The Association of Educational Publishers and the school division of the Association of American Publishers are planning to merge operations, marking the union of a pair of leading voices in the K-12 industry.
The two groups said in a statement released Monday that the new alliance would combine the AEP's focus on programming and professional development services with the other organization's advocacy on policy to represent companies making their way in a "rapidly changing environment."
In a fact sheet explaining the merger, the AEP said the two organizations had signed a memorandum of understanding to merge into a "restructured division" of the American Association of Publishers. The move will be completed by the third quarter of this year, the two groups said.
Jay Diskey, the executive director of the school division at the Association of American Publishers, said in a statement that coordination between the two organizations has increased over the past few years, and that the merger was a "logical next step."
"Through this partnership, we will be able to support professionals across the industry in deeper, richer ways," added Lee Wilson, the president of the board of the Association of Educational Publishers.
The two organizations noted that they have collaborated recently on a number of projects, in areas such as digital learning and international publishing.
The American Association of Publishers is a national trade organization representing 300 publishers in areas such as entertainment, scientific content, and education. The Association of Educational Publishers, founded in 1895 and based in Wilmington, Del., advocates for publishers of school materials.
More details surrounding the merger will be discussed next month, the two organizations said.
The joining of forces comes during a time of rapid, and broad, changes in the school publishing industry. States and districts are increasingly looking to adopt digital textbooks and other materials and content that can be delivered online for both professional development and classroom instruction.
In addition, the vast majority of states have agreed to take part in the Common Core State Standards, a policy designed to bring more consistency to academic content across states. That multistate effort and the alignment of tests to those new standards are expected to shape academic content and instruction for years to come.