Discovery Education Acquires DreamBox Learning, in Pairing of Major Classroom-Focused Companies

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Discovery Ed Acquires DreamBox, EdWeek Market Brief

Discovery Education announced Tuesday that it is acquiring DreamBox Learning, in a deal with significant implications for the academic resources and ed tech delivered to classrooms.

Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. The acquisition involves companies that collectively reach millions of students across core academic subjects, at a time when school districts are intensely focused on rebuilding students’ academic skills from the lingering, severe damage caused by the pandemic.

Discovery Education delivers curriculum, multimedia resources, and other materials in science, math, social studies, coding, and other subjects. DreamBox Learning’s major focus is on bringing adaptive learning resources in reading and math to schools.

The CEO of Discovery Education, Jeremy Cowdrey, said in a statement that the acquisition will greatly expand his organization’s ability to serve students with a richer of classroom resources.

Cowdrey described DreamBox Learning as a “brand synonymous with quality, research-based math and reading edtech solutions.”

“Discovery Education is better positioned to broaden its impact on student success by providing our existing network of partner school systems access to DreamBox Learning’s collection of supplemental math, reading, and professional learning solutions.”

Cowdrey’s company estimates it serves more than 4 million educators and 45 million students globally. DreamBox says it is used by 600,000 educators and more than 6 million students.

Discovery Education is backed by Clearlake Capital Group L.P. The deal follows other recent acquisitions by Discovery: Pivot Interactives and DoodleLearning were acquired in August of 2022, and Mystery Science was snapped up in 2020.

DreamBox Learning CEO Jessie Wooley-Wilson described the acquisition as one that will expand her organization’s reach and its ability to bring adaptive learning technology to schools.

“We can now leverage Discovery Education’s highly scalable global footprint to reach more students and deepen our partnerships with educators around the world,” she said in a statement.

The companies said that DreamBox Learning’s current investors, Elliott Investment Management L.P. and TPG’s The Rise Fund, will retain minority stakes in the company.

School systems across the U.S. have invested heavily in academic recovery over the past few years, expanding tutoring programs, summer learning, out-of-school interventions, and other strategies. Many of those programs were initially delivered via ed tech, because of pandemic-era restrictions on in-person learning.

Many of those efforts have been backed by heavy federal investments in schools through stimulus dollars: An estimated $190 billion has been collectively poured into K-12 since the start of the pandemic. That money is set to expire near the end of next year, leaving school systems with difficult choices about what academic programs to cut or sustain, at a time when student academic performance has not recovered from losses during COVID-19.

Check back on EdWeek Market Brief for more developments with this story.

Image by Getty.

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