Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson CEO Spreads It On Thick

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson CEO Spreads It On Thick:

Pearson CEO Spreads It On Thick

EdWeek's Market Brief, a site that unabashedly focuses its gaze on the giant pile of money attached to the education biz, sat down with Pearson CEO John Fallon to unleash a heaping helping of corporate toolspeak. 

Fallon responded to a series of questions from reporters that EdWeek has helpfully organized. So we'll borrow their organizational scheme here.

What is Pearson's biz?

Primarily, Pearson makes giant piles of money. Fallon claims $7 billion annual revenues and "50 percent come from courseware/content, in K-12, higher education, and across the professional space." Thirty percent comes from testing (ten percent of the high stakes variety). The last twenty percent comes from services provided to school and Pearson's own virtual school. So, bigtime education.

Fallon says that a Pearson motto is "content plus assessment, powered by technology, equalizes effective learning at scale." Similar to the sort of thing we all used to write on "why I want to teach" essays back in teacher school. Okay, not that similar, since the Pearson motto doesn't actually mention teaching as part of the plan-- just technology-powered content delivery and assessment. As we have noted before when studying Pearson's Master Plans.

Fallon also said the company’s approach is to “define what we do by the outcome, not by where it happens physically.”

In the Cyber School game

Reporters, apparently in a very diplomatic and polite manner, asked Fallon, "Pearson has bet heavily on cyber-schools through its Connections Academy, among other products. What do you say to customers who are have noticed that cyber-schools are a big poop sandwich?"

Fallon's answer is a Mona Lisa of corporate baloneyspeak.

It’s important to speak in specific rather than general terms…It’s not always the case, but it’s fair to say there’s a disproportionate number of students in virtual schooling who are there because physical schools have failed them in some form or another. So it’s going to be important that we CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson CEO Spreads It On Thick:

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