Dr. Christine Jax joins one of the nation’s leading providers of curriculum and assessment solutions with the goal of increasing student learning and standardized test scores for diverse student populations and giving teachers back their Tuesday and Thursday nights.

Dr. Christine Jax

Dr. Christine Jax

Atlanta, GA – March 12, 2019 – Dr. Christine Jax, former Commissioner of Education for the State of Minnesota, has joined USATestprep as the company’s Chief Academic Officer. With more than thirty years of experience in education and standards-based learning and assessment, Jax is tasked with the goal of expanding the company’s presence into more states beyond the Southeast.

Since 1998, USATestprep has provided resources for teachers to help prepare their students for high-stakes testing with content that is specifically aligned to each state’s learning standards. The company’s solutions are delivered via an online platform enabling teachers to access up-to-date content across all core subject areas, to customize the learning pathway for each student, and to provide insights through benchmarking to administrators. USATestprep was developed for teachers, by teachers, and is currently used by nearly 2 million students across more than 3,500 schools nationwide.

“I’ve worked in almost every level and aspect of education, and I am amazed by all USATestprep offers,” said Jax. “USATestprep started out helping teachers and kids succeed on high-stakes tests, but as the company has worked with teachers it has successfully evolved into a comprehensive teaching platform serving kids in grades 3-12 with everything from homework, assessments, and remediation to bell ringers, lesson-planning, and so much more.”

Under Jax, the company will increase its investments in product and content development as it rolls out in new states. Jax notes that her goal is to help teachers nationwide reclaim their free time, and improve classroom instruction at the same time. Read More»

Hands-on experiences are one of the best ways to learn more, make great memories and gather new information. This is a list of free activities and field trip locations in Texas, from great works of art to the great outdoors! If you’re a teacher, tutor or a parent looking for free educational opportunities for your curious crew, or to give your students a break from STAAR and TSI test practice, check out one of these free field trip destinations around Texas.

Please note that large groups sometimes require advance reservations; be sure to contact the organization you’re interested in directly for more information.

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Overview of USATestprep and the QA position:

USATestprep is a rapidly growing, market-leading, education technology company based in suburban Atlanta. Our passionate, close-knit team has built a high growth, profitable business
and an exceptional company culture, dedicated to supporting teachers and students across the country. We are hiring high-impact, talented staff across all departments. We seek a Quality Assurance engineer to join our team and continue building the QA function at our company. This person will be responsible for driving the test strategy, developing and running automated and manual testing, coordinating with other staff who support the testing process, and working with the rest of the technology team to refine our release process to
reduce defects.

USATestprep offers competitive compensation and excellent benefits.

Priorities and deliverables:
Define manual and automated test strategy, create and execute test cases, and
document test artifacts to ensure thorough testing of components and overall quality of
delivered product
Organize, document, and perform test cases based on specifications and interactions
with Management, Developers, and other team members
Identify, classify and prioritize issues found through testing using issue tracking system
Regularly report on product quality

Advanced SQL skills writing complex queries
Experience in writing and executing automated test scripts
Experience writing and maintaining automated testing scripts
Experience using automated testing tools like Selenium, TestComplete, Test Studio,
WatiN, or similar
Ability to analyze business and/or functional requirement documents for testing purposes
Strong analytical and organizational skills
Strong written and verbal communication skills

Compensation package:
Annual salary of 60-80K to be reevaluated on December 1, 2018.
Annual bonus dependent on performance and company profits
Healthcare coverage effective on the first of the month following 30 days of employment
401(k) eligibility after one year of service
Profit-sharing plan eligibility after one year of service
Prorated 20 days personal time off per year
10 company-observed holidays per year

Raises and bonuses based on annual contract evaluation in December
All equipment provided

To Apply:

Please email your resume to Jay Eckard at jay@usatestprep.com.

Dear Valued Teachers,

We know that you are looking forward to your well-earned time away from the classroom this summer.  As a company founded and run by former teachers, we cannot emphasize this enough: Enjoy yourselves! If your circumstances are changing and you won’t be returning to the classroom next school year, please read on.

