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 operates. 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 Providers 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 plan. 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 http://www.platformlearning.com.
SOURCE Platform Learning Inc.