In the wake of a disastrous accounting scandal that has slashed the market value of Cendant Corp. by nearly $20 billion, the company announced plans to unload its software division to focus on its core travel, real estate, and marketing businesses.

Cendant Software boasted the nation’s largest retail sales of educational software last year, and it was the third-largest seller to schools. According to PC Data of Reston, Va., Cendant sold about $50 million in software to schools in 1997.

The company’s subsidiaries include Sierra Online, publisher of more than 200 games and simulation software; Knowledge Adventure, which publishes the Blaster line of math and language programs; and Davidson & Associates, once a leading independent company, which specializes in critically acclaimed interactive science and math programs.

“We have no comparative advantages as owners or managers of our software businesses,” said Henry Silverman, who replaced Walter Forbes as Cendant’s CEO in July after Forbes resigned over the scandal. “Accordingly, we have determined these units do not fit within our future business model.”

Cendant had no comment on potential buyers for its software imprints.