[Open-education] Pearson Foundation / Pearson: in trouble

Cable Green cable at creativecommons.org
Sat Dec 14 20:58:56 UTC 2013

Dear Open Education Colleagues:

The next time Pearson comes after your good work, keep this in your back

   - *Educational Publisher’s Charity, Accused of Seeking Profits, Will Pay
   Millions NYT: *The Pearson Foundation will pay $7.7 million after the
   New York State attorney general found that it had broken state law by
   helping develop products for its corporate parent.

      - *Publishing Giant Pearson's Nonprofit Arm Settles Investigation*

This part of the story (in the NYTimes article) is especially troubling:

*Around 2010, Pearson began financing an effort through its foundation to
   develop courses based on the Common Core. The attorney general’s report
   said Pearson had hoped to use its charity to win endorsements and donations
   from a “prominent foundation.” That group appears to be the Bill and
   Melinda Gates Foundation. *
   - *“Pearson Inc. executives believed that branding their courses by
   association with the prominent foundation would enhance Pearson’s
   reputation with policy makers and the education community,” a release
   accompanying the attorney general’s report said. *
   - * Indeed, in April 2011, the Pearson Foundation and the Gates
   Foundation announced they would work together
   <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/education/28gates.html> to create 24 new
   online reading and math courses aligned with the Common Core. *
   - * Pearson executives believed the courses could later be sold
   commercially, the report said, and predicted potential profits of tens of
   millions of dollars. After Mr. Schneiderman’s office began its
   investigation, the Pearson Foundation sold the courses to Pearson for $15.1

Creative Commons consistently recommends that publicly funded (and
Foundation funded) resources be openly licensed. It's too bad these 24
reading and math courses, funded by two Foundations (and then sold to
Pearson for $15.1M), were not openly licensed and made available to the
millions of teachers and students who desperately need updated learning



Cable Green, PhD
Director of Global Learning
Creative Commons
@cgreen <http://twitter.com/cgreen>
* reuse, revise, remix & redistribute*
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