Bush bill prompts Princeton Review to hire first PR pro

NEW YORK: The Princeton Review has appointed its first director of communications as it seeks to exploit federal policies mandating standardized testing in public schools.

NEW YORK: The Princeton Review has appointed its first director of communications as it seeks to exploit federal policies mandating standardized testing in public schools.

The firm, better known for its guides to higher education, has hired longtime consumer technology journalist Robin Raskin to fill the post as it expands into K-12 test preparation and other educational services.

The passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, a centerpiece of President Bush's campaign that emphasized standardized testing, opened up new avenues for The Princeton Review and rivals like Kaplan, as under-performing primary schools now hire them to prepare their students for tests.

The company, traditionally focused on graduate and undergraduate admissions testing, has formed a K-12 division to take advantage of the shift. Raskin said the centrality of education to the President's domestic policy means new opportunities for the company to secure coverage.

"My job is to put us in the discussion on education," said Raskin, "whether at the national-policy or local-school level."

She will administer a small office and oversee relationships with the company's PR agency, Brainerd Communicators.

An 11-year veteran of Ziff Davis, Raskin served as editor of PC Magazine and, most recently, editor-in-chief of Family PC. She has written extensively about children and the internet - an area of expertise that could prove valuable, as the company is moving much of its focus to online test preparation.

Raskin has also written five books on kids and computers, and consulted for Sony, Intel, Disney, and Nintendo.

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