K-12 Dealmaking: Scholastic Scoops Up Learning Ovations; Wonde Acquires Secure Schools

Staff Writer
K-12 dealmaking, edweek market brief

Scholastic acquired Learning Ovations in a deal the children’s publishing giant says will play a large part in helping advance the development of its own literacy platform.

Learning Ovation’s A2i product, which stands for “assessment to instruction,” is a system that includes literacy screening, progress monitoring assessment, and instructional planning for both classrooms and community organizations.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. In its announcement, Scholastic said the acquisition will “significantly advance” the development of Scholastic Education Solutions’ literacy platform, which integrates Scholastic’s library of content and various literacy products with screening, assessment, and instructional planning features.

The A2i system, founded in 2013, was developed from the late Carol Connor’s research at the Florida Center for Reading Research and University of California, Irvine.

“Carol Connor was a teachers’ teacher, dedicated both to helping every child learn to read – regardless of background, disadvantage, or learning challenge – and to supporting teachers with tools that are both deeply rigorous and easy to use,” Rose Else-Mitchell, president of Scholastic Education Solutions, said in a statement.

Scholastic is “committed to those same values of equity, engagement, and effectiveness,” moving forward she added.

U.K.-based Wonde acquires cyber security company. Wonde, a school data management company based in the United Kingdom, has acquired Secure Schools for a seven-figure sum, according to reports. Exact terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Secure Schools, also based in the U.K., handles cyber security audits and provides cyber security certifications. The acquisition will allow Wonde, which reports serving 25,000 schools worldwide, to add cyber security services to its offerings for districts, the company said, at a time where data privacy is top of mind for many school administrators.

Secure Schools will remain independent cyber security auditors, but will be able to access Wonde’s resources as it works to scale its operations.

Wonde is a “perfect fit” for Secure Schools as well, Secure Schools CEO Paul Alberry said in a statement.

“The last couple of years have seen schools adopting new technology at an incredible rate, while cybercriminals have exploited new and existing weaknesses,” he said. “Schools face significant challenges ahead, including growing expectations from external stakeholders, and Wonde has a proven track record for responding rapidly to emerging challenges with high-quality services.”

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