Common core: Common threads bind testing companies and profits

Georgia education professor and Get Schooled poster Michael Moore has a compelling column in the Savannah Morning News about the power and reach of what he sees as a growing testing cabal. Please try to read the full piece if you have the time.

Among his points:

Looming on the horizon is the multi-billion dollar battle for common core assessments. But what we don’t realize is that the real battle is over far more than assessments; it covers all aspects of curriculum.

A quick reminder of how we got to this point.

Georgia’s tests are not made by our state. CTB/McGraw-Hill, which is in the fifth year of a five-year, $62.5 million contract, makes our tests. CTB/McGraw-Hill also makes tests for at least 11 other states, Washington D.C., and the Department of Defense.

At the post-secondary level, the Pearson Company makes the Georgia Assessments for the Certification of Educators. Pearson makes certification tests for other states too.

The testing business is a $2.3 billion business. But testing is not where the real money is made. If you want to pass the test, you’re going to need preparation materials.

If your child brings home a text from Glencoe, Macmillan, SRA, Open Court or The Grow Network, among others, then your child is using a McGraw-Hill text. The test preparation materials business surely dwarfs the testing business.

This is still small beer compared with what’s to come. This week, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Pearson Foundation (a non-profit organization owned by, well, the for-profit version of the Pearson company) announced that the two were working together to create complete online curricula for the new common core standards in math and English language arts for elementary through high school.

This off-the-shelf curricula includes the materials, the teacher preparation, teacher development and, of course, the assessments. Interestingly, Phil Daro and Sally Hampton from America’s Choice, who helped draft the common core standards, are heading up this development.

Confused? Did I forget to mention that Pearson bought America’s Choice last summer? This information is hardly surprising. Of the 14 members of the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards writing committee, seven worked for ACT or SAT, two of the biggest test makers in America.

Three members work for Achieve, another non-profit organization that helps states – guess what? – form assessments for standards, and happens to be the creator of the American Diploma Project Network.

See how nicely this dovetails with ACT and SAT? Another standards writer, David Coleman, formed the Grow Network, which he sold to — there they are again — McGraw-Hill.

I am usually not a conspiracy theorist. But my scorecard shows 11 members of the English/Language Arts Standards writing team had ties to companies with a financial interest in the committee’s decision.

Adding insult to injury, no members of the Work Group were K-12 teachers and no teachers were mentioned in the Gates/Pearson curriculum announcement.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

53 comments Add your comment

Concerned

May 6th, 2011
9:58 am

When the Declaration of Independance was drafted, the U.S. Constitution was penned, and the Bill of Rights was created there were no Standardized Test. The burden of Standardized Test will cripple and bankrupt our public education system.

Random Thought

May 6th, 2011
10:01 am

This article is not surprising. Pearson and McGraw-Hill print, publish, and test K-12 and post secondary. I realized this cycle in college when I was required to buy a new edition to a book where the only changes were “corrected answers” in the back of the book and the order of the chapters rearranged for a “better learning flow” of the material. The previous edition cost $45 while the new edition was $150 for the same information. IMO this is a legalized scam. If students were truly tested on information that was learned in the classroom, prep material and practice exams would not be needed for students to pass. If a teacher views an exam students are taking and later explains why specific answer selections are wrong or right it is called “cheating”. However, when the publishing company provides “for a fee” the same or similar questions in a booklet with the correct answers it is called “exam prep”.

HS Public Teacher

May 6th, 2011
10:07 am

I wonder how many Georgia republican politicans have invested in Pearson and/or McGraw-Hill…. Or, how many of them have taken trips, etc. with those companys paying?

It isn’t about the children. It isn’t about education. It is all about money.

FBT

May 6th, 2011
10:07 am

Thank you for sharing.

Cere

May 6th, 2011
10:12 am

Funny how Pearson and McGraw-Hill are starting to look like Microsoft and Apple!

Education is the biggest business opportunity existing in today’s market. Bill Gates could see it coming. Government contracts for the Department of Education will go the way of Dept of Defense – we’ll be hearing of $500 textbooks and $100 pencils one day…

Cere

May 6th, 2011
10:17 am

You may as well read the rest of Moore’s post — it’s just a few more paragraphs and it hits the nail on the head:

“If you’re following the money, it goes like this: Link the common core standards to winning “Race to the Top” money, then link this to these quasi non-profits (which really aren’t non-profit) testing companies who get to use federal money to fund the creation of standards’ assessments and who had a seat(s) at the standards writing table, and you’ve got the creation of quite the little market corner.

