PLATO Learning Releases New Advanced Writing and K-3 Reading Curricula

June 16, 2004

PLATO(R) Advanced Writing Process and Practice is designed to teach on-grade-level writing strategies, grammar, and mechanics for high school learners. PLATO(R) Achieve Now K.3 Reading is a scientifically research-based, supplemental early reading program that easily integrates to strengthen a school’s core literacy program.

With the launch of a mandatory essay portion on the SAT and an optional essay test on the ACT beginning in 2005, writing instruction has gained increased emphasis for high school students. PLATO Advanced Writing Process and Practice is designed to help students develop advanced writing skills to perform proficiently on high-stakes exams and apply effective writing strategies to careers and real-world scenarios.

PLATO Advanced Writing offers over 39 hours of instruction through two courses: Writing Strategies, modules that teach writing strategies for a variety of purposes and audiences, and Grammar and Mechanics, modules that concentrate grammar instruction into mini-lessons that emphasize contextual usage versus definitions and terminology. The product allows for learner interaction with tutorials directed by peer mentors and provides extended practice through applications and off-line activities. It is aligned to standards and guidelines set by the National Council of Teachers of English and the Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning Lab. This release is the second in the PLATO(R) Writing Process and Practice series, a comprehensive writing suite that provides instruction for middle school to adult learners, whether they are struggling or need on-grade-level to advanced instruction.

“When used in the context of the writing process, either following a revision or editing conference with the teacher, this software can provide students with timely support, rich examples, and an extended opportunity to develop a new skill at an even higher level,” said Dr. Tammy Elser, federal programs director for Arlee Schools, Montana.

PLATO Achieve Now K-3 Reading helps educators address Reading First with supplemental early literacy practice for use in individual-tutorial, small- group, and whole-group settings. By providing interactive PLATO(R) Achieve Now Adventures lessons on PC or PS one(TM) game consoles, this product easily extends the learning day and promotes family involvement, regardless of socio- economic status. DIBELS (dynamic indicators of basic early literacy skills) alignment, an assessment kit, reporting software, classroom support materials, and teachers’ guides are included to help teachers individualize instruction, assess progress, and motivate learning. Optional Scholastic Literacy Library leveled readers aligned with the PLATO Achieve Now Adventures lessons are also available.

The PLATO(R) Achieve Now series for K-8 learners, formerly delivered by Lightspan prior to its merger with PLATO Learning in November 2003, has documented achievement results across grade levels and student populations at over 700 schools. PLATO Achieve Now K-3 Reading builds on that success by expanding the product to include assessment and reporting capabilities and bundling the courseware to directly address the five essential components of early reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension.

“PLATO Learning is proud of our development capabilities and ability to deliver products that anticipate and meet market demands. Each new product developed utilizes state-of-the-art technology to provide standards-based, individualized instruction and incorporates the latest findings in educational research and pedagogy,” said John Murray, PLATO Learning Chairman, President, and CEO. “We are pleased to release PLATO Advanced Writing Process and Practice and PLATO Achieve Now K-3 Reading, two high-quality, market-leading products that will assist educators in meeting the mandates of No Child Left Behind and ensuring student literacy across grade levels.”

About PLATO Learning
PLATO Learning is a leading provider of computer-based and e-learning instruction for kindergarten through adult learners, offering curricula in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, and life and job skills. The company also offers innovative online assessment and accountability solutions and standards-based professional development services. With over 6,000 hours of objective-based, problem-solving courseware, plus assessment, alignment, and curriculum management tools, we create standards-based curricula that facilitate learning and school improvement.

With trailing 12-month revenues of approximately $110 million, PLATO Learning is a publicly held company traded as TUTR on the NASDAQ. PLATO Learning educational software, delivered via networks, CD-ROM, the Internet, and private intranets, is primarily marketed to K-12 schools and colleges. The Company also sells to job training programs, correctional institutions, military education programs, corporations, and individuals.

PLATO Learning is headquartered at 10801 Nesbitt Avenue South, Bloomington, Minnesota 55437, 952.832.1000 or 800.869.2000. The Company has offices throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as well as international distributors in Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, and the United Arab Emirates. For more information, please visit

This announcement includes forward-looking statements. PLATO Learning has based these forward-looking statements on its current expectations and projections about future events. Although PLATO Learning believes that its assumptions made in connection with the forward-looking statements are reasonable, no assurances can be given that its assumptions and expectations will prove to have been correct. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks, uncertainties and assumptions. PLATO Learning undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Any forward looking statements made are subject to the risks and uncertainties as those described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended October 31, 2003. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.
PLATO(R) is a registered trademark of PLATO Learning, Inc. PLATO Learning is a trademark of PLATO Learning, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Contact: John Murray – Chairman, President & CEO
Greg Melsen – CFO
Terri Reden – Communications Director