Leading learning company Pearson announced today that it plans to acquire the virtual public school provider Connections Education, formerly known as Connections Academy, to expand its services and technologies in learning.

Connections Education operates in 21 states, providing more than 40,000 students with an online or virtual public school education through virtual charter schools. These schools serve a diverse population of students including those who may be gifted, struggling, pursuing careers in sports or the arts, in need of scheduling flexibility, or who have chosen home schooling.

Connections Education is marked for it’s ability to provide personalized learning for each student with high-quality teachers, training for parents or caretakers, digital and print curriculum materials, school-provided computers, assessment and reporting tools, social events and learning technologies. These contributing factors have helped Connections Education Schools perform favorably compared to other full-time learning programs with high satisfaction ratings and performance outcomes.

“Joining forces with Pearson gives Connections Education the opportunity to share our proven virtual education solutions with a much wider global audience, and collaborate with the developers at Pearson in creating an even more robust set of online and blended offerings for students of all ages,” says Connections Education’s co-founder, Barbara Dreyer. “We look forward to growing this business and making high-quality digital learning available to anyone, anywhere.”

Pearson says the acquisition, which extends its educational services and technologies, provides the company with a leading position in the fast-growing virtual school segment, allowing it to expand into new geographic markets.

“For a decade or more, we’ve invested in education technologies that have the potential to make learning more effective for each child. Connections Education does that. Virtual schooling is an attractive choice for a growing group of American parents and in the next decade it will take off in other countries. Beyond that, Connections Education has developed a broad array of highly effective learning tools that we intend to make available to all kinds of schools and all kinds of students,” says Pearson’s chief executive, Marjorie Scardino.

Pearson’s CEO of North America, Will Ethridge, adds, “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.”

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