Progress Testing will release STAAR Test Maker this summer, ahead of the implementation of the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exams for the 2011-2012 school year.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is upping its financial support for Common Core State Standards. The foundation awarded $3 million to ASCD to support that group's efforts to help education leaders and educators themselves understand the standards and implement them.
Ed tech developer Archipelago Learning has added support for Texas' STAAR tests to its flagship online instruction, assessment, and reporting tool--Study Island.
LanSchool has launched a version of its iPad application with a new testing feature.
Desire2Learn is releasing a new version of Learning Suite, an educational software package that includes a learning management system, electronic portfolio, learning repository, and analytics. The new release, version 9.2, expands support for mobile Web users and also brings several enhancements in the areas of assessments and grading.
Students in large urban school districts are lagging behind the nation in their grasp of natural sciences, according to a special report on science education in 17 of America's urban districts. Experts involved in the report placed part of the blame on the lack of any clear or meaningful national science strategy, though several other factors, they acknowledged, contributed to the disparity.
- By Scott Aronowitz
Turning Technologies has rolled out a new app that lets users control TurningPoint and TurningPoint AnyWhere via an iPad or other Apple iOS device. The company has also released updates for its TurningPoint and QuestionPoint classroom assessment tools.
In an effort to evaluate new teaching candidates more effectively and with better long-term results, the Teacher Performance Assessment Consortium (TPAC) and Web software provider TaskStream have joined forces to pilot an in-depth teacher performance assessment (TPA).
- By Scott Aronowitz
Ann Koufman-Frederick isn't one to pass up an opportunity to put her district at the forefront of emerging educational technologies. As the superintendent of Watertown Public Schools, in Watertown, MA, she encourages her teachers to participate in tech-based pilot and research programs run by higher ed institutions. And why shouldn't she, when her district enjoys such notable neighbors as Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Boston College?
- By Jennifer Demski
Blackboard has launched a free hosted course management service. The system, CourseSites is an online platform that enables faculty members to set up Web-based class sites where they can post course materials, communicate with students, encourage collaboration, monitor performance, and manage grades.
- By Dian Schaffhauser