Pearson acquires Chancery, formerly No. 2 in SIS market

On the heels of PowerSchool purchase, Pearson's buy of Chancery makes it the hands-down leader in student information services. Is a monopoly good for schools?

Coming on the heels of announcing that it acquired Apple Computer's PowerSchool, Pearson School Systems has bought Canadian student information systems provider Chancery Software Ltd. for an undisclosed sum, reports eSchool News. The aquisition makes Pearson the word's largest provider of student information systems (SIS) for the K-12 market.

"The new demands of NCLB [the No Child Left Behind Act], and the move in the K-12 world to automated student information systems ... has created an emerging growth market. The products we represent in Pearson School Systems, SASI and Pearson Centerpoint, as well as [Chancery's] products ... and the PowerSchool solution, give us a complete suite of opportunities for all size districts. From small to medium to large districts, we will have a solution," said Wendy Spiegel, director of communications for Pearson.

In buying Chancery and Powerschool, Pearson will be able to offer a complete range of software products for all levels of schools. Currently Pearson is the leader in installing and providing support for SIS, with Chancery running second. The merger of the two companies would add 6,000 schools to Pearson's base. Some educators who spoke with eSchool News said they are concerned that such rapid change could affect the quality of service they receive.

"The acquisitions of PowerSchool and Chancery transform our SIS business, doubling its size and enabling us to offer the pre- eminent software solutions for all levels of schools and districts-- small, medium, and large," said Steve Dowling, president of Pearson's education holdings. "All three businesses have a long and successful history of investment and innovation, and together we will continue to develop new services to help schools achieve their goals."

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