updated 08:40 am EDT, Thu May 25, 2006
Apple sells PowerSchool
Apple today announced it has sold its PowerSchool division to Pearson, an international media company dedicated to education, business information, and publishing. Billed as an "expanded relationship" between the two companies, the two announced that Pearson develop educational content for teachers and students compatible with iPod. Apple purchased PowerSchool, its student information systems (SIS) division, in 2001 for $62 million. "Apple's commitment to education has never been stronger, which is why we're excited to broaden our relationship with Pearson," said John Couch, Apple's vice president of Education. "Our customers will love having Pearson's education content on their iPods, and we're confident that PowerSchool will continue to flourish and grow with Pearson." Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
Earlier this school year, Apple and Pearson collaborated to bring digital versions of Pearson textbooks and workbooks to California schools using the Mac mini.
PowerSchool's Web-based solutions provide K-12 administrators, teachers, students and parents with secure, up-to-the-minute information on student performance including grades, homework and attendance. They complement Pearson's existing enterprise and SIS business, which brings assessment, reporting and business solutions to over 16,000 schools. The integrated services will use the PowerSchool name and will be located in Folsom, California and Mesa, Arizona. PowerSchool's president, Mary McCaffrey, will head the combined business.
As part of the deal, Pearson will also develop new services for educators and students, including research-based educational content compatible with iPod. Teachers will have access to podcasts on professional development to help with lesson preparation and provide innovative ways to reach students struggling with specific content. Students will be able to load their iPods with study guides that are aligned with Pearson texts and listen to review notes to prepare for exams.
"Pearson's commitment is to improve student performance. Student information and achievement results are essential to teachers and families in knowing how a student is doing and helping her make gains," said Steven Dowling, president of Pearson's School companies. "The acquisition of PowerSchool, an easy-to-use application for sharing information, and the alliance with Apple to deliver content compatible with iPod, progresses Pearson's goal to improve student performance."