July 16, 2008

New Mexico Selects Blackboard to Support Statewide K-20 E-Learning Initiative

LAS VEGAS, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Blackboard Inc. today announced that it has been selected by New Mexico to partner in a landmark initiative to deploy a single, statewide e-learning platform that will be the first of its kind to connect teaching, learning, and training for the state's K-20, adult education, and government communities.

The initiative will give all of New Mexico's public schools, colleges, and universities the ability to develop, share, and offer online courses and tutoring; increase access to quality teaching and educational opportunities for underserved students; and streamline training and workforce development efforts for adult learners and government employees. Collectively, the initiative has the potential to reach approximately 500,000 students, workers and adult learners.

In addition, the initiative will support a new cyber academy that will allow students to participate in courses offered at high schools, colleges, and universities across the state, opening up a wealth of enrollment opportunities that can help to increase the percentage of students that graduate from high school and attend college.

New Mexico will be the first state in the nation to deploy such a comprehensive, connected, and scalable K-20 and adult education system to support lifelong learning. The initiative presents a model for other states seeking to use technology to improve educational access, increase academic achievement, enhance workforce competitiveness, and drive economic development.

The partnership with Blackboard supports the Innovative Digital Education and Learning in New Mexico (IDEAL-NM) initiative, created by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to improve the state's economic competitiveness by supporting and expanding the educational collaboration and capacity of the state's schools, colleges, universities, and government agencies.

"We in New Mexico are building an innovative system of delivering education across the barriers of distance as well as the barriers of different pre-K-12 and higher education communities and educational cultures," said New Mexico Cabinet Secretary of Higher Education Dr. Reed Dasenbrock. "IDEAL-NM is central to our vision of a 21st century educational system in which all can participate and all can benefit from this exciting endeavor."

"We congratulate New Mexico for breaking new ground in the K-20 movement with this ambitious initiative," said Michael L. Chasen, President and CEO of Blackboard. "We are excited about working with New Mexico in this unprecedented effort, one that can generate significant and lasting benefits for individuals and communities throughout the state."

The announcement was made in Las Vegas, Nevada, where more than 2,000 members of the global e-learning community convened at BbWorld(R) '08, Blackboard's annual event focused on best practices and innovative breakthroughs in education technology.

Working with Blackboard, the initiative will replace 22 different technology systems with a single e-learning platform, hosted by Blackboard Managed Hosting(SM), that will:

-- Allow New Mexico's 89 public school districts and 25 public colleges and universities to increase access and engagement for underserved students and overcome barriers for students in both urban and rural areas.

-- Expand professional development opportunities and create a network of highly-qualified teachers that can work with students across the state, particularly in areas with too few teachers in critical subject areas and small districts with limited staff capacity.

-- Better integrate the state's PK-12 and higher education communities to reduce dropouts, increase college opportunity, and facilitate greater sharing of instructional expertise and content, administrative services, and other resources.

-- Create seamless training for state agencies, as well as adult education and workforce development programs to improve the skills of workers, particularly in rural areas.

"We envision IDEAL-NM expanding educational opportunities and access, improving graduation rates, and involving students more in their own educational planning," said Dr. Veronica C. Garcia, New Mexico Secretary of Public Education. "This partnership will help give our young people-and our state-the tools they will need to thrive in the 21st century."

About Blackboard, Inc.

Blackboard Inc. is a global leader in enterprise technology and innovative solutions that improve the experience of millions of students and learners around the world every day. Blackboard's solutions allow thousands of higher education, K-12, professional, corporate, and government organizations to extend teaching and learning online, facilitate campus commerce and security, and communicate more effectively with their communities. Founded in 1997, Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

   Blackboard   Educate. Innovate. Everywhere.(TM)   

Any statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects for Blackboard and other statements containing the words "believes,""anticipates,""plans,""expects,""will," and similar expressions, constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including the factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of our Form 10-Q filed on May 9, 2008 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company's views as of July 16, 2008. The Company anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause the Company's views to change. However, while the Company may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, the Company specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company's views as of any date subsequent to July 16, 2008.

Blackboard Inc.

CONTACT: Matthew Maurer of Blackboard Inc., +1-202-463-4860 ext. 2637,[email protected]; Amy Storey of Fleishman-Hillard Inc.,+1-202-828-8819, [email protected], for Blackboard Inc.

Web site: http://www.blackboard.com/