Ossa Circle Headshot

ISTATION PRESIDENT OSSA FISHER RECOGNIZED AS A TOP BUSINESS EXECUTIVE IN NORTH TEXAS BY D CEO MAGAZINE

The Dallas 500 features region's most influential and powerful thought leaders

DALLAS, Dec. 9, 2019 — D CEO Magazine has announced that Istation President and Chief Operating Officer Ossa Fisher will be featured on the 2020 Dallas 500 list for her impressive professional achievements and her remarkable will to make a difference in the lives of others.

"I am truly grateful to be given this distinction as an honoree of the Dallas 500. North Texas is home to some of the world's leading influencers and I appreciate this recognition from D CEO," said Ossa Fisher.

To select the honorees, the magazine's editors devote months of research and countless interviews with leaders from different industries. The 2020 edition of the annual Dallas 500 provides an engaging, personal look at people at the top of their game in over 50 prominent industries. The list includes some of the region's most recognizable faces, including Mark Cuban, Ross Perot Jr., Lyda Hill, and Jerry Jones.

"Ossa has not only been an outstanding leader for Istation, but she is also a champion for creating opportunities for every child to be able to achieve the American dream and reach their full potential, regardless of background," said Istation Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins. "This recognition as one of our region's most influential leaders is well deserved and our company is very proud of her."

In the annual edition, honorees share business and life advice, such as the toughest challenges they've had to overcome in their careers and their personal hobbies.

Fisher was named Istation's president in January and has extensive expertise in technology, marketing, and media. EdTech Digest named her one of 2019's "Top 100 Influencers in EdTech," and under her presidency, Istation was named among 2019's "EdTech 1000: Companies Transforming Education."

Fisher began her career with Istation four years ago as Chief Marketing Officer, where she developed new marketing strategies, formed statewide partnerships, sought out acquisition opportunities, and worked closely on product development. Her education and experience in the education arena allowed Fisher to progress quickly to Chief Operating Officer, where she led ground-breaking research initiatives in education and technology. Her "Red Cape Nation" brand initiative — promoting the belief that every child deserves to be a hero — increased brand awareness of Istation by 400 percent. More than 90,000 students are "Red Cape" heroes today!

Before joining Istation, Fisher was the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Analytics at Match, Inc., and a partner at Bain & Company. She also served on the board of directors for Rackspace Hosting, Inc., a leading provider of managed cloud services.

In addition to her work, Fisher is active in her community. In 2013, she joined the board of directors for Uplift Education, one of the largest not-for-profit charter school networks in Texas. In this role, she helped develop the growth strategy for the organization, which is still in use today. She served on the board of directors of the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation, which helped raise over $100 million to design, build and operate the award-winning Klyde Warren Park green space in downtown Dallas. Fisher has also sat on the SMU Simmons Executive Board since 2018 and is president of the Yale Club of Dallas.

Fisher holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Yale University, as well as a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Arts in education from Stanford University. She is a published writer, having been a regular contributor to Huffington Post, and is a contributor to the Forbes Communications Council. She is married and has two children.


Istation

ISTATION RECEIVES TOP SCORE FOR DATA EXCHANGE IN EDTECH INDUSTRY

Project Unicorn Index recognizes Istation for its interoperability: the seamless, secure exchange of data between applications

DALLAS, November 12, 2019 — A leading Dallas-based educational technology company, Istation, has received the highest possible score on the Project Unicorn Index, tier level 4. This third-party validation serves as confirmation of Istation's long-standing commitment to standards and practices that protect all user data.

The Project Unicorn Index is backed by a steering committee that includes organizations with a shared mission to leverage data to create better outcomes for students, save time for teachers and increase efficiencies for schools. The committee includes organizations such the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, InnovateEDU, Future of Privacy Forum, Data Quality Campaign, EdSurge, Ed-Fi Alliance, Common Sense and Digital Promise, among others.

At the forefront of the educational technology sector, Istation has more than four million student subscribers on more than 9,000 campuses throughout the nation and in several countries.

Istation had previously signed the Project Unicorn Pledge, which affirmed the company's ongoing efforts to help students and families transition to connected classrooms, advocate for data interoperability, ensure data interoperability within Istation products and ensure that all products meet industry standards and certification processes.

"We place the protection of data as the highest priority in everything that we do as a company," said Istation's Chief Information Officer, Robert Rubin. "Istation is incredibly proud to be recognized by champions of secure interoperability."

For more information about Project Unicorn and the Project Unicorn Index, please visit www.projectunicorn.org.


