In recent dealmaking news, Weld North Education acquires Assessment Technology, Inc.; Allovue acquires Equiday; LearnPlatform adds Massachusetts as a new statewide client; Move This World raises $1.1 million; EL Education announces a partnership with LearnZillion, and Credo Education rebrands as NimblyWise.
Weld North Education Acquires Assessment Technology, Inc.
In its second major acquisition of 2019, Weld North Education, a Pre-K–12 digital curriculum company, announced that it has acquired Assessment Technology, Inc., which provides instructional improvement and effectiveness technology. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.ATI was founded in 1986 with a mission to create and distribute technology that promotes learning. It operates Galileo K-12 and Galileo Pre-K, which will join Weld North Education’s portfolio of existing digital education companies, Edgenuity and Imagine Learning.
Weld North Education recently announced its pending acquisition of Glynlyon, a digital curriculum company that says it serves than 1 million students in the institutional and consumer education markets. That acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2019.
“The addition of ATI to Weld North Education underscores our belief in—and commitment to—the value of comprehensive assessment as a critical tool in harnessing the adaptive power and unlocking the promise of digital education,” Jonathan Grayer, CEO of Weld North Education, said in a statement.
Adding ATI will make Weld North Education the largest pure-play online education curriculum and assessment company in the U.S., he added.
ATI founder John Bergan, who has more than 30 years of research experience in the area of children’s development and has written several books and more than 70 articles in scientific journals in education and psychology, will remain with the business, along with the company’s management team.
“Our longstanding mission has been to create technology to promote learning, and we couldn’t have found better partners to further advance our Galileo products,” Bergan said.
Allovue Acquires Equiday to Expand Solutions for K-12 Resource Equity
Allovue, an education finance technology company, has acquired Equiday, another education finance technology company, to grow its platform and support K-12 resource equity. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Allovue’s flagship product, Balance, is an online software platform designed to help K-12 administrators access, understand, and control their financial data. The Baltimore-based company also provides districts with supplemental services including funding equity analysis, diagnostic surveys, and financial management training.
Equiday’s product, Allocate Pro, helps districts consider student and school data in determining funding distributions to schools. The Rockville, Md.-based company partners with districts to evaluate resource allocations, model funding scenarios, and transition districts to strategic budgeting approaches.
Under the acquisition, Allovue will incorporate Equiday’s funding-formula technology into their suite of solutions for improving resource equity in the K-12 education system.
The acquisition comes as districts and states are preparing to comply with the new fiscal reporting regulations under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) by taking a closer look at school-level allocations and spending.
“Allovue and Equiday share a belief in the power of combining cutting-edge financial technology with education data,” said Jess Gartner, Allovue’s founder and CEO.
Justin Dayhoff, Equiday’s founder and CEO and Megan Rainbow, the company’s chief of marketing and sales, will join the Allovue team.
Earlier this year, Allouve raised $4 million in a Series A-2 funding round, bringing its total funding to $13 million.
LearnPlatform Adds New Statewide Client, Grows Leadership Team
The state of Massachusetts is the latest to retain LearnPlatform for its ed-tech effectiveness system, according to the company’s founder and CEO, Karl Rectanus.
The state is creating the Digital Curriculum Rating by Teachers, a system that will allow educators in Massachusetts to share their experiences with ed-tech resources through research-driven methods on the LearnPlatform. The contract will also allow a subset of districts to use the tool to organize, analyze and rapidly evaluate the impact of those instructional materials, Rectanus said.
“Massachusetts is focused on activating and understanding the teachers’ experience with digital tools,” he said. LearnPlatform also has contracts with Utah and Connecticut.
The company is also growing its executive team, adding Matthew Doherty as the chief operating officer; Jonathan Doney as vice president of sales, and Jason Dance as vice president of strategic partnerships.
Doherty has focused on strategy, growth, and talent acquisition for companies like The Princeton Review, Blackboard, and most recently as president of Academic Benchmarks, a company that was acquired by Certica Solutions in 2017.
Doney will focus on building and managing the K-12 district sales team. Previously, he held leadership positions at Pearson, Renaissance, and School Improvement Network.
Dance, whose experience includes positions at Pearson, Waterford, and Age of Learning/ABC Mouse, will focus on working with states, large districts, and education service agencies.
Move This World Raises $1.1 Million to Bring Social-Emotional Learning to Schools
Move This World, a startup that helps classrooms strengthen social-emotional learning in fun and interactive ways to improve academic achievement, has raised $1.1 million in a series A funding round to add more content to its PreK-12 programming and expand its reach.
The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company says that its content is used by 500,000 students in 27 states and the District of Columbia. Move This World aims to help students and educators identify, express and manage emotions, which can reduce behavioral incidents at schools, absenteeism and teacher attrition.
Lead investors in the latest funding round include Schwartzberg Cos., a private healthcare-focused investment firm, and New Media Investment Group, a Fortress Investment Group Fund that owns newspapers in 37 states, such as the Columbus Dispatch in Ohio.
New Media also invested in a $1 million seed funding round last year. Move This World was also part of the AT&T Aspire Accelerator. Sara LaHayne, founder and CEO of Move This World, writes regularly for EdWeek Market Brief’s The Startup Blog,
EL Education and LearnZillion Partner to Provide K-5 Language Arts Curriculum
EL Education and LearnZillion announced a partnership to deliver EL Education’s K-5 Language Arts Curriculum through a combination of software and print delivered by LearnZillion, available for the 2019-2020 school year.
The EL Education K-5 Language Arts curriculum is a comprehensive, standards-based core literacy program that engages teachers and students with real-world content.
LearnZillion is an educator-founded organization that curates and publishes core instructional materials, supported by professional development. LearnZillion will add EL Education K-5 Language Arts to its collection of curricula, including LearnZillion Illustrative Mathematics 6-8 Math and LearnZillion Guidebooks 3-8 Language Arts.
LearnZillion delivers curriculum through a combination of software and print, with the goal of making high-quality curriculum both teacher-friendly and classroom-ready.
“Our collaboration with LearnZillion expands the reach of our curriculum and ability to support even more teachers and students across the country,” EL Education’s President and CEO Scott Hartl said.
Eric Westendorf, co-founder and CEO at LearnZillion, said his company is thrilled to partner with EL Education, a nonprofit founded in 1992 by the Harvard Graduate School of Education in collaboration with Outward Bound USA.
“EL Education is the gold-standard when it comes to quality. They’ve authored a remarkable curriculum. Now, LearnZillion is excited to bring that curriculum to districts across the country and support them in implementing with confidence and integrity,” he said.
Credo Education Rebrands as NimblyWise
The rebranding comes after Infobase, a provider of supplemental educational materials to the school and library markets, acquired Credo Reference, a reference and information literacy solutions provider that serves libraries worldwide.
Following the November 2018 acquisition, Credo Education Inc. was spun out as an independent entity. It had been set up as a division of Credo Reference in early 2017.
The business name change and rebranding “align with the company’s goal of helping people become more agile in the way they work, and be better able to navigate a complex and ever-changing business environment,” CEO Mike Sweet said in a release.
The company works with higher education institutions by integrating skills such as critical thinking, communication, information literacy, and teamwork into ongoing instruction, assessment, and experiential learning. With corporations, NimblyWise offers a program to help employees develop their soft skills and real-time learning abilities.