Five-Way Merger Creates New Illuminate Education

July 3, 2018

Illuminate Education, IO Education, SchoolCity, Alpine Achievement, and Key Data Systems merge to create the largest provider of data platforms, data, analytics, formative assessments, and a “whole view of the student.”

Illuminate Education, the company transforming K-12 instruction through education intelligence solutions, has merged with [LLR portfolio company] IO Education, SchoolCity, Alpine Achievement, and Key Data Systems (KDS). The new company, called Illuminate Education, will be led by Christine Willig, a 25-year K-12 industry veteran. Insight Venture Partners, a New York-based venture capital and private equity firm focused on software investing and majority owner of Illuminate and KDS, facilitated the combination.

The merger combines leading formative assessment and data platforms (Illuminate Education, IO Education, SchoolCity and Alpine Achievement) with a leading formative item bank provider (Key Data Systems).

“We’re going to deliver what educators and teachers ask for and students need – truly adaptive assessments, data and analytics that inform instruction, and linkages to curriculum and third-party resources in a single interoperable environment wherein choice and opportunity become nearly unlimited. The combined companies’ expansive capabilities will save teachers time, serve each student’s unique needs, and drive student achievement. Teachers and students will get what they need most – more time on the right task,” said Christine Willig, CEO, Illuminate Education.

“This combination eliminates many barriers that were holding back the solution that educators tell us they want – ‘all the data’ on a ‘single pane of glass’– providing a holistic view of the child that efficiently and effectively informs instruction. With nearly 15 million students and almost 300K formative assessment items on our combined platform, the opportunity to personalize learning is groundbreaking,” said Adam Berger, Managing Director at Insight Venture Partners and Chairman of the new Illuminate Education.

By bringing together the best of what each formerly independent company offered into an open and interoperable environment, the newly formed Illuminate Education will support teachers, inform instruction, engage parents, and enhance individualized student achievement.

“We’re thrilled to join the Illuminate Education family because of our shared mission to promote educator and student success,” said Michael Williamson, Chief Executive Officer of IO Education.

“We recognize the growing importance of providing insights that empower educators to personalize the support they provide to each student,” said Alisabeth Shearn, Chief Executive Officer of Alpine Achievement.

“We have long admired how Illuminate, IO, Alpine, and KDS have brought innovative solutions to the K-12 ecosystem. Merging in SchoolCity’s ability to provide customized solutions will give educators the broadest set of choices,” said Vaseem Anjum, Chief Executive Officer of SchoolCity.

Current customers of all five companies should expect minimal disruption as the merger occurs. “As we bring together the best aspects of each company’s solutions to support educators and promote student success, we will put customers’ needs at the forefront. It will be business as usual,” said Willig.

With complete respect for privacy, a commitment to interoperability, and a singular focus on learning, Illuminate Education serves the art of teaching for positive student outcomes and ultimate success. By enabling teachers to teach to each student rather than teaching to the middle or to the test, both teachers and students win. 

About Illuminate Education
Illuminate Education is a leading provider of K-12 software and services. An educator perspective drives all of Illuminate’s solutions, which are designed to maximize instructional time, streamline educator tasks and support data-driven decision-making. Illuminate’s award-winning Education Intelligence Platform consists of a product suite featuring data, analytics, assessments and reporting. Illuminate serves more than 1,600 school districts and over 7 million students. Learn more at

About Key Data Systems (KDS)
KDS is an educational research and content company serving K-12 educators by providing highly curated industry-leading item banks and a suite of over 500 pre-built formative assessments and solutions that combine rigor, innovation, and integrity. In 2017, KDS joined forces with Fluence Learning and Progress Testing to form the largest collection of formative assessment items in the education industry to inform instruction for increased student learning. KDS currently supports close to 12.5 million students in 43 states. For more information on Key Data Systems, visit

About IO Education
As a leader in the education technology industry for over 18 years, IO Education is on a mission to empower educators through data to improve educational outcomes. IO Education’s award-winning solutions are used in all 50 states by over 7,500 schools and 120,000 educators, supporting instruction for over 6,000,000 students. The company is headquartered in Atlanta, GA.

About SchoolCity
SchoolCity Inc., (est. 1999) is a premier provider of personalized learning solutions to the K-12 assessment platform industry. Customer-centric at its core, SchoolCity has become the standard for service and innovation. Its flagstaff assessment platform, SchoolCity® SUITE is trusted by more than 140 districts across 16 states and utilized by nearly 2 million students. SUITE provides users with meaningful, timely, and easy to read analytic and assessment solutions that inform decisions and increase student achievement. As a contributing member of IMS Global and focused on interoperability, SchoolCity seamlessly integrates into the educational ecosystem to unite assessment with curriculum, instruction, intervention and enrichment to provide our partners in education with a comprehensive solution to ensuring all students are college and career ready.

About Alpine Achievement
Based in Colorado, Alpine Achievement has been supporting school and district administrators and teachers since 2001. Data analysis and reporting combined with individual student plans for RTI, Early Literacy, Gifted, English Language Learners, and others, save significant time and help educators connect data, meaning, and action to support the needs of all learners. The recent addition of automated cross-measure Early Alert capabilities also makes Alpine a significant player in MTSS, graduate competencies, and dropout prevention. For more information on: