After Heritage Foundation scholar Jonathan Butcher began looking into the racially and sexually charged practices of publishing and education behemoth Pearson, links and videos started to disappear from the corporation’s website and YouTube channel.
Butcher’s new report for Heritage, released Wednesday, shows that the largest education corporation on the planet has made a considerable commitment to pushing critical race theory in everything it produces. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)
The report by Butcher, who is Heritage’s Will Skillman senior research fellow in education policy, points out that Pearson’s editorial guidelines have made “antiracism,” “colorism,” “colonial discourse,” “genderism,” and “intersectionality” a facet of every action taken by Pearson and its staff and every piece of curriculum Pearson publishes.
After Butcher and Fox News reporter Kassy Dillon began to ask questions, London-based Pearson took its editorial standards offline.
The Daily Signal was able to obtain a copy of Pearson’s editorial standards before they disappeared online:
Pearson’s curriculum is no small collection of books, either. Pearson currently runs one of the largest virtual charter school networks in the United States. It is one of the biggest sellers of textbooks and classroom materials for every grade level in American public and private schools.
Pearson isn’t only a behemoth to K-12 students. The massive corporation oversees the company that operates USA Hire, which Butcher describes as “a website operated by the [U.S.] Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Applicants for positions in the federal government use this website to submit their application materials … ”
Teacher licensing also flows largely through Pearson. A teacher assessment program called edTPA, which determines whether an individual qualifies for a teaching license, is required by over 600 universities in over 40 states.
Every participant in edTPA is required to send dozens of essays describing his character as a potential teacher to Pearson, which holds unilateral authority on an applicant’s passing or failing.
Pearson’s commitment to “embed anti-racism” in everything its organization does affects far more than a few classroom students. These policies govern who gets hired in 40 different federal agencies and which teacher-education students get to graduate from their universities.
This racially segregationist hiring focus is best portrayed in a video that Pearson deleted from its website. In a video titled “A History of Protest Movements,” several speakers explain that American society is a fortress of systemic racism that keeps black Americans from doing as well as other groups. Education (and therefore Pearson) is needed to remedy this, the speakers say.
“Education is such a force for equity and change, yet systemic racism is holding back black and other ethnically diverse people in a vicious cycle,” LaWanda Stone, Pearson’s corporate affairs director, says in the video.
The video also includes claims that President Joe Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris as vice president was a “form” or an “act” of protest.
Although Pearson set the video to “private” on its YouTube channel after Fox’s Dillon began asking questions, The Daily Signal was able to save the video’s original discussion before it was taken down:
Fox’s Dillon writes that Pearson’s director of media relations, Joe Wiggins, told her that critical race theory isn’t incorporated into either Pearson’s K-12 curriculum or government contracts.
Heritage’s Butcher notes that Pearson includes both extensive “diversity, equity, and inclusion” programs, known as DEI, and uses racially segregationist rationale in its editorial standards. These are the very things parents are speaking out against at school board meetings and lawmakers are rejecting via legislative proposals, he says.
Most of Pearson’s DEI programs are built to train K-12 and university teachers to incorporate critical race theory into the classroom.
Butcher told The Daily Signal that he thinks Pearson is taking down its documents and videos because company executives are worried parents might not like what his report reveals.
“If ‘intersectionality’ and ‘anti-racism’ are not radical ideas, why would they try to hide it?” Butcher said. “If they thought kids should be taught these things, why keep it a secret?”
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