AIR and Learning Point Associates Join Forces

AIR and Learning Point Associates, two of the nation’s leading not-for-profit education research firms, are joining forces in a merger that brings together the strengths of both organizations in order to enhance their ability to provide cutting-edge research, evaluation, and technical assistance.

“Learning Point is a true leader when it comes to research and evaluation, direct professional services, and policy knowledge, particularly when at the school, district, and state levels,” said AIR CEO Sol H. Pelavin. “Its work is a strong complement to the district, state, national, and international education efforts long led by AIR, and we are all quite excited by the impact we will have on our nation’s educational infrastructure.”

Learning Point CEO Gina Burkhardt said that, “AIR has long stood as the gold standard for behavioral and social science research, particularly in the education sector. By bringing Learning Point’s significant assets to such a strong organization, we can provide a continuum of research, assessment, and technical assistance at all levels that are unmatched and unrivaled.”

The merger is effective August 1, 2010. AIR, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and Learning Point, which is based in Chicago, are dedicated to producing the best research available to improve people’s lives and well-being.

Burkhardt will become an AIR executive vice president and director of AIR’s Education, Human Development and the Workforce Division on September 1, 2010. The division’s more than 450 individuals will include Learning Point Associates’ staff and current AIR EHDW employees.

Burkhardt succeeds Dr. David Myers as division director. On July 12, AIR announced that Myers would succeed Pelavin as AIR's president and CEO on January 1, 2011. As part of that transition, Myers will become president of AIR on September 1, 2010, reporting directly to Pelavin, who will remain CEO until December 31, 2010.

Learning Point Associates was founded in 1984 as the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), a single-contract regional organization created by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2004, NCREL became Learning Point Associates, a diversified consulting firm with clients ranging from state education agencies and single-school districts to private foundations and for-profit corporations. It continues to run NCREL, now known as Regional Education Laboratory Midwest (REL Midwest).

AIR is one of the world’s largest behavioral and social science research organizations, and addresses critical education, health, workforce, and international development challenges. With 1,500 employees, AIR’s foundation is in education research. The organization currently stands as a national leader in teaching and learning improvement, providing the research, assessment, evaluation, and technical assistance to ensure all students have access to a high-quality, effective education.