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Pearson CEO: Company Has A ‘Wider Responsibility’ To Help End Educational Inequities

When it comes to this country’s greatest debates about public education — standards, testing, technology — Pearson is in the middle of it all.

The British company is the world’s largest textbook publisher, a testing giant, and increasingly a player in digital curriculum. Established in 1844, Pearson has cemented itself as the leading education company in the 21st century while drawing plenty of criticism from parents, teachers, and some lawmakers along the way.

One charge against Pearson, which makes about 60 percent of its profits in the U.S., is its outsized influence over state and federal lawmakers on education policy. Critics claim Pearson’s wealth — it made about $6 billion in revenue last year — too often goes unmatched.

While in Colorado last week, Pearson CEO John Fallon spoke to Chalkbeat to respond to that claim, opine on Colorado’s sweeping data privacy law that some call a national model, and discuss the increasing role technology is playing in public education.