Assessment

Pearson Pays $230M for SchoolNet

By Ian Quillen — April 27, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Well-known education publisher Pearson, headquartered domestically in New York, announced Tuesday it will purchase education software maker SchoolNet for $230 million, subject to a federal anti-trust law compliance review.

The move gives Pearson control of another Big Apple company whose software is designed to collect data on student progress and use it to help educators personalize instruction and learning. And it’s the latest move—and one of the most substantial—in an e-arms race of sorts among the “big three” of educational publishing: Pearson, McGraw-Hill, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Is Pearson gaining the upper hand in the fight to be recognized as the publisher that is doing the most to adapt to technology’s potential for learning? At the very least, it seems to be linking with the standard-bearers in the field. It’s partnered to develop a small, but state-driven pilot of iPad history curriculum materials in Virginia, and host an assortment of online courses developed by Florida Virtual School on its new Pearson Virtual Learning platform.

And the money exchanged in the acquisition of SchoolNet is substantial; to put it in context, it’s about two thirds of what Rupert Murdoch’s global media conglomerate NewsCorp paid late last fall to snatch up Wireless Generation, the folks behind the algorithm that runs the School of One project.

Perhaps the more important questions are whether educators’ or Pearson’s best interests are being served by all this investment. There are many ed-tech advocates out there who argue one of the best benefits of incorporating technology into the curriculum is the ability to pull from many more diverse sources of content than are available in the print world. And there are also dozens of education startup companies banking on the idea that no amount of investment will allow any education publisher to control the flow of digital content the way the big three have ruled the print world.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Spotlight Spotlight on Assessment in 2021
In this Spotlight, review newest assessment scores, see how districts will catch up with their supports for disabled students, plus more.
Assessment 'Nation's Report Card' Has a New Reading Framework, After a Drawn-Out Battle Over Equity
The new framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress will guide development of the 2026 reading test.
10 min read
results 925693186 02
iStock/Getty
Assessment Opinion Q&A Collections: Assessment
Scores of educators share commentaries on the use of assessments in schools.
5 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty
Assessment Standardized Tests Could Be in Jeopardy in Wake of Biden Decisions, Experts Say
Has the Biden administration shored up statewide tests this year only to risk undermining long-term public backing for them?
6 min read
Image of a test sheet.
sengchoy/iStock/Getty