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JES & Co. Announces Free Version of Popular Resource Locator Software.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- New version of the Academic Standards and Assessment System free for noncommercial education use to include academic standards and access to education resources

Tucson-based nonprofit JES & Co. announced today that a special updated version of the popular Academic Standards and Assessment System, or ASAS, will be available for free downloading by schools and districts for noncommercial educational use. The popular tool set includes a database of academic achievement standards, tools for aligning education resources and assessment items to them, and easy-to-use search and retrieval features that give teachers a way to look for classroom materials according to their own state's education standards and benchmarks.

"We hope schools and districts will take advantage of the free tools to organize and align their own resources such as lesson plans and tests to state learning standards," declared Nevin Lambert, JES & Co.'s director of research and development. "Finding high-quality resources that support state curricular objectives in subjects such as reading, math and science and then making sure they are aligned to standards is painstaking and time consuming," he continued. "The ASAS will give educators an easy way to organize -- and share -- their work."

Enterprise versions of the ASAS have already been successfully integrated in several state education portals and commercial learning content management systems. Initial funding for ASAS development came from the Education Commission of the States and Intel Inc., and continued to grow as states and districts contributed ideas and testing for the project through JES & Co.'s Managed Learning System(R) research and development program. The ASAS and related Web services components currently support a variety of applications serving today's education technology landscape.

The ASAS now includes access to more than 35,000 high-quality resources from the Department of Education-sponsored Gateway to Education Materials as well as a growing number of items contributed by both commercial and noncommercial sources. Districts can search for and retrieve any of these resources, organize materials of their own and easily align them according to local or state needs. Most importantly, according to Lambert, the classification and alignment information can be easily shared with others, making the resources even more valuable.

The ASAS also serves as a prototype for the Achievement Standards Network (ASN) now under development for the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). The NSDL:ASN project, a joint collaboration of the Information School at the University of Washington, JES & Co. and Align to Achieve Inc., is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Details of the ASAS download program for schools and districts will be announced at the upcoming State Education Technology Directors Association (SETDA) National Leadership Institute Curriculum Showcase on Nov. 15 in Arlington, Va.

For more information, see http://www.jesandco.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 19, 2004
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