Learning technology is linking up with assessment in a major edtech deal: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt on Monday completed its acquisition of the influential research and testing nonprofit, NWEA.
“The combined organization will harness the collective power of instruction and research-based insights to support educators in their efforts to drive better outcomes for students,” the companies said in a news release.
NWEA CEO Chris Minnich will join HMH’s executive leadership team as president of a new NWEA division, which will maintain its flagship assessment MAP Growth and other platform-agnostic assessment products. The deal will connect NWEA’s assessment insights with HMH’s curriculum products and districts should not experience any HMH or NWEA service disruptions, the companies explained.
“We are deeply focused on the transformative power of education,” added Jack Lynch, CEO of HMH, which itself was acquired by Veritas Capital in April 2022. “We look forward to diving into our collective work in support of students and teachers.”
Proceeds from the acquisition will fund the creation of a new private foundation that will serve students and educators across the nation. The Oregon-based, yet-to-be-named organization will provide grants to schools, among other initiatives.
Today we celebrated the growth RVMS students made in their NWEA Math scores. Students who made growth were awarded their choice of a certificate for either a taco 🌮 from Taco Bell or French fries 🍟 from McDonalds!!WE ARE SO PROUD OF ALL OF YOU! pic.twitter.com/28ZTSgExgH
— River Valley Middle School (@RVMS_Panthers) May 1, 2023
NWEA has released several influential reports on learning loss during the COVID pandemic. Its fall 2022 assessment data—from nearly 7 million 3rd and 8th-grade students—found the education system rebounding from achievement lows reached in spring 2021. Though students were still testing below pre-pandemic norms, math and reading scores continued to improve last fall.
Third-graders, who were in kindergarten at the onset of the pandemic, showed the largest declines in reading and the smallest rebounds. Ultimately, NWEA’s researched warned full academic recovery will take several more years.