Common Core Standards are a minor but inarguable improvement over alternatives.

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posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:03 PM
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I've worked for much of my career in school textbook publishing, and I've been very interested in how the publishing market has responded to the needs of states. I want to describe and exculpate the strange public/private textbook market against some arguments that ascribe nefarious or centralized motives to the enterprise of building school books for kids.

Common Core Standards are the result of teachers and department-heads in smaller-state school districts confederating with one another to improve their buying power with big K-12 (Kindergarten through 12-grade) textbook publishers. The purpose has been to improve the quality of offerings from the publishers to their classrooms. Small states negotiated and developed Common Core Standards amongst themselves. I watched that happen over a period of about ten years, from 2002 to 2012. Small states set aside their own teaching standards and turned to building Common Core Standards with one another to improve the customization, quality, and utility of teaching tools that are offered to them by publishers.

To emphasize, I'm not an interested party to the argument and couldn't have given a hoot when I watched it come together. I'm a little astonished that anyone would bicker with it, since it was grass-roots, but since people seem to be starting to be riled up about it, I thought I would offer my observation of it as it unfolded.

Let's help ourselves to some data: there are two kinds of states, in the eyes of publishers. There are "adoption" states and "open territory" states. Adoption states will, at the state level, request submissions from the major and minor publishers for a review by a given date (like June 1st, for a late-August fulfillment). Let's say a state like Alabama, for argument's sake, has itself a lot of 5-year-old Algebra 1 books, which need replacement. The state of Alabama will open an adoption period, and request samples and a presentation from the major and minor K-12 publishers.

Open-territory states are states that allow individual school districts to individually select their Algebra 1 book and do whatever they want. States like North Dakota or Alaska are open-territory states.

Alabama, our example, will review submissions from the publishers and pick one Algebra 1 book from all the publishers' submissions before the submission deadline. The state review board will be comprised of some Math department heads from the bigger districts from around the state, some state-selected experts, some gray-beard Algebra 1 teachers, and whatever members of the Alabama board of ed who wish to participate. And the winner of that contest will be the only publisher that local school districts can purchase from to buy books for that one course. (In actuality, states buy high-school math as a general adoption, but I'm trying to keep it out of the weeds.) That book will be sold with certain add-ons, which may have a cost attached, but are typically FWO, free-with-offer. These are generally give-aways to sweeten the deal. There will be a Teacher's Edition for each teacher, for sure, but also workbooks, and DVDs (for both teachers and students), and online support, and slides for use in-class, and demonstration tools, and so on and so forth. There will also be, *and this is the important part*, tools that help Alabama Algebra 1 teachers prepare their students to take Alabama's high-stakes 9th-grade math test. These high-stakes tests set school funding and teacher salaries and even progression for the student to the next grade in a given state. These state-specific tools are very, very important to classrooms in Alabama.

Alabama's high-stakes 9th-grade math test has always been different than that of Massachusetts or Louisiana or Colorado. But it's all Algebra 1. It's all pretty similar what lesson-progression or teaching milestones you want to identify to assign "success" to measure the student's and the teacher's performance in that course.

Now let's say that in the very same year, Texas or California also holds an adoption for Algebra 1 books. Each publisher will now have to weigh their allocation of editorial, production, and sales resources between these two open adoptions. Do they want to fight the other Big-4 publishers* for adoption in a small state (a B or C or D or OT state), or go after the big A+ state? They're probably going to go after the big adoptions, and if they get the lesser states along the way, that's gravy. They'll send their best sales folks, deploy their best editors and designers, to lock up that big sales win. That's wise strategy on the part of the publishers. Capture the highest ground, and then take the valleys later.

*Right now, the big four are Pearson, Houghton Mifflin, Holt, and McGraw.

California and Texas, "A+ states," with their large populations, can dictate to publishers exactly what they want. They will probably get basal Student Edition (SE) books written specifically and in-sequence to their state testing standards. Florida, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and Illinois are only "A states". They might get in-sequence, but it'll be a patch project for their SE's, without a lot of close attention. They might be offered Teachers' Editions in National sequence with long charts in the front so they'll be able to keep up with the sequence they're teaching the kids. South Carolina and Georgia are examples of B states. They'll often just get the national edition for SE and TE, and a whole lot of add-ons to make up for it. Then there are C states and D states. They'll get whatever is left over in terms of publisher resources, and they'll take it or leave it.

