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Common Core State [sic] Standards

 

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    Pearson Lines Up the World

    Ohanian Comment: It is illuminating to read the Pearson Annual Report of 2000.

    Embed assessment as part of the daily curriculum



    Pearson recognized twelve years ago that continuous assessment is where the money is. All this talk of standards is just a camouflage for continuous assessment.

    The Pearson Annual Report of 2000 trumpeted that "There has never been a better time to be in the business of education," and things certainly have gotten better and better for them.

    Of late, Pearson has featured its Common Core section: Pearson offers complete and cohesive support to implement the new Common Core State Standards

    Pearson Common Core videos feature Sally Hampton and Phil Daro, Senior Fellows at America's Choice. You remember America's Choice--started by Marc Tucker of National Center on Education and the Economy infamy. It gave up its nonprofit status in 2004, stating in an Education Week article that reads like a press release:


    . . . [America's Choice] sees its future tied to the delivery of services to help schools improve, a demand stoked by the federal No Child Left Behind Act that other school reform programs are also experiencing.

    That growing market niche for services has been richly supported by federal grants and by funding distributed by states. . . .

    America's Choice needs new money to develop its standards-based curriculum and training materials, Mr. Tucker said in explaining the reasons for the move to for-profit status in an interview at the NCEE's headquarters in Washington.

    Equally important, he said, as a $40 million-a-year operation, the program needed the management and marketing prowess that it could not attract without offering talented executives an equity stake, which the NCEE could not do as a nonprofit.

    The highest-profile addition to the board is Thomas H. Kean, a former New Jersey governor and the chairman of the federal 9/11 Commission. Mr. Kean, the president of Drew University in Madison, N.J., also was the chairman of the New American Schools Development Corp., a business-backed group that selected the NCEE's prototype for America's Choice to receive start-up funds in 1995.

    In other words, Marc Tucker followed the money--and made the necessary political connections.

    Pearson acquired America's Choice in 2010, making it part of Pearson School Achievement Services ("SAS"). Pearson brags that their America's Choice fellows Sally Hampton and Phil Daro "not only led the development of the Common Core Standards, but also helped design Pearson's CCSS services, helping us tailor our professional development, district level consultative services, job-embedded coaching, learning teams for building capacity, and even whole school CCSS implementation services in order to meet your specific needs and interests as you align curriculum content and practices to the standards."

    Alignment



    Alignment is the logical partner of that other horror word of or time--rigor. Look up "rigor" on dictionary.com and you will see an ad for a white paper on the Four Myths of Rigor published in The Charter Voice. Like many people with something to sell, the authors are very cheerful about rigor. Warning: Rigor is connected with stiffness, immobility, and is a "recognizable sign of death" (rigor mortis).

    As a longtime teacher of students 1-14, I reject the notion that "rigor" should ever characterize teaching. Enter the territory of immobility and you are in danger of of ending up with a stiff and immobile arrangement of people whose spirit has been sucked dry.

    Pearson lines up the profits. Schools line up the teachers and the students to fit into the Common Core mold.

    So far, no education organization has stepped up to help teachers avoid the mass suicide pictured in the Macintosh Superbowl ad.

    Look at this ad and then read about the Pearson connection with the Obama administration:

    "We appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Obama Administration's working group on digital textbooks. This was a productive discussion about the innovations driving education today and how technology can be harnessed to improve access and student achievement.

    "At Pearson, we're committed to accelerating the transformation of our schools to create more personalized and connected learning experiences that will ensure our students are able to compete globally. We're working closely with educators and innovators to develop digital tools and applications that provide parents and teachers with real-time insight into student performance and progress. We’re also working closely with state leaders, school districts and organizations such as the State Education Technology Directors Association to help schools gauge their technology readiness and successfully navigate the transition to next generation assessments.