Georgia may be unintentionally proving the assessment of Grover “Russ” Whitehurst, a former research guru for the U.S. Department of Education and current director of the Brown Center for Education Policy at the Brookings Institute.

“It’s easier to have good-sounding rhetoric about new materials, thinking, approaches, technology than it is to do it,” he said.

Apparently, we are going to develop testing and curricula using the “Windows Model.” We’ll release it, and we’ll fix the bugs later.

If you’re a teacher, administrator or teacher educator, it has to be a bit overwhelming to realize that you not have a seat at the table; we don’t even know where the table is.”

j nes

May 6th, 2011
10:22 am

If these tests were not so crucial to the lives of students, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But the fact is no one in America that wants an education (high school or college) can get around paying these companies hundreds of dollars to be considered “educated.”

This is less of a conspiracy and more of a scandal considering the indisputable facts that are available.

No teachers on the committees writing the tests–that explains a lot about the disconnect between what is being taught and what is being tested.

Lee

May 6th, 2011
10:25 am

Fifty years ago, Dwight Eisenhower warned America of the destructive influences of the military/industrial complex.

http://www.h-net.org/~hst306/documents/indust.html

We ignored him.

Today, there are a few observant folks warning of the education industry effects on education. Unfortunately, I fear we will ignore those warnings as well….

frustrated parent

May 6th, 2011
10:31 am

WOW —the some of the people who wrote the Common Core Standards are the same people from Americas’s Choice!!!!! EDUCATORS BEWARE!!!!!
The educational system as we know it will be in worse shape than it already is. For those of you who don’t know the America’s Choice is the program Cobb schools go to if they don’t make AYP for the 3rd time. America’s choice is SCRIPTED and allows no room for that teachable moment, teacher individuality, or student interest/curiosity. AGAIN- it’s all about the BUSINESS/DOLLARS and not the EDUCATION of CHILDREN!!!!!! I want my child to be a thinker, not a regurgitator of information. I may have to consider home schooling if I want my child to QUESTION, UNDERSTAND, and use the higher order thinking skills of ANALYSIS, EVALUATION AND SYNTHESIS.

What's best for kids?

May 6th, 2011
10:33 am

I ususally have some type of quip, but I have nothing today. This is so disheartening as an educator, that I am, for once, really at a loss. How can people say that it’s about the kids any more? It’s not; it’s about money, and I am very sad inside.

Henry Thoreaux

May 6th, 2011
10:38 am

Did the writer mention that all you have to do is keep telling people that our schools are failing, and people will buy into it?

My father works for a college. He tells me all the time about book companies giving free copies of the books to the professors, and providing them with lunch. Of course, these books will later be sold to the students for an outrageous fee.

Science majors spend a ton of money on books. A chemistry book should not cost 400 dollars to be worthless at the end of the year because a “new edition” is coming out.

William Casey

May 6th, 2011
10:43 am

@LEE: you are absolutely correct. The “Intellectual/Educational Complex” is sucking hundreds of millions (maybe billions) of dollars out of our schools. “New” textbooks were once the worst scam. Massive standardized testing is right up there now. I’ve been saying this since 1980.

During my final years of teaching Advanced Placement U. S. History in Fulton county, I pleaded with the “powers that be” that our expensive texts did NOT need replacing. The machine ground me down and perfectly good texts (both in content and physical condition) were tossed in favor of more expensive “updated” books. I used to joke that the mafia owned text/testing companies because this is a racket they would be proud of. True of college as wel.

thomas

May 6th, 2011
10:59 am

So what is he suggesting we do otherwise? It’s easy to criticize others, but what is he offering as an alternative?

www.honeyfern.org

May 6th, 2011
11:05 am

It’s all about the dollars in public education. How can we keep the income stream flowing?

Retreat….

What's best for kids?

May 6th, 2011
11:19 am

Maureen, this is not THE Michael Moore, is it?

Dr. John Trotter

May 6th, 2011
11:25 am

Hooray for Michael Moore for doing the research and writing this article. I am sure that this is the same Michael Moore who had just become superintendent of Effingham County Schools when I had classes in Educational Administration with him at UGA about thirty years ago.

