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Pearson Selling Investments to Increase Focus on Education

Pearson Selling Investments to Increase Focus on Education

Pearson is easily one of the most recognizable names in the business of education, but as more and more states drop contracts with the juggernaut, it is selling investments to maintain its hold.

Despite losing several contracts to provide testing assessments with many states (in 2010 it had contracts with 26 states, now it only does with less than 10), Pearson currently remains a big force in education.

In a segment on John Oliver's HBO show Last Week Tonight, he pointed out that a student can move through K-12 taking Pearson tests, using Pearson textbooks, and being taught by teachers certified through a Pearson assessment.

"The company is selling its stake in the Financial Times to Nikkei Inc., a leading Japanese media organization, for $1.3 billion, a move that Pearson chief executive John Fallon said was precipitated by the changing journalism business model and by Pearson’s desire to focus entirely on education, according to Financial Times," said The Washington Post.

Over the past years, Pearson has lost several major multi-million dollar contracts to provide testing assessments in state school districts, including contracts with New York, Texas, and Florida, according to the article.

"Pearson is also the primary vendor for the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers [PARCC,] one of two multi-state consortia charged with designing new Common Core-aligned exams with about $360 million in federal funds," said The Post.

The PARCC has been the subject of much controversy as of late and many states have opted to replace the Common Core-aligned exams with assessments they believe to be more efficient; The Boston Globe described the assessment as being in the midst of a "death spiral." 

Pearson hopes by dropping its investments it can resume its effort to being a driving force in global education.

Read the full article here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/27/2015

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