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Istation for English and Spanish language arts adopted by Texas State Board of Education

Board approves edtech company's adaptive curriculum for Proclamation 2019, making Istation's actionable data available to educators

DALLAS, October 29, 2019 — Leading educational technology company Istation's award-winning K-8 reading and K-5 Spanish literacy instructional materials have been adopted for Proclamation 2019 by the Texas State Board of Education. The state-wide adoption puts Istation's interactive instruction on a list of qualified vendors that provide curriculum correlated to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS), a set of standards determined by the state.

At its April 2017 meeting, the Texas State Board of Education issued Proclamation 2019, which applies to education vendors at the primary and secondary public education level. The adopted materials are scheduled to arrive in classrooms in the 2019-2020 school year.

"Istation is aligned to state standards in Texas and across the country while providing actionable and insightful data that improves engagement and educational outcomes," Istation President Ossa Fisher said. "Istation prescribes explicit and direct lessons, giving schools targeted intervention and blended learning support that identifies their specific needs and adjusts to each student's abilities."

Istation's instructional materials include digital lessons and face-to-face instructional strategies for reading and Spanish literacy. Plus, students can conveniently access lessons online outside the classroom, helping strengthen the school-to-home connection.

Offering teaching approaches that cover 'learning to read' as well as 'reading to learn,' Istation has been proven effective at improving students' phonemic awareness, alphabetic decoding, accuracy and fluency with text, vocabulary, comprehension and more. While students in need of extra help are directed to reteach lessons based on ability, teachers will have access to specific and scripted small-group lessons for targeted reading intervention.

Designed by Spanish-language instructors, Istation's Spanish program is noteworthy for teaching skills that are predictive of success for bilingual implementation, including within dual-language models. Its instructional approach includes cultural elements and diverse classroom strategies for novice and veteran educators.

Istation's comprehensive approach also provides professional development and continuous support, guiding educators through implementation and data-informed analysis that allow for more personalized student instruction. The implementation of such student-specific analysis can measure skills across grade levels and based on current standards of curriculum in the state.

Istation's computer-based format is interactive, engaging and fun. Its comprehensive library of support materials makes every minute of teaching and learning more effective, and the easy-to-use components work together to provide educators with the targeted instruction students need.

For more information, visit https://tea.texas.gov


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Washington's Dyslexia Advisory Council recommends Istation as literacy screening tool

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) approves Istation's dyslexia-screening technology for Washington state school districts

DALLAS, September 3, 2019 — Istation, a leader in educational technology, has been approved by the state of Washington to assess and identify dyslexia and other learning difficulties for early-screening purposes. Istation joins a vetted list of academic screeners throughout the state.

Istation's dyslexia-screening technology was developed in part with Joseph Torgesen, PhD, Professor Emeritus of the Florida Center for Reading Research at Florida State University. Torgesen is a key figure in the study of both dyslexia and computer-assisted instruction.

"The tool developed by Dr. Torgesen as part of Istation's team provides reliable, continuous assessments in this area and is credited with being an important aid to help identify students at risk of dyslexia early in their academic careers," said Istation's Chief Operating Officer, Ossa Fisher. "In addition, because Istation is adaptive, it adjusts the subtests based on performance, so those students in need receive the subtests more relevant to their areas of need."

Istation's assessments comply with the state of Washington's recently enacted legislation on dyslexia screening requirements. Istation addresses dyslexia and other academic difficulties with a well-established methodology within its assessments, Istation's Indicators of Progress (ISIP™).

The ISIP objectives are divided into eight animated subtests that address components crucial to long-term success in reading. Both students that are at-risk and those not at-risk (according to reading ability) respond to a series of interactive tasks that have been shown to correlate highly with measures of comprehension. Key target areas include phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, alphabetic decoding, spelling, text fluency, vocabulary, listening comprehension, and oral reading fluency. Teachers can apply the timely and specific ISIP error analysis data to create prescriptive and targeted student interventions and help guide further instruction based on individual needs.

Washington school districts that purchase and use Istation's computer-adaptive assessments will receive thorough training and ongoing support from an expert literacy team experienced in catering to the needs of both teachers and students.

Through Istation's in-person workshops, webinars, learning modules, and technical assistance, educators learn how to best utilize Istation's reports to provide appropriate interventions. Students benefit from an ongoing evaluation of their skills with Istation's online diagnostic assessment, which is used in identifying learning disabilities while analyzing a wide metric of reading levels and literacy. Early detection of dyslexia is key to maintaining progress on the path to academic achievement.

