Get sick, get well
Hang around a ink well
Ring bell, hard to tell
If anything is goin' to sell
-- Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A handful of Common Core text/testing publishers buying up everything in sight

Captive audience marketing to kids on Channel 1 
Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Harcourt just acquired Channel One and Curiosityville. HMH is one of the biggest text/testing publishers cashing in on the booming Common Core market, along with Pearson and McGraw-Hill.  In  2007, Pearson acquired Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International.

Channel One News, founded in 1989 by school privatizer and captive-audience marketing guru Chris Whittle, produces daily news programs along with paid ads that are broadcast to nearly 5 million students in upper-elementary, middle, and high schools across the United States. The shows are delivered online and via satellite. On April 17, Channel One News devoted nearly one third of its program  to a “news story” about the U.S. Army.

Adding the video-production capabilities of Channel One to the publishing company will help it market its Go Math! program.
From Channel One's vantage point, the acquisition will mean the digital-content company "can leverage HMH's leading K-12 market position and its deep  relationships with school districts across the U.S. to offer innovative digital content and resources on an even broader scale," C.J. Kettler, Channel One's CEO, said in the statement.
A week after purchasing Channel One, HMH announced the acquisition of Curiosityville, which is marketed to parents and families to "help parents become great first teachers and children great learners" for school and life, according to its website. Terms of both sales were not disclosed.

PEARSON, a British conglomerate, continues to tout itself on its website as the world’s leading education company that operates in 80 countries, employs 40,000 people and generates 60 percent of its sales in North America. With its half-a-billion-dollar five-year contract with the Texas Education Agency, it is also by far, the leading tester in the Lone Star State.
Educator Jeanine McGregor acknowledged that Pearson has gobbled up several smaller publishing companies and warns if Pearson has a monopoly on assessment management, “they will be in a position to dictate the content taught as well as what the standards are.
Side Note: If you're thinking about getting a job at HMH, forget about it. The company was ranked the 10th worst place to work in America, according to a survey.

1 comment:

  1. Sorry, I came late to this post. Just have to say, though, that in any middle school in which I'd taught (and I taught in 4 different ones!), none of the students--be they 6th, 7th or 8th graders--paid one minute of attention to Channel One (unless we--their teachers--saw a story worth viewing, but even then...). This was on during the homeroom period, and the kids were pretty busy chatting and catching up with their friends. Knowing what we knew about Channel One (especially the ads), we didn't feel it worth pressing--let them socialize in homeroom (better than 1st Period English!).