Get The Facts About Pearson and Our Work Around the World

As the world’s learning company, Pearson is proud of its work with teachers and on behalf of the 75 million learners around the world. While we welcome engaged discussion about our role as a partner in the education community, sometimes our work is misunderstood or misrepresented.

When incorrect claims are put forward, we feel we must set the record straight with the facts.

Facts About Our Connection to Bridge Academies

Pearson is an investor in Learn Capital which is a Silicon Valley venture fund that is a minority investor in Bridge International Academies and many other companies.

Pearson is not a voting member of the Bridge board. Bridge runs its own affairs and our role isn’t to comment on or be actively involved in Bridge’s operations.

Our priority is to work for better funding and better quality state education around the world. However, hundreds of millions of children around the world are not currently enrolled in school. The humanitarian challenge is complex and global and we believe we need to look at all opportunities to improve access and the quality of education. Low-fee private schools can serve as one legitimate approach to improving access and quality.

In this mission to improve access to and equity in education, we are joined by other investors including CDC, International Finance Corporation, Khosla Ventures NEA, Novastar, Omidyar Network, Pan African Investments Co, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Bill Gates Investments, Pershing Square Foundation and Impact Ventures. Bridge’s partners include DFID, One World Play Project and Partnership Schools for Liberia.

Facts About Pearson’s Work Supporting Syrian Refugees

Pearson’s social impact work aims to be a force for good in helping to solve the world’s most difficult education challenges.

One of those challenges is the education crisis facing children affected by conflict and emergencies, including those who have fled the Syrian conflict. We know we can’t be as effective alone as we can in partnership with organizations and governments already working on this issue. That’s why Pearson has joined its deep expertise in education with Save the Children, an organization with equally deep experience and expertise responding to humanitarian crises.

Providing education opportunities for Syrian refugees children has been our focus since joining forces with Save the Children to launch the “Every Child Learning” initiative two years ago.

In addition to financial support, we’ve contributed the time and expertise of our employees to develop a meaningful, research based program. Our aim is to provide access to high quality learning for Syrian and vulnerable Jordanian children and improve their learning environment. To date, this program has provided education and psychosocial support for hundreds of children and their families.

Corporate involvement has long been a hallmark of humanitarian response efforts worldwide, expanding the reach and scale of frontline responders. The primary goal is always to ease suffering and help build resilient communities. But when done well, private sector social impact work can benefit both those in need and the business. That’s actually a good thing because it creates a cycle of sustainable support for giving. The more a business succeeds, the more it can do long term to contribute to solving difficult world problems and helping those who need it most.

At Pearson, we’re proud to reach more learners every day by embedding social impact and sustainability work into our business.

Pearson Responds to South African Textbook Issue

Media coverage in 2016 noted a Pearson textbook in South Africa that used inappropriate language around sexual assault.

As we said when this issue first came to light last year, we deeply regret the wording of such a sensitive and important topic in one of our South African publications. We have made a full and frank apology.

As soon as we learned of the issue we immediately amended the language. We worked closely with teachers from the local school communities who originally highlighted this problem. We ensured that the updated content met with their approval and the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This new content was uploaded to our website where teachers and schools can download it for free. We have removed all existing copies of the textbook from our warehouse and destroyed them. There will be no further reprints of this edition.

The teachers who initially raised this matter have contacted us to give their approval with how we handled this matter. We always engage with teachers and many of our authors are teachers or professors themselves - similarly, many of our employees are former teachers. We also of course work closely with education authorities such as the DBE.

We also sent written responses to the AFT and the SADTU unions who wrote to our CEO on this. These responses can be downloaded below.

Pearson was also contacted about educational material containing a reference to slavery that is neither historically accurate nor in line with what we believe and practice as a company. This is not material that has been published in a Pearson product. We always welcome feedback and appreciate the concern showed by the parents who raised this issue.

Hear Pearson and Save The Children Discuss Our Partnership Serving Syrian Refugees.

Hear Pearson CEO John Fallon Discuss Our Work Helping Teachers Worldwide

Facts About the Union Claims Made at the 2016 Annual General Meeting

In 2016, the American Federation of Teachers approached our shareholders with claims about our business strategy, our work with assessments and our investments in the developing world. They also presented a shareholder resolution requesting a review of our business strategy, something we had already completed. The shareholder resolution proposed by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) requesting a review of Pearson’s business strategy was defeated, with about 98% of shareholders opposing the resolution.

