Alan Singer: Pearson and the Neo-Liberal Global Assault on Public Education

Alan Singer writes here about the global ambitions and activities of Pearson, the giant British corporation that seeks to dominate education.

He writes:

“Powerful forces are at work shaping global education in both the North Atlantic core capitalist nations and regions historically referred to as the Third World. Neoliberal business philosophies and practices promoted by corporations and their partner foundations, supported by international organizations, financiers, and bankers, and welcomed, or at least tolerated by compliant governments, are trying to transform education from a government responsibility and social right into investment opportunities. They defend their actions as reforms designed to increase educational equity and achieve higher standards; where possible they seek out local community support. But the underlying motivation behind corporate educational reform is extending the reach of free market globalization and business profits.

“An early twentieth century political cartoon from Puck magazine portrayed the Standard Oil Company as a giant octopus with tentacles encircling and corrupting national and state governments. The image can easily be applied to the British-based publishing company Pearson Education, a leader in the neo-liberal privatization movement. Pearson has tentacles all over the world shaping and corrupting education in efforts, not always successful, to enhance its profitability. Its corporate slogan is “Pearson: Always Learning,” however critics rewrite it as “Pearson: Always Earning.”

“Pearson’s business strategy is to turn education from a social good and essential public service into a marketable for-profit commodity.”

from novemoore


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