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NWEA Assets to Be Acquired by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) said today that it's planning to buy out the assets and brand identity of NWEA, a not-for-profit organization that provides assessment and other solutions (including its flagship MAP Growth assessments). HMH is owned by private investment firm Veritas Capital.

The two organizations announced they've signed an agreement for the acquisition of "virtually all of NWEA’s assets," which will result in NWEA operating as a division of HMH. NWEA's products will continue to be offered under the NWEA brand.

According to the organizations: "By combining NWEA's assessments with HMH's curriculum, HMH is expected to deliver a holistic solution for educators that helps them understand how students are growing academically and what areas need the most focus to maximize that growth. Most importantly, this solution will turn insights from assessments into content recommendations that help teachers address student-specific skill gaps and advance student learning."

According to the organizations, the proceeds from the acquisition will be used to fund the continuation of a not-for-profit organization, while the NWEA name, branding, and assessment and learning products will become the property of HMH. "Following the close of the agreement, which is subject to customary regulatory review and anticipated to occur within a 90-day period, the NWEA name, brand and assessment and learning solutions will continue as part of HMH, and NWEA will have access to resources and capacity that will fuel its innovation and enable it to better serve educators and students. The proceeds of the acquisition will be used in the near term to fund the continuation of a not-for-profit focused on helping all children learn and achieve their full potential, with plans to eventually convert to a private foundation."

For its part, NWEA assured its users that the changeover would have little or no impact on them: "As a result of this anticipated acquisition, we are confident that our partners will experience continuity with all of NWEA solutions, including providing tests, generating and reading reports, and using tools like the MAP Growth College Explorer or MAP Accelerator," the organization said in a prepared statement. "There will also be no change to the MAP Growth instructional connection program, which means MAP Growth data can continue to be used to inform personalized learning plans with our 30+ instructional partners including Newsela and Khan Academy. NWEA services, such as Professional Learning workshops and School Improvement services, will not be interrupted, and any events scheduled or planned to be scheduled will proceed as normal. NWEA Fusion, our annual gathering of passionate educators who want to learn more about how to help all kids learn, will not be impacted by the acquisition and will continue as planned. Our goal is to provide as seamless of an experience as possible to ensure that we continue to help our partners focus on creating academic growth for students."

About the Author

David Nagel is the former editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal, STEAM Universe, and Spaces4Learning. A 30-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art, marketing, media, and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidrnagel/ .