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CTB/McGraw-Hill Releases White Paper On Professional Development For Educators

Technology-Driven Professional Development Integrated with Assessment Data and Classroom Instruction Ensures Effective Teaching

MONTEREY, Calif., May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- CTB/McGraw-Hill, a leading provider of Pre-K-12 and adult education assessments, today announced the release of a white paper describing professional development best practices for educators, focusing on the Acuity® InFormative Assessment(TM) solution. CTB has recently integrated online professional development materials with Acuity to help educators understand how to best use assessment data to improve student learning quickly and efficiently. The white paper, Improving Student Achievement: Professional Development and Informed Instruction, is available at: CTB.com/WhitePapers/PD.

"The most significant action schools can take in changing the nature of professional development is to provide meaningful and engaging programs that help educators grow in terms of knowledge, awareness, and practice," said Sonia Neito, Professor Emerita of Language, Literacy & Culture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. "Such professional development is characterized by teachers' ability to select the topics they want to learn more about and the opportunity to work collaboratively with colleagues."

Effective professional development helps teachers improve achievement through informed instruction. Integrating professional development with assessment and instruction can boost teacher engagement, extend what can be offered, address teacher needs for anytime/anywhere learning, and encourage participation in learning communities. When teachers have the data they need to inform their instruction, students benefit greatly.

"CTB provides online, integrated professional development opportunities so that teachers can get support for their assessment programs, and assistance with utilizing student data to help accelerate achievement," said Ellen Haley, president of CTB/McGraw-Hill. "With technology-driven professional development, information is provided in a timely fashion so that teachers can use it to better understand and address student progress."

The effectiveness of any professional development program lies in applying the content of the program to classroom practice, ensuring a positive effect on student learning. Success requires ongoing encouragement and assistance, time, and effort. Technology-driven solutions aid in the process of sustained learning and application, and offer powerful opportunities for practice, sharing ideas, and ongoing support within a community focused on improving achievement. Improving Student Achievement: Professional Development and Informed Instruction discusses how technology-driven professional development resources can be integrated with assessment data and classroom instruction to help teachers ensure effective teaching.

In June 2010, CTB announced Acuity PhD(TM), a technology-based professional development solution integrated with the Acuity assessment. Acuity PhD is a comprehensive library of engaging courses that capture educator interest and extend their abilities using student performance data to improve student achievement. CTB also offers access to the Acuity Online Community, a web-based forum where Acuity users collaborate and exchange ideas on a wide range of assessment issues, including professional development.

"It takes a village to raise a child" -- this saying can be extended to include all the resources available to help a child learn, and address critical areas of need. Through data provided by the Acuity assessment, along with the ability to extend teacher understanding by Acuity PhD and the online Acuity Community, educational practice is enhanced and student achievement improves.

About Acuity

The groundbreaking Acuity InFormative Assessment solution helps teachers gauge student performance and deliver tailored instruction for every student. Used by more than 100,000 teachers and 1.5 million students nationwide, Acuity heralds a new generation of assessment, enabling educators to deliver true data-driven instruction. Acuity contains four elements of a comprehensive assessment system: ongoing skills measurement, in-depth reporting, data analysis, and resources for individual instruction and intervention. CTB/McGraw-Hill also offers comprehensive professional development, online community forums, implementation, and support services. In 2010, Acuity swept three industry-leading awards to become the premier interim/formative assessment solution available to schools today. For more information, visit CTB.com/Acuity or call 800.538.9547 to schedule a live presentation.

About CTB/McGraw-Hill

CTB/McGraw-Hill has an 85-year record of innovation and excellence in assessment, and serves more than 18 million students in all 50 states and in 49 countries. One of the first American publishers to introduce objective, standardized achievement tests to schools, today CTB/McGraw-Hill is a leader in testing with recognized products for online interim and formative, adult, and language proficiency assessment. Dedicated to advancing the use of student performance data to inform instructional decision making, CTB/McGraw-Hill's innovation continues today with technologies that include Web-based assessment and reporting, student response device (clicker) software, and artificial intelligence for automated scoring of student essays. CTB/McGraw-Hill is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. For more information, visit CTB.com.

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