by Dr. Terry Stoops
Director of the Center for Effective Education, John Locke Foundation
In a piece published yesterday, Politico reporter Stephanie Simon examined testing and publishing giant Pearson’s work in the states, including North Carolina. Simon found that many states awarded no-bid contracts to Pearson despite the company’s poor track record. Simon writes,
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, for instance, declined to seek competitive bids for a new student data system on the grounds that it would be “in the best interest of the public” to simply hire Pearson, which had done similar work for the state in the past. The data system was such a disaster, the department had to pay Pearson millions extra to fix it.
No one has done a better job tracking Pearson’s work in North Carolina and beyond than Lady Liberty. If you do not know much about Pearson, I recommend starting with her Pearson is Everywhere series.
For years, the members of the N.C. State Board of Education have rubber stamped a number of Pearson contracts put forward by Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson and her staff.