Montgomery County Public School elementary children will be learning the Pearson curriculum, taking the Pearson assessments three times a year, and then...they can use the Pearson remediation materials.
Gradebook: Pasco School Board holds off on contract with Pearson
In a consent agenda filled with purchase contracts, one item caught Pasco School Board chairwoman Joanne Hurley's attention Tuesday evening — a $179,292 textbook order for a new remedial course, Math for College Readiness.
Her concern? The single provider of the material was Pearson Education, a division of the company that also creates and scores Florida's FCAT test. A district materials review team deemed the company's Intermediate Algebra materials package most in-line with the state requirements for the course, and also in line with a related Pasco-Hernando Community College course.
"It seemed to be a clear conflict of interest when Pearson is the sole source for publishing the FCAT, but for those students who do not do well, they must use remedial work published by Pearson," Hurley told the Gradebook. Pearson also provides the materials for the state's English 4: College Prep remedial course.
Hurley had the item removed from board consideration until the staff could provide more information. Pearson's role as the sole provider of so many materials in Florida's testing and accountability system is one of the many reasons Florida's school board members are raising concerns about the system, she suggested.
"There needs to be a broadening of the availability of contractors that supply testing and remediation materials," she said...