The EdScoops for March 16

Spring is almost in the air!  Well, almost…the poor northeast was hammered with snow, so no spring fever there yet, but hopefully soon.

Thank you for continuing to send over your news and updates.  Keep up the great work!  Here’s what’s been happening in big education news and also some personal updates…

Movers and Shakers

We here at MDR are always thrilled when a new member joins the team, so we’d like to let you know that Melissa Lombardi has joined us as a marketing coordinator.  Melissa has a strong marketing background and comes from the education industry to understand how important educators are to us.  We are happy to have Melissa (another Melissa) as part of the team.  Welcome!

Former U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan Joins Turnitin Board.  Duncan joins Turnitin to support development of instructional writing tools and resources promoting academic integrity, critical thinking, and authentic writing in K-12 and higher education.

Duncan, United States Secretary of Education from 2009 through December 2015, is currently the managing partner of education group Emerson Collective. Mr. Duncan brings considerable experience in large scale deployment and adoption of educational technology in K-12 and higher education.  Checkout the full story. >>

Shad Madsen named CEO of Mentoring Minds.  Mentoring Minds gladly announced on March 5 that Shad Madsen will assume the role of CEO effective immediately. Madsen succeeds current CEO and founder Michael Lujan, who will continue his role as chairman of the board.

Madsen joined Mentoring Minds as CFO in 2013 and helped the regional publisher grow to become the nationally known, award-winning curriculum provider that it is today. Before joining Mentoring Minds, he held various roles at Sabre Inc and Boeing. Prior to his career in the private sector, Madsen served in the U.S. Army. He has an undergraduate degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a master’s of business administration from the University of Texas at Austin.

Janine Quijije announced her new post as Deputy Executive Director of Mouse.  Mouse envisions a future where the face of innovation reflects the strength of individuals. Their points of view, experiences, cultures and communities come together in service of challenges. Quijije states “In my new role, I look forward to continuing to drive that mission and working to close the gaps that currently plague the academic and professional pathways, limiting the potential for progress and purpose in our digital world.”

Charles Sosnik, former Editor in Chief of MindRocket Media Group, has joined J Daly Associates as Director of Strategic Programming. “I have realized for some time that the education market, though huge, is very disparate,” said Sosnik. “There are currently thousands of education companies and organizations that provide learning resources that our children need. The challenge is that there is no pipeline, no network with the scale to carry that information to the management of the nearly 14,000 school districts and 3.2 million teachers in this country–we have around 100,000 public schools and 35,000 private schools serving 50 Million students. The need for quality resources to serve these students is tremendous. If we had a way to network the major education media sources into one cohesive unit, we could put the needed resources into the hands of the teachers and administrators who serve our students. Read more about Sosnik’s move. >>

Let’s Give Some Support!

One of our education friends needs our support.  Pat Conte has worked in Ed Publishing for years and has hit some hard times. For those of you who know Pat, on November 29, she suffered a stroke upon waking up in the morning, and had to be rushed by ambulance to Moses Cone Hospital where she spent over a month recovering and learning to walk again.  A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help Pat get through these difficult times.  Let’s keep Pat in our thoughts.


CoSN (the Consortium for School Networking) and EdScoop revealed the five winners of the 2018 NextGeneration Leaders Program. The program, now in its third year, annually recognizes emerging K-12 school system technology leaders across America.

Selected from among 28 uniquely qualified finalists nationwide, this year’s NextGeneration Leaders are:

  • Jon Gregori, Instructional Technology Specialist, Henrico County Public Schools (Henrico, VA)
  • Aubrey Harrison, Personalized Digital Learning Specialist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Charlotte, NC)
  • Yan Li, Director of Research and Analytics, Office of the CIO, Mississippi Department of Education (Jackson, MS)
  • Sophia Mendoza, Director of Instructional Technology Initiative, Los Angeles Unified School District (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Eddie Sawyer, Innovative Technology Solutions Coordinator, Vancouver Public Schools (Vancouver, WA)

The winners are being celebrated during an official ceremony at the CoSN 2018 Annual Conference this week.

