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Everybody Hates Pearson

The venerable publishing company is trying to reinvent itself for the Digital Age—­­in the most fraught, political, emotion-racked field there is: your children’s education. That’s stirring up a lot of anger.

The goal is not merely to build a more successful and sustainable business—an imperative as Pearson’s traditional print operations shrivel—but also to improve the lives of millions of people throughout the world.

The problem is, legions of parents, teachers, and others see the new Pearson in a very different light. Many of them, particularly in North America, where the company does some 60% of its sales, think of it as the Godzilla of education. In their view, Pearson is bent on controlling every element of the process, from teacher qualifications to curriculums to the tests used to evaluate students to the grading of the tests to, increasingly, owning and operating its own learning institutions.