Istation's individualized assessments can audit the status of an entire classroom in approximately 30 minutes. The time saved allows instructors to address students who need extra attention in order to meet grade-level reading expectations. Istation has a proven track record of identifying students' under-the-radar issues that may have otherwise gone undetected.

Istation serves over 8,900 campuses in a total of seven countries, including the United States. Six different departments of education have implemented Istation software statewide: Florida, Kansas, Texas, Idaho, Arkansas and New Mexico.

For more information, visit https://www.k12.wa.us


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Tech Titans names Istation's Bill Lowrey as a finalist for prestigious Corporate Chief Technology Officer award

Winner of the Corporate Chief Technology Officer award to be announced at a gala in late August

DALLAS, July 16, 2019 — Istation's Chief Technology Officer Bill Lowrey has been named a finalist in this year's Tech Titans awards in recognition of his decades-long quest to combine innovative, classroom-deployable technologies with research-based educational principles.

Tech Titans announced Lowrey's selection online in a special section of the Dallas Business Journal.

The Tech Titans' Corporate Chief Technology Officer award annually "recognizes the Corporate Technology or Science Officer of a North Texas-based technology or non-technology company for exceptional technical leadership" that has fostered the development of valuable, game-changing commercial technology.

Lowrey's nomination cited his push for fundamental change within Istation's technology department, by way of embarking on structured projects that have shown immediate returns on investment, as a primary reason why he is deserving of this honor.

"Technology is key to making sure today's students receive the most innovative education so that they are prepared to compete in the world," said Istation Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Collins. "This recognition of Bill as a disciple and a key driver of technological transformations that ultimately make a difference in the classroom is much deserved. We're grateful to Tech Titans for recognizing and appreciating him as we do."

In his tenure with Istation, Lowrey and his team have guided Istation's fundamental engineering effort to change the backend infrastructure that supports and enables all of Istation's products as part of a cloud transformation effort driven by a shift toward an Agile process. This new framework, known for its characteristic iterative steps called sprints, has helped Istation move more swiftly through each phase of product development. The cloud transformation at Istation led by Lowrey is reducing costs for development across the board, allowing far more rapid change to be achieved with minimal risk.

Lowrey and his team have also created Istation's new Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) assessment program that incorporates advanced speech recognition and digital recording technology to record elementary students' reading and measure how accurately and fluently students can read grade-level text aloud.

One of the most time-consuming and important elements of a teacher's responsibilities is measuring oral reading fluency – a student's ability to read connected text quickly, accurately and with expression – because teachers must assess students one at a time and create alternate plans to occupy the rest of the class. The data collection stage of Istation's new ORF assessment allows students in first through third grades to record a reading passage by logging in to the program and using a microphone headset. Teachers can then score and document the recordings on their own schedule.

By creating programs such as ORF, Lowrey has exponentially increased Istation's ability to adapt to the needs of the classroom of the future.

Lowrey helped found Istation in 1998 with his strong background in software development. Since then, Lowrey has worked tirelessly to bring automated testing models to predominantly manual testing environments, reaching roughly 5 million students throughout the United States and several countries.

"We're in the process of managing what I call a 'supertanker pivot' in doing the cloud transformation – moving everything the company does to the cloud," Lowrey said. "You start by managing the risks by working with small, bite-size chunks and completing them back to back until they're all done in a short period of time. When it's done well, the general public rarely hears about successful behind-the-scenes efforts like these, which is why I'm especially thankful for Tech Titans selecting me as a finalist for this award among the other deserving nominees."

The Tech Titans Awards Gala will be held Friday, August 23, 2019, with a host of other individuals currently transforming the high-tech industry.


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Digital implementation boosts assessment adoption

According to an educational survey, 87% of school leaders believe computer-based approaches drive teacher buy-in

DALLAS, June 25, 2019 — Nearly 90 percent of school leaders responding to an Istation sponsored educational survey by District Administration magazine said digitally implementing formative assessments improves system-wide adoption and usage by teachers in districts and schools.

The survey asked school administrators across the country to share challenges that limit adoption of a systematic approach to formative assessment in their districts. Survey results were published in the June 2019 issue of District Administration. Click here to view the Infographic.

Formative assessments help teachers recognize which skills students struggle with in order to help differentiate instruction. Istation provides schools with computer-adaptive formative assessments, screening programs and progress monitoring. Schools get actionable and insightful data that drives intervention and blended learning for reading, math and Spanish literacy.

