Small companies try to bring innovative technology to teaching

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There is a growing cluster of companies in the Northwest looking to capitalize on educational needs. makes computer software programs that help elementary school students learn science, math, languages and social studies. Vernier Software and Technology, based in Beaverton, makes a device that allows instant data analysis and graph-making. Saltire Software makes a program that expresses geometric diagrams and mathematical equations interactively so that students can work efficiently on scientific calculators in solving problems. Vernier Software has $30 million in revenue and 75 employees; has under $20 million in revenue and 50 employees; and Saltire has $1 million in revenue and nine employees. Saltire, which often works on grants from the National Science Foundation, wants to expand use of its geometry program in high schools across the nation. No Child Left Behind Act, enacted in 2001, increased accountability of state and school districts for the performance of primary and secondary school, which “puts accountability on school principals. has a program that teaches pre-kindergarten to second-grade children to read.

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