Education Industry News

Published August 1, 2001

A sampling of education industry news from The Education Economy, a weekly publication of the market research firm, which conducts research on the pre-K-12, post-secondary, corporate training, and consumer markets worldwide. This copyrighted material is used by permission of, Inc.

Curriculum and Assessment Tools Go Wireless

Mindsurf Networks, Inc., a provider of wireless computing solutions for the K-12 market, announced on May 31 that it will acquire Discourse Technologies, Inc., a developer of education application software for the K-12 market. Under the terms of the agreement, Mindsurf will integrate the Discourse software with its solution to provide teachers with online, real-time curriculum and assessment tools. /

Edison Schools to Acquire LearnNow

Edison Schools, Inc. announced on June 4 that it will acquire LearnNow, Inc., an education management company. Through the transaction, Edison is expected to gain 11 schools, 5,000 students, and $38 million in revenues in the coming school year.

IBM and Riverdeep Forge K-12 Alliance

On June 5, IBM Corporation and Riverdeep Group, an e-learning provider for the K-12 market, announced a strategic alliance in which the two companies will jointly promote, market, sell, and service each other’s content offerings. Riverdeep also will integrate IBM technologies into its product offerings and assume overall development responsibility for the IBM Learning Village. /

Parents Support Competition in Education

A study released by Parents In Charge, a nonprofit organization that encourages debate on U.S. education, found that people of all economic, racial, and religious backgrounds are dissatisfied with pre-K-12 education in the U.S. The report, American Attitudes on Education, showed 82 percent of those surveyed believe that parents, not the government, should be in charge of their children’s education, and nearly three-quarters believe competition would improve education in the U.S.

Professional Development for Educators

McGraw-Hill Education, a provider of pre-K-12 educational materials, announced the launch of Educators’ Professional Development/McGraw-Hill, a new company specializing in professional development for teachers and school administrators. EPD/McGraw-Hill will develop integrated online and onsite teacher training programs, aligned with state and national content standards, that can be used with all of a state’s adopted textbooks.

School Internet Capability Up 77 Percent

A survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics found that an estimated 77 percent of U.S. public school classroom computers were equipped with Internet access last year, up from 64 percent in 1999. One of the reasons for the growth is the U.S. government’s E-rate program, which has committed $5.8 billion to E-rate applicants since February. The program makes services, Internet access, and internal connections available to schools and libraries at discounted rates.

Vivendi to Acquire Houghton Mifflin

Vivendi Universal. a media and communications company, announced on June 1 that it will acquire Houghton Mifflin Company, an education publisher, in a transaction valued at $2.2 billion. The acquisition will make Vivendi the second largest publisher in the world, with annual sales of $2.2 billion. /

WRC Media Partners with ThinkBox

On May 23, WRC Media, Inc., an education publisher for the K-12 market, and ThinkBox, Inc., a creator of Internet-delivered education programs for the K-12 and home markets, announced a partnership in which WRC Media will license its Weekly Reader brand names to ThinkBox. In return, WRC Media will make a strategic investment in ThinkBox and acquire the distribution rights for ThinkBox’s school programs. /

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