Pearson has acquired Connections Education from an investor group led by Apollo Management, L.P. Connections Education has produced revenue growth of more than 30% in each of the past three years. The transaction is subject to a Hart-Scott-Rodino review. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Baltimore, Maryland, Connections Education is headed by co-founder Barbara Dreyer. She will stay on as CEO of Connections Education and as a senior executive at Pearson.
Through its Connections Academy business, the company operates online or ‘virtual’ public schools in 21 states in the US—serving more than 40,000 students in the current school year. These virtual charter schools are accredited and funded by the relevant state and are free to parents and students who choose a virtual school in place of a traditional public institution or other schooling options.
Since its founding in 2001, Connections Academy has built a complete virtual school system to support personalized learning for each student. This includes high-quality teachers, training for learning coaches (who are often parents), digital and print curriculum materials (already often from Pearson), provision of computers, assessment and reporting tools, social events and learning technologies. Connections Academy has developed proprietary technologies including education management system Connexus which provides on-demand access to schedules, lessons, gradebooks, resources and teachers; teaching tool LiveLesson which allows teachers to lead real-time interactive and adaptive classes over the internet; and a wide range of multimedia curriculum tools and games.
For Pearson, the acquisition provides a leading position in the fast-growing virtual school segment and the opportunity to apply Connections Education’s skills and technologies in new segments and geographic markets. It extends Pearson’s investment in education services and technologies that have both a direct connection with the learner and a strong record of enhancing student achievement.
Will Ethridge, CEO of Pearson North America, said, “We see Connections Education as highly complementary to our own business, and it provides an opportunity for developing new models of instruction and increasing the effectiveness of Pearson’s global educational programs. Our joint goal is to ensure that every student is college and career-ready when they graduate.”
USA, New York, NY & Baltimore, MD
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