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THE ROACH ORGANIZATION AWARDED INTEGRATED LEARNING SYSTEM CONTRACT BY THE TENNESSEE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 THE ROACH ORGANIZATION AWARDED INTEGRATED LEARNING SYSTEM CONTRACT
 BY THE TENNESSEE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
 MINNEAPOLIS, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The Roach Organization, Inc. (TRO) announced today it has been awarded a $935,115 contract from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) to install PLATO(R) computer-based education systems in five neighboring counties in western Tennessee. The counties include Carroll, Fayette, Hardin, Haywood and Madison. As part of an extensive economic development strategy, the PLATO systems will provide individualized, comprehensive instruction to at-risk students within the counties' school systems, as well as to adults in the surrounding community in need of the basic literacy and employability skills required to obtain and maintain successful employment. The PLATO systems will be managed by a designated school district within each county and PLATO courseware will be distributed through remote telephone communications to schools, businesses, industries and social service agencies throughout the county. The project is funded by a major grant from the Tennessee Valley Authority to the Tennessee Department of Education and is being managed by the department's Adult Community Education Division.
 The project was initiated by U.S. Congressman John Tanner, who requested that the TVA examine West Tennessee's economic opportunities. In April, 1990, the TVA, together with a cross section of community members, presented a comprehensive six-part report entitled "Teamwork Tennessee: Strategies for Regional Economic Development." This extensive report placed emphasis on the need for communities to "work together across organizational and political boundaries on projects beyond the reach of local economic development plans" and made expanded community-wide educational opportunities a critical component.
 In September of 1991, with the commitment from TVA to fund a major demonstration project consistent with the educational recommendations outlined in the Teamwork Tennessee report, the Tennessee State Department of Education invited Integrated Learning System (ILS) vendors to submit detailed proposals for implementing the program. After a thorough review of each proposal, extensive interviews with customers of each proposing vendor, and site demonstrations to county, state and TVA representatives, TRO/PLATO was selected by the evaluating committee to be awarded the contract and implement the educational plan.
 Five host PLATO systems will deliver PLATO courseware and management capabilities to not only the learning labs in the five counties, but to a total of 22 remote sites. This installation is one of the largest "remote communications: programs ever attempted in a rural area. Initially, the total number of workstations offering PLATO courseware will be 100. Installation of the systems began in mid February and should be complete in early March, with on-site training and support to be provided by TRO on an ongoing basis.
 Michael A. Hill, vice president of sales for TRO's PLATO Education Services division, stated, "In response to the Tennessee State Department of Education's request, we proposed an integrated TRO/PLATO solution, including the highest quality, adult-oriented courseware, to meet the specific requirements and objectives set forth in the plan. We were confident that this solution would prove to be the most comprehensive available to meet the educational objectives defined for the region's young adult and adult learners. I believe that the decision of the evaluating committee to implement the TRO/PLATO solution is a direct reflection of the quality, commitment and philosophy represented by our company and its employees, products and services."
 Ken McCullough, ILS project manager for the Tennessee State Department of Education's Division of Adult and Community Education, commented, "This five-county Integrated Learning System project, which links business, industry, social service agencies and schools in a collaborative effort to serve at-risk students, adults in need of basic literacy skills, and employees who need higher levels of math and reading skills, gives us a unique opportunity to see how state-of-the- art instructional technology can serve as a catalyst for sharing opportunities and resources in overall economic and community development." He continued, "The quality of the PLATO instructional components and the expertise of the TRO personnel, both on- and off- site, gives us high expectations that the project will not only be successful, but will serve as a model for potential development elsewhere in Tennessee."
 "The partnership approach with which this project has been undertaken is key to its successful implementation," commented William R. Roach, chairman of the board, president and CEO for TRO. "The collaboration among government, business, educators and community prevails in this project and is representative of the design and intent of the America 2000 initiative. At TRO, a partnership philosophy is the basis upon which we build relationships with all our clients. I speak for each and every TRO employee when I say we are truly honored to have been selected by the people of West Tennessee to join in partnership with the State of Tennessee and TVA in what we know will become a model for community-wide education programs throughout the country."
 The Roach Organization, Inc. is a privately held, international training and education company with annual revenues in excess of $30 million. Through four major divisions, TRO provides computer-based education products to corporations, schools, community colleges, community-based organizations and correctional facilities; computer- based flight crew and maintenance personnel training and education courseware to the aviation industry; multi-media PC end user training and basic skills education products to the corporate market; and computer-based certification and testing services for professional licensure to clients through more than 55 PLATO Professional Development Centers nationwide.
 The Roach Organization has domestic offices located throughout the United States and international offices located in Canada and the United Kingdom. TRO's executive offices are located at Woodfield Corporate Center, 150 North Martingale Road, Suite 700, Schaumburg, Illinois, 60173, 708-517-5100. Headquarters are located at 4660 West 77th Street, Edina, Minn., 55435, 612-832-1000 or 800-869-2000.
 -0- 3/3/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Hill of The Roach Organization, 703-578-1802/ CO: The Roach Organization ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


KH -- MN005 -- 4701 03/03/92 17:28 EST
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