For 50 years, Curriculum Associates (CA) has been united around one common purpose: to make classrooms better places for teachers and students. In the years since, they have remained driven by this mission, introducing and then constantly improving innovative and exciting products that give every student the chance to succeed. CA strives to empower teachers with the tools and resources to accelerate student growth. Together with educators, CA is making equitable learning programs a reality—raising the bar and making it reachable for all.
Like many great ideas with humble beginnings, Curriculum Associates was launched in a garage! Founded in 1969 by four passionate educators, CA was committed from day one to providing classrooms with the most innovative instructional materials.
Frank Ferguson, one of the founders, took over as President of CA and later oversaw the company's move to its current headquarters in North Billerica. For the first 30-odd years, CA developed a reputation for producing exceptional print products for K–12 like BRIGANCE® and QUICK-WORD®, eventually expanding into the assessment market with TEST READY® Mathematics in 1989. After leading CA for nearly three decades, Frank – now in his 80s – turned his focus to the future of the company for the long term and began the search for his successor.
Rob Waldron joined the company as CEO, bringing experience from both the for-profit and nonprofit education worlds committing to preserving CA's philanthropic, classroom-focused founding values while driving its long-term success.
Under Rob's leadership, CA expanded its print product offerings and made the exciting move into the technology space, effectively evolving from a small print workbook company to one of the largest players in the industry.
One of the first major undertakings was the development of the Ready® Reading and Ready® Mathematics print products, both created entirely from scratch to align with new, more rigorous Common Core and state standards.
CA moved into the digital age with the development of an online diagnostic and instruction tool, called i-Ready, designed to pinpoint student needs and deliver personalized instruction. This blended solution completely changed the way in which CA was able to support students and secured the company's place as a pioneer in the edtech industry.
CA's commitment to giving took center stage, making headlines and history when the company announced the donation of the majority of its shares to charity. After careful vetting of potential buyers for these shares, CA selected local private equity firm Berkshire Partners, whose shared long-term values and support will ensure the company's continued growth and expand its ability to provide students with tools to support their success.
This sale resulted in proceeds of approximately $200 million to charity and was one of the 10 largest philanthropic gifts of 2017. The resulting donations were the largest ever received by the Iowa State University Foundation and the Boston Foundation.
While our days in a garage are long behind us, CA's founding mission remains our North Star. We maintain the same commitment to service, to excellence, and to improving the lives of teachers and students that we did half a century ago.