Sunday, October 13, 2013

Persons, companies profiting from Common Core implementation

From Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Maureen Downey, "Common Core as a brand name. Who is making money off the new standards?"

Millions are being made on Common Core, but it’s not likely parents can figure who’s making that money, or how much a particular school system is spending specifically because of the new standards, since instructional material has always cost plenty and a lot of the “new” stuff isn’t necessarily new.

There is a long list of companies selling what school districts in Georgia and the rest of the country are buying. Education officials in Georgia say most of the money spent on Common Core would have been spent anyway. Teachers participated in professional development before Common Core, and districts have always spent money on books and other learning materials.

. . .

A book can be considered “aligned to Common Core” if it is among those recommended by the group of business leaders, educators and higher education officials who wrote the new standards.

Being a Common Core book could mean stronger sales. Lynda Bradley, co-owner of BMI Educational Services, Inc. — a sort of book middleman that allows districts to order large quantities of different books from a single source — noted that sales of one book, “A Boy, A Dog and a Frog” by Mercer Mayer, took off after it was recommended as a Common Core book.

“The publishers look at the list and say, ‘Oh, good, we can charge more,’ ” Bradley said. “A lot of them have done that, and that puts us in a bind. The inventory vanishes, and the price goes up.”

Ravitch, Mar. 17, 2013
Rupert Murdoch Wins Contract to Develop Common Core Tests

Amplify, the company owned by Rupert Murdoch, won a $12.5 million contract to develop formative assessments for Common Core tests. The award was made by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of two groups funded by the Obama administration to create national tests, administered online. Joel Klein runs Murdoch’s Amplify division.

When Murdoch purchased Wireless Generation in the fall of 2010, he said:

“When it comes to K through 12 education, we see a $500 billion sector in the U.S. alone that is waiting desperately to be transformed by big breakthroughs that extend the reach of great teaching,” said News Corporation Chairman and CEO, Rupert Murdoch. “Wireless Generation is at the forefront of individualized, technology-based learning that is poised to revolutionize public education for a new generation of students.”

And see this more recent post at Ravitch's blog, Klein’s Amplify Tablets Crack the $17 Billion Market.