The Symbiotic Relationship of Bill Gates, Arne Duncan and Pearson…and the Takeover of American Education

Arne Duncan has embraced Bill Gates’ vision of education.  Bill Gates has had a hand in crafting the common core standards and has provided grant money to advance the implementation in schools around the country.  It doesn’t apparently matter to Arne Duncan these standards are unproven, untested and unconstitutional.  It also apparently doesn’t matter that Mr. Gates’ previous dalliances into the education arena proved unsuccessful.

Bill Gates has his vision and billions of dollars to start the wheels turning for common core and the data that accompanies the assessments critical to the common core plan.  If he can get this implemented, his companies will make even more billions of dollars once the system is operational.  He faces some hurdles such as changes in the law regarding student privacy, but Secretary Duncan is doing his best to relax privacy information the Department of Education can share with outside agencies and private companies.

If Bill Gates has the vision and the money for his educational plans, and the Department of Education is acquiescing its unconstitutional authority to set educational mandates for the states, then who or what is developing the standards and assessments to be used in the Common Core standards?  One company’s name keeps popping up and there is a direct involvement with Bill Gates: Pearson.

What is Pearson?  From its website:

Pearson is the global leader in integrated education and technology
publishing, offering educational products for children, schools,
universities, adults, and corporations. To purchase any of these
products online, please visit one of our e-commerce sites below.

Like Bill Gates , Pearson operates a business (Pearson Textbooks) and a foundation (Pearson Foundation).  With the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Pearson Foundation has had  significant input into crafting the Common Core standards for public educated students.  From May 2011:

Two education foundations said Wednesday they are working to develop 24 new online reading and math courses that will be aligned with the common core national standards.
The courses will be developed by the Pearson Foundation — associated
with the major textbook company — and will include video, social media,
games and other digital materials. The Bill & Melinda Gates
Foundation will provide $3 million for four of the courses to be offered
free to schools. The initiative appears to be the most ambitious effort
so far to align textbooks — online or otherwise — with the new
standards and may position Pearson as a leader in the market.
  (emphasis added)

That last sentence says it all and folks who have been following this trail of Gates and Pearson taking over education have been joking that buying Pearson stock would be a wise bet and make you quite wealthy.  The Gates and Pearson Foundations “donate” courses to schools, hook them into using them since they are aligned with the new assessments, and then the schools will have to pay for them in the future.  It’s similar to unfunded mandates set forth by the Department of Education.  The states and schools have to pay for the mandates from the Department of Education crafted by Bill Gates and Pearson.  

Pearson won’t make money just in the Common Core standards in the United States.  The mantra in the Department of Education is “globally competitive, globally competitive, globally competitive”.  All of the current (and recent past) educational jargon is wrapped up in global terms.  Think outside our borders.  Pearson  certainly thinks globally:

BEIJING, Dec 5, 2011 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) —
Global Education & Technology Group Ltd.


(“Global Education” or the “Company”), the largest test preparation
provider for the International English Language Testing System (“IELTS”)
and a leading provider of educational courses and related services in
China, today announced that it has issued a definitive proxy statement
in connection with the Company’s merger agreement with Pearson plc
(“Pearson”). Such proxy materials will be mailed to all shareholders and
holders of American Depositary Shares (“ADSs”) representing the
Company’s ordinary shares. 
Global Education and Pearson entered into a definitive merger agreement
on November 19 under which Pearson would acquire Global Education for
$2.7515 per ordinary share (or $11.006 per ADS, each representing four
ordinary shares) in cash.
If the merger is completed, the Company will continue its operations as a
privately held company and will be beneficially owned by Pearson, and
as the result of the merger, the ADSs will no longer be listed on the
NASDAQ Global Select Market. 
Pearson is driving assessments in the United States and now China. Pearson is based in Britain and also provides testing in other countries:
Our regional operations in Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland and Poland have developed dynamic local language programmes and are market leaders in their own right.  
Pearson Plc, the owner of the Financial Times
newspaper, said it agreed to buy education- technology company Schoolnet
for $230 million in cash.
Schoolnet, which uses data to boost learning at
schools, is based in New York and serves more than 5 million students
from pre-kindergarten age through to 12th grade in the U.S., Pearson
said today. Through partnerships with districts and states, Schoolnet
covers a third of the country’s largest cities.

Pearson, which also owns the book publisher
Penguin, received about 80 percent of its earnings from education in
2010 and has been expanding through so-called bolt-on acquisitions with
proceeds from last year’s sale of Interactive Data Corp. in the U.S. for
$3.4 billion. Pearson, based in London, has made nine acquisitions or
offers for education companies in the past 12 months in countries
including the U.K., India, South Africa and the U.S.

We’ll be writing more in the future about Pearson’s national and international grab of educational power.  Think about Gates and Pearson and their takeover of America’s educational system.  Why do we
even need the Department of Education?  It seems to be a puppet
organization for Gates and Pearson to make even a larger fortune with no
competition.  The symbiotic relationship between Gates, Pearson and the
Department of Education headed by Duncan will allegedly turnaround the
Department’s wretched track record and vault American student scores and
make students internationally competitive.  What is a symbiotic relationship?

A symbiotic relationship is a relationship between
two entities which is mutually beneficial for the participants of the
relationship. Thus there is a positive-sum gain from cooperation. This
is a term commonly used in biology to explain the relationship between
two entities that need each other to survive and prosper.

The Department of Education provides the legal symbiotic structure for Gates and Pearson.  Private corporations are developing (and the Department of Education is mandating) educational programs taxpayers are required to support.  It’s nifty for Gates and Pearson, an easy job for Federal bureaucrats providing government job security and a complete travesty for taxpayers.  You are paying into a system in which you have no voice.  These companies are not elected and not answerable to any constituents except their stockholders.
You are paying into a system of crony capitalism based on unproven assessments and results that will make private corporations billions of dollars with taxpayer money.  And remember, it’s all for the children.