USATestprep is seeking a teacher who is no longer in the classroom to help us with our training program in the 2018-19 school year.  Here are the requirements:

  • Flexible schedule in the 2018-19 school year to travel nationally and conduct training sessions with groups of teachers
  • Extensive experience using USATestprep website in the classroom
  • Enthusiasm for teaching fellow teachers

This is not full or part-time employment, but a contractual position.  The selected applicants will be paid for all training sessions conducted and be fully reimbursed for all travel expenses.  Typical travel takes 1-3 days, and you can be based anywhere in the US.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email Amy Brown at amy@usatestprep.com with a copy of your resume or CV. If you know someone who may be interested, please have them do the same.

The USATestprep content team has been very busy this winter adding resources to better match your state’s tests.  Below is a list of some of the things that we have accomplished recently. We’ve added hundreds of each of these:
  • New “Choose All” style Technology-Enhanced Performance Tasks, sometimes called “Multi-Select”
  • New questions authored across our most widely-accessed standards
  • New and newly-improved instructional videos
  • New free response/essay style questions
  • New printable worksheets added to our database
The Choose All items are now available under Performance Tasks when making your benchmarks. We focused on adding most of these to the tests where students will see them this spring. Finally, we are currently working on providing you with Evidence-Based Selected Response and Multiple-Part Selected Response. Be on the lookout for these soon.

USATestprep is seeking an inside sales professional to join our growing team as a Sales Development Representative in our Kennesaw, GA office. The Sales Development Representative is responsible for prospecting and initiating the sales cycle with potential clients.  Successful Sales Development Representatives are competitive, motivated by results, and are passionate about sales and the solutions we provide our clients. This position offers a unique opportunity for those who seek opportunities for advancement in a team-based environment. This is a junior sales position with salary plus commission.

Responsibilities Include:

  • Prospect leads and trial users to secure appointments
  • Use email to prospect decision makers
  • Conduct live web demos with leads
  • Reach or exceed performance metrics on calls and appointments
  • Achieve both individual and team goals
  • Collaborate with team members to maximize opportunities and drive sales
  • Work with sales leadership to develop strategies and messaging to drive opportunities for new business
  • Miscellaneous tasks may include sales admin responsibilities and other duties as directed
  • Handle incoming email and phone call requests from potential clients

Required Skills:

  • Experience working in a Mac environment
  • Basic knowledge of formulas and filters in Microsoft Excel
  • Phone-based sales experience
  • Strong follow up skills

Additional Information:

  • Flexible hours
  • Short commute – North Cobb location

About You:

  • Have at least two years experience in a consultative B2B, B2G, or SaaS sales role
  • Have a desire to work with an awesome product that you can sell with conviction
  • Have a proven track record of inside sales success
  • Prior experience selling education or software solutions preferred
  • Ability to quickly build relationships with customers over the phone
  • Strong organizational skills that result in completion of daily tasks and successfully meeting all goals

Appy Online Here

About Us:
USATestprep is a leader in curriculum resources and test prep for k12 schools. We have been helping students with high-stakes tests since 1998, and we offer a multitude of test review products. Our digital platform helps engage students leading to better pass rates and graduation rates. Used by over 70,000 educators, our materials are tailored to both state and Common Core standards.

USATestprep is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This holiday season, provide educational gift ideas to your students’ parents, grandparents, family members, and friends, to help encourage yearlong gifts of discovery and learning for your students.

Nationally Speaking….

A pass to the U.S. National Park Service provides more than 2,000 federal recreation sites across the nation to visit and explore. Entrance fees, along with daily use fees, are covered for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle (up to four adults at sites that charge per person), along with all children age 15 or under admitted free. The pass is valid at all national parks and national wildlife refuges, including national forests and grasslands, and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Disney’s Youth Education Series offers elementary through college programs in Applied Sciences, Environmental Studies, Liberal Arts, and Leadership Development. Students have an opportunity to experience hands-on workshops and once-in-a-lifetime performances. Costs range from $79 to $181.17 per student, year round, in both the Florida and California theme park locations. Classes to choose from include Discovering the American Spirit, Energy and Waves Physics Lab, Introduction to Global Citizenship, Leadership Strategies, Behavioral Science, Marine Life and more!

Suggest Local History, Museums, and Arts Passes Like…

The Atlanta History Center offers a 33-acre experience for adults and families, featuring award-winning exhibitions, historic houses, enchanting gardens, and interactive activities. A $99 family membership includes unlimited free entrance for up to two adults and four children, two guest passes, discounts to family festivals, invitations to member events, museum shop discounts, and more!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California offers a family membership for $250, providing unlimited admission for two adults with children or grandchildren, ages 3 to 21 yrs old. Features include exhibits, daily shows, tours and adventures, family activities, live webcams and more!

The Arizona Challenger Space Center in Phoenix, Arizona has a mission to educate people of all ages in the exploration of space and innovation. It offers two levels of membership, starting at $55 per year, that include free admission, guest passes, discounted simulated space missions, invitations to members only special events, and early registration for space camps.

The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta opened in 1978 and focuses on performance, museum exhibits, and education. A family membership, at $110, provides member tickets for each event, free admission to the museum, discounts on new series, priority seating, free admission to film screenings, and more!

Educational Subscriptions that Deliver

With over a million kids building apps on their website, and subscribers in over 70 countries, Bitsbox teaches real coding to kids 6 to 14 yrs old. Delivering app projects printed in books, cards, and on toys, coding projects pair with an online coding environment, resulting in real apps that work on real devices. Subscriptions start at $19.95 per month.

Steve Spangler Science offers monthly hands-on science experiments for a budding scientist or engineer, offering three levels to choose from, starting at $9.99 to $29.99 per month.

Little Passports delivers a new box each month, introducing kids either to a new world location or to a new science experiment. Beginning at $13.95 a month, with four age ranges starting at 3 yrs. old to choose from, it promises fun and engaging products.  

For themed boxes with multiple activities on topics such as ocean science, space, volcanoes, music and more, order a gift subscription to Green Kids Crafts. Each box includes quality project materials, step-by-step instructions, a 12-page activity magazine, and more. Ranging in age groups from 2 to 10+, subscriptions run from $17.95 to 27.95 per month.                               

With a goal to inspire kids to see themselves as scientists, artists, creators, and makers, Kiwi Krates starts at $16.95 monthly, promising hands-on, fun, high-quality materials, kid-friendly instructions, an accompanying magazine, and online tutorials with tips and tricks.

As Atlanta’s tech star continues to rise, one local EdTech company has reached its 2 millionth student, after an unlikely beginning. The company was started by two former school teachers in 1998. Today their test prep resources are used in over 75% of Georgia’s high schools.

Unlike most test prep tools, USATestprep doesn’t just help with national tests like the ACT and SAT but offers practice aligned to state-specific tests. In Georgia, this means test prep resources for the GA Milestones.

kelsey bensonCobb County middle school teacher, Kelsey Benson, says she and her students enjoy using the platform’s projector games to practice the Georgia standardsA local student, Alyssa, says: “USATestprep is a really good study site. I use it before all of my tests, and I always get As. USATestprep really has helped me for all tests…”

Founder Jay Eckard sees agile companies benefiting from this sea of change by using tech to allow for even greater customization of curricula. One way USATestprep is working to stay ahead of the curve is with a new game arcade. Students earn points to redeem in the arcade by completing practice assignments from their teachers. Since the launch of the arcade last school year, USATestprep has seen an increase in students’ scores on practice work.

Fast Facts:

  • This past school year, Kennesaw-based USATestprep helped over 63,000 teachers prepare their 2,000,000 students for high-stakes testing.
  • Over 200,000 practice items have been developed by the company’s team of former school teachers. These include questions, instructional videos, engaging tasks, and more.

About USATestprep:

High school teachers Jay Eckard and Joe Winterscheidt started USATestprep because they saw a need to support students and teachers with new state testing requirements back in 1998. They wanted to make teachers’ lives easier and to help students pass the new state tests in order to graduate.

With the growing number of tech-savvy educators and students, expectations regarding the educational outcomes as well the process are constantly changing. Traditional ways are quickly becoming obsolete because they cannot meet the personal learning needs of modern students.

