The for-profit force behind corporate education reform in the United States—a company in the UK called Pearson.
In fifteen years, Pearson has come to wield, “enormous influence over American education. It writes the textbooks and tests that drive instruction in public schools across the nation. Its software grades student essays, tracks student behavior and diagnoses—and treats—attention deficit disorder.
No Profit Left Behind, Stephanie Simon’s blockbuster POLITICO investigation of the publishing giant, Pearson, is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how things work in American education these days. Simon warns, “Pearson’s dominance does not always serve U.S. students or taxpayers well.”
This is a major investigation: “POLITICO examined hundreds of pages of contracts, business plans and email exchanges, as well as tax filings, lobbying reports and marketing materials, in the first comprehensive look at Pearson’s business practices in the United States. The investigation found that public officials often commit to buying from Pearson because it’s familiar, even when there’s little proof its products and services are effective.”
From North Carolina’s bid-free purchase of a student data system that failed so catastrophically that North Carolina “had to pay Pearson millions extra to fix it,” to the Los Angeles iPad disaster that brought down school superintendent John…
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