Another “Let’s Confirm What Trotter Has Been Saying” article, heh? Have I not been saying that the Educational Military Complex (along with the recent push from the foundations of the Gates, the Broards, and the Waltons) is what is driving everything in public education. I have said over and said again that it is all about the money. This includes that phony organization called SACS. SACS is all about the money too!

Testing and test preparation (and the accompanying monies) has just gotten too big in the last 30 years (or since A Nation At Risk came out in 1983). Money drive politics. Public education became the financial bonanza. The testing is not about the children; it’s about large corporations, their salespeople, and their lobbyists (the ones who put campaign cash in the pockets of the politicians). It has become, as Dr. Moore well points out in his article in the Savannah Morning News, a multi-billion dollar industry.

To see that we have been saying about these things at MACE since 1995, just go to our website and browse. The old magazines are in the Archive section.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

The first prophets are stoned for being “crazy.” Ha! (c) MACE, May 6, 2011.

Dr. John Trotter

May 6th, 2011
11:32 am

About this Michael Moore? No, I don’t think that he is the blow-hard who does the so-called documentaries. This Michael Moore, I am fairly confident, was once the superintendent of Effingham County, Georgia. Back then, many superintendents were elected, and he, I believe was elected at a young age. Currently, he is a professor at Georgia Southern University. Like I said, I am confident that this is the same person, but I could be wrong. I was wrong once in 1973. Ha! Below is same post which I had previously submitted (but had a couple of typos – Ouch!).

————————————————–

Hooray for Michael Moore for doing the research and writing this article. I am sure that this is the same Michael Moore who had just become superintendent of Effingham County Schools when I had classes in Educational Administration with him at UGA about thirty years ago.

Another “Let’s Confirm What Trotter Has Been Saying” article, heh? Have I not been saying that the Educational Military Complex (along with the recent push from the foundations of the Gates, the Broards, and the Waltons) is what is driving everything in public education. I have said over and said again that it is all about the money? This includes that phony organization called SACS. SACS is all about the money too!

Testing and test preparation (and the accompanying monies) has just gotten too big in the last 30 years (or since A Nation At Risk came out in 1983). Money drives politics. Public education became the financial bonanza. The testing is not about the children; it’s about large corporations, their salespeople, and their lobbyists (the ones who put campaign cash in the pockets of the politicians). It has become, as Dr. Moore well points out in his article in the Savannah Morning News, a multi-billion dollar industry.

To see that we have been saying about these things at MACE since 1995, just go to our website and browse. The old magazines are in the Archive section.

http://www.theteachersadvocate.com

The first prophets are stoned for being “crazy.” Ha! (c) MACE, May 6, 2011.

another view

May 6th, 2011
11:48 am

Thanks for bringing this one up here, Maureen. Whether there is enough of a reaction by the general populace (that’s us) to begin to slow this juggernaut remains to be seen. The texts and “test prep” games are indeed part of it. Started teaching grad students recently after having spent a career hiding behind a gummint keyboard and computer, and was simply dumbfounded at the cost of the texts.
Just a reminder – there are virtually NO DATA even hinting that passing one of these low-bid minimum comptetency state tests predicts later school or college or life success. None. Nada. These tests have never, ever been anything but throwing darts blindfolded.

Maureen Downey

May 6th, 2011
12:01 pm

What’s best, No. http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~mmoore/
But I think the two of them would get long well as they both challenge the status quo a lot.
Maureen

ScienceTeacher671

May 6th, 2011
12:04 pm

Professor Michael Moore doesn’t seem to be either the documentary film maker or the former Effingham County superintendent:

http://personal.georgiasouthern.edu/~mmoore/

Dr. John Trotter

May 6th, 2011
12:04 pm

Georgia can opt out of all of this mess…but it will have to opt on the federal monies. Education is a state issue. The United States Constitution says nothing at all about education. But, the State of Georgia, like other states, have become accustomed to the federal dollars. Did you see how the State rushed to the RTTT money. It was shameless.

catlady

May 6th, 2011
12:17 pm

Said the Work Group/Gates Pearson/McGraw-Hill, “We don’t need no stinking teachers!”

Dr. John Trotter

May 6th, 2011
12:26 pm

ScienceTeacher: Thanks for the info. I didn’t go to GSU’s website. I am talking to others and blogging at the same time. Ha!

Dr. John Trotter

May 6th, 2011
1:05 pm

The only thing that is “common core” about the curriculum is money.

