Cuomo, Common Core and Pearson-for-Profit
Ohanian Comment: Generally, I try to avoid Huffington Post, but this is an important read. Alan Singer nicely ties together the Pearson Presence.
NOTE: Kaynote speakers at the Pearson Orlando Summit were: Michael Fullan, Michael Barber,and Pam Allyn, Carrie Heath Phillips of Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). According to the Pearson website, Carrie Heath Phillips is responsible for the adoption and implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the next-generation state accountability systems.
Also presenting: P. David Pearson. Here is his bio from the site: P. David Pearson is the co-principal investigator for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading. He is former dean of the Graduate School of Education at University of California, Berkeley, and a faculty member in the Language and Literacy Program, Graduate School of Education. Dr. Pearson's research focuses on reading instruction and assessment. Before joining the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001, Dr. Pearson was the John A. Hannah distinguished professor of education at Michigan State and co-director of the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). He has written and co-edited numerous books and articles, including the Handbook of Reading Research.
The "Early Bird" registration fee is $495.00. This discounted rate will be available through Monday, January 24, 2012. After that date, the registration fee will be $545.00. Registration constitutes your consent that any pictures or videos taken during the National Summit can be used for meetings and promotional purposes without remuneration.
They have a few handouts at the Pearson site. The quality is rather mind-boggling. Here's one that shows that the presenter has probably watched a couple of the 32 Common Core videos prepared by the Hunt Institute. The Institute received $5,068,671 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for "Common Core communications support."
SECURING THE CORE FOR EACH AND EVERY STUDENT (ELA)
Requires regular support and intensive practice to:
1. Secure Foundational skills K-3
2. Develop Academic Language proficiency through Speaking and Listening
3. Grow Academic Vocabulary through word study
4. Acquire Reading Fluency
5. Hear Complex Text read aloud and engage in text based discussion
6. Read Complex Text closely and analytically
7. Increase the Volume and Range of Accountable Reading
8. Use Evidence to inform, argue and analyze (Writing and Speaking to sources)
Evidence Based Writing and Speaking: Regular and systematic evidence based writing and speaking from sources integrated across the curriculum. Shifting from an emphasis on narrative writing and speaking about self to placing a premium on students writing and speaking to sources: using evidence from texts to present careful analyses, well-defended claims, and clear information. Students must learn to work together, express and listen carefully to ideas, integrate information from oral, visual, quantitative, and media sources, evaluate what they hear, use media and visual displays strategically to help achieve communicative purposes, and adapt speech to context and task. . . .
If you want the whole thing, go here
by Alan Singer
It will probably take more than a billion dollars in the bank to run for President of the United States in 2016. It looks like New York State Governor is already lining up corporate support. My concern is that he will sell out the education of New York State's children to for-profit companies, particularly Pearson, to position himself for the run.
Pearson is one of the most aggressive companies seeking to profit from what they and others euphemistically call educational reform, but which teachers from groups like Rethinking Schools and FairTest see as an effort to sell, sell, sell substandard remedial education programs seamlessly aligned with the high stakes standardized tests for students and teacher assessments they are also selling. Pearson reported revenues of approximately $9 billion in 2010 and generated approximately $3 billion on just digital revenues in 2011.
If it has its way, Pearson will soon be determining what gets taught in schools across the United States with little or no parental or educational oversight. Pearson standardized exams will assess how well teachers implement Pearson instruction modules and Pearson's common core standards, but not what students really learn or whether students are actually learning things that are important to know. Pearson is already creating teacher certification exams for eighteen states including New York, organizing staff development workshops to promote Pearson products, and providing school district Pearson assessment tools. In New York, Pearson Education currently has a five-year, $32 million contract to administer state test and provides other "testing services" to the State Education Department. It also recently received a share of a federal Race to the Top grant to create what the company calls the "next-generation" of online assessments.
Pearson, which claims to be the "world's leading learning company," is in the process of designing mind-numbing multimedia textbooks... "designed for pre-schoolers, school students and learners of all ages" for use on Apple's iPad so school systems will have more products to purchase instead of investing in quality teaching and instruction. In case you are not already worried about children seating dazed in front of computer screens for hours on end, Pearson promises its "respected learning content" will be "brought to life with video, audio, assessment, interactive images and 3D animations."
According to the New York Times, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is "investigating whether the Pearson Foundation, the nonprofit arm of one of the nation's largest educational publishers, acted improperly to influence state education officials by paying for overseas trips and other perks." Since 2008, state education officials have been treated to trips to London, Helsinki, Finland, Singapore, and Rio de Janeiro.
From February 9-11, Pearson organized a National Summit in Orlando, Florida to promote its concept of "Best Practices in School Improvement" and to sell its programs for integrating Common Core State Standards into curriculum, instruction and assessment. These include providing "struggling and successful schools alike with professional development and consultative services that have helped their leaders transform instruction in the classroom and raise students' achievement levels." The company brags that senior America's Choice fellows Sally Hampton and Phil Daro, employees of a Pearson sub-division, "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."
In September, Pearson cemented its ties with the New York State governor and the State Education Department when David Wakelyn was appointed Deputy Secretary for Education. Governor Cuomo claimed "With his extensive experience in improving the performance of schools all across the nation, David Wakelyn is the right person to help turn around our schools. He is an expert in state policy for education, and together we will deliver results for students and families in New York." However, Wakelyn's resume shows that after briefly working as a teacher as part of the Teach for America program, he moved into educational policy and decision making, primarily as a Senior Associate for America's Choice School Design, which is now a leading Pearson sub-division.
Of course, Wakelyn is not the only corporate representative to move into a government position where they can sell products produced by their former (and future?) employer. Karen Cator, the Director of the federal Department of Education 's educational technology section previously was an executive at Apple Computers for eight years.