Congratulations to the recipients of the 2018 Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. Founded in 1988 to honor the retiring former CEO, the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize recognizes individuals who have dedicated themselves to improving education through new and innovative approaches. It is administered through an alliance between The Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Family Foundation, McGraw-Hill Education and Arizona State University.

The 2018 Prize recognized individuals in three global categories: Learning Science Research (a new category this year), Higher Education and Pre-K-12 Education. The winners are:

  • Arthur Graesser, Professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute of Intelligent Systems at the University of Memphis, is the winner of the inaugural Learning Science Research prize.
  • Timothy Renick, Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor of Religious Studies at Georgia State University, is the winner of the Higher Education prize.
  • Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, is the winner of the Pre-K-12 Education prize.

The winners will be honored at a reception during the 2018 ASU+GSV Summit in San Diego on Tuesday, April 17th and will be featured in a keynote at the event on Wednesday, April 18th.

In other Education Industry Updates…

Employment Technology Fund Makes New Investments in Tech Solutions Closing the Employment Opportunity Gap – SkillSmart, Nepris, and Signal Vine join Network of Technology Ventures combating employment barriers for lower-income adults in the United States.

To support its mission to close the employment opportunity gap affecting more than 100 million lower-income adults in the United States, the Employment Technology Fund (ETF) recently invested in three impactful solutions empowering individuals to find paths to quality, equitable employment and improve their earnings potential, careers, and livelihoods. Check out the entire news story >>

Westchester Publishing Services, Learnosity Reach AgreementWestchester K-12 Publishing Services Will Be Content Partner in Learnosity’s Partner Network.

Westchester Publishing Services is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Learnosity, an assessment solutions provider headquartered in Dublin, Ireland. Under the terms of this agreement, the Westchester K-12 Publishing Services division will join the newly formed Custom Content division of Learnosity’s Partner Network.

Westchester K-12 Publishing Services has proven expertise in high-end content development across all K-12 subjects, while Learnosity’s Partner Network unites the world’s most innovative edtech companies in developing, scaling, and delivering exceptional products to market. Being part of the Learnosity Partner Network allows Westchester K-12 Publishing Services to leverage the flexibility of the Learnosity platform to develop engaging and innovative assessment items that seamlessly integrate into our client’s assessment systems. Read the full release. >>

Useful Information for Educators

Consistent Use of Lexia Reading Core5 Leads to Surge in Charter Schools USA Elementary Students Literacy Gains – Reading performance levels in Core5 showed strong correlation to NWEA MAP scores and led to increased use across CSUSA’s network of schools.

An analysis of more than 22,600 K–5 students within the Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) network found that incorporating recommended use levels of the Lexia Reading Core5® program into instruction resulted in substantial growth in reading skills during the 2016/17 school year, over and above that achieved with non-Core5 instruction. Among students who regularly reached their usage targets with Core5, the percentage working on skills in or above their grade level increased from 44 percent to 91 percent – an improvement of 47 percentage points. In fact, students’ reading growth was so impressive that CSUSA increased the number of schools using Core5 from five to 47 within the school year.  Read the entire news story. >>

Insight ADVANCE Offers New Guide to Growth-Based Teacher Evaluation – Complimentary materials, including the new eBook ‘From Gotcha to Growth,’ collect the latest research and practical advice for educators looking to reinvent their teacher evaluation systems

Insight ADVANCE announced the launch of a suite of professional learning resources, featuring a new eBook, From “Gotcha” to Growth: Teacher Evaluation Systems That Work. Written by Dr. Michael Moody, the CEO and co-founder of Insight ADVANCE, the in-depth ebook delivers practical solutions for schools and districts looking to improve their evaluation systems with a research-based approach to put the focus on educators’ professional growth.

Feel free to reach out to me for all your education industry scoops!

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