Brook Portfolio Company Certica Acquires Academic Benchmarks

Joined with Leading Academic Standards Data Provider, Certica Offers Cloud-Based Service Infrastructure for Education Industry Providers

WAKEFIELD, Mass., February 11, 2016 Certica Solutions (Certica), provider of K-12 education content and data management solutions, today announced that it has acquired Academic Benchmarks, the market-leading data service for K-12 academic standards. The Academic Benchmarks offering includes data and data relationships for more than 3.5 million local, state and international standards. Founded in 2004, Academic Benchmarks serves more than 200 business partners which work directly with schools, districts and other educational agencies.

In conjunction with this acquisition, Certica announces Certica Connect™, the first education technology Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), which establishes a centralized, cloud-based service for K-12 industry providers to access, store and integrate data, metadata and content via a range of functional capabilities such as content development and deployment, asset search, and application and data integration.

The union with Academic Benchmarks signals an important milestone in Certica’s strategy to create a centralized, cloud-based PaaS – a strategy which has included the February 2015 acquisition of the Formative Assessment Item Bank™, a repository of nearly 86,000 standards-aligned test items, acquired from the Northwest Evaluation Association™.

Certica Connect is the result of Certica and Academic Benchmarks having observed the increasing fragmentation of the market which serves K-12 schools and districts, as well as the market’s lack of application and data integration – corresponding with the sector’s rapid growth, technology innovation and education reform policies. With offerings and expertise rooted in structured and unstructured data and metadata, Certica and Academic Benchmarks recognize the need for business partners to easily access, integrate and leverage centralized application functionality as well as content, standards and data.

Said Mark Rankovic, Certica’s president and CEO, “the Certica Connect platform will allow our business partners to focus on their core competencies, while we provide the necessary and appropriate services and infrastructure to support their instructional and learning missions. We believe Certica Connect can solve the application and data integration challenges in this marketplace. We are excited to be joining forces with Academic Benchmarks, which has provided a universal and widely-adopted K-12 standards data service. This acquisition is fundamental to the realization of our company’s vision for a K-12 education technology platform.”

Said Kelly Peet, Academic Benchmarks’ founder and CEO, “we are proud of the market adoption of the Academic Benchmarks services over the past twelve years. As a company, we’ve focused on bringing order to the myriad academic standards with which education providers must comply in order to conduct business. Our mission has been to help solve our clients’ challenges with pragmatic approaches and a solution that works within the business realities they must operate. In Certica, we have found a company whose leadership shares our vision for a service and infrastructure platform which enables innovation in the K-12 sector. We are confident that Certica will build upon the Academic Benchmarks foundation.”

Certica’s acquisition of Academic Benchmarks and the introduction of Certica Connect is supported by a new institutional investment partner – New Harbor Capital – a Chicago-based, growth-focused private equity firm which concentrates on the education and healthcare industries. New Harbor Capital recognizes the value in the union of the two companies as synergistic forces in the K-12 market, and New Harbor Capital intends to work with the expanded team to realize the full potential of Certica Connect.

Certica Solutions welcomes the entire Academic Benchmarks team and will retain the Academic Benchmarks office in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Academic Benchmarks leadership team will take senior management roles at Certica. The Academic Benchmarks brand will continue to encompass the academic standards data services and metadata offerings, which will be core capabilities in the Certica Connect platform.

About Certica Solutions
Certica Solutions provides education technology platform, content and data solutions which enable K-12 educators and administrators to improve instructional and organizational performance. Certica partners with a diverse network of education technology companies, publishers and assessment providers; and delivers solutions directly to over 500 school districts, charter schools and educational service agencies. The company is based in Wakefield, Massachusetts and has offices in Harvard, Massachusetts; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Austin, Texas.


February 24, 2016