Observing this, It occurred to the teachers and administrators in these smaller states that the best way to drive publishers to fight for their business was to rally together, and make one amalgamated market of these B, C, D, and Open-Territory states. That was the genesis of the Common Core Standards. They're not in-synch yet with years of adoptions for given programs, but they'll get there in the next few cycles. Every state still has total say-so over adoption, but the publishers will work for their business a little harder, since they're negotiating as a group.

The individual states had to give up a lot to get to this point. A whole lot of very smart teachers, the good ones, had to come to agreement about how to teach 7th-grade World History, and K-5 Literature, and middle-grades Science, and so on and so forth. I don't doubt there's some nonsense in there, and that should be commented on by parents and teachers and administrators. It's a process. But it's a crowd-sourced process, by my lights, and it'll get better. So please if you're a parent or a teacher, and you see something bad coming home in the backpack, make a stink about it. You can start here, but really you'd be better-served attending a meeting with your kid's teacher or, even better, in an email to their department head. If that falls on deaf ears, escalate to the school's Principal and then your local school board, and then the state. You'd be surprised how effective a good, clear argument can be.

I've found that's the only thing that has ever really done any good.
edit on 8-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)




posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 

Well, I am glad that the process is grassroots and doesn't rely on central direction.

When we eliminate the department of education, I see no reason that the work that has been done can't be useful to any states or towns that wish to use the curriculum.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:17 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


100% accurate description of how textbook sales work...I worked for p34r50n for almost 10 years.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:29 PM
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Which is precisely why large states, such as Texas, are able to heavily influence textbooks that are eventually adopted by other states. Texas has a relatively small Board of Education that currently is -- and has been ruled by a majority of religious conservatives. A group that has fought tooth and nail to water down science textbooks for our public schools to down play evolution and introduce creationism. The same group that sought to rewrite history books to their revisionist right-winged views.

That is down right scary. [/Rant]

Venting, aside. Thank you for sharing your knowledge as to how this process works. Very informative!



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:32 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


I disagree, but then I have been reading Robin's Invisible Serfs Collar and hanging around with one of the guys who started the Charter Schools in North Carolina.

Most of the people on the science boards I normally spend time on will savage the current education system if given half a chance.

On Common Core:
Motivationally Misleading Situations and Wicked Decision Problems: Imposing Psychological Experiments on Students



What would you think if you read the Dear Colleague Letter put out yesterday by the CCSSO trade group that is funded by tech companies and the accreditors and other beneficiaries of taxpayer education dollars and that supposedly represents state Departments of Ed and you ended up finding this sentence. “There is no experimental evidence to back up this dialectical/constructivist view of self being created by the required assessments being pushed under the Common Core. Or by the OECD to be considered internationally competitive in the future. In fact, we have to look instead to existential philosophy, meditation, spiritual, and history-of religion literatures to locate proof that the kind of personality we want to use education to create is actually possible.” Would you say “that sounds like a wonderful mandate for all schools and all students. Here’s my tax dollars to fund the transformation?”

Well, of course, we wouldn’t. That’s the beauty of the misrepresentations surrounding the Common Core...

The easiest way to explain what is being sought is a desire to have all thought grounded in emotions. It is the constant refrain that the problems to be used for assessment have no fixed answer and it is why lecturing and textbooks are becoming abhorrent. They build up the logical, independent, mind and are not necessarily grounded in feelings. Which means they may not produce the behavior desired to fit with all these plans for transformation. To get that requires a personality that has been shaped by “qualitative metamorphoses in affective-cognitive experiencing and thinking.” Which is precisely what the new curricula and gaming and online learning and these new assessments are designed to create....


As a scientist I find this emphasis on 'Feelings' instead of reason horrifying. The fact that a recent Pew Report Poll shows most people can not answer very simple science questions underlines just how truly rotten US education is. Good grief I should not rank in the top 7% just because I can answer a few simple questions ANY high school student in my graduating class could answer easily.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:44 PM
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Well, I am glad that the process is grassroots and doesn't rely on central direction.

