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ECS Learning Systems, Developer of STAAR MASTER®, Acquires PREPWORKS®

ECS Learning Systems, Developer of STAAR MASTER®, Acquires PREPWORKS® to Create Industry-Leading Adaptive K-12 Test-Prep Offerings

May 30, 2018 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time
SAN ANTONIO, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Asteria Education, Inc., DBA ECS Learning Systems, the leading Integrated Standards Prep™ company and developer of STAAR MASTER, announced today the acquisition of Miami-based PREPWORKS, an international, award winning education technology company. The combination adds personalized learning to ECS Learning Systems’ approach to its test preparation offerings. It also expands PREPWORKS’ Learning Positioning System® (LPS), currently focused on seventh to twelfth grade End-of-Course Tests, into the critical developmental lower grades. By combining the strengths of both companies, ECS Learning Systems will offer a new kind of blended, personalized test preparation solution that aligns with rigorous State, and College and Career readiness standards.


Commenting on the transaction, ECS Learning Systems’ President and CEO David Cumberbatch, formerly of ACT, said, “Acquiring PREPWORKS allows us to expand ECS Learning Systems’ offerings into high school and the addition of LPS accelerates our mission to help all students achieve academic success harnessing the power of the latest educational technology. We will continue our investment in the industry-leading LPS computer adaptive learning platform, as we transform STAAR MASTER and TEST SMART® into our complete suite of K through 12 blended offerings.”

PREPWORKS’ Founder and CEO Tracy LaFlamme Ortega will join ECS Learning Systems as Chief Product Officer, and PREPWORKS Michael Penney will join ECS Learning Systems maintaining his role as CTO.

We are proud to join the ECS Learning Systems family of education leaders and distinct brands,” said LaFlamme Ortega. “The combination enables both companies to reach our mutual goal of making learning easy and accessible through cutting-edge educational technology. PREPWORKS’ LPS facilitates the science of one-to-one learning by leveraging artificial intelligence that can personalize a student’s path through the curriculum. Together, our educational solutions can scale and continue to grow, providing all learners the opportunity for better academic achievement.


ECS Learning Systems has also provided bilingual supplemental materials for Spanish-speaking students in Texas for over 20 years. Through the acquisition, ECS Learning Systems plans to continue to serve the national community of bilingual Hispanic students and hopes to expand the company’s efforts in the coming years.


Available immediately from ECS Learning Systems are the STAAR MASTER and TEST SMART® solutions for Grades 1 to 8 and PREPWORKS high school programs in PSAT, SAT, ACT, Algebra I, Geometry, Civics, Biology, and U.S. History. Additional core courses are in development.



Currently serving students across the U.S. and in 68 countries, the PREPWORKS’ model translates the science of one-to-one tutoring into an adaptive learning online platform. PREPWORKS and its adaptive learning technology, the Learning Positioning System® (LPS), has won more than 40 national awards, including the 2018 BESSIE Awards for Best College and Career Readiness, Algebra, Geometry, and Civics programs. LPS leverages artificial intelligence to personalize a student’s path through the curriculum and will become the platform for ECS Learning Systems’ adaptive, blended learning solutions across its product lines. Today, PREPWORKS’ LPS transforms the way students in Grades 6 through 12 learn and achieve improved results on high-stakes tests. It evaluates each student's starting position, by utilizing micro and macro assessments throughout a student’s program. PREPWORKS delivers learning activities targeted at each student’s strengths and weaknesses tracking student progress in real-time. LPS enables up to 281 trillion personalized learning paths across ACT, SAT, Algebra, Geometry, and Civics programs. The methodology has resulted in student improvement on precollege admissions tests, including the SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT, Subject Tests, and AP Exams. For End-of-Course Exams, students see an average increase of 29% in scores and an average improvement of 300 SAT points and 5 ACT points.


About ECS Learning Systems

ECS Learning Systems pioneered the Integrated Standards Prep™ approach in its quality education solutions that build core knowledge fully aligned to state standards and works to ensure students complete tests with confidence. Founded in 1982 in San Antonio, Texas, ECS Learning Systems is the Integrated Standards Prep company that helps almost half a million students annually with STAAR MASTER®, TEST SMART®, and NOVEL UNITS®, and now PREPWORKS®. Building on its strong presence in Texas with STAAR MASTER, the Company publishes proprietary supplemental test-prep materials nationally under the TEST SMART brand and literature guides under the NOVEL UNITS brand.



STAAR MASTER is an Integrated Standards Preparation™ learning system of work texts and practice tests. It is designed to rigorously prepare students in grades 1 through 8 for the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards and the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) Tests. ECS Learning Systems utilizes the latest information provided by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to create and annually maintain the highest degree of alignment to the standards with multiple levels of cognitive complexity. STAAR MASTER is a market leader in Texas and is used by almost half of Texas school districts.


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For ECS Learning Systems
Jan Jahosky, 407-331-4699