Tuesday, May 12, 2015

When Pearson Talks Profit, American Education Is Surely Discussed | deutsch29

When Pearson Talks Profit, American Education Is Surely Discussed | deutsch29:

When Pearson Talks Profit, American Education Is Surely Discussed

On February 27, 2015, Pearson CEO John Fallon led the company’s quarterly meeting over the state of Pearson earnings for the final quarter of 2014. In such meetings, Fallon and other Pearson executives discuss profitability with a number of analysts.
In this post, I highlight the discussion related to Pearson’s experiences, plans and expectations for one of their largest markets: North American school.
This meeting has been transcribed by a company known as SeekingAlpha. I am allowed to directly quote only 400 words. (The entire transcript goes beyond education and is almost 29,000 words.)
Let’s open with a comment from Pearson chief financial officer (CFO) Robin Freestone:
As you know we still expect market conditions to stabilize in our largest markets in 2015. In North American school although the policy environment remains uncertain in state assessments we expect greater stability in school learning services and growth in Connections.
The “uncertain policy environment” centers on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). As to the reference about “growth in Connections”: This is a reference to online education company, Connections Education (as in Connections Academy), which Pearson purchased in 2011.
Fallon follows Freestone’s comments with some language that sounds all too familiar in the American atmosphere of test-score-driven, competitive, “education reform”:
And we will achieve that growth by meeting what we think is one of the biggest needs in the world today which is all about equipping more people with the education and training that is increasingly essential to prosper in the global economy that really does value knowledge and skills more than it ever did before.
Fallon then explains his point with two “practical examples” of focusing on “driving” Pearson product “access and outcomes” designed to result in “higher financial returns” for Pearson. One of these examples involves a Pearson product, enVisionMATH, which Fallon touts as follows: “By the end of second year of using the product, students’ math’s capabilities [are] similar to children between 2 and 4 years older.”
Fallon notes that the publicity generated from this miracle of enVisionMATH “helps turn us to scale.”
The goal of Pearson is the same as the goal of billionaire Bill Gates’ education intrusions: To develop “to scale.” Educational sameness for the masses so that When Pearson Talks Profit, American Education Is Surely Discussed | deutsch29: