River Grove, Ill., March 6, 2014 – Follett Corporation today announced an investment in ShowEvidence, Inc., a Santa Clara, California-based education software company that provides innovative solutions for assessing student and teacher performance. The investment is the first from the Follett Knowledge Fund, a $50 million venture fund focused on disruptive technologies in the education/technology space.
"ShowEvidence has created a cloud-based platform that gives schools the ability to embed digital learning materials within curriculum and assessment programs, and to score student work against state standards," said Mary Lee Schneider, President and CEO of Follett Corporation. "ShowEvidence has the potential to expand the effectiveness and scope of testing in education in ways that will drive greater levels of student achievement. Follett is delighted to partner with this innovative company."
The ShowEvidence solution is a comprehensive system for authoring, performing, and rating student and teacher work that automates the scoring based on evidence found within the work products. Unlike testing systems that focus on multiple choice tests for basic skills, and e-portfolio tools that merely assemble artifacts with rudimentary scores, ShowEvidence enables users to evaluate competency by identifying evidence in work products such as essays, projects, videos and presentations.
"By focusing on evidence to drive scoring, our system delivers improved rater efficiency and reduces bias—a major milestone for the field," said Eric Docter, CEO and co-founder of ShowEvidence. "We are excited to have the support of Follett, a company that is an innovator in its own right in delivering digital content and technology solutions at all levels of education."
"ShowEvidence is an ideal first investment for the Follett Knowledge Fund," said Russell B. Pyne, Managing Partner of Atrium Capital, the co-manager of the Follett Knowledge Fund. "They are an early leader in a rapidly growing market with a best-in-class solution. The ShowEvidence management team uniquely blends a deep understanding of educational assessment with educational software experience and is intensely focused on improving teacher practice and student learning."
ShowEvidence streamlines the process of evaluating proficiency by allowing users to easily assign tasks and tag evidence in authentic work product to generate scores. Initially, the company is focused on the student assessment, teacher and principal certification, and professional development markets in K-12 and Higher Ed. The platform could also have applications in other markets where tagging evidence to justify scores is critical to evaluating performance. More information is available at www.showevidence.com.
About the Follett Knowledge Fund
The Follett Knowledge Fund is a venture capital fund for new technologies with the potential to improve and even disrupt the way educational content is delivered and consumed. The fund is co-managed by Atrium Capital, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has been co-managing and advising strategic corporate venture programs for more than two decades. More information is available at www.atriumcapital.com.
About Follett Corporation
Since 1873, Follett has served as the trusted partner in education for students and educators at all levels of learning. Today Follett delivers physical and digital learning materials, retail services, school content and management systems to more than 80,000 early childhood, primary and secondary schools, and on more than 1,000 college campuses. Headquartered in River Grove, Illinois, Follett is a $2.7 billion privately held company. More information is available at www.follett.com.