To be successful, a teacher needs to play multiple complex roles. For example, he or she needs to be an excellent analyst, instructor, and facilitator. Also, a critical requirement is an effective learning management strategy.

Learn conceptIn the simplest form, learning management strategy is an approach utilized by a teacher to lead the educational process. Naturally, this strategy has been under the heavy influence of new technology and innovational approaches, so it’s really necessary to keep it updated.
Are you confident in your own learning management strategy? Do you think it meets the needs of your students? Let’s discuss some signs that tell that you need to change or adjust it as soon as possible.

Your planning is complex

For teachers, planning is a typical part of the educational process. Given that many factors need to be considered to outline the future direction of the process, a careful and thorough job is required here.

How difficult for you is it to plan your educational process? If you think it’s quite difficult?, think about your approach and planning tools. Do you use online learning management systems, such as Edmodo and Blackboard for that? These sophisticated tools designed specifically for educators can simplify the process by providing special planning resources.

If you still don’t use technology in your planning and paperwork is your best friend when it comes to planning educational process, it is a good sign that you need to change your strategy.

Digital communication with your students is ineffective

In modern schools that try to keep up with the latest technology in education, digital communication is one of the most important aspects. For example, by using learning management systems like the ones mentioned above, teachers collaborate with their students online (give them homework, provide feedback, arrange discussions, and assign various projects).

If you don’t take advantage of digital communication or rarely use it, you should think about improving your online collaboration with students. All you have to do is sign up for a teacher account on one of the learning management systems.

It’s difficult for you to incorporate any form of media into each class and assignment

Even if you don’t consider yourself a traditional teacher, you may find some difficulties including multimedia in your teaching. For example, some classes require videos and interactive tasks for students but your approach does not use them.

You should incorporate various types of media because they help to address specific learning needs of different students.  Consider using Google to to find videos or slides for use in your classroom.

“Many of your students, for example, might be visual learners and prefer visuals to learn new information,” says Anna Cole, a senior educator from Assignment Helper. “By using a strategy that does not appreciate media, you cannot improve their educational outcomes.’

Your students are unmotivated

Do you think your class is sufficiently motivated to learn? Do you observe good engagement during the lessons? If the answer to these questions is “no,” you need to change your learning management strategy soon.

Once again, you can turn to innovative learning management systems to help. For example, Edmodo uses badges to help motivate students to increase their practice time and push their learning. These badges are designed to let them show off their accomplishments.

A recent study published in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Journal also concluded that platforms like Edmodo enable students to enjoy learning by strengthening their learning motivation and autonomy.

You don’t use cloud technology

Do you find yourself worrying about possible loss student assignments and teaching materials stored on your computer? If you do, here is why you might want to change your current learning management strategy.

There are four principal advantages of using cloud-based technologies in the classroom:

  • Safe storage of information, group projects, submitted assignments, and other educational materials that make it easier to consolidate them.
  • Cloud classroom. The students who cannot attend classes can access cloud-based assignments to keep up with the class.
  • E-learning. The effectiveness of e-learning has already been proven. It allows you to improve students’ skills much faster and more effectively than the traditional methods.
  • Mobility. Cloud-based technologies allow you to access the homework and assignments from anywhere, from any device. No more excuses for missing assignments.

Your strategy does not include personalized and blended learning

The needs of every student have to be met if you want them to have the best outcomes. If you feel like you’re taking a general approach that does not consider different learning needs, this is a good reason to consider changing it.

Your strategy does not promote change in the classroom

Have you been using the same educational materials for several years straight? What about assignments? How has your teaching approach changed over the recent years? If no significant change has been adopted by your approach, it’s a sign that you’re going in circles (while the others advance).

A change-friendly approach is critical. New knowledge and teaching methods are developed fast, so you should not be left out from the innovation process.

Some other tools to try in your new learning management strategy:

Lucy Benton is a writing coach and an editor who finds her passion in expressing her own thoughts as a blogger. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.

No school budget for field trips? Here are 50 places in Georgia you can take your class for free. We divided these destinations into three categories: Science, Social Studies, and Other. Please let us know when your school visits one of these sites.


AlbanyRadium Springs Gardens One of Georgia’s seven natural wonders, Radium Springs gushes forth 70,000 gallons of 68-degree water per minute from an underground cave.

AthensBear Hollow Zoo The zoo is home to a variety of non-releasable wildlife. An intimate zoo with fewer than 30 species of animals.

AthensGeorgia Museum of Natural History Explore these 14 natural history collections: Archaeology, Arthropod, Botany Herbarium, Economic Geology, Herpetology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate, Mammalogy, Mycological Herbarium, Ornithology, Paleontology, Pollen and Plant Microspore, Rocks and Minerals, and Zooarchaeology.
AthensState Botanical Garden of Georgia This 313-acre preserve, with its specialized theme gardens and collections, more than five miles of nature trails, and four major facilities including a tropical conservatory, is visited by over 200,000 people each year.

Atlanta CDC Museum The museum features changing exhibits throughout the year, in addition to its permanent installations. Four temporary exhibitions are on display each year.

AtlantaFernbank Science Center Experience the exhibit hall, observatory, and outdoor gardens. Be sure to check out the teacher resources on their website.

AugustaPhinizy Center – Come see a variety of wildlife such as Blue Herons, Red-Shouldered Hawks, Otters, and Alligators in their natural habitat. Visitors can experience the thrill of hearing Kingfishers or delight in the many summer dragonflies in the Nature park.

ColumbusOxbow Meadows This nature center offers a view of the ecoregion of West Georgia and the Chattahoochee Valley, while providing access to the area’s plants and animals.

DunwoodyDunwoody Nature Center (near Atlanta) Nature center, field trip activities, gardens, resources for teachers, conservation programs, and more.

ElbertonElberton Granite Museum (east of Athens) Offers exciting historical exhibits, artifacts and educational displays. The three levels of self-guided exhibits allow visitors to see unique granite products, as well as antique granite working tools.

JacksonDauset Trails Nature Center Nature center with a variety of activities. See both farm exhibits and wildlife.

Johns CreekAutry Mill Listen to their phone audio tour to enhance your experience, and learn about the historic features as you walk along the paths.

LithoniaArabia Mountain More than 2,000 acres, two monadnock mountains, three lakes, and many historic sites. Rich with plant life, Arabia Mountain hosts five endangered plants grow at Arabia Mountain.

Locust GroveNoah’s Ark Rehabilitation This 250-acre wildlife rehab center showcases over 1,500 animals. Walk the 1-mile trail to see both exotic animals and farm animals.

MilledgevilleNatural History Museum and Planetarium A museum dedicated to Earth sciences, with an emphasis on fossils and evolution. Check out the educational resources on their website too.

Statesboro Botanical Garden at Georgia Southern (east Savannah) See the 11 acres of gardens on this early twentieth century farmstead. Wander the trails, paths, and courtyards and explore the intriguing natural wonders of the southeastern coastal plain.

St Simons IslandCanon Point Preserve Over 600 acres managed by the Nature Conservancy. Be sure to check out the lesson plans on the website.

Social Studies:

AndersonvilleCamp Sumter Prison (north-west of Cordele) The Camp Sumter military prison in Andersonville was one of the largest Confederate military prisons of the Civil War.

AtlantaFederal Reserve Bank Discover the story of money—from barter to modern times. Learn about the history of banking in America and see examples of rare currency.

AtlantaGeorgia State Capitol Offers both guided and self-guided tours of this 120+ year old building.

AtlantaGovernor’s Mansion The tour is a hybrid of a guided and self-guided tour. Docents are stationed in each room to teach you about the items.

5f236a2c-1dd8-b71b-0bae828d6336ce0dAtlantaJimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum The museum showcases photographs and historical memorabilia from the Carter presidency. A replica of the Oval Office and gifts received by the Carters are also on display.
AtlantaThe King Center See Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr & Mrs King’s crypt, Dr King’s birthplace, and more.

