AdvancED to Merge With Assessment Maker, Measured Progress to Form $120M...

Mergers and Acquisitions

AdvancED to Merge With Assessment Maker, Measured Progress to Form $120M Nonprofit

By Tony Wan     Jun 26, 2018

AdvancED to Merge With Assessment Maker, Measured Progress to Form $120M Nonprofit

Two national education nonprofits whose school improvement and assessment tools impact millions of students across the country are merging. Today, AdvancED and Measured Progress announced plans to combine their school support and data tools underneath one entity.

The new group doesn’t yet have a name, and the deal won’t be finalized until closer to the end of the year. Combined, the two nonprofits say their work will impact 28 million students across over 40,000 schools across in more than 70 countries. That client base currently generates approximately $120 million in revenue. The organization will also number roughly 500 employees.

“The network we will serve together will have access to robust data analytics platforms, which will strengthen how schools can include student outcome measures into their school improvement plans and efforts,” says Mark Elgart, president and CEO of AdvancED.

Here’s what they each bring to the table: AdvancED works closely with schools, districts and state education agencies to implement what it calls “continuous improvement plans” that help school organizations meet its school quality framework. To do so, it offers a range of supports that include observation software and professional development services.

AdvancED also offers accreditation services—a business that it has deep roots in. The group was formed in 2006 through a merger of three regional accrediting agencies: the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, and the National Study of School Evaluation.

What AdvancED has so far lacked, according to Elgart, are assessment tools that “provide a link between school quality measures and student outcomes.” In other words, among the different input measures that the group uses to determine a school’s quality, a reliable source of student achievement data was missing.

That’s where Measured Progress comes in. Founded in 1983, the nonprofit organization works with districts and state to deliver K-12 formative and summative assessments. Today, the group’s assessment products range from question item banks that align to a school’s curriculum or standards, to mandated statewide tests. It also offers tests that are supposed to be predictive of how a student will perform on high-stakes assessments like the SAT.

“We’re trying to connect quality schools with student outcomes and other holistic measures around school climate and engagement to give parents and decisionmakers a more rounded view,” says Martin Borg, president and CEO of Measured Progress, in an interview.

Several years ago, the Dover, N.H.-based group made headlines as one of the vendors that worked with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium to deliver tests aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Glitches and technical problems marred the testing experience in several states, leading to fines. Today, Measured Progress “does not pursue that work,” says Borg.

Measured Progress currently works with schools, districts and state departments of education in 34 states.

Conversations that paved the road for this merger started roughly a year ago, says Borg, although the two organizations have crossed paths at education industry conferences many times over the past decade. Elgart has also served in different board roles at Measured Progress in previous years.

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