According to WSJ:
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman opened the investigation in 2011 into whether the company mixed business with foundation work. The foundation put on conferences in countries from Brazil to Singapore, flying in state education officials for trips described by the foundation as educational.According to Schneiderman, Pearson executives believed the Common Core work performed by their nonprofit arm could later be sold by the for-profit organization and generate “tens of millions of dollars” for the company.
The Washington Post reports:
The adoption of the Common Core has created a lucrative opportunity for educational publishers, as states and schools rush to buy products “aligned” to the new standards.According to the settlement, Pearson used its nonprofit foundation to develop Common Core products in order to win an endorsement from a “prominent foundation.” The latter entity is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which helped fund the creation of the Common Core standards and announced in 2011 that it would work with the Pearson Foundation to create reading and math courses aligned with the new standards.