Monday, May 7, 2012

The United States of Pearson? « Diane Ravitch's blog

The United States of Pearson? « Diane Ravitch's blog:

The United States of Pearson?

      Ever since the debacle of Pineapplegate, it is widely recognized by everyone other than the publishing giant Pearson that its tentacles have grown too long and too aggressive. It is difficult to remember what part of American education has not been invaded by Pearson’s corporate grasp. It holds billions of dollars to test students. Its scores will be used to calculate the value of teachers. It has a deal with the Gates Foundation to store all the student-level data collected at the behest of Race to the Top. It recently purchased Connections Academy, thus giving it a foothold in the online charter industruy. And it recently added the GED to its portfolio.
      With the U.S. Department of Education now pressing schools to test children in second grade, first grade, kindergarten–and possibly earlier–and with the same agency demanding that schools of education be evaluated by the test scores of the students of their graduates (whew!), the picture grows clear. Pearson will control every aspect of our education system.
       Today, we learned from Michael Winerip in the New York Times that Pearson has made a deal with Stanford University to license teachers, no matter what state they are in. The deal is this: the school of