Asked if they believe teachers would increase their use of formative assessment through a digital platform, 20 percent of administrators said, "Yes, definitely," while 67% percent said, "Yes, probably." Of the administrators surveyed, 95 percent said teachers would consistently use a systematic approach if it were easier, less time consuming or both.

"Findings from this significant study reinforce Istation's belief that digitally implementing formative assessments ensures more teachers are supported as they differentiate instruction for their students, using actionable and insightful data," said Richard H. Collins, chairman and CEO of Istation. "The results also tell us that ease and time are the major factors impacting teacher buy-in of a systematic approach to formative assessments."

Research-based and aligned to individual state standards and Common Core State Standards, Istation's formative assessments also support English language instruction and special education. Schools get real-time student data that helps measure growth with teacher-friendly feedback that is timely, specific and constructive.

"Real-time data provided through computer-adaptive assessments helps teachers to be much more prescriptive," said Vickie Whitfield, Vice President of Instruction & Product Knowledge at Istation. "Because of this technology and how it is being leveraged, teachers can accelerate every student's achievement more quickly and efficiently.Using Istation's nationally normed Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) to measure student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive screening and progress monitoring, a teacher can assess his or her whole class in approximately 30 minutes."


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Istation approved to provide literacy assessments in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education approves Istation in state's effort to enhance literacy screening and progress monitoring

DALLAS, June 19, 2019 — Education technology leader Istation has been selected by the Massachusetts Department of Education as an approved vendor to provide early literacy screening assessment tools to kindergarten through 2nd-grade students and educators for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Districts throughout the state will have the option of using Istation's Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) online formative assessment to identify students at risk for reading difficulties. The assessment includes automatic continuous progress monitoring of skills that are predictors of later reading success, and it immediately and automatically links data to student learning needs in order to facilitate differentiated instruction.

Professional development and continuous support from Istation team members will help educators with administration, data collection, and data analysis that allow for more individualized student instruction.

"We are proud to be named as a vendor to provide computerized reading assessments which are efficient and easy to administer for elementary school students in the state of Massachusetts," said Istation Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins. "Istation's individualized assessment may be used as both a universal screening and progress-monitoring tool, as it is predictive of future academic success, it identifies students who are at risk, and it may be conducted at least three times a year."

The ISIP assessment measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive screening programs, providing data so that teachers and students both know which specific skills a student needs to improve and giving them a map of how to improve reading comprehension. Because the program is computer adaptive, it can measure skills across grade levels.

With ISIP, an entire class can be assessed in 30 to 40 minutes. Following the assessment, the program immediately generates reports that educators can use to guide instruction and intervention. A pair of recent studies has shown that Istation's reading assessments accurately predict how students will perform on end-of-instruction tests.


Istation CEO Richard Collins

Istation CEO Richard Collins named EdTech CEO of the Year in 2019 EdTech Breakthrough Awards

Prestigious awards recognize outstanding educational technology products and companies

DALLAS, June 13, 2019 — Istation today announced that EdTech Breakthrough, a leading market intelligence organization that recognizes the top companies and solutions in the global educational technology market, has selected Istation co-founder and CEO Richard Collins as the winner of its EdTech CEO of the Year award in the inaugural EdTech Breakthrough Awards program.

Established in 1998, Istation is a comprehensive e-learning program that is today used by more than four million students and educators around the world. Istation helps administrators, teachers and students uncover hidden strengths with engaging educational technology programs in reading, math and Spanish literacy.

The company's computer-adaptive intervention and blended learning help schools personalize instruction with formative assessments, adaptive curriculum, student data, instructional resources and dynamic support. With Istation, schools can measure growth and share teacher-friendly feedback that is timely, specific and constructive.

"Istation is a leader in the realm of engaging and interactive software products which can enhance and enrich classroom education," said James Johnson, managing director at EdTech Breakthrough. "We are excited to recognize CEO Richard Collins for his vision in helping propel the educational technology forward, as well as industry leadership among a company that helps millions of students learn through innovative and collaborative learning programs."

The mission of the EdTech Breakthrough Awards is to honor excellence and recognize the innovation, hard work and success in a variety of educational technology categories: Student Engagement, School Administration, Adaptive Learning, STEM Education, e-Learning and Career Preparation and many more. This year's program attracted more than 1,500 nominations from over 12 different countries throughout the world.

Istation's programs first seek to assess learners' proficiency in an engaging computer-adaptive assessment that takes no more than 30 minutes. Then struggling students are routed through reteach lessons, and teachers are given instant reports that help them monitor student progress. Reports direct teachers to specific, skills-based, small-group lessons for targeted intervention for maximum learner improvement.

