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Investigation into Pearson Highlights Problematic Business Practices

Pearson, PoliticoWhatever your role in education, these days you hear one company named over and over again: Pearson. The publishing giant has its hand not only in test creation, but professional development programs, data systems, online learning, and much more.

Pearson is so omnipresent that it has become the first place many states and districts turn when looking for new resources and training — according to an article by Politico, sometimes without following competitive bidding policies. Politico has taken an in-depth look at the company’s business practices and its receipt of public funds. Politico’s investigation found that

Pearson stands to make tens of millions in taxpayer dollars and cuts in student tuition from deals arranged without competitive bids in states from Florida to Texas. The review also found Pearson’s contracts set forth specific performance targets — but don’t penalize the company when it fails to meet those standards. And in the higher ed realm, the contracts give Pearson extensive access to personal student data, with few constraints on how it is used.

Read the article here.

One Comment
  1. John Bestor #

    I appreciate your posting of this timely, incredibly revealing, and frightening article on the massive takeover of American public education by this corporate money-making machine. Pearson has certainly succeeded in tapping into a large chunk of what Rupert Murdoch called a $500 billion K-12 education sector waiting to be exploited. Pearson has infiltrated itself into so many school districts across our country that it has poisoned the well of good, research-based teaching practices with shoddy materials designed to meet market demand without carefully protected data storage systems, statistically sound assessment measures, and rapidly re-issued textbooks and educational materials with Common Core-aligned stamped on the cover. Shameful!

    February 11, 2015

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