What Experts Are Saying About the Value of Assessment

  • "All students should participate in high-quality and comprehensive assessment systems that measure their growth and achievement so all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential." -- The National Parent Teacher Association
  • "States must continue annual statewide assessments of every child .... The data these assessments generate yield valuable information on the progress of individual groups of students as well as how to improve student learning."-- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • "Annual assessments are an absolute necessity to provide transparent, objective, and timely information on student achievement growth for parents, educators, the business community, and the public." -- in a Letter to Senate HELP Committee Chairman and Ranking Member to Reaffirm the Need for Annual Assessments
    Signed by:
    John Engler, President of the Business Roundtable
    Chris Minnich, Executive Director of the Council of Chief State School Officers
    Kati Haycock, President of the Education Trust
    Nina Reese, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
    Janet Murguía, President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza
    R. Bruce Josten, Executive Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • "States must establish accountability systems that expect faster improvement for the groups of children who have lagged behind, and prompt action when any group of students underperforms, so parents can have confidence that their children matter and that schools will partner with them in getting them to state standards and graduating with a regular diploma." -- in a Letter to Senate HELP Committee Calling for Assessment, Public Reporting, and Accountability for Student Outcomes in a Reauthorized ESEA
    Signed by:
    Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    The Education Trust
    National Council of La Raza
    Business Roundtable
    National Center for Learning Disabilities
    Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocate
    Democrats for Education Reform
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    “The civil rights community has long recognized equal educational opportunity as central to our struggle to achieve equality for all Americans. Without a robust and thoughtful implementation of ESSA over the next decade, we will have missed a crucial opportunity and the students we represent will continue to be denied the full protections they need and are entitled to under federal law.” -- in a Letter to The U.S. Department of Education on Concerns in Implementing New Federal Education Law
    Signed by:
    The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
    Alliance for Excellent Education
    American Association of University Women (AAUW)
    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
    Association of University Centers on Disabilities
    Children's Defense Fund
    Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
    Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund
    Easter Seals
    Education Law Center - PA
    The Education Trust
    Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
    Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
    League of United Latin American Citizens
    NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
    National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
    National Center for Learning Disabilities
    The National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools
    National Council of La Raza
    National Disability Rights Network
    National Down Syndrome Congress
    National Indian Education Association
    National Urban League
    National Women's Law Center
    New Leaders
    Partners for Each and Every Child
    Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
    Stand for Children
    Teach For America
    Teach Plus
    United Way Worldwide

What Experts Are Saying About Low Cost Schools in Developing Countries

“Access to quality and affordable education leads to better job opportunities for our students, uplifting their lives and the lives of future generations.” – Beth Lui, Apec Schools

“An investment in education raises earnings by at least 10% a year.”Harry Anthony Patrinos, World Bank

“Low-cost affordable schools can contribute to social mobility by helping people living below the poverty line increase their educational attainment and increase incomes.” – Alejandro Caballero, International Finance Corporation

"Investment in low cost school schools allows service providers to create differentiated and quality options for the mass market that public sector schools do not…Thus opening up affordable alternatives which can bridge the opportunity and employability gap for students." – Neil D’Souza, Zaya

“The impact of investment into low-cost schools provides a platform for frugal innovation and therefore choice to occur. This choice of schooling is very empowering for all parents. This is enabled through frugal innovation which ensures that more children have access to high quality education, which was previously seen as a privilege to the few.” – Stacey Brewer, eAdvance Group

“Quality continues to be a huge challenge across low-cost affordable schools. These schools often lack the systems, process, structure and teachers to truly help children learn. Investment in this sector can revolutionize the classroom experience of over 20M students by encouraging technology, service delivery and curriculum that is custom-built for this setting”. – Akshay Saxena, Avanti Schools

“Millions of children worldwide are leaving primary school without basic mastery of numeracy or literacy. This is an injustice, an injustice that must be addressed urgently, with the futures of our children, communities and nations at stake. But education is complex. There is no magic bullet. There is no vaccine. To assume that any one sector – public or private – can singlehandedly tackle the challenges that we face would be shortsighted. To give every child the education they deserve we need a concerted and co-ordinated effort that draws on best of the public and private sectors. If we can bring together the entrepreneurialism, expertise and capital within the private sector, together with the reach, vision, leadership and regulatory capacity intrinsic within the public sector, then we have a chance to build strong and enduring systems that are able to deliver a quality education for each and every child.” – Susannah Hares, ARK Schools