Pearson Wants ALL the Money

Following the maxim to never let a crisis go to waste, Pearson (the company that turns education into cash through testing and online learning “solutions”), is now marketing its Tennessee Connections Academy even as the COVID-19 outbreak has ended school for this year and thrown the 2020-21 school year into uncertainty.

Here is a mailer that landed in the mailboxes of public school parents recently:

Because Pearson’s Connections Academy is an online public school, they receive state dollars to operate.

Pearson has a long history of swooping into Tennessee to “solve” problems. Last summer, the company signed a two-year, $40 million contract to rescue the state’s TNReady test. Of course, the 2020 test wasn’t administered due to COVID-19, but there’s talk of using Pearson for benchmark testing when students return to school for the next school year.

Pearson also jumped in to bail-out the state back in 2016 when original TNReady vendor Measurement, Inc. failed to get the job done:

Jason Gonzalez at the Tennessean notes:

The Tennessee Department of Education has contracted with its previous test vendor Pearson Education in an emergency maneuver to score TNReady high school tests.

The contract with Pearson is only for scoring and reporting of 2015-2016 assessments, according to Education Commissioner Candice McQueen in a letter Monday to school directors statewide.

Pearson was paid $18.5 million for these “emergency” services.

Pearson wants to run the schools, administer the tests, and provide the materials. They want just one more thing: ALL the money.

For more on education politics and policy in Tennessee, follow @TNEdReport

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