    "I look forward to a continued dialogue with Chairman Genachowski, Secretary Duncan and my colleagues at today's meeting. Transforming our schools to fully realize the potential of each and every student requires our collective will across the education community—among policymakers, practitioners, parents and education and technology providers."--Pearson North America CEO Will Ethridge


    This is not to blame Pearson. They do what for-profit mega-corporations are supposed to do: make tons of money. The blame lies in a U. S. Department of Education that follows the corporate drumbeat and has become an adjunct of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The blame lies in a profession that has found itself incapable of saying "No! but instead lines up for the slaughter. This line-up is on track to destroy teaching as a profession and destroy the school experience for a generation of children.

    In my own Vermont village, teachers have been told to report to school a week early for the 2012-13 year--so they can learn what they need to know about the Common Core State [sic] Standards. Rhetorical Question: If they were indeed State standards don't you think a Vermont teacher or two would have had a hand in their development?

    Rhetorical Question: Will any teacher say "No!"?

    Humor of the day. I looked up 'teacher' at dictionary.com, which told me

    Teacher is always a great word to know.
    So is slumgullion, a stew of meat, vegetables, potatoes, etc.


    The ad accompanying 'teacher' is for Sylvan Learning, which is owned by Educate, Inc., which is owned by affiliates of Sterling Partners and Citigroup.

    So Pearson doesn't quite own the world--yet.


    Pearson Annual Report 2000

    There has never been a better time to be in the business of education. While governments around the world invest more to educate their young people, individuals devote more of their personal hours (and finances) to help their children and to improve their own careers, earnings and life opportunities.

    Over the past three years, through acquisitions, strategic alliances and organic growth, we have created the world’s leading learning company. In the US, our largest single market, our educational publishing operations play a key role in meeting the demand for first-class curriculum, both in print and online. This market, valued at some $8bn (a small proportion of the $740bn invested in education in the US each year) is currently growing on average at around 8% per year.

    With federal and state governments wanting both to measure academic progress against clear standards and modernise their school systems, we are seeing faster rates of growth in demand for testing and the enterprise software that powers many schools. The acquisition of NCS, completed in September 2000, means we can meet this demand and work with schools to embed assessment as part of the daily curriculum and to tailor learning to the needs of each student. And, as the internet becomes an integral part of both the home and the classroom, our Learning Network links teachers, parents and students in ways never possible before. In addition, by facilitating ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning, it enables us to take a leading role in the faster growing markets of online consumer learning and business education and management development. . . .[emphasis added]

    We have all the pieces -- the most comprehensive range of educational programmes, leadership in testing, assessment and enterprise software and the very best in online consumer and professional learning -- to participate in the learning revolution, and to profit from the growth it brings to the business of education.

    The acquisition of NCS has transformed Pearson Education into the world’s leading integrated education company, linking curriculum, assessment and data management. The NCS operations have been integrated into our US school, US higher education & professional and international businesses.

    US school:
    We are the leading K-12 (kindergarten to 12th grade) curriculum, testing and software company in the US. Our premier elementary (Scott Foresman) and secondary (Prentice Hall) imprints publish some of the very best school programmes, covering subjects such as reading, literature, math, science and social studies. We are a leading publisher of online assessment and digital course- ware through NCSLearn (which combines Novanet with the Computer Curriculum Corporation) and the Waterford Early Reading Programme. We also publish supplementary teaching aids for both elementary and secondary schools. We are one of the leading commercial testing companies in the US, scoring and processing some 40 million student tests across the US every year. And more than 40,000 of the 110,000 schools use at least one of our suite of student curriculum, instructional management and financial software packages.

    US higher education & professional:
    We are the leading higher education publisher in the US, with imprints such as Addison Wesley, Allyn & Bacon and Prentice Hall. We publish around one in three of all the text and online programmes studied on US campuses. Our professional and technology group publishes leading computer and information technology titles, with imprints such as Addison Wesley, Adobe Press, Cisco Press, New Riders, Peachpit, Prentice Hall, Que and Sams, complemented by Informit.com, our online information technology service. Our government solutions group manages and processes student grant applications on behalf of the US Department of Education and has a number of education related contracts with various government departments.

    International:
    We are a leading publisher of text and online programmes in school, higher education and professional markets in countries all around the world. With our Longman imprint, more people learn English as a second language with our programmes than with those of any other publisher. We also create, manage and process student tests in countries all around the world.

    FT Knowledge:
    In July 2000, we acquired The Forum Corporation, one of the top corporate training companies in the US, for £61m. It has combined with FT Knowledge to create one of the world’s leading corporate training and elearning companies. The combined business provides learning solutions and training programmes in executive development, sales, customer service, management, leadership and finance for both corporations (our clients include 130 of the Fortune 500 companies) and individuals.

    Learning Network:
    In September 2000, following the acquisition earlier in the year of Family Education Network for £96m (87% of the equity), we launched our Learning Network (www.learningnetwork.com; America Online Keyword: Learning Network). Learning Network is the leading consumer education source on the web, providing educational content and reference sources – as well as applications and services – for teachers, school students, parents and anyone interested in professional development and lifelong learning. By the summer of 2001, Learning Network will offer similar services to college professors and students.


    : performance :

    Sales at Pearson Education increased to £2,044m with underlying sales, held back by softness in the consumer technology markets, increasing by 5.4%. Underlying profits, boosted by integration benefits flowing through from the integration of the Simon & Schuster and AWL education businesses, increased by 13.4%.

    After becoming part of Pearson Education on September 8, NCS contributed revenues of £146m and operating profit of £15m, meeting our revenue and profit expectations. It benefited from its leadership both in student testing and delivering enterprise software solutions to schools. The integration of NCS with Pearson Education is on track to deliver $50m of annual cost savings by the end of 2002.

    Our US school business increased sales by 10%, excluding revenues from NCS. Building on a very strong performance in 1999, we made significant market share gains in some key adoptions, benefiting from a range of new print and online programmes. In secondary science, Prentice Hall School took a 40% share in the major state adoptions including California and our new Scott Foresman reading programme grew market share from less than 5% to approximately 25% nationwide. We also continued to build on the success of our best selling math programmes and took the leading position in secondary social studies. The US higher education and professional business increased sales by 9% (excluding revenues from NCS), gaining market share and growing margins. The college business delivered particularly strong growth in math, computer sciences, history and developmental English and continued to invest in combined text and online programmes. Its continued leadership in the college business helped to mitigate the impact of weakness in the consumer IT publishing market.

    The international business increased sales by 18% (excluding revenues from NCS). Our major international operations all reported double digit revenue growth, with particularly strong progress in Latin America and English language training. We extended our lead in the international education market through a series of acquisitions in France, Brazil, Korea and Japan.

    The integration of the Simon & Schuster and Addison Wesley Longman businesses is now completed and in 2001 is expected to deliver the projected $130m in annual cost savings. In the two years since the acquisition of the Simon & Schuster education businesses, our core US school and US college operations have increased revenues by an average of 8% per year on an underlying basis.

    FT Knowledge made sales of £43m and losses of £17m as it invested in developing its corporate learning and executive education businesses in a market that is enjoying rapid worldwide growth. FT Knowledge merged successfully with The Forum Corporation; extended its financial training company, New York Institute of Finance, to Europe and Asia; launched FTdynamo, an online service focusing on world-class management thinking; and continued to develop online courses for the finance, investment and marketing professions.

    Learning Network was launched successfully in September and is now established as one of the 50 most popular websites in the US. It is moving quickly to translate that traffic into the revenues which will ensure it breaks even by the end of 2003. At the same time, it is helping to drive revenue growth across Pearson’s businesses.

    Pearson Broadband, a new initiative to create interactive education television for K-12, higher education, professional and lifelong learning markets, will launch its first products in 2001.

    — Pearson Reports with Susan Ohanian Comment
    Pearson Reports
    May 06, 2012
    http://www.pearson.com/investor/ar2000/pedu.htm


    Index of Common Core [sic] Standards

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