In a bid to become the leading provider of Web-based student information systems and recapture the number-one spot as education market leader, Apple has announced plans to acquire privately held PowerSchool Inc. According to Apple, PowerSchool gives school administrators and teachers the ability to “easily and cost-effectively manage student records and gives parents real-time access to track their children’s progress”.

The PowerSchool student information system has already been selected by 2,000 schools in the US.

Apple expansion “Apple has a legacy of helping teachers teach and students learn. We are now expanding that mission to include helping schools run more effectively,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

Jobs went on to welcome PowerSchool’s 160 “talented employees” to Apple, and stated that he hoped they would help Apple become the leading Web-based education provider “nationwide”. He made no mention of Apple’s PowerSchool-based education plans outside of the US.

Apple will acquire PowerSchool for $62 million in Apple stock. The closing is subject to regulatory approvals, approval of PowerSchool shareholders, and other customary conditions to closing.

Program details The browser-based, platform-independent PowerSchool is a completely Web-based student information system that enables schools and school authorities to record, access, report and manage their student data and performance records in real-time. Parents, students, teachers and administrators use the system to share information about grades, attendance records, and homework assignments.

Teachers can use PowerSchool to communicate with parents. The application creates an online community around the school with automated email reports, informational screens, a safe Web guide from Ask Jeeves, classroom and school Web pages, email, and many other educational resources through the PowerSchool portal.

Administrators can also choose from additional PowerSchool tools, including an online fundraising feature and sponsorship program that can generate revenue for the school and/or district.

No software downloads are necessary on the client computers.