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Three Companies Say They Can ‘Help Rescue’ Michigan’s Lowest Performing Schools

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Compass Learning
(credit: istock) Technology Report
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LANSING — Austin, Texas-based Compass Learning, Inc., Orem, Utah-based Agilix Labs Inc. and Midvale, Utah-based School Improvement Network Inc. Thursday announced an effort to improve the 5 percent of historically lowest performing public schools in Michigan.

The three companies are integrating digital content from Compass Learning’s Odyssey and Renzulli Learning, and School Improvement Network’s Educator Effectiveness System with Buzz, a personalized learning platform from Agilix, as well as district-generated content.

The technology serves as the core of a comprehensive, personalized learning system that allows educators to mix, match and extend components to deliver an individualized learning plan for every participating student.  The initiative supports Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority in efforts to provide new, stable and financially responsible public schools designed to help underperforming students make significant academic gains.

“With Buzz, CompassLearning Odyssey and Renzulli Learning, we have a powerful combination of best-in-class curriculum, content and instruction that puts students at the center of learning for all subjects, schools and mastery levels,” said John Covington, Chancellor of the EAA. “This combination can empower our students to work in partnership with teachers to personalize learning based on readiness, learning pace, interests, learning and expression styles, effort and understanding. This is a unique model where students are at the center of learning.”

Buzz leverages an age-centric user interface driven by performance data, teacher and peer feedback, as well as student preferences, to provide every student a unique, tailored learning experience. CompassLearning Odyssey uses assessment data to prescribe a personalized learning path complete with rigorous and engaging curriculum and instruction that ensures students are not only proficient in their knowledge and skills, but developing the 21st century skills needed for future success. Renzulli Learning helps infuse creativity, critical thinking and problem solving into the learning environment by providing students with lessons and projects curated from more than 45,000 Web-based activities that are personalized to their interests, learning styles and expression styles. Students can access meaningful, authentic tasks that build skills in goal-setting, teamwork, perseverance, critical thinking, communication, creativity and problem solving.

This powerful combination enables students to track progress and manage their own learning as they master learning objectives. The rich digital instructional content is aligned with Common Core State Standards to ensure every student develops the knowledge and skills necessary for college and career readiness. Teachers and administrators can easily track student progress and use data to inform instructional adjustments.

School Improvement Network’s Educator Effectiveness System increases teacher effectiveness and drives student achievement. It includes an on-demand library of more than 2,000 professional development videos, a responsive observation platform that gives teachers immediate feedback, with prescriptive and personalized professional development resources, real-classroom examples of teaching best practices, and implementation of the Common Core State Standards, and a professional learning community of more than 900,000 educators. When imbedded with student data, these resources give educators the tools they need to be truly effective in helping every student become college and career ready.

With these resources, teachers have a single, centralized portal that includes both the student-centered learning system and the resources for educator effectiveness.

“We are excited to support the EAA, Compass Learning and School Improvement Network in the creation of a new personalized learning model,” said Duane Call, vice president, strategic partnerships with Agilix.

“This is an exciting opportunity to work with forward-looking educators in Detroit and our partners at Agilix and School Improvement Network to create a student-centered, personalized learning experience for students,” added Arthur VanderVeen, vice president for Compass Learning. “Together, we’ve integrated rich digital instructional content with authentic learning tasks and assessments, all within a learning environment that empowers students to direct and manage their own progress toward mastery of the Common Core State Standards. With these tools and resources, teachers will be able to differentiate their instruction in powerful new ways, making personalized learning a reality for every student.”

“Personalized learning systems are the future of education and arm teachers with the resources to address both individual student’s needs and entire classes,” said Chet Linton, CEO and President of School Improvement Network. “We are proud to partner with these best-in-class solutions and the EAA to dramatically improve student achievement in Michigan.”

Compass Learning Inc. provides K-12 educational software that empowers teachers to unlock every student’s potential for academic success and personal growth. Both of the company’s software systems, CompassLearning Odyssey and the Renzulli Learning System. deliver academic rigor that is based on more than 40 years of research into how students learn and are aligned to state and Common Core State Standards to support classroom and district accountability. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Compass Learning serves more than 7,800 schools across the United States.

Buzz is just one of many solutions built on the Agilix Extensible Learning Infrastructure, a modular, cloud-based platform that makes creating scalable education applications quick and cost-effective. Buzz is the first personalized learning solution to integrate teacher, student, peer and system feedback to deliver custom learning experiences for every student. With more than 10 years’ experience, a highly extensible platform and partnerships with leading educators, publishers, developers, and device and service providers, Agilix enables best of breed solutions that provide unequaled innovation.

Founded in 1991 by teachers, School Improvement Network has spent decades researching and documenting the best practices in education. From this research, School Improvement Network has developed the Educator Effectiveness System. This system outlines a process to improve teacher practice, and arms educators with a set of powerful tools to drive the process. Research shows that districts and schools that use the tools in the Educator Effectiveness System produce better teachers, and as a result experience dramatic increases in student achievement, driving up student test scores by as much as 30 percent in a single year. School Improvement Network works with thousands of schools and districts in every state and around the world and has visited over 3,500 classrooms to document best practices in action. Learn more at http://www.schoolimprovement.com.

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