Tuesday, May 9, 2017

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson May Quit US K-12

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson May Quit US K-12:

Pearson May Quit US K-12

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The world's biggest 800 pound corporate education gorilla, Pearson, has announced that they're considering the sale of their US K-12 digital and print curriculum business (the US Learning Services wing of the British-based giant).

We should have taken a virtual trip instead

The move comes at the end of yet another bad period for the previously unstoppable education-flavored mostrosity. The big feature of their latest meeting was supposed to be a showdown over a hefty raise (or "rise" as the Brits call them) in CEO John Fallon's pay, which seemed a bit out of kilter after what has been called a "disastrous" profit warning and the company's worst year on the stock market in fifty years.

How did they end up in such a mess? Last November the Wall Street Journal reported that Pearson had "bet big" on Common Core as well as failing to deliver on its digital teaching materials, despite Fallon's gushing baloney about Pearson's imminent awesomeness as recently as last May. But in January of this year, the word started going out that Pearson was a lousy investment.

The decision to cut loose the US curriculum business is not a small thing. Despite being a UK based biz, Pearson gets a reported 63% of its sales from the US.

Not that the education behemoth is backing quietly away. Last Friday they also announced "it has made a number of strides in its transition to digital products and services," with a particular emphasis on post-secondary initiatives. Their online degree initiative announced a partnership with Duquesne University on top of their ongoing work with University of Nevada-Reno, Regis College, and Maryville University. Pearson proudly touts 300,000 online course starts.

Watch next year for the "next generation" of digital courseware "in development for full commercial launch" next year, including the IBM Watson cognitive tutor, which sounds... alarming. Plus a few 
CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson May Quit US K-12:

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