"I am honored to accept this award from EdTech Breakthrough," said Richard Collins, Chief Executive Officer of Istation. "At Istation, we believe that every student deserves the best educational experience possible and that they should feel like a superhero. Our logo with a child wearing a red cape was inspired by this belief, and we know that teachers are the wind beneath their capes. We are developing the best and most engaging tools to make sure that teachers can continue to empower and educate children."


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Istation accelerates launch of oral fluency program

Program that presents road map to improving academic performance in reading available to elementary schools at no cost

DALLAS, May 9, 2019 — Istation, a Dallas-based education technology company, accelerates the launch of its Istation's Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) assessment program across the United States. The program incorporates advanced speech recognition and digital recording technology to record students' reading and measure how accurately and fluently students can read grade-level text aloud.

The data collection stage of the program allows students in grades one through three to record a reading passage by logging in to the program and using a microphone headset. Teachers can score and document the recordings on their own schedule, as time permits.

Oral reading fluency—the ability to read connected text quickly, accurately and with expression—is one of several critical components required for successful reading comprehension.

"Our new ORF assessment program is a game changer, a really powerful tool for teachers. Hundreds of campuses across America are participating in this program using state-of-the-art technology," said Richard H. Collins, chairman and CEO of Istation. "Not only is ORF a timesaver, promoting more classroom instruction, but the program provides computer-based resources and formative data to identify both when a student makes a reading error and what kind of error—be it self-correcting, visual, meaning or syntax."

Thousands of elementary school students in the US are already using the program during the pilot period, and even more schools can participate for the remainder of this school year—at no cost—by registering online at www.istation.com/ISIPOralReadingFluency.

"Our teachers love the time savings and feel they do not lose instruction time while students are testing on ORF," said instructional coach Diana Wright of New Mexico's Aztec Municipal Schools, whose second-grade classes joined the program in January 2019. "The teachers have gained accuracy in grading because they can focus on the recordings, pause and go back to listen closely to each student's recording. Our students and parents appreciate teachers' sharing student recordings with them to gain a better understanding of student reading skills. Students are more engaged with ORF on the computer because it is fun for them and feels private—like a privilege for them to use."

Istation experts conducted extensive research in the main dialect regions of the nation—the Inland North, the South and the West—to ensure the most accurate grading and reporting for each student. ORF also incorporates safeguards for reporting when English is not a student's first language.

"The Oral Reading Fluency assessment is groundbreaking—there is nothing else like it," said Istation President and Chief Operating Officer Ossa Fisher. "Istation is incredibly proud to be at the forefront of bringing technology of this kind into the classroom with a mission-driven approach to help the teacher and empower the student in a way that hasn't been possible before."

The goal of the ORF project is to give teachers another time-saving tool in the classroom, allowing them to focus on student learning rather than assessments and to provide a history of student recordings that teachers can review as needed to better map students' progress and predict future success. The assessment is an effective resource for students who receive English language arts instruction in English.

The ISIP ORF assessment is the result of Istation's partnership with Boulder Learning, Inc., through which Istation enhanced Boulder Learning's existing speech-recognition and assessment product, FLORA, and adapted it for large-scale deployment in classrooms across the nation.

The ISIP ORF assessment is the result of Istation's partnership with Boulder Learning, Inc., through which Istation enhanced Boulder Learning's existing speech-recognition and assessment product, FLORA, and adapted it for large-scale deployment in classrooms across the nation.

Schools can learn more about the ORF program and how to participate by calling 1-866-883-READ (7323) or by visiting at www.istation.com/ISIPOralReadingFluency .


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Istation programs named 2019 SIIA education technology CODiE Awards finalists

Dallas-based edtech leader earns prestigious software industry recognition in two categories

DALLAS, May 7, 2019 — Istation, one of the nation's leading providers of richly animated, game-like educational technology, today announced that its Spanish literacy program, Istation Español, was named a 2019 SIIA CODiE Award finalist in the Best ESL, ELL or World Language Acquisition Solution category. Additionally Istation Reading was named a finalist in the Best Game-Based Curriculum Solution category. Finalists in the CODiE Awards include applications, products and services from developers of educational software, digital content, online learning services and related technologies for prekindergarten through grade 12 and higher education.

The Best ESL, ELL or World Language Acquisition Solution category "recognizes the best instructional solution for English as a Second Language (ESL), English Language Learners (ELL) and World Languages for students." Istation Español is a motivational, culturally authentic education technology program that provides personalized learning for ELLs through formative assessments, adaptive curriculum and flexible teacher resources. The research-based program allows teachers to design curriculum to meet the specific needs of each child.

