McHENRY, IL - January 10, 2001 - Follett Software Company, the leading provider of K-12 library automation and information access solutions, has partnered with Harcourt Educational Measurement and MetaMetrics, Inc. to help the state of California develop students' reading skills. As a result, California students are more easily connecting with books that match and appropriately challenge their reading abilities, further supporting their reading skills development.
New Reading Comprehension Assessment Program
In 1999, California contracted with Harcourt Educational Measurement to evaluate students' reading comprehension abilities through standardized testing. Harcourt worked with MetaMetrics, Inc., an educational measurement and technology firm, to develop a customized reading assessment program for the state. The new program assigns a "California Reading List Number" (CRLN) between 1 and 13+ to each student, as well as to a large database of reading materials, making it easier for students to locate books that appropriately challenge their abilities.
Online Access to Recommended Reading Materials
In spring 2000, Harcourt tested California students in grades 2-11 with the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford 9). Based upon results, each student was assigned their CRLN. Harcourt partnered with Follett Software to help students, parents and teachers locate books by their CRLN. Together, the companies built the California Reading List web site (accessible from www.startest.com) which allows visitors to access the state's recommended database of books from the Internet. Follett Software customized its WebCollection Plus software to serve as the searching engine for the web site. Visitors can search for the recommended books by CRLN, interest level and keyword. Follett Software also developed the state's MARC (MAchine Readable Cataloging) database, which makes the materials accessible through the software program.
Books included on the California Reading List were drawn from six volumes of the state's recommended literature for K-12 students. Each list includes appropriate reading materials for students in terms of reading difficulty and interest level. MetaMetrics was responsible for analyzing each text and assigning it a CRLN.
Harcourt, Follett Software and MetaMetrics, Inc. continue to maintain the California Reading List web site. The companies will periodically update and refresh the reading lists in order to include new titles and delete other titles that may no longer be available or appropriate.
Tom Schenck, Follett Software Company president, commented, "By entrusting Harcourt, MetaMetrics and Follett Software with the task of helping implement its new reading program, the state of California has made vital progress in developing skills that will make a real difference in students' futures. They are making it easier for students to find the best books for their abilities, and getting parents involved in a critical element of education by providing online access to the California Reading Lists."
Eugene T. Paslov, Harcourt Educational Measurement president, stated, "We are delighted to partner with resources that provide educational solutions. The combination of Harcourt, Metametrics, and Follett Software is assisting California in achieving its agenda of developing student reading skills and supporting parents in the learning process."
Malbert Smith, MetaMetrics, Inc. president, commented, "We are pleased to be working with the California Department of Education—the largest education market in the nation—and alongside Harcourt and Follett Software in developing the California Reading List Number to better match students to text. A principle objective of MetaMetrics, Inc. is to assist educators in making better use of their assessment tools and to provide readability measures to facilitate teachers, students and parents in identifying literature appropriate to reading skills."
About Harcourt Educational Measurement
Harcourt Educational Measurement, A Harcourt Assessment Company, is one of the nation's largest commercial test publishers. For over 75 years, it has served the school market by developing assessment products and related materials and services for elementary, secondary, and higher education. Among its well-known and widely used tests to measure educational performance is the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (Stanford 9). In addition, it is experienced in developing and managing customized programs and services.
Harcourt, Inc., is a leading global multiple-media publisher and service provider to the education, assessment, training and professional markets. Harcourt, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Harcourt General, Inc. (NYSE:H).
MetaMetrics, an educational measurement and technology firm, is located in Durham, North Carolina. The Lexile Framework has already been applied to more than 25,000 books, 2 million periodical articles and has entered into a joint venture with N2H2 to Lexile Internet sites. The Lexile Framework enables teachers, parents and students to select reading material that is appropriately targeted to the reader. Major corporations utilizing Lexiles include Scholastic, Harcourt Educational Measurement, Follett, Globe Fearon, Addison-Wesley, Rigby, EBSCO and Pearson. The Lexile Framework was developed over a 10-year period with research conducted under the auspices of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHHD). Adoption of the Lexile Framework is spreading rapidly in states and school districts nationwide, with the states of California, Hawaii and Utah among the most recent additions. For additional information, please visit www.lexile.com.
About Follett Software Company
Since 1985, Follett Software Company has provided school, public and special libraries with leading-edge library automation, Internet and curriculum resource software and services. Its Circulation Plus software, with more than 30,000 installations worldwide, is the number one selling library automation system in the K-12 marketplace. The company also has the largest base of installed Windows customers, with 15,000 users. Follett Software Company is a division of Follett Corporation, and is headquartered in McHenry, IL. For additional information, call (800) 323-3397 or go to www.fsc.follett.com.