When we eliminate the department of education, I see no reason that the work that has been done can't be useful to any states or towns that wish to use the curriculum.
reply to post by greencmp
 


The Department of Education has, in all my years, never been credited with one good (or even bad) piece of advice, or one positive student outcome. You can count me in on eliminating the department, flatly.

I leave open the opportunity to be persuaded, but I really don't follow what it's for.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


Well I'm sure lots of effort went into Common Core but I don't believe things are looking very good on the education home front.



Common Core Standards are the result of teachers and department-heads in smaller-state school districts confederating with one another to improve their buying power with big K-12 (Kindergarten through 12-grade) textbook publishers.

It seems to me that textbooks are perhaps just one of the problems. I'm not knocking your efforts. One of my neighbors is a teacher and she works herself to the nub for her students. I just can't figure out what's wrong with American education.


edit on 201pm3434pm102013 by Bassago because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:48 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


you also say



my career in school textbook publishing,


All I have to say is you should be ashamed of yourself for the crap you turn out at such high prices!

No teacher, but every textbook, left behind.


...The US Department of Education, Jimmy Carter's gift to the teachers' unions, seems even less interested in textbook errors than is NASTA. The DOE Web site is enormous but neither it nor other sites linked to it mention textbook critics like Hubisz or Bennetta. There are 34 mentions of the Hubisz' sponsor, the Packard Foundation, none of them about his study of science textbooks. If the Department of Education is on top of the textbook problem, it is only to cover it up.

Unfortunately, textbooks are crucial to learning. As the American School Board Journal reports, "… between 80 and 90 percent of classroom and homework assignments are textbook-driven…

This is frightening... More generally, the quality of the twelve most popular science textbooks for middle-schoolers is so low, Hubisz concluded, that none had an acceptable level of accuracy. An example of the effect of this inaccuracy, as reported by CNN in 2002:

"For 10 years, William Schmidt, a statistics professor at Michigan State University, has looked at how U.S. students stack up against students in other countries in math and science.

"In fourth-grade, we start out pretty well, near the top of the distribution among countries; by eighth-grade, we're around average, and by 12th-grade, we're at the bottom of the heap, outperforming only two countries, Cyprus and South Africa."

The American School Board Journal also cites Schmidt, who blames U.S. textbooks, "… because the content of textbooks in different countries correlates very closely to what children learn in those countries…" In Schmidt's own words, U.S. "books just do not hold up by international standards."

The results are similar in history. The Christian Science Monitor cited a 2001 US Department of Education report that "…more than half of [American] high-schoolers thought the US fought World War II in partnership with Germany, Japan, or Italy. Sixty-five percent couldn't link the Boston Tea Party to the American Revolution." These data about American high-school students came to mind when I happened to read an article by an 18-year-old woman who is pushing to lower the voting age to 16. Frightening, indeed. (In the young woman's defense, it may be that she merely thought her campaign would look good on her college applications -- "soccer: 2,3,4; French club: 3,4; amended the Constitution: 4." Colleges just eat that sort of thing up.)

It is not as if the schools have no alternative to these cheesy and expensive textbooks. As Bennetta pointed out, there are dozens of solid historians today, "writing trenchant books of history and biography, free of ideological claptrap." And there are thousands of books available to schools for free, over the "interNET." (We may as well finally put all those computers to some good use.) Project Gutenberg, for one, offers nearly 12,000 freebies. Of course, then the public schools might have to settle for writers of the caliber of Thucydides, Gibbon, and Franklin, but every idea has its drawbacks.

Why are public school textbooks so bad? CNN quoted the conclusion of Hubisz' report for the Packard Foundation: "Publishers now employ more people to censor books for content that might offend any organized lobbying group, than they do to check the correctness of facts." Unchecked errors spread: in 1999 the Boston Globe reported, "Some educators have traced the transmission of errors from one textbook to another and compare the process to the spread of a virus through a population." The Globe was too delicate to say so, but this "virus" smacks of plagiarism by textbook authors too rushed, lazy, or inept to research even reputable secondary sources. They settle for stealing from each other....


