Oct 29, 2013
A parent of a ten year old was shocked to discover a grammar and writing test paper that their child brought home from school reads more like document from an authoritarian country such as China.
The parent sent a portion of the test paper to Infowars, revealing that it contains sentences such as “The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.”
The paper uses such sentences and asks school children to replace certain words in order to make the sentence contain a possessive noun.
Others within the paper include:
“The job of a president is not easy.”
“He makes sure the laws of the country are fair”
“The wants of an individual are less important than the needs of a nation”
Here is the portion of the paper Infowars received:
Upon further investigation it appears that the paper is part of a set produced by Pearson Education, a global corporation that provides education publishing and assessment services to schools in the US and the rest of the world. Pearson is the world’s largest for-profit education business.
The particular sentence about everyone obeying government commands appears in other Pearson papers, such as this fifth grade grammar test.
According to the company’s Wikipedia page and its website, Pearson owns leading educational media brands including Addison–Wesley, BBC Active, Bug Club, eCollege, Fronter, Longman, MyEnglishLab, Penguin Readers, Prentice Hall, Poptropica and Financial Times Press. Pearson is part of Pearson PLC, which also owns Penguin Books and the Financial Times.
In 2010, Pearson also negotiated a 5 year, $32 million, contract with the New York State Department of Education to design tests for students in grades 4-8.
“We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that’s costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars.”
Collins outlines the fact that Pearson is being contracted under the controversial No Child Left Behind program set up by the government in 2001:
“This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, and choice, and innovation. But when No Child Left Behind was passed 11 years ago, do you recall anybody mentioning that it would provide monster profits for the private business sector?”