BC Union exposes Privatisers' Plans
David Coleman - neo-liberal Education Guru explaining Common Core Standards in New York
A research document produced for the British Columbia Teachers' Federation (BCTF) exposes the plans of Pearson to win ever greater profits from education globally
In this research, the writers show how Pearson is planning, in its own words, to "revolutionize how education is delivered around the world, starting with the United States." It claims that its products will raise standards at the same time as cutting spending through "personalising" education.
Pearson is a British-based cimpany, famous for its book publishing arm, Penguin, as well as its share in newspapers like the Financial Times and the Economist. However 80% of its profits now come from the education 'business.' Its main revenue comes from the US but it is also expanding into Asia and other parts of the Global South.
It is the main provider of teacher evaluation and assessment in the US, as well as standardised testing for pupils. It was at the centre of a scandal this year when a comprehension test it had used in New York was exposed as meaningless nonsense - the story featured a pineapple racing with a hare . It was part of a bank of questions which Pearson had been using since 2004 to compare children and school systems across states. The BCTF report explains that Pearson "produces items (for testing) along the way, paid for by one or another state, and then re-sold and re-sold to other states."
Pearson is also working with the Gates foundation to produce online courses based on the so-called Common Core State Standards, which are now being foisted on teachers across the US. As the report puts it: "The purpose seems to be to create interest in the courses, which can then be ordered through Pearson plc. So the four courses financed by Gates could be considered as loss leaders to attract customers."
The Pearson plan is to make: "Every teacher and school student a potential Pearson customer." This document makes important reading for teachers all over the world who want to find out the plans of multinational corporations to turn education into a source or mega-profits - and in the process turn education for the vast majority of children into a standardised production line. To read the document go here.