An exasperated William Bennetta explained why so many teachers accept inferior textbooks from these publishers, "[T]he major schoolbook companies… have long recognized that the teacher corps in America includes some desperate dumbbells, and the companies have learned to produce books that the dumbbells will like." Alistair B. Fraser, a professor of meteorology who runs web sites exposing bad science in textbooks, concluded bleakly, "Apparently, most teachers believe everything they teach." To which I add, why not? Cornell professor Donald Hayes, quoted in the Grandfather Education Report, reported on results of sampling 788 textbooks used between 1860 and 1992: "Honors high school texts are no more difficult than an eighth grade reader was before World War II." (And in an essay written over half a century ago Randall Jarrell complained that 1930's textbooks were much easier than the ones from the 19th century!) So by now our teachers, and their teachers, and their teachers, have been dragged through the same swamp of bad textbooks. They know not what they do, and they know not that they know not.

And the same might be true of the parents, school boards, and the culture at large. It may be that our culture has already dropped below the critical mass necessary to transmit learning, reason, traditions, and values from one generation to the next....



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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Which is precisely why large states, such as Texas, are able to heavily influence textbooks that are eventually adopted by other states. Texas has a relatively small Board of Education that currently is -- and has been ruled by a majority of religious conservatives. A group that has fought tooth and nail to water down science textbooks for our public schools to down play evolution and introduce creationism. The same group that sought to rewrite history books to their revisionist right-winged views.
reply to post by maria_stardust
 


I felt I went on long enough before I got around to saying that, but you're correct. For the sake of efficiency, publishers have gotten in the habit of building and timing their basal National program around the adoption dates of Texas and California, so quite often the book you'll find in Vermont is the book that was written for Texas. And the questionable requests from that state will be built into the teaching materials that a lot of kids see in smaller states.

CCS has its problems, but it can be a way out of that kind of local bias.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:03 PM
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I disagree, but then I have been reading Robin's Invisible Serfs Collar and hanging around with one of the guys who started the Charter Schools in North Carolina.

Most of the people on the science boards I normally spend time on will savage the current education system if given half a chance.
reply to post by crimvelvet
 


I've worked with some NC montessori folks, in science. They're smart. They've been working with big publishers to help make better teaching tools. That is more constructive than flaming on a message board.

Do better, stop ranting and complaining.

In fairness, SE's are expensive as all get out. I wasn't in the meeting.
edit on 8-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:08 PM
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reply to post by greencmp
 


It is not grassroots. It comes from the United Nations. From Rosa Koire, a California bureaucrat -
Common Core is an integral part of UN Agenda 21/Sustainable Development

I don't have a link, since it was just a comment on a science board, but Attorney Robin Eubanks has done a lot of research in education especially Common Core and he also said it is coming from the United Nations.

From Robin:

I can still remember the sense of betrayal I felt when I was researching the why of a statewide integrated math mandate. It turned out to be tied into tens of millions in grants to certain universities and state agencies and school districts. All undisclosed to the taxpayers paying for the schools and watching real learning stop for so many students. Later I became a bit of an expert on how a certain part of the National Science Foundation created these conflict ridden abuse of trust partnerships to corrupt math and science instruction in obliging states and districts all over the country. It was part of NSF’s human sciences and behavioral sciences research, but that is never readily identified when you first hear about an NSF grant..... Future Earth Alliance: Where Education, Climate, and Economic Planning are All Cores


In other words the kids were fed crap instead of education as an experiment. And yes this happens. I was the victim of a "Reading Experiment" in grade school that has handicapped me for life. The only reason I can read and write is because my mother taught me at home as best she could.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:11 PM
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The textbook industry is a racket. It has corporate lobbyists paying off wealthy politicians, in an effort to ensure a simple wheel gets re-invented year after year.

Seriously, how long should it take a publishing company to finally get it right, and produce the standard, one authoritative arithmetic or algebra textbook?

Just another example of corporate greed, government corruption, and shady self-serving agendas.

edit on 8-10-2013 by seasoul because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:12 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 





Do better, stop ranting and complaining.


I work with kids every weekend. I have tutored kids for free for FIFTY YEARS so I know how crappy the education system is.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


As a home school parent, I appreciate your views of the system however this common core has in my own opinion a much broader gateway to new education reform. I don.t need to be told which text book must be bought and when. The common core is really a segway into what I believe will be the ultimate break down of the public school system as we know it... yes I know radical me however I do have sane reasons for believing that the way we educate our kids in twenty years will have nothing to do with sending them out to a school that will seem archaic. Think about how many public school are now offering free online schooling, we are constantly bombarded as a nation about how unsafe our children are at school Etc. We Think we know that the bill gates foundation is somehow managing to track every student in the country how true this is I don't know (never really know though... )if you back up and look at the broader pictures happening (re bullying )will see its all a big lead up to another way of schooling via tech and not in a class room... least ways that's how I see it.. So as long as I have the freedom to buy which ever curriculum I want for any particular unique child I have my freedom however
another liberty taken is not cool with me.



posted on Oct, 8 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


Out of curiosity, how do you feel about Apollo buying McGraw-Hill?

I have some experience working with Apollo before, and have a somewhat less than favorable opinion on their brand of venture capitalism. Do you know much about how their ownership has impacted the company?



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by michael22
 

Common Core is about as grassroots as the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, and teachers had about as much input into it as a McDonalds menu.

Common Core was started by Achieve.Inc.

From Wiki:
In the 1990s the "Accountability Movement" began in the US as states started being held to mandatory tests of student achievement, which were expected to demonstrate a common core of knowledge that all citizens should have to be successful.[1] As part of this overarching education reform movement, the nation’s governors and corporate leaders founded Achieve, Inc. in 1996 as a bi-partisan organization to raise academic standards, graduation requirements, improve assessments, and strengthen accountability in all 50 states.[2] The initial motivation for the development of the Common Core State Standards was part of the American Diploma Project (ADP).[3]

Who is Achieve.Inc, you ask?
Chair
Craig R. Barrett
Former CEO/Chairman of the Board
Intel Corporation

Board Members
Mark B. Grier
Vice Chairman
Prudential Financial, Inc.

Governor Bill Haslam
State of Tennessee

Governor Dave Heineman
State of Nebraska

Governor Jay Nixon
State of Missouri

Governor Deval Patrick
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Jeff Wadsworth
President & Chief Executive Officer
Battelle

Chairman Emeritus
Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
Former Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
IBM Corporation

President
Michael Cohen
President
Achieve

Treasurer
Peter Sayre
Controller
Prudential Financial, Inc.

And who funds Achieve.inc?
AT&T Foundation
The Battelle Foundation
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Boeing Company
Brookhill Foundation
Carnegie Corporation of New York
Chevron
The Cisco Foundation
DuPont
The GE Foundation
IBM Corporation
Intel Foundation
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
The Joyce Foundation
The Leona & Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
Lumina Foundation
MetLife Foundation
Microsoft
Nationwide
Noyce Foundation
The Prudential Foundation
Sandler Foundation
State Farm Insurance Companies
Travelers Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

When attempting to research who actually started it, all I could find was this phrase repeated over and over and over again...
"Achieve, Inc., is a Washington, D.C. group formed in 1996 by a group of corporate leaders and some governors who wanted “standards-based education” across states." Finding a list of the corporate leaders and governors has proved to be more time consuming than I am willing to dedicate to this topic.

It was forced down the states throats by demanding that states adopt Common Core or lose federal funding. Upon examination of the "teacher and educator inputs" across various states, it has been shown that the Common Core standards were simply handpicked out of the suggestions, giving the appearance of input but actually just cherry picking to fulfill an outline they had already concieved.

All this without even delving into the problems with Common Core itself. Nice job simply relegating what crimvelvet had pointed out to being a simple rant.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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As a home school parent, I appreciate your views of the system however this common core has in my own opinion a much broader gateway to new education reform. I don.t need to be told which text book must be bought and when. The common core is really a segway into what I believe will be the ultimate break down of the public school system as we know it... yes I know radical me however I do have sane reasons for believing that the way we educate our kids in twenty years will have nothing to do with sending them out to a school that will seem archaic. Think about how many public school are now offering free online schooling, we are constantly bombarded as a nation about how unsafe our children are at school Etc. We Think we know that the bill gates foundation is somehow