Platform Learning CEO Responds to Chicago Tribune Report Concerning Platform Learning's SES Program in Chicago Public Schools

Mar 07, 2005, 00:00 ET from Platform Learning Inc.

    NEW YORK, March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Platform Learning Inc., a national
 provider of supplemental educational services (SES), today issued the
 following statement regarding an article in today's Chicago Tribune regarding
 the apparent intention of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to pull its
 tutorial program from seven of the 74 CPS schools in which the Company
     As the largest SES provider in the nation, Platform Learning embraces
 accountability and expects to be held accountable for its performance. To that
 end, we feel compelled to assure parents, students, teachers, public school
 systems and government agencies across the country that we are committed to
 serving our students and take our role in this effort and in the debate about
 supplemental educational services (SES) very seriously.
     Gene Wade, CEO of Platform Learning states, "I applaud Mr. Duncan for
 taking a stand and holding Platform Learning accountable for its performance.
 Educating children is serious work and providers should be scrutinized. While
 we are committed to working with CPS to iron out any and all kinks in our
 system, we are proud of our staff and our programs in Chicago and around the
 nation.  We hope to have the opportunity to sit down with top officials at CPS
 to work through the challenges SES providers like us face when entering a new
 market. We are committed to meeting the highest standard of accountability and
 are confident that together we can address these problems."
     Platform Learning's Chicago Operations
     Platform has provided after school and weekend tutorial programs in the
 Chicago Public Schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Law (NCLB) since
 October 2004.  The Company currently serves more than 13,000 students in 74
 schools in Chicago, and employs more than 1,300 instructors and several
 hundred program aides. Since October 2004 Platform Learning has provided over
 a half million hours of tutoring to students in Chicago.  Approximately 90
 percent of our instructors are current CPS teachers who work for Platform part
 time.  We also employ a corporate staff of approximately 75 professionals to
 oversee our Chicago operations.
     Platform Learning has the Lowest Student-to-Teacher Ratio among Major SES
     Nationally, Platform Learning's average student teacher ratio is 6:1.
 Contrary to what was reported by the Chicago Tribune, our Chicago
 student-to-teacher average is below 8:1 (nearly 50 percent less than the 15:1
 ratio at which CPS offers after school tutorials), which is one of the lowest
 student-teacher ratios of any major SES provider in the country.  The primary
 reason our student-to-teacher ratio is higher in Chicago than elsewhere, is
 that we, along with other providers, are conforming to an operational model
 mandated by CPS.
     Platform Learning Abides by a Strict Operational Code of Conduct
     In regard to our marketing practices, Platform Learning has adopted the
 strictest incentive and marketing policy of any company in the industry.  Our
 employees are prohibited from giving incentives to students and schools for
 signup (other than incentives of nominal value, like a pencil or sticker).
 The Platform Learning Principles, which spell out our policies, can be found
 on our corporate website.
     Platform Learning Employs Dedicated and Trained Instructors
     Regarding our Chicago instructional staff, Platform Learning employs more
 than 1,300 instructors and several hundred program aides in its Chicago
 region. Approximately 90 percent of these instructors work in the same
 building as the tutorial program and rarely miss a session.  They are hard
 working people who care about the children they serve and view our low-student
 teacher ratio program as a way to make a real difference.
     Platform Learning Delivers Customized Educational Plans to Meet Individual
 Student Needs
     Around the country Platform Learning delivers individual learning plans to
 parents which they must sign indicating that they agree with the educational
 goals we have outlined for their child.  In Chicago, Platform Learning created
 a customized student plan for students based on CPS' specific requirements,
 and secured approval from more than 13,000 parents for their child's student
     About Platform Learning
     Headquartered in New York, NY, Platform Learning is a national provider of
 supplemental educational services (SES) that delivers after-school, weekend
 and summer tutoring programs to over 50,000 students attending public schools
 identified as "in need of improvement" under the federal No Child Left Behind
 law.  For more information visit our website at

SOURCE Platform Learning Inc.