the Chalk Face -
In his six-minute videoed speech on the necessity of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), billionaire Bill Gates patiently explains that it is not enough for individual states to implement their own standards because “scale is good for free market competition.”
Here is the reality of “free market competition” in this time of unprecedented education profiteering: A few education/assessment giants will run American public education (and beyond, as some private and parochial schools sell their freedom for access to state or federal tax dollars).
One of those few is the ubiquitous Pearson.
CCSS was tailor-made for Pearson. It is quite the love story.
Pearson is one-stop CCSS shopping, from curriculum, to assessments, to evaluation of teacher training… and Bill Gates has even paid Pearson’s nonprofit to assist with the endeavor.
Gates’ assistance is apparently paying off; on May 2, 2014, Pearson “landed a major contract… of unprecedented scale” with another nonprofit (a popular way to set up reformer shop), the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC). As EdWeek’s Sean Cavanaugh notes: