Southern California's Palm Springs Unified School District is rolling out an online writing program called MY Access! from Vantage Learning. The rollout will begin in elementary and middle schools in the first year and expand to high schools beginning in the second. The full deployment, expected within three years, will run $800,000.
Florida's Department of Education has approved Scientific Learning's Fast ForWord family of reading improvement software for use as K-12 supplemental intervention reading programs in schools throughout the state. Fast ForWord has also made gains in Texas, where the Dallas Independent School District recently released a study showing improvements on state tests after using the tool.
In late February, California's Second District Court of Appeals issued a ruling that effectively banned every form of homeschooling in the state--whether coordinated through a public school district, combined with online schooling, or otherwise administered in a way that does not include full-time, in-person instruction from a credentialed teacher. It was a ruling with widespread implications for every homeschooling parent in the state, and one that is now being challenged on two fronts: by homeschool advocates and by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Education developer Dynamic Literacy has released Foundations, the latest series in its WordBuild Vocabulary Development System. Foundations teaches "morphics," a term the company uses to differentiate its morphological instruction from phonics-based approaches. The system is targeted toward students in grades 3 through 5, though it can also be used in interventions for students in grades 6 and up.
The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction (NDDPI) has signed on with Maximus for a $1 million state-wide implementation of TIENET, a special education case management system.
Education technology developer ALEKS has debuted a new online math tool called QuickTables. Targeted toward grade 3 and up, the system is designed to provide math practice coupled with individualized assessments for immediate remediation.
Washington School for the Deaf in Vancouver, WA is making the move to provide educational services to deaf and hard of hearing students regardless of location. The statewide educational agency has adopted the Desire2Learn learning management system in an effort to provide direct instruction to students from around the state.
Education software developer Siboney Learning Group has updated Orchard, the company's targeted instruction software for math, language arts, and science for K-9. Enhancements to the software include expanded platform support, a variety of design tweaks, and a new technology that ties in the company's PracticePlanet service to help generate data for developing intervention strategies.
Education technology developer Netchemia earlier this month released netRTI, a response to intervention program targeted at struggling learners and special needs students.
Sebit this week launched a new online educational resource focused on math and science: Adaptive Curriculum. The resource provides a library of math and science activities aligned to state and national standards. It's on display at the FETC show in Orlando, FL.