The chief executive of PLATO Learning stepped down Nov. 17, leaving ed-tech insiders to question what his abrupt departure will mean for the company's 20,000-plus school customers.

After meeting with the company's board of directors, John Murray, who served as president, chairman, and chief executive officer of the company since he took the helm in 1994, agreed to relinquish all three titles and his seat on the company's board, effectively cutting all ties between himself and the Bloomington, Minn.-based firm.

Current PLATO board member and former NCS Pearson boss...

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