with its easy to use platform of electronic building blocks. Through this partnership, Pearson brings hands-on invention-based model of learning and teaching into its 3-8 science curriculum, Elevate Science, in a new program called,"Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox."

    According to US Department of Labor, more than 65% of today’s students will grow up having careers that do not exist yet. Traditional models of direct instruction were designed to teach a particular skill, transferred top to bottom from teacher to student. Today, the role of education has changed. Instead of preparing for specific careers, it is vital to focus on making sure students are future-ready. By combining hands-on inventing with the rigor of learning objectives, Elevate Science + the Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox helps educators unleash powerful STEM and STEAM learning in science classroom.

    Elevate Science + the Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox is a unique, blended print and hands-on 3-8 curriculum that puts students at the center of learning as they collaborate to explore ideas, investigate phenomena through modeling, design inventions that solve real world problems, and share their inventions! The program is designed to create the next generation of inventors, critical thinkers, collaborative creators and lifelong learners who are ready to tackle all sorts of challenges in their future.

    “We chose to partner with littleBits because it is an innovator in transforming how science is taught and learned,” said Bethlam Forsa, Pearson’s Managing Director of U.S. Learning Services. “This collaboration continues our legacy of leadership in science education, moving beyond the textbook using a groundbreaking, hands-on inquiry approach.” “Paired with Elevate Science, this partnership brings the next level of inquiry and wonder to the classroom, motivating every learner to reach higher and go further.”

    Every grade-specific Pearson littleBits STEM Invention Toolbox comes equipped with a set of littleBits electronic building blocks and invention accessories, craft materials, student instructions and documentation tools, quick start teacher’s guide and digital access to the educator lessons. Extending from the uEngineer it! sections in the Elevate Science curriculum, students and teachers are invited to partake in invention-based challenges that help them deepen their understanding of the engineering design cycle and science phenomena presented in the textbook. From inventing a circuit that helps us conserve energy, a super plant with specialized structures to help it survive, a constellation viewer that shows the stars above us, a space communication device that astronauts can use to communicate in outer space, to designing a building that can stand up to the forces felt on the Earth’s surface during an earthquake, students will be engaged to think beyond the text, examine problems in the real world, and invent the world they want to live in!

    The collaboration will roll out across the country as the science curriculum adoption cycle moves through each state, beginning in Florida in 2018 and then California in 2019. Aligned to new state standards and reflecting the direction of the Next Generation Science standards, this curriculum brings the latest innovations in hands-on and invention-based learning and assessment to classrooms across the country.

    “Thousands of schools around the country are already using littleBits with their students,” said Ayah Bdeir, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of littleBits. “They have seen first-hand the powerful teacher and student engagement that comes from hands-on learning with littleBits. Pearson and the uEngineer It! investigations bring the rigor of professional curriculum to a tool that we see, again and again, gets students’ eyes to light up with wonder and engagement. This partnership with Pearson will enable millions of students to experience that wonder, and educators will be excited to know that they are helping their students get future-ready.”

    About Pearson

    Pearson is the world’s learning company, with expertise in educational courseware and assessment, and a range of teaching and learning services powered by technology. Our mission is to help people make progress through access to better learning. We believe that learning opens up opportunities, creating fulfilling careers and better lives. For more, visit www.pearson.com.

    About littleBits

    littleBits empowers kids around the world to become inventors. Founded in 2011 by Ayah Bdeir, its innovative platform of easy-to-use electronic blocks allows anyone to create and learn with electronics, independent of age, gender or technical ability. The company is dedicated to successfully bridging the gender gap with its gender-neutral platform, attracting an industry high thirty five percent of young girls to invent with littleBits. The company’s products have won over 150 industry awards in the toy and education industries. littleBits is headquartered in New York. For more information and inspiration, go to www.littlebits.cc/education.

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