ESC Region 12 Partners With Kaplan To Support College And Career Readiness For High School And Middle School Students

To help schools prepare students for college and/or the workforce, Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12, a nonprofit service organization that provides professional development and program support to school personnel, has partnered with Kaplan K12 Learning Services, a leading provider of skill building solutions for academic success and college readiness. This goal becomes increasingly important as Texas adjusts to a new landscape with the implementation of House Bill 5 (HB 5). HB 5 is shifting how schools prepare young people for college and careers through a diversified curriculum.

HB 5 initiated changes to the Texas Education Code (TEC) in a number of areas including curriculum, accountability, assessment and graduation planning. Students must now meet indicators to be deemed “college ready” in order to attempt earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

HB 5 encourages students to pursue Advanced Placement (AP) coursework to help them meet graduation requirements and earn endorsements. Through AP coursework, students can also achieve a performance acknowledgement on their diploma. The Texas Education Agency recently announced that the number of Texas graduates taking at least one Advanced Placement Program ® (AP ®) Exam has more than doubled during the past decade. The number of low-income graduates taking at least one AP Exam has more than quadrupled, and the number of Hispanic/Latino graduates taking AP has nearly tripled over the last ten years. This expansion has resulted in a significant increase in the number of qualifying AP Exam scores typically required for college credit. Through this partnership, Kaplan will offer a program to supplement the core AP classroom and help students prepare for specific written-exam formats.

“Schools are working hard to transition to the new graduation plans and offer flexibility to students to find what interests them most and successfully transition to college or the workforce, said Dr. Jerry Maze, executive director for ESC Region 12. “As their partner, we are excited to offer a cost-saving and timely solution to help schools bolster their efforts to prepare students and staff with additional and customizable courses, test preparation and financial and graduation planning that will help them meet or exceed HB 5 requirements.”

Among the different academic and staff support programs that Kaplan K12 Learning Services will provide Texas students, parents and educators are:

ACADEMIC READINESS/ASSESSMENT: SAT®, PSAT®, and ACT® On Demand courses: On Demand courses for the ACT, PSAT, and SAT deliver Web-based, adaptive instruction based on individual learning needs to help students successfully prepare for these important college entrance exams. The programs provide 24/7 access to self-paced, online prep, delivered via Kaplan’s Smart Track technology that personalizes the curriculum based on each student’s performance.

STEP-BY-STEP PLANNING FOR COLLEGE: Kaplan Aspire: Designed for first-generation college applicants, Kaplan Aspire guides students through the college admissions process by helping them explore the value of college, navigate the application and financial aid process, and pursue post-secondary and career goals.

CURRICULUM SUPPORT & STAFF DEVELOPMENT:

Kaplan Foundations™ Level S, ELA and Math: The program builds critical skills for middle school academic and test prep success with two tiered leveled lessons for individualized instruction.

Teach!® Strategies and Resources: The online toolkit contains a wealth of materials to support rigorous, differentiated classroom instruction. It provides lesson planning resources and assets for ongoing professional development designed to enhance current teaching practices.

Kaplan’s College Readiness Professional Development Workshops: The seminars deliver on site or live, online content for up to 3 hours, preparing teachers and guidance counselors to help students navigate college admissions exams and the college admissions process.

Kaplan’s AP Writing Edge: This program includes 18 hours of instruction to supplement the core AP classroom and help students prepare for specific written-exam formats. Students taking a number of AP courses will benefit from this single writing course, which will give them effective tips, strategies and practice that they can leverage across all subject areas.

“Through this partnership with ESC Region 12, Kaplan K12 Learning Services will provide access to high-quality, proven college and career readiness programs to open more opportunities for students across central Texas, whether that path leads to college or directly into the workforce,” said Seppy Basili, general manager, Kaplan K12 Learning Services. “Kaplan and ESC Region 12 share a common mission of improving the success of students of all backgrounds, which is fundamental to economic success. We look forward to working closely with ESC Region 12 to set Texas students up for college and career success.”

For more information, contact Chris Holecek at cholecek@esc12.net or 254.297.1284 or visit www.esc12.net/hb5.

*SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT, Inc. PSAT/NMSQT is a trademark jointly owned by the College Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which were not involved in the production of, and do not endorse, this product. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with Kaplan or this partnership.

About Kaplan Test Prep

Kaplan Test Prep ( www.kaptest.com) is a premier provider of educational and career services for individuals, schools and businesses. Established in 1938, Kaplan is the world leader in the test prep industry. With a comprehensive menu of online offerings as well as a complete array of print books and digital products, Kaplan offers preparation for more than 90 standardized tests, including entrance exams for secondary school, college and graduate school, as well as professional licensing exams for attorneys, physicians and nurses. Kaplan also provides private tutoring and graduate admissions consulting services.

About ESC Region 12

Education Service Center Region 12 ( http://www.esc12.net) services focus on helping schools save money and leverage resources into the classroom. One of 20 regional education service centers statewide, ESC Region 12 offers training and expert assistance to educators and school personnel to increase student achievement. ESC Region 12 offers effective, economical programs and services through professional development, expert assistance, direct services and alternative educator certification.

Based in Waco, ESC Region 12 serves 77 school districts, 12 charters and private/parochial schools in Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Freestone, Hamilton, Hill, Lampasas, Limestone, McLennan, Mills and Navarro counties. Everything the center offers focuses on helping educators be successful and helping schools save money and leverage resources—driving more money to students in the classroom—where it matters most.

Note to editors: Kaplan is a subsidiary of The Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC)

Copyright Business Wire 2010

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