Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Closes Deal Acquiring NWEA

Staff Writer

Education giant Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has closed the deal to acquire NWEA, the companies announced Monday, in a merger that will link the well-known K-12 assessment provider’s offerings to a broad array of curriculum products.

It’s a pairing that has raised some eyebrows since the announcement earlier this year, in part because of NWEA’s previous nonprofit status. As part of the acquisition, the companies are starting a new, independent nonprofit organization, led by NWEA’s former board of directors.

The private foundation, which has yet to be named, will be headquartered in Oregon — where NWEA is based — and created using proceeds from the merger, according to the companies. (Terms of the acquisition were not released.)

The new NWEA division within HMH will maintain all of the assessment provider’s current offerings, including its flagship interim exam.

“The foundation was a really big part of the board’s calculus,” NWEA CEO Chris Minnich told EdWeek Market Brief in January. “They wanted to be able to invest back in education.”

Minnich will serve on the board of the foundation, he previously said.

He will also join HMH’s executive leadership team as president of the new NWEA division, according to today’s announcement. The division will maintain all of NWEA’s current offerings, including it’s well-known MAP Growth interim exam.

Districts will still be able to use platform-agnostic assessments in addition to a “connected solution” that links the tests with HMH curriculum, the organizations said.

The acquisition will allow HMH, a portfolio company of Veritas Capital, to turn insights from assessment results into content recommendations for teachers, the organization leaders have said.

“Together, we are deeply focused on the transformative power of education,” said HMH CEO Jack Lynch in a statement. “We look forward to diving into our collective work in support of students and teachers.”

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to clarify the nature of the newly created nonprofit organization.

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