August 7, 2008

Higher Education Bill Opens Door for Improved, Research-Based Software Solutions

The average college student spends almost $900 per year on textbooks, about 20% of tuition and fees at a four year public institution, and student spending on textbooks is growing at almost four times the rate of inflation, according to U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups.

The College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2008, aimed at managing the cost of post-secondary education, passed in the Senate last week by unanimous consent and now moves to the President's desk for approval. The bill, an amendment and reauthorization of The Higher Education Act of 1965 which was intended to increase access to U.S. Colleges and Universities, passed in the House of Representatives in February by a vote of 354 to 58.

Among its many provisions, HR 4237 requires that education textbook publishers provide unbundled alternatives to textbooks sold shrink-wrapped or "kitted" with additional materials such as software, pass-codes, or workbooks. The bill has the potential to drive down the cost of academic materials by requiring publishers to disclose the availability of these alternatives, and to price and sell components separately so that costs per item are transparent to instructors and students.

Carnegie Learning's higher education software programs are designed to improve retention of students by providing developmental instruction for first and second year college students lacking algebra skills. The software correlates to math textbooks from leading publishers and provides self-paced, individualized learning paths that track students' strengths and weaknesses and focus on areas where each student needs the most help.

"This legislation is very important for higher education because it gives faculty greater control and understanding of how curricula choices affect their students," said Dennis Ciccone, Chief Executive Officer of Carnegie Learning, Inc., a publisher of development math software for the post-secondary market. "This bill is an important step toward elevating the quality of all academic materials because it encourages textbook publishers to demonstrate the value of each component, rather than including cost-inflating extras that may or may not have real value to the instructors or the students."

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About Carnegie Learning, Inc. (

Carnegie Learning, Inc. is a leading publisher of research-based math solutions for middle school, high school, and post-secondary students. Our curricula - Bridge to Algebra, Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and Integrated Math programs - provide differentiated instruction to 500,000 students in nearly 2600 schools across the United States, helping them to succeed in math as a gateway to graduation and preparation for 21st century skills. Carnegie Learning(TM) Blended Curricula Solutions integrate interactive software, text, and collaborative classroom activities for core, full-year math instruction. Carnegie Learning(TM) Adaptive Math Solutions feature Cognitive Tutor(R) software lessons that may be easily customized for supplemental and Response to Intervention programs. All solutions are supported by Professional Development services that ensure successful implementation and align teaching to learning. In numerous independent studies, Carnegie Learning curricula consistently show a significant effect on student learning resulting in improved academic achievement in mathematics. Based in Pittsburgh, PA, Carnegie Learning was founded by cognitive science researchers and computer scientists from Carnegie Mellon University in conjunction with veteran mathematics teachers.