East Cobb Parent

May 6th, 2011
1:16 pm

Maureen, I’m glad to see that you posted this article. I have read similar comments on various blogs and made the connections. Unfortunately, most parents don’t care. Deal should remove GA from RTTT and CCS. As for the earlier comment blaming republicans, I know several Dems that are supporters and fans of America’s Choice. Any time you question someone’s support follow the money.

High School Teacher

May 6th, 2011
1:41 pm

I wish I could say I am surprised by the lack of K-12 teachers involved in neither the Work Group nor the Gates/Pearson curriculum announcement. When have we ever been involved? It would make far too much sense to actually include people on the committees who know something about what students need. While I respect Mr. Gates for his work with computers and technology, I wish he would keep his hands out of and off of education. When did he become an authority? I guess being a multi-billionaire makes anyone an authority?

Really amazed

May 6th, 2011
1:50 pm

I guess this is the time to consider switching from private to public?

God Bless the Teacher!

May 6th, 2011
2:21 pm

Off topic…Happy Mother’s Day Sunday, Maureen and to all the other mother posters out there!

Maureen Downey

May 6th, 2011
2:27 pm

@God Bless the Teacher, Thanks and Happy Mother’s day to all.
Maureen

catlady

May 6th, 2011
2:33 pm

The tie that binds these groups together is a green one, that’s for sure. I’d still like an expose by the AJC of the connections between the tests we give specific to GA– EOCT, HSGT, CRCT–and well-connected people. I’d also like the public to see how TREMENDOUSLY MUCH MONEY we are talking about, including the test prep materials, grading, retesting, etc.

GeeMac

May 6th, 2011
2:39 pm

@ catlady – don’t forget all the test “security”!

teacher&mom

May 6th, 2011
2:55 pm

teacher&mom

May 6th, 2011
3:02 pm

I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the education vultures viewed GA…

with its lack of a teacher’s union, a naive/easily swayed school superintendent (KCox), a republican leadership that had little to no understanding of education but a strong desire to dismantle public education….

as a prime testing ground for their “vision” of education.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Augusta

May 6th, 2011
3:03 pm

How many folks on this blog believe that our educrats and their corporate “friends” will “see the Light” and change their testing-abusing ways if we complain about these self-serving activities to one another on this blog?

What are we concerned teachers and our organizations going TO DO to gain seats at the tables in our local districts, in Atlanta, and in Washington, D.C. where critical decisions about testing and other important educational matters will be made?

“Actions speak louder than words.”

teacher&mom

May 6th, 2011
3:10 pm

@catlady: Isn’t it “ironic” Title I funds can be spent on “researched-based” test prep materials and at the same time forbid the purchase of library books, science equipment, maps, globes, etc?

For those out there who are unfamiliar with the test prep companies…..I can tell you Pearson has a monopoly on the market. Check out their press releases. They are slowly and methodically buying out the competition and expanding their reach into every aspect of eduction.

http://www.pearsoned.com/press/

thomas

May 6th, 2011
3:29 pm

I am assuming that no one here is proposing that we get away with standardized testing completely, or am I assuming wrong? So, what are appropriate roles of testing, and how much is necessary? How are people suggesting that we handle those minimum amount of testing? Everyone seems to be jumbing on the band wagon criticizing the overemphasis on testing (and I am on the band wagon, too), but few suggest any alternative.

As for teacher involvement, I don’t think teacher involvment does not automatically make the product any better, nor the lack of teacher involvment makes the product useless/irrelevant. There were classroom teachers who reviewed the drafts of the Common Core, too.

GeeMac

May 6th, 2011
4:20 pm

@Thomas – I don’t think testing should be eliminated altogether; we need valid & reliable data to assess student progress. The objection most educators have is making the test score the sole component for evaluating students, their teachers, and schools in general when there are so many other factors that contribute to educational outcomes, most of which cannot be easily evaluated by a multiple choice test.

teacher&mom

May 6th, 2011
4:27 pm

@Dr. Craig – Perhaps we should either join this march in Washington or organize one here in GA…

http://www.saveourschoolsmarch.org/

educator

May 6th, 2011
5:26 pm

Um…do you all think that all the people who work for Pearson, America’s Choice, or McGraw have NO experience as teachers? Do you think they don’t consult with teachers, educational leaders and researchers for all their programs? You’d be wrong.

catlady

May 6th, 2011
5:55 pm

teacher and mom: And “research based” materials FOR WHICH THERE IS NO RESEARCH USING CERTAIN SUBGROUPS!

funny

May 7th, 2011
8:33 am

why does the state of GA have an EOCT for math I and II? other states have an Alg I EOCT that counts toward graduation and thats it for math. GPS Algebra I could be the test (to align with other states and CC).

how did all these testing come to be?? Folks there is this thing called LOBBYING; track the money which it looks like AJC is starting to do.

Private School Guy

May 7th, 2011
8:39 am

It should also be noted that it is in the best interest of these corporations that schools continue to fail. They are akin to the large pharmaceutical companies that steer the practice of medicine. I had hopes that some of this might be curbed by our current president but DOE head Duncan is just another player in this shameful game.

goodforkids

May 7th, 2011
9:59 am

teacher&mom,
I agree re; save our schools march and/or doing something local. It is time to get more organized for action, as Dr. Spinks keeps suggesting. I am taking some early steps to start a group here that fights for sensible school reform, limiting standardized testing, pushing back at the corporate takeover of education. The train is rolling into our station whether we want it here or not.

educator

May 7th, 2011
2:42 pm

Who is supposed to publish the books, tools, and assessments that teachers NEED to be able do their jobs if it is not a large “evil corporation?” I don’t understand why the publishers are the villain here?

teacher&mom

May 7th, 2011
5:38 pm

@educator….Pearson and McGraw Hill became the villains when they began to use their financial power to lobby Congress and the DoE to make decisions that send more business their way…i.e. an increase in standardized testing and Title I funds that can only be spent on “researched based” materials….of course, it never hurts that the very people who are publishing the tests (which teachers in GA are forbidden to see) also produce the curriculum packages, test-prep materials, and computer programs so there’s a good chance that using their materials will help test scores. Looks good on paper and sells a lot of products….but does it produce meaningful, deep learning…..

(btw—I think we’ve debunked the idea on this blog that passing the CRCT/ECOT/GHSGT doesn’t necessarily indicate true learning has taken place. )

If you’ve ever come across any great “Mom n’ Pop” type teaching materials and you want to use federal funds to purchase the materials…well good luck They may have the best thing on the market, but no one will every know because of the lack of “research-based” data to support the materials. It really is a racket once you look behind the curtain.

Pearson/McGraw-Hill are becoming more and more like Big Tobacco and Big Oil…IMHO

teacher&mom

May 7th, 2011
6:33 pm

@educator..you asked the question, “Who is supposed to publish the books, tools, and assessments that teachers NEED to be able do their jobs if it is not a large “evil corporation?”

Here’s what I need from the textbook companies to do my job as a science teacher…..a decent textbook.

I rarely use the worksheets and instructional materials that come with the book…most are not helpful. I make my own power points, I find labs and activities on the internet, and I create my own assessments (both formative and summative).

You see I don’t need those “things” you mentioned in your post. A true educator doesn’t need a prepackaged curriculum to do their job.

What I need is more money for supplies and lab equipment. I’d love to have a couple of student computers in my classroom. Money for magazine subscriptions and reading books would be awesome. When the bulb dies on my LCD projector, I’d like a replacement. Money to fix our broken microscopes would be nice. This is just a short list of the things I need to do my job, but the money previously budgeted for those items has slowly been diverted to testing and test support….

and yes, I find that evil and criminal.

educator

May 7th, 2011
8:29 pm

Thanks for answering.

While I am sure you ALL are fabulous teachers who come up with your own curriculum materials, the truth of the matter is, there are millions of teachers out there who don’t. Furthermore, they don’t want to. I am speaking from experience as someone who works for one of those “evil” publishers and goes into schools to do teacher trainings. It has gotten to the point that if it is suggested that teachers spend time planning and preparing, and everything is not just handed to them ready-to-go, they roll their eyes and throw down their pencils.
AND…if teachers DON’T get a book for every subject, and every student, they complain, too.

So it is really a no-win situation I guess. Publishers are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. But yes, they are “for profit” companies, who have an obligation to their business and investors to put out the best products they can for the benefit of all students and therefore be successful. I’m sure any “mom and pop” company wouldn’t balk at earning a big profit, and if their product is really good, a big publisher just may want to buy it to help them mass market.

And I agree, of course you need money for microscopes and LCD bulbs, and computers. I am speaking as a former teacher and as a parent of children in a troubled, troubled public school system. You need everything. But I don’t feel it is productive to direct your anger at publishers who are trying to produce products that will support teachers and facilitate learning. And how do we measure learning? By assessments. So why shouldn’t publishers endeavor to create an assessment that is widely used? It is a business, but the publishers are not manipulating the education system. They are merely responding to the reform efforts and trying to bring useful educational products to market.

There are many many passionate, respected educators who participate in the development and creation of textbooks, intervention programs, and professional development products. They attach their names and their life-long professional reputations to certain programs. I know this to be true, because I have met many of them. And I am not so arrogant to think that I know better than they…

educator

May 7th, 2011
9:26 pm

@teacher&mom You sound like a great teacher, and your students are lucky to have you. Unfortunately, there are thousands and thousands of teachers in the US who don’t or won’t work that hard, and do need a tool, such as a book. I know this because I was a classroom teacher for many many years, and now I work for an “evil” publisher doing teacher trainings. Furthermore, who do you think would be the first to complain if they weren’t given a book to use? The teachers.

I just don’t think the best place to direct your anger should be at the publishers. They are merely responding to a market need. They try as hard as they can to put out the best products they can. and yes…sell a lot and make a profit. But, many highly respected educators, universities, research institutes, and leaders in their fields attach their names to what is published. I’m sorry you don’t think that there is one decent textbook out there to suit your needs. Publishing is a business, but it is not driving educational reform. It is responding…as any successful business should.

Perhaps you should reach out to the publishers if you are truly an educational leader and have come up with some terrific curriculum and assessments. They are not as inaccessible as you think.

I would definitely be mad if I didn’t have what I needed in my classroom. I am mad that they are making massive budget cuts in my state and laying off thousands of teachers. But I don’t think any of that is the fault of McGraw or Pearson or Houghton Mifflin.

teacher&mom

May 8th, 2011
9:18 am

@educator…In your defense of your employer, you are missing the point. You are using circular reasoning to defend standardized testing.

First, you make the assumption that your company sells a superior product.

Then you downplay the abilities of teachers to develop their own materials by suggesting most teachers either can’t or don’t work hard enough.

You mention teachers rolling their eyes at your training sessions as evidence. I wonder if it has anything to do with being forced to sit through one more “cure du jour” (borrowed the phrase from catlady btw) that promises to dramatically raise test scores. Perhaps, they are rolling their eyes because no one asked if they wanted or needed your product. No one asked when would be the least disruptive time to offer the training. You see before you even entered the building with your product, the underlying message to the teachers was…

“We don’t believe in your teaching abilities, therefore, we feel it is necessary to provide you with a pre-packaged/scripted curriculum that will limit your ability to provide flexible and/or meaningful instruction.”

You speak in the language of the market, turning education into a commodity. To say that publishing in not driving educational reform is false. The publishers are eagerly sitting at the table to help “guide” the process.

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/04/high_tech_testing_on_the_way_a.html

I’m not angry. I’m deeply saddened.

educator

May 8th, 2011
2:16 pm

@teacher&mom
“We don’t believe in your teaching abilities, therefore, we feel it is necessary to provide you with a pre-packaged/scripted curriculum that will limit your ability to provide flexible and/or meaningful instruction.”

I can understand how many teachers would feel that way. I have felt that way myself before I left the classroom. Nevertheless, I am still not following the logic of how it is the publisher’s fault. If there was no need for a product (book) to support teachers, no one would buy it. But it is not the publishers who decide what is needed. The publishers did not come up with the idea of Common Core, but nevertheless are responding to a trend. How else are teachers supposed to get support and keep current? And why should a company, like a publisher, not do everything it can to be profitable and successful? These publishers employ thousands and thousands of people around the world. Should they just go away?

And when would be the least disruptive time to offer the training? And are you happy using books that are 7-10 years old and not up-to-date with current research and technology?

And I am not assuming that my company sells a superior product, but I do defer to the authors and institutions who stake their professional reputations and years of research and dedication against being associated with a certain publisher.

I think perhaps, what you don’t realize is that the publishers and the teachers are actually on the same team. We all want students to learn, be successful, and be ready for college or careers. But at the end of the day, it is the TEACHER who makes a difference, not the book. It’s just a book.