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JUST HOW BIG IS PEARSON? WELL…PRETTY BIG

pearsonI don’t believe in big government, and I especially don’t believe in big government and big business colluding. Many on the political left often blindly attack big businesses. In the context of education, I think they are rightly justified to criticize big business. Big corporations can be a big problem when they have cornered the market. Sadly, many leftists don’t quite realize the thing they rightly disagree with often funds the party and politicians they tend to vote for. To be fair, the same can be said about many Republican voters. They blindly vote for a party that doesn’t represent a true separation between government and business.

Someone recently shared a Google Doc with me that shows just how stunningly Gigantic London based Pearson really is. The title of the document is What Pearson Owns (Or Has a Significant Interest In). When you really think about how much these guys control, and how much of education they have their fingers on, it should concern you a little bit.

I think maybe the most stunning thing about this document is how little contrast there is in education around the world. This much interest cobbled up in one company borders on dangerous.

Anyway, interesting document, curious what thoughts you may have. Just so you know, I’m not saying the document is 100% accurate. I have not fact checked it, but many of the random searches I performed as I went through it showed that the products/services are Pearson’s:

So, here’s the idea:

 

I want to start with a list of companies, products and resources that Pearson owns (or has a significant interest in). I’d like to crowd-source this list. If you’re interested, just add to the list and post a link where you found it. At some point, I want to create a web-based search that will allow people to type it in with a simple “Is this owned by Pearson?” question.

Companies, startups, websites, etc.

http://www.place.nesinc.com/

Publishing Imprints

Pearson has a number of publishing imprints:

In Brazil

(Links below lead to sites in Portuguese)

http://www.pearson.com.br/apearson.asp?pag_id=13&area_pai=12&id_p=0Wall Brazilian

  • Branch of the Wall Street Institute School of English
  • Part owner of Companhia das Letras (Publisher)
  • Casa do Psicólogo (Psychology and Education)
  • Grupo MULTI (ELT)
  • PTE (Tests for learners of English as a foreign language):
  •      Young Learners – ages 7 -13
  •      General – ages 14 and up

Public Ed:

  • NAME system

Private Ed:

  • COC system
  • Dom Bosco system
  • Pueri Domus system

http://www.objetiva.com.br/noticia_detalhe.php?id=256

  • Editora Objetiva: Alfaguara, Suma, Fontanar, Foglio, Ponto de Leitura (Publisher)

In Canada

Properties of Pearson Canada

Publishing

  • Penguin,
  • Viking,
  • Prentice Hall,
  • Addison Wesley,
  • Allyn & Bacon
  • Longman

Textbooks

  • Pearson Achievement Solutions,
  • Allyn and Bacon, Merrill,
  • Pearson Australia, Heinemann,
  • STEPS PD,
  • Marilyn Burns Education Associates/Math Solutions,
  • ETA/Cuisenaire,
  • Teacher Ideas Press.

Testing/Assessement

Under Pearson Technology Group

  • FT Press publishes high quality books in the areas of General Business, Finance and Investing, Sales and Marketing, Leadership, Management and Strategy, Human Resources, and Global Business.
  • Peachpit Press publishes the books that educate professionals and innovators in graphic design, desktop publishing, multimedia, Web publishing, and general computing, A to Z.
  • Que Publishing works to produce superior books designed to make people’s lives easier, more dynamic, and more enriched. With over 20 years experience dispensing practical advice on computers and technology, Que takes pride in their ability to provide tools needed to enhance personal and professional lives.
  • SAMS Publishing is focused on teaching working programmers, developers, and systems administrators the skills they need to build and maintain leading-edge technology. From introductory tutorials to comprehensive reference books covering operating systems, networking, databases, web development and design/programming.
  • Addison-Wesley Professional publishes high-quality and timely information for programmers, developers, engineers, and system administrators.
  • Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference has been a leader in engineering and technical publishing for more than 70 years. With networking, wireless, e-commerce database, and Unix lists, PHPTR is the official publisher of Sun Microsystems, IBM, Financial Times Business Books, Hewlett Packard, and others.
  • Cisco Press is the only Cisco Systems-authorized book publisher of Cisco networking technology and Cisco certification self-study materials designed to help networking students and professionals prepare for Cisco certifications and master a diverse range of technologies.
  • InformIT is a leading information technology portal that publishes technical articles, tutorials, and sample chapters in key technology areas. The InformIT Safari Bookshelf delivers the full text of over 1500 fully searchable books online. InformIT’s Exam Cram 2 offers guidance for those seeking professional certification, including free practice exams. The InformIT bookstore offers competitive discounts and free domestic shipping on all orders.