The Best Game-Based Curriculum Solution category "recognizes the best curriculum solution that uses gaming elements as an integral component of a curriculum or assessment product." Istation's innovative middle school reading program seamlessly integrates the entire catalog of middle school reading standards into one continuous, immersive game narrative that provides students with choice, voice and agency as they explore relatable characters and environments. Additionally, administrators and educators can use Istation to easily track the progress of their students, schools, and classrooms as they tackle everything from in-depth poetry analysis to rhetorical appeals and logical fallacies.

"We are proud to be named a finalist in both of these categories—for providing highly innovative and effective programs in the education technology industry," said Istation COO and President Ossa Fisher. "This is one more indication that Istation has an incredibly talented team of artists, developers, educators and specialists working together to make a positive difference in the education of our children."

The SIIA CODiE Awards are the premier awards for the software and information industries and have recognized product excellence for more than 30 years. The awards offer 76 categories that are organized by industry focus of education technology and business technology. Istation was honored as one of 139 finalists across the 32 education technology categories this year.

"The 2019 CODIE Award finalists represent the finest in innovation and creativity in educational technology," said President Jeff Joseph at SIIA. "These breakthrough products are opening doors for learners of all ages by developing and utilizing new technologies to respond to diverse student and educator needs."

The software industry's only peer-reviewed awards program, the SIIA CODiE Awards have educators and administrators serve as the judges who conduct the first-round review of all education nominees. Each finalist product will go through a second round of SIIA member reviews, and the scores from both rounds will be combined to determine the 2019 CODiE Award winners.

Winners will be announced during a CODiE Award Celebration at the Ed Tech Industry Conference & CODiE Awards in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.

Details about each finalist are listed at www.siia.net.


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Istation approved to provide reading assessments in Ohio

Ohio Department of Education approves Istation in state's effort to ensure all students read at grade level by the end of third grade

DALLAS, May 2, 2019 — Dallas-based education technology leader Istation has been approved as a K-3 early reading diagnostic assessment vendor for the Ohio Department of Education for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Istation's Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) Early Reading assessment is an online formative assessment designed to 1) identify children at risk of reading difficulties; 2) provide automatic continuous progress monitoring of skills that are predictors of later reading success; and 3) provide immediate and automatic linkage of data to student learning needs, which facilitate differentiated instruction.

Ohio school districts will be able to use Istation's ISIP assessment, which addresses state standards in reading foundations, reading comprehension, language, and listening to ensure all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. The assessment tool supports Ohio's Third Grade Reading Guarantee, the state's program to identify students from kindergarten through grade three who are behind in reading.

"We are proud to be named as a vendor to provide computerized reading assessments which are efficient and easy to administer for elementary school students in the state of Ohio," said Istation Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins. "Istation's individualized assessment may be used as both a universal screening and a progress-monitoring tool, as it is predictive of future academic success."

The ISIP assessment measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive diagnostic and screening programs, providing data so that teachers and students both know which specific skills need to improve and giving them a map of how to improve those skills. Because the program is computer-adaptive, it can measure skills across grade levels.

With ISIP, an entire class can be assessed in 30 to 40 minutes. Following the assessment, the program immediately generates reports that educators can use to guide instruction and intervention. A pair of recent studies has shown that Istation's reading assessments accurately predict how students will perform on end-of-instruction tests.

For more information, including the list of Ohio's approved assessments, visit education.ohio.gov.


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Istation Names Steve Jordan Chief Product Officer

25-year strategy veteran joins Dallas-based educational technology organization

DALLAS, April 23, 2019 — Istation welcomes Steve Jordan as the first Chief Product Officer (CPO) at the company. Istation is a Dallas-based education technology provider of computer-adaptive assessments and instruction in reading, math and Spanish literacy.

As CPO, Jordan will be responsible for driving Istation’s product vision, strategy, design and development. He will lead the company’s product management and design teams. Jordan will focus on innovation and growth of the product portfolio, building on the Istation mission of empowering kids and supporting educators.

“We are excited to welcome a visionary leader like Steve aboard our Istation team as Chief Product Officer,” said Richard Collins, Istation CEO and one of the company’s founders.

Jordan brings more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry. Previously, he was Vice President of Product Management at Flywheel Building Intelligence, a cloud solution optimizing building operations, where he led product strategy, product development and marketing across web, mobile and native applications. Prior to Flywheel, he held product leadership roles at Dealertrack, Mozido, CoreLogic and GHR Systems.

“Steve is amazing at what he does, and I know he will excel in this role as Istation moves forward,” said Ossa Fisher, Istation President and COO. “We are grateful to have his experience and expertise in technology on our team.”


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Istation approved to provide reading assessments in Michigan

Michigan Department of Education approves Istation in state’s effort to ensure all students read at grade level by the end of third grade

DALLAS, April 15, 2019 — Dallas-based education technology leader Istation has been approved as both an initial assessment and extensive assessment vendor for the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Initial assessments are tools used early in the school year and regularly throughout it to identify students’ potential issues or challenges in grade-level literacy skills and pinpoint those who may be at risk of falling behind. Extensive assessments are delivered only to students who display a deficiency on the initial assessment or through formative and classroom assessments.

Michigan school districts will use Istation’s Indicators of Progress (ISIP™) Early Reading assessment, which addresses state standards in Reading Foundations, Reading Comprehension, Language and Listening, to ensure all students are reading at grade level by the end of the third grade, as required under the state’s Read by Grade Three Law.

According to the MDE Literacy Team, assessments will help districts with benchmarking, comprehensive screening and building a diagnostic understanding of student performance in reading, which is an essential component of a complete program for early literacy.

“We are proud to be named as a vendor to provide computerized reading assessments for elementary school students in the state of Michigan,” said Istation Chairman and CEO Richard H. Collins. “Istation’s individualized assessments provide important feedback that is essential to Michigan’s complete program for early literacy in support of raising literacy throughout the state.”

The ISIP assessment measures student growth with engaging, computer-adaptive diagnostic and screening programs, providing data so that teachers and students both know which specific skills a student needs to improve, and giving them a map of how to improve reading comprehension. Because the program is computer-adaptive, it can measure skills across grade levels.

With ISIP, an entire class can be assessed in 30 to 40 minutes. Following the assessment, the program immediately generates reports that educators can use to guide instruction and intervention. A pair of recent studies has shown that Istation’s reading assessments accurately predict how students will perform on end-of-instruction tests.

For more information, including the list of initial and extensive assessments, resources for designing a comprehensive assessment system, and information on how to strengthen formative assessment practices, visit www.michigan.gov.


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Istation Sponsors Major Speakers at 2019 ASCD Conference

Renowned educators Ron Clark and Stacy Stewart will discuss how to achieve student success

DALLAS, March 16, 2019 — As part of its participation in ASCD Empower19: The Conference for Every Educator, Istation is proud to sponsor the Saturday, March 16 general session presented by educator Ron Clark in Chicago.

During “Teaching Through Adversity: Facing Challenges and Making a Difference,” Clark will share his journey from teaching in a low-wealth rural area in North Carolina to the inner-city streets of Harlem. Known as “America’s Educator,” Ron Clark will share inspirational stories of how his students made outstanding growth in test scores, conducted projects that garnered worldwide attention, and were invited to the White House three separate years to be honored by the president.

Istation also is supporting Stacy Stewart, principal of Chicago’s Belmont-Cragin Elementary School, which is located on Chicago’s Northwest side. Stewart’s Saturday, March 17 afternoon session, “How Technology Sparks Dual-Language Programs,” will demonstrate to education leaders how one elementary campus with 68 percent English learners enhanced learning, motivated teachers and strengthened the school-to-home connection with computer-adaptive Spanish literacy lessons and assessments. Soon after implementing Istation’s dual-language program, Belmont-Cragin was able to close the achievement gap and improve the school’s designation from a Level 3 rating to Level 1+.

“We are extremely proud that Principal Stewart employed Istation’s educational technology programs that promote a personalized approach to dual-language education and allow for more instructional time in the classroom to improve her student outcomes so dramatically,” said Istation President Ossa Fisher.

As a former CPS student and 26-year employee of the Chicago Public Schools, Stacy Stewart has served as a middle school teacher, Induction Coach for the New Teacher Center, and school principal. Since becoming principal of Belmont-Cragin in 2010, she has worked diligently to improve the quality of teaching and learning by utilizing a personalized approach with dual-language education, SEL and personalized learning.

Stewart, an Apple Leadership Award recipient, will be featured during Istation’s Facebook Live session, Sunday March 17, from 1:30 – 2 p.m., Booth #1409.

Istation will also sponsor additional Facebook Live sessions, hosted by EdSurge, from their Conference Booth #1409 on the following schedule throughout the conference.

