Murdoch’s News Corp Moves Into US Education
News Corporation, the owner of 20th Century Fox and newspapers including The Times and The Sun, is making its first foray into the classroom with the $360m (£228m) acquisition of Wireless Generation.
The group has bought a 90pc stake in the US company, which develops a range of mobile and internet-based software, professional services and data systems for 200,000 teachers to assess the progress of 3m students across the US. News Corp said the company, which currently has 400 employees, focuses on the “K [kindergarten] to 12 age group”.
“We see a $500bn sector in the US alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,” said Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corp.
“Wireless generation is at the forefront of individualised, technology-based learning that is poised to revolutionise public education for a new generation of students,” he added.
Mr Murdoch is understood to have asked Joel Klein, the outgoing chancellor of the New York City department of education, to search for technology-focused educational companies in need of investment. It emerged earlier this month that News Corporation had appointed Mr Klein to join the company.
He will act as a senior adviser to Mr Murdoch on a wide range of initiatives, including developing business strategies for the emerging educational marketplace.
News Corp said that Wireless Generation is a “key partner to New York City’s department of education on its achievement reporting and innovation system”.