Press, Links, Information about Pearson

  • Great article on Pearson’s role (and start) in Texas  http://www.texasobserver.org/the-pearson-graduate/
  • MicroDocumentary about Pearson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz3OdGrC-UI&feature=youtube_gdata

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#Teachers, It’s Time to Spark a #Literacy Revolution in America!

This is a guest post by Annie Palmer. She is a reading interventionist and literacy coach in a suburban Kansas City school district. At the time of original publication of this article, she was a classroom teacher. You can follow her on Twitter @palmeram. She blogs over at Breaking Education Barriers.

It is time for teachers across the nation to join a literacy revolution.   Many of us have heard the alarming statistics about reading and literacy in America.  Among the numbers to worry about are the facts that two-thirds of eighth-grade students do not read on grade level (NEAP, 2009) and students with below grade level reading skills are twice as likely to drop out of school as those who read on or above grade level (Adolescent Literacy: A National Reading Crisis). Are you convinced yet that we need a literacy revolution?

The components of this revolution are not in a basal program.  The answer is not more book reports, more ditto sheets, and more whole-class novels.  The answers lies in the fact that our kids are severely lacking in a motivation to read when we drown them with these traditional ways of teaching. We must first ask ourselves what will motivate our students to read.  According to Krashen (2004), 51 studies prove that students in free-reading programs perform better than or equal to students in any other type of reading program. Not only does research back this claim up, so does evidence-based research conducted by Donalyn Miller, a sixth-grade Texas teacher and author of The Book Whisperer.   Miller’s students are passing the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test with flying colors, and more importantly, they are motivated and inspired to read. I have to admit, after reading The Book Whisperer three years ago, I doubted that free voluntary reading (FVR) could make such an impact. I was proven wrong.  After implementing FVR through an 18-book challenge in fifth grade and a 40- book challenge in third grade, I am convinced this is the key to our literacy revolution.

My classroom was transformed from mundane skills-only instruction to a classroom where students took part in daily conversations about higher-level questions about their reading, excitement about what they were going to read next, and a sense of pride simply from the sheer amount and depth of reading.  And yes, that was without any extrinsic incentives!  The reward was the reading itself. (Yes, kids do read without extrinsic rewards). 

There was definitely an adjustment period for the students, parents and for me as we underwent this new approach.  Questions from the students included “You mean I have to do 18 book reports?!”  No, was the answer to that; they did not do book reports.  One does not need a book report to know whether students are comprehending text or even to know whether they can summarize.  Suggestions from parents included making the kids take an Accelerated Reader test.  Again, one does not need a test to know whether a child comprehends or even to figure whether they actually read the book.  The point of free voluntary reading is to get students excited about reading, to make them life-long readers and to facilitate intrinsic motivation to read.  I used my classroom lessons and assessments to gauge their ability to comprehend text.  Free voluntary reading was about creating the love of books, which is way more likely to encourage someone to read the rest of their life than a book report, an Accelerated Reader test or any classroom lesson.  Lessons, assessments, and comprehension checks need to be a part of a communication arts classroom, but without free voluntary reading, a classroom teacher is only helping students pass their class, not helping them be a life-long reader and thinker.

The first year I took this approach was the first year I started receiving notes from parents, saying “thank you, my child now loves to read.”  One of the most impactful responses I received from a parent and her child was as follows:

“My son and I we were discussing his day at school and if he had homework this evening. He mentioned that he needed to read, which lead me to tell him that I have noticed an increased interest in him wanting to read. His response was enlightening! He said, “Oh yes, mom, Mrs. Palmer has changed my life”. It was a very sincere statement and just wasn’t quite what I was expecting in reply. He continued to say that he likes to read and when he gets a good book, he just can’t put it down. Jake has always read books because he needed to and because we’ve encouraged him to; however, he has never enjoyed reading or picked up books at the spur of the moment until this year. Thank you!”

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