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Blackboard Helps K-12 Schools Meet No Child Left Behind Requirements


WASHINGTON, DC -- 03/30/2005 -- As K-12 schools across the nation continue to grapple with the challenges of standards and accountability, the Blackboard Academic Suite™ is proving to be a valuable resource. This week, schools located in different regions of the United States indicated that they are using Blackboard’s (NASDAQ: BBBB) e-learning software products to provide cost-effective and readily available resources for professional development and other requirements mandated by No Child Left Behind legislation.

The Broward County Public School System in Florida uses Blackboard to offer more than 100 online professional development courses through its Virtual University. In the past 18 months, an estimated 8,000 faculty members enrolled in courses ranging from reading, writing and math to physical education, technology integration and music and art programs, among others.

“Broward has taken the lead in moving into this non-traditional arena,” said Dr. Earlene Smiley, the Deputy Superintendent for Curriculum Instruction / Student Support for the Broward Country District. “The anytime - anywhere access Blackboard provides is a key advantage. Teachers can take courses at 9:30 in the evening or 5:30 in the morning if they wish -- they can do it at their convenience. Our program has been such a success other districts are now duplicating our efforts, such as the Duval County Schools, in Jacksonville.”

The Baltimore City Public School System is also using Blackboard to make professional development opportunities more accessible and affordable to its faculty members. Within the district’s Blackboard system (aptly named the Teacher Support System), teachers and staff can utilize videos, courses, and other professional development resources. The district strongly believes staff development should be job-embedded and that as a teacher plans for instruction, they should have access to tools that will answer questions about what to teach as well as to find strategies that can ensure students experience success.

Additionally, the school district has implemented cost savings measures by not printing curriculum, but making it available online instead. By doing so, the district has also been able to offer an additional professional development resource. Writers were able to make the curriculum a living, dynamic document. As a teacher accesses the curriculum, he or she can click a resource link and instantly access both instructional and professional resources that support the particular outcome being addressed. These resources include additional student hand-outs or activities, related trade book lists, or links to professional development sites and videos.

In Spokane, Washington, the Spokane Public School System has recently launched a pilot program with Blackboard, which features six new online courses. The district plans to launch professional development programs later in the year.

“Professional development is at the heart of improving education, and we are thrilled to provide a key resource to make it possible for different school districts around the country,” said Matthew Pittinsky, Chairman of Blackboard. “Every innovation in classroom instruction -- whether technology-based or not -- ultimately depends on the leadership and wise experience of a teacher. Blackboard was founded with the mission of transforming the Internet into a powerful environment for the education experience, and by making professional development more accessible to teachers around the country and world, we have a chance to further advance this mission.”

About Blackboard Inc.

Blackboard is a leading provider of enterprise software and services to the education industry. The Company’s product line consists of five software applications bundled in two suites, the Blackboard Academic Suite™ and the Blackboard Commerce Suite™. Blackboard’s clients include colleges, universities, schools and other education providers, as well as textbook publishers and student-focused merchants that serve education providers and their students. Blackboard is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with offices and staff in North America, Europe and Asia.

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 Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on March 1, 2005 with the SEC. In addition, the forward-looking statements included in this press release represent the Company’s views as of March 30, 2005. 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 March 30, 2005.


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