Teachscape, Inc. Secures $16 million Investment
ABS Capital Partners Attracted to Leader in Teacher Effectiveness
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – August 13, 2009 – Teachscape, Inc., the leader in the development and delivery of outcomes-based professional development programs for educators, today announced it has completed a $16 million Series C financing led by ABS Capital Partners, a leading later-stage growth company investor. Proceeds will be used for expansion in this current favorable environment as well as continued development of leading technology-enabled products. Phil Clough and Ralph Terkowitz, General Partners at ABS Capital will join the Company’s board of directors.
“With the Obama administration squarely focused on teacher effectiveness as the primary lever to improve student learning, school districts are looking for innovative software solutions to help improve the quality of instruction in every classroom,” said Mark Atkinson, CEO of Teachscape. “The administration’s reform agenda coupled with its stimulus funding for education has created an unprecedented inflection point in our market. This investment by ABS Capital is a game changer for Teachscape. With this substantial new growth capital, Teachscape is uniquely positioned to offer teachers and school districts the software and services they need to immediately begin to improve instructional outcomes.”
“We have a very high bar for investments in the education sector and we immediately understood how Teachscape is impacting positive change in school systems,” said ABS Capital Managing Partner, Phil Clough. “With a long track record of improving performance, the Company is on the leading edge of the growing national interest to improve teacher effectiveness.”
Teachscape provides video-based online professional learning resources and technology tools to align curriculum, instruction and assessment. It also offers Masters degree programs for K-12 educators. As a teacher effectiveness company, Teachscape is dedicated to improving student outcomes in K-12 schools. Using the Company’s proven methodology and its unparalleled library of video-case studies of teaching, Teachscape designs and delivers professional learning experiences that help instructional leaders improve the performance of every teacher at school. The Company’s classroom walkthrough software tracks changes in teacher’s teaching practices, and its assessment tools enable districts to correlate these changes in teaching to improved student performance. Teachscape Masters degrees are delivered in collaboration with its higher education partners, and adhere to the same outcomes-based learning model. Candidates for Masters degrees demonstrate their improved knowledge and skill through the submission of multi-media portfolios of their learning. These portfolios are evaluated using rigorous performance assessments by university faculty. Teachers improve their practice by working through the daily instructional challenges they face with their students.
Available evidence suggests that the main driver of the variation in student learning is the quality of the teachers. A seminal study conducted in 1997 by William A.Sanders and Joan C. Rivers, University of Tennessee Value-Added Research and Assessment Center, on students in Tennessee showed that if two average 8 year old students were given different teachers – one of the teachers a high performer, the other a low performer – the students’ performance diverged by more than 50 percentile points within three years. By way of comparison, the evidence also suggested that reducing class sizes from 23 to 15 students only improved the performance of an average student by eight percentile points. Despite substantial increases in spending and many well-intentioned reform efforts, student performance in a large number of school districts has barely improved in decades.
Teachscape currently works with thought leading public school districts, archdiocese and state departments of education throughout the United States, serving 1,200 schools in 25 states with more than 50,000 educators in 600 districts.
ABS Capital has backed other leading technology-enabled education companies such as American Public Education, Inc. (NASDAQ: APEI), Rosetta Stone, Inc. (NYSE: RST) and Course Advisor, Inc. (now part of The Washington Post Company).
The principals of NeXtAdvisors, LLC acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Teachscape.