Pearson Is Everwhere: NJ’s $108 Million Contract

PearsonWelcome back to Pearson Is Everywhere!

Last time we looked at Pearson’s methods of silencing opposition. Today we’re looking at their $108 million dollar contract in New Jersey associated with the PARCC tests.


Given the number of jobs Pearson has listed in the state, it is a darn good bet the testing is not the only contract Pearson has in New Jersey.  Some of those positions make some nice cash. Pearson is also sucking jobs out of the state.

It also appears that Governor Christie in the past liked giving Pearson a subsidy? Would be interesting to see if that practice is still going on. More on the subsidy story: Chris Christie can’t afford to pay public teacher pensions… but still hands education megacorp $82m in subsidies

Citizen in New Jersey fighting Common Core and PARCC would do well to send a Freedom of Information Act request to the NJ Department of Education for copies of all contracts and purchase orders for Pearson going back at least to 2009.

Wall Street Journal:

The state Department of Education says the new exams will take about 10 hours of a 1,200-hour school year, and most of the tests that children take aren’t mandatory standardized exams but are chosen by local teachers.

New Jersey’s exams are being devised by the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, a consortium of 11 states and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Hespe said the state Department of Education would be fair in reviewing how the PARCC process unfolds. He said the intensity of the anxiety is partly driven by the power of the tests to hold teachers accountable for student performance.

“PARCC has to deliver on its ability to drive learning,” Mr. Hespe said. “If it delivers on supporting learning then this is going to be an excellent marriage” with the state’s new standards, instruction and evaluations, he said.

The state Department of Education has a contract with Pearson PLC for $108 million to administer the tests for four years, through the 2017-18 school year, though officials said that total might fluctuate as New Jersey adjusts its options.

As a counterweight to criticism of the tests, a coalition called “We Raise NJ” emerged last week to encourage people to give them a chance. Led by the New Jersey PTA, it includes the state Chamber of Commerce and associations representing school boards, principals, superintendents and community colleges. The group says it wants to promote accurate information about the transition to new tests and help “children put their best feet forward.”

“We Raise NJ” is the same type of outfit that springing up to defend Common Core. Without these tests, Common Core will shrivel and no data will be collected.

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Sen. Tillman Moving Forward With NC Superintendent Bill

Senator Jerry Tillman has proposed the idea of making the NC Superintendent an appointed position instead of an elected position.

As I noted before the holidays, in June of 2014, Senator Tillman filed Senate Bill 880 titled the Education Simplification Amendment.  It passed the first reading and was sent to the Education/Higher Education committee.

In that prior article, I also gave my personal objections to a position of this importance being decided by a single person via appointment rather than the people voting on it. While the Department of Public Instruction arguably needs more oversight and transparency, this is not the way to do it.  My objections still stand.

In his latest newsletter, Tillman covers the topic and his intent to file a bill on it which would amend our state’s Constitution. Will this be a new bill or the same thing we saw in SB 880?

Related text of the newsletter:

State Needs Appointed School Leader

I will file legislation this session to amend the State Constitution to replace the current system of electing our State School Superintendent. 

Presently our Community Colleges and our Universities operate exceptionally well with appointed presidents.  Our K-12 schools now operate with an elected State Superintendent of Schools.  They are far from exceptional in their operations. 

We currently have a system of K-12 schools who lack much in their management and the results expected from them.  Test scores and achievement have stagnated and/or declined.  There will be a myriad of reasons for this decline.  One of them is the three-headed and at times conflicting, roles of management.  You have the Governor, the State Board of Education and the State Schools Superintendent calling the shots.  This doesn’t work in business and it won’t work in education.  An appointed State Schools Leader would streamline the process and hopefully align all forces, making real progress and change possible.  With the Governor and the State Legislature working in concert, positive and meaningful reform is possible.  We’ll see…

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VIDEO: Mapping The Left

Civitas recently unveiled a new site dedicated to Mapping The Left in North Carolina.

Today, there was a video released highlighting the site:


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NC Bill ” Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies.”

Arguably a reaction to North Carolina’s Amendment One being overturned?  Also arguably protecting religious freedom an objections of conscience.

Magistrates Recusal of Civil Ceremonies.



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Clark Appointed CMS Superintendent Through 2016

Charlotte Observer is reporting that Ann Clark has been appointed Superintendent of Charlotte Mecklenburg schools through 2016. Clark had been serving as acting Superintendent in the wake of Heath Morrison’s rapid departure in late 2014, after questions arose concerning misconduct allegations and claims about a ‘culture of fear‘ in CMS schools.

About halfway down the first section of the article, there’s this little note about her retiring in after this term:

Clark said she now plans to retire from CMS in July 2016, when the new superintendent is expected to take over. She then plans to take a position with an organization focused on children and education.

I asked the author of the piece, Andrew Dunn, if he was able to get any more information on that ‘organization focused on children’  and he responded:

Of note,  Ann Clark is a member of the Common Core Academic Standards Review Commission.

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