District-Vendor Partnerships

MARYLAND PARTNERS WITH HARCOURT TO PROVIDE STATE ASSESSMENT SERVICES. Harcourt Assessment (http://www.harcourtassessment.com) has reached an agreement with the state of Maryland to provide test development, administration, scoring, and reporting services for the Maryland State Assessment for a five-year period, beginning with the 2006-07 school year. As part of the agreement, Harcourt will develop end-of-year assessments for reading and mathematics in grades 3-8, as well as produce formative assessments that teachers can administer throughout the school year to help them determine where their students are struggling. Harcourt has supplied Maryland’s reading assessment since 2002, and has another year remaining on that contract,as well.

SOUTH CAROLINA DISTRICT INSTALLS 300 SMART BOARDS IN ITS K-6 CLASSROOMS. SMART Technologies Inc. (http://www.smarttech.com) has equipped 300 Lexington County School District One (SC) classrooms with its SMART Board interactive whiteboards as part of the district’s ultimate goal of having 600 whiteboards installed in its K-6 classrooms by the end of this year. The district’s teachers collaborate with instructional technology coaches to develop students’ technology skills as early as possible, integrating interactive whiteboards with various classroom technology tools (such as projectors and laptops) into K-6 lessons for every core subject, including art and music.

SBC SIGNS FIVE-YEAR NETWORKING DEAL WITH OKLAHOMA DISTRICT. SBC Communications Inc. (http://www.sbc.com) has announced it has signed a five-year contract to provide its networking services to Enid Public Schools (OK). Under the terms of the agreement, SBC will deliver its SBC PremierSERV Asynchronous Transfer Mode Service, Customized Switch Metro Ethernet, and Dedicated Internet Access products to each of the district’s buildings at all 15 of its schools. The communications giant will also become Enid’s primary service provider for all data, network, and voice services. The partnership will enable Enid to expand its distance learning programs, meet the requirements for bandwidth-intensive applications and online testing set by the state’s Department of Education, and create a network architecture capableof supporting IP telephony.

This article originally appeared in the 11/01/2005 issue of THE Journal.