Saturday, March 16:

11:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. – Facebook Live #1: Dr. Jane Moore, Professional Development, Istation

3:30 - 4 p.m. – Facebook Live #2: Joshua Perdomo, Director of English Learner Services and World Languages for District 300 in Illinois, Twitter @CUSD300

Sunday, March 17

1:30 pm - 2 p.m. – Facebook Live #3: Stacy Stewart, Principal of Belmont – Cragin Elementary School and Golden Apple Leadership Award Recipient, Twitter @Rev_principal

2:30 - 3 p.m. – Facebook Live #4: Belmont-Cragin Elementary School Faculty, Twitter @BelmontCragin


Istation

She prevailed against odds to get into Yale, and now this tech president is helping students herself

By Brian Womack – Staff Writer, Dallas Business Journal

DALLAS, February 7, 2019 — More than 20 years ago, Ossa Fisher was a student at Newark Memorial High School in Newark, Calif., where administrators grappled with high drop-out rates and teen pregnancies. But she saw a future, not just in higher education, but at Yale University.

“I was told nobody had gotten into Yale from Newark Memorial … and to not get my hopes up,” said Fisher, speaking in an interview at Dallas' Istation, where she's now president and chief operating officer.

While that might have been the case at the high school, Fisher prevailed with the Ivy League institution.

“When I did get into Yale, I hyperventilated,” she said. “And I loved that experience. It was very transformative.”

Now, she’s playing an important role in helping kids excel in education at Istation, where she’s worked for four years. The company specializes in providing computer-adaptive assessments and instruction in reading, math and Spanish literacy.

She proved herself early on at the company as chief marketing officer before becoming chief operating officer. Istation announced her new, additional role as president last month.

“I have been trying to find my way to make a difference in education,” she said. “I’ve always had a passion.”

Fisher sees opportunities ahead as the company embraces new technologies and pushes into more schools around the country.

The company has been ramping up its size. Istation's headcount has grown from less than 90 in 2013 to approximately 250 employees today. The company’s Dallas presence has grown to more than 46,000 square feet from 16,000 square feet in 2012.

Fisher, who has been with the company since 2015, sees more expansion ahead with expectations for easily 20 new employees in the coming year. That would include hiring in the areas of product development, engineering, sales, marketing, research and curriculum.

A key area of expansion has been a push into more states. At one time, Texas had more than 80 percent of the company’s sales, but in the past five to 10 years, Istation has expanded nationally and is now in all 50 states, she said. It’s also in eight additional countries.

Teachers are increasingly using the services that prepare students for a future after school. The products range from pre-kindergarten to junior high.

Fisher herself had a desire to be a teacher. When she received her master’s of business administration from Stanford University, she also earned a master of education where she learned from experts in the field.

“I knew, unfortunately, for better or worse, that I was not a teacher,” she said. “I have teachers who have been the most blessed gift to me, who have changed my life. I wish I had that gift, but just like I’m not a rock star either, teaching was not my gift.”

She has a “pragmatic, data-driven brain” that doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to captivating a room full of struggling students.

Yet those skills are well-suited for other fields. Following an earlier stint at Goldman Sachs, she went on to join consulting firm Bain & Co., where she worked for nearly a decade. She began as a consultant and rose up the ranks to partner.

There, she worked with some of the largest corporations in the world, including technology companies. Yet, even then, she would do “pro-bono” work with organizations that were focused on kids and schools.

But she wanted more.

“I was approaching 40 and probably had a little bit of a mid-life crisis. I said to my husband, 'I have been talking about education for as long as we’ve known each other – it’s always been my mission,'” she said. “Now, education technology – it’s really blowing up. It’s emergent, and I feel like this is a fit for me because my background was business and technology.”

She eventually joined Istation, drawn by its mission and long commitment to education.

In her first role as CMO, the mandate was to spread the word about Istation nationwide. The brand awareness in Texas was “OK,” but that wasn’t enough. She went to work, and the awareness of the brand jumped five-fold.

She pointed to success around taking the simple idea of the cape a child wears in the logo to help amplify the brand. The company worked on something called “red cape nation,” relaying the notion that every child deserves to feel like a super hero. For example, children could wear the accessory, showing them off to others as a reward for their efforts.

“That became more viral than I think I could have anticipated,” she said.

In her new role, she’s looking forward to the future. The company’s strategic priorities include research, voice-recognition, enhanced data analytics and increasingly sophisticated personalization, Fisher said in a separate email.

“All of these initiatives will drive growth for the company and, more importantly, they will drive positive impact in the classroom,” she said.