AugustaAugusta Canal Built in 1845 for power, water, and transportation use, it is the only industrial canal in the American South in continuous use.

ChickamaugaChickamauga National Military Park (north of Dalton) Learn about the Civil War’s Atlanta Campaign with the 1,400 monuments and historical markers on these battlefields. Don’t miss the indoor exhibits, either.

ColumbusThe Columbus Museum One of the largest museums in the southeast, it is unique for its dual concentration on American art and regional history. Offers a variety of educational programming, interactive gallery opportunities, school programs, and teacher workshops.

ColumbusNational Infantry Museum Thousands of artifacts, monuments, interactive exhibits, and video presentations make the National Infantry Museum, one of the nation’s leading military history destinations.

DaltonPrater’s Mill Heritage Park Peek into the heritage of rural, northwest Georgia. See a working 19th-century grist mill, a cotton gin, general store, wildlife, and more.

DuluthMcDaniel Farm Park This farm has been restored to depict a typical 1930s farm in Gwinnett County. See the farmhouse, barn, blacksmith shed, carriage house, and tenant house.

KennesawKennesaw Mountain Battlefield A 2,965 acre National Battlefield that preserves a key Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign.

KennesawMuseum of History and Holocaust Education See a number of World War II exhibits, and learn about the museum’s educational programs and resources.

MaconMuseum of Aviation Twenty or more aircraft are on display in one of the nation’s most popular Air Force museums.

MaconOcmulgee National Monument Ocmulgee is the ancestral homeland of the Muscogee (better known as Creek) Nation, who now reside in Oklahoma.  See the mounds that were constructed for the elite members of their culture.

MariettaMarietta Fire Museum A collection of items used by the Marietta Fire Department since the 1800s, including vehicles, clothing, equipment, antiques, photos, displays, and more.

McDonoughHeritage Park Veterans Museum The museum showcases vehicles, uniforms, and artifacts, a display of the two Henry County Medal of Honor recipients, and a Henry County Fallen Hero area.

MorrowNational Archives at Atlanta Over 180,000 cubic feet of microfilm and textual records, as well as maps, photographs, and architectural drawings.

Sandy SpringsAnne Frank Exhibit Over 500 photographs and a replica of her room are used to tell the story of Anne Frank, a young Jewish girl who hid with her family from the Nazis.

SavannahSavannah Belles Ferry See Savannah’s historic harbor with a free ferry ride.

St Simons IslandFort Frederica British forces defeated the invading Spanish near here in 1742 to ensure Georgia’s future as an English colony.


aimee_photos11AlbanyThronateeska Heritage Center Thronateeska’s campus includes a history museum, science museum, railcar display, the Georgia Museum of Surveying & Mapping, and the South Georgia Archives.
AtlantaAtlanta Contemporary This museum’s ever-changing exhibits feature consequential artists from the local, national, and international art scenes.

AtlantaMuseum of Papermaking This internationally renowned resource on the history of paper and paper technology features a collection of over 10,000 watermarks, papers, tools, machines, and manuscripts.

AthensDodd Galleries The galleries’ programming and five exhibits examine the cultural and social contexts around us while challenging contemporary perceptions of art making.

AthensGeorgia Museum of Art With over 10,000 objects in the permanent collection alone, this art museum has something for everyone.

AthensLyndon House Arts Center Come see the generous number of unique exhibits in this art museum. Includes work from local artists.

AugustaWestobou Gallery The gallery offers curated exhibitions by national, regional, and local artists, with a focus on emerging and mid-career contemporary and experimental artists.

DuluthHudgens Center for Art & Learning The Hudgens Center displays rotating exhibits with works from their private collection, as well as local artists and guest curators.

LilburnMandir Temple Enjoy beauty and discovery at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir – a Hindu temple that showcases exquisite Indian design and workmanship.

RomeOak Hill and the Martha Berry Museum Tour the Oak Hill house and see the art gallery and temporary exhibitions in the museum.

SavannahCathedral of St John the Baptist This 19th-century Catholic cathedral is said to be one of the top 10 historic sites to visit in the United States.

Disclaimer: Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement or intended to be representative of USATestprep or the author’s views.