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Pearson Foundation / Pearson: in trouble
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Dear Open Education Colleagues:The next time Pearson comes after your good work, keep this in your back pocket.
This part of the story (in the NYTimes article) is especially troubling:
- Educational Publisherâ€™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 WSJ:
Around 2010, Pearson began financing an effort through its foundation to
develop courses based on the Common Core. The attorney generalâ€™s report
said Pearson had hoped to use its charity to win endorsements and
donations from a â€œprominent foundation.â€ That group appears to be the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
- â€œPearson Inc. executives believed that branding their courses by association with the prominent foundation would enhance Pearsonâ€™s reputation with policy makers and the education community,â€ a release accompanying the attorney generalâ€™s report said.
- Indeed, in April 2011, the Pearson Foundation and the Gates Foundation announced they would work together 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. Schneidermanâ€™s office began its
investigation, the Pearson Foundation sold the courses to Pearson for
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 resources.