Durham-based MetaMetrics Acquires Early Literacy Startup Elemeno to Grow Focus on Science of Reading


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Durham-based EdTech company MetaMetrics has recently acquired Elemeno, an EdTech startup focused on bridging the research-to-practice gap in early literacy by packaging scientific knowledge into useful tools for practitioners.

Following the acquisition, Elemeno’s founder and CEO Neena Saha, Ph.D., has joined MetaMetrics as Vice President of Science of Reading. Saha will innovate, lead and champion the company’s work in early literacy and the science of reading. In addition, she will support the research, design, and implementation of MetaMetrics’ early reading products and services.

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement and research organization developing objective measuring parameters for student achievement. The platform provides modules and learning frameworks for integrating assessment with curriculum designing. Its offering includes the Lexile Framework for Reading that evaluates reading ability and text complexity based on assessments to match readers with texts. The Quantile Framework for Mathematics uses a common scale to assess a student’s mathematical achievement level and the difficulty of the skills and concepts being taught. The Lexile Framework for Writing tool is used for differentiating writing instructions and monitoring growth in writing ability on the similar Lexile scale as reading ability.

Founded in 1984 by Malbert Smith, MetaMetrics’ measures also provide valuable insights about students’ potential for growth. MetaMetrics’ measures, products, and services are licensed to dozens of education product companies to help achieve that growth. For 35 years, MetaMetrics’ work has been increasingly recognized for its research-based approach to improving learning.

Speaking about the acquisition, Malbert Smith, Founder & CEO of MetaMetrics, said,

“Developing strong literacy skills at the youngest age provides children with an on-ramp to success in education, careers and life. Neena’s work in early literacy at Elemeno and her entrepreneurial spirit are the perfect complements to our efforts to increase our emphasis on helping the youngest learners – particularly those who are struggling with learning to read – build both literacy skills and a lifelong love of reading.”

Elemeno’s work, largely focused on helping teachers discover decodable texts for young readers, will support the continued growth of MetaMetrics’ emphasis on early literacy. Elemeno’s popular weekly e-newsletter, “The Reading Research Recap,” is read by thousands of educators, researchers, and parents who want to keep pace with the latest research developments in the science of reading.

Neena Saha, Founder & CEO of Elemeno, said,

“I share MetaMetrics’ commitment to helping children find the right book at the right time to build literacy skills. I look forward to collaborating with the MetaMetrics team to extend the work we started at Elemeno and help all young learners around the world become strong readers.”

Since July 2019, MetaMetrics has been part of the portfolio of the Apax Digital Fund, the technology-focused growth equity fund advised by global private equity advisory firm Apax Partners.

About the Author

Author: Shalini Pathak

Shalini Pathak Shalini Pathak is a Staff Writer at EdTechReview (ETR) – India’s leading edtech media & community. She has over four years of experience in media, covering different beats. Like all writers she’s an enthusiastic reader first with a passion to create out of the box content, and an ability to write about any topic. As a part of the ETR team, she will cover the latest in the edtech industry with a focus on edtech startup stories and their funding.

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