Textbook Publisher Purchases'Integrated' Software Company

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Anticipating growth in the market for "integrated learning systems,'' Simon & Schuster last week acquired the Computer Curriculum Corporation, a software company that produces the computer-based teaching networks.

Although terms of the transaction were not disclosed, published reports indicate that Paramount Communications Inc., the parent company of Simon & Schuster, may have paid $60 million or more to acquire c.c.c.

The move will allow Simon & Schuster--already the publisher of a wide range of educational materials, including textbooks, workbooks, films and video, and other supplementary materials for students from kindergarten to the graduate level--to expand into the potentially lucrative market for intergrated learning systems.

In contrast to stand-alone microcomputers, which are frequently used in instruction, integrated systems usually consist of centrally controlled networks of computer terminals. They allow teachers and administrators to track individual student performance, adjust instruction to meet individual needs, and produce data and reports on how students are performing.

A newly developed version of the system, dubbed the solo, employs a compact-disk drive that allows the system to be used in a stand-alone configuration.

Company spokesmen said that c.c.c. systems are used by some 3,000 schools nationwide to deliver instruction in mathematics, science, reading, language arts, English as a second language, and computer science.

They estimated that as many as 750,000 students may be using c.c.c. equipment in classroom work.

The market for such systems is "poised for significant growth," Richard Snyder, chairman of Simon & Schuster, said in a statement.

An analyst for Link Resources, a New York City market-research firm, said sales of integrated learning systems topped $175 million last year, and could more than double that mark within three years.

C.c.c., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., was founded in 1967 by Patrick Suppes, an expert in educational research and development at Stanford University, and Richard C. Atkinson, who now serves as chancellor of the University of California at San Diego.

Under the terms of the sale, Mr. Suppes will remain as a consultant to the company, and Ronald Fortune will stay on as president of ccc

C.c.c. has been second only to the Jostens Learning Corporation, of Minneapolis, in producing integrated learning systems for schools, analysts said.--pw

Vol. 09, Issue 26

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