This blog doesn’t pause for all the M & A activity that happens in education (and yes, at $600 billion annually it’s an industry, a dysfunctional one but one nonetheless) but one acquisition announced last week is worth a look: Wireless Generation has acquired The Writers Express (pdf). A few things that make this interesting.
First, if conversations I have are any gauge then most people don’t realize how big Wireless is today. And at the same time how it became that way by growing the old-fashioned way rather than buying stuff up. So this move to acquire is a noteworthy one. Second, Writers Express was a non-profit. It’s commonly assumed that because the K-12 education marketplace is such a nightmare going non-profit is often the best path to survival politically and economically. In fact, for some ventures it might be the other way around. There are instances where a for-profit company can support and grow an idea or method in a way that a donor-supported entity can’t. Finally, on the substance of the deal, The Writers Express forges a middle-ground between the fairly rote writing instruction that is all-too-common (eg the burger model) and the substance and structure-free approach that characterizes the other extreme and is also too common. All this makes Writers Express an interesting arrow in the Wireless quiver and one worth watching.