IO Education Acquires eSchoolData and Looks for More Growth

Associate Editor

IO Education, a company that works to help educators improve their use of student data, made its second acquisition in as many years when it purchased eSchoolData, a student information system provider, this week.

eSchoolData’s focus on serving schools in New York and Pennsylvania over the past 15 years was attractive to IO Education, said Michael Williamson, IO’s CEO, in a phone interview, as was the company’s ability to track grades, attendance, scheduling, and assessments. “We like that they’re very service-oriented and have a long track record of success,” he said.

The acquisition enables IO Education to expand its offerings for the formative assessment, early literacy assessment, data analytics, and professional growth products in its portfolio, Williamson said.

He declined to disclose financial or structural details of the transaction.

In a statement about the acquisition, eSchoolData co-founder Ann Savino said her company is “thrilled to join the IO Education family, as the importance of integrating student and classroom management systems continues to grow.”

Last year, IO Education merged with Educator’s Assessment Data Management System (EADMS) to expand its online formative assessment capabilities.

And IO Education itself is the result of the 2015 merger of two companies—CaseNEX, LLC and Longleaf Solutions. Williamson co-founded Longleaf in 2011 and ran it until the merger when he became CEO of IO Education, which is an abbreviation for “improving outcomes.” CaseNEX, founded in 2001, was a spin-off company from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education, with roots in a university research project that started in 1996.

Besides focusing on the expanded opportunity in the Northeast, Williamson said this acquisition will allow the company to “deliver an integrated experience for our customers, with the different domains of data districts are managing,” which is a priority under the Every Student Succeeds Act.

As districts look to respond to the accountability measures required by new state plans, they might have to manage data about attendance, discipline or behavior, a grade book, professional development, and more.

That will mean districts must “pull data together” from different parts of the school system, Williamson said, adding that offering “core pieces together in one platform” is attractive. IO currently serves 8,000 schools and 150,000 educators who support instruction for more than 6 million students, the company said.

While he said the company has seen some pockets of the country experiencing budget constraints, “in general all parts of our business are growing [as] districts are investing in technology, around assessment, and data analytics to help them solve some of their pains around collecting that data, bringing that data together, and making decisions based on it.”

The company is looking for more acquisition opportunities, he said.

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