K-12 Dealmaking: Key Data Systems Acquires Progress Testing, Edmentum Raises $25 Million, Kahoot! Forms Partnership With Code.Org

Contributing Writer

A handful of ed-tech firms, including web-based learning solutions provider Edmentum and instructional technology company BookNook, raised funds from investors, while Key Data Systems made its second acquisition within a year. Also, Paxen Publishing bought Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Adult Education assets. And Kahoot! and Code.org join forces on computer science education.

Key Data Systems Acquires Progress Testing: Key Data Systems, a Lake Elsinore, Calif.-based educational psychometric services and standards-based assessment company, has acquired Progress Testing, a provider of assessment items and content designed to support college- and career-readiness standards. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With the acquisition, Key Data Systems “reinforces its pledge to provide teachers informative and accurate assessment tools to promote college and career success for all students,” the company said in a statement. Progress Testing supports over 300 K-12 school districts in Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

Last fall, Key Data acquired Fluence Learning, a provider of products that include a high-rigor item bank aimed at supporting college- and career-readiness standards, including support for Next Generation Science Standards.

Paxen Publishing Buys Adult Education Assets of HMH: Paxen Publishing has purchased the adult education assets of global learning company Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, according to a statement from Paxen. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Historically, Paxen has been a partner for HMH in the adult education space, providing content for GED, high school equivalency and career pathways curricula, Paxen noted in a statement.

“We look forward to making significant investments in the many wonderful resources we are acquiring, ensuring their continued growth,” said Paxen chairman Herb Hilderley.

As part of the purchase agreement, Paxen welcomes key team members from HMH and will “maintain continuity of service for customers who have come to depend on HMH and its Steck Vaughn adult education solutions,” the company said.

Edmentum Raises $25 Million: Minneapolis-based Edmentum, a provider of online teaching and learning solutions, has raised $25 million in incremental financing from New Mountain Finance Corporation and Tennenbaum Capital Partners.

The financing will allow the extension of the company’s debt maturity and “comes at a time of escalating growth,” the company said in a statement, also noting that the new financing will allow for  Edmentum’s next phase of growth “as the company expands through investment in high-growth markets.”

The new investment ” helps us do what we do best: serving as a trusted partner to educators through every design, operating, and service decision we make,” said Edmentum CEO Jamie Candee.

Kahoot! and Code.org Form Partnership: Game-based learning platform Kahoot! and Code.org have formed a partnership aimed at advancing computer science in K-12 schools by promoting Code.org-curated Kahoot! quizzes on the Kahoot! platform, according to a statement.

Seattle-based nonprofit Code.org, aims to increase access to computer science and also increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities in the field. Code.org-curated kahoots, or multiple-choice quizzes, will range from elementary to high school level and can be used by teachers or anyone who wants to learn about computer science.

“We want to bring the fun to computer science and coding education,” said Åsmund Furuseth, the co-founder and CEO of Kahoot! “We are fans of Code.org, who are making big strides in bringing computer science education to K-12 students all over the world and couldn’t be happier to extend their mission by making coding more fun through kahoots.”

BookNook Raises $2 Million: BookNook, a provider of technology-enabled, small-group instructional tools, has raised $2 million in a new seed financing round co-led by Better Ventures and the Urban Innovation Fund, according to a statement on the company’s website.

Other investors included Reach Capital, which led the company’s last financing round, Impact Engine, Kapor Capital, Redhouse Education, and Edovate Capital.

Officials at the Oakland, Calif.-based BookNook said the company will use the capital infusion to expand product offerings to students in first grade and younger, middle and high school students and to add modules for dual language learners in Spanish. Additionally, the company said it will continue to build its content library, adding partnerships with publishers like Highlights Magazine and its featured author series.

BookNook raised $1.2 million last year in a seed funding round led by Reach Capital.

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