By Deepa Kumar
Pearson, Inc., which dominates the world of education testing and technology, was recently in the news because of illegal practices carried out by its charitable wing. Charitable foundations are not supposed to be in the business of making money, hence the word “charity.” But in a move that would have made Scrooge proud (both Ebenezer and the duck), the Pearson Foundation was involved in wooing clients for the parent company and developing profitable products. This should hardly come as a surprise given the rapacious, profit-hungry corporation that Pearson is. In 2012, the company raked in $1.4 billion in profits.
It was therefore disturbing for us to hear that the administration at Rutgers had signed a contract with Pearson, Inc. that will fork over even more money to this corporation. In a lucrative contract set to expire in 2020, Rutgers would hand over 50% of initial tuition dollars to Pearson, Inc. At a time when student debt has reached record proportions crossing 1 trillion dollars, it is simply wrong to take money from our young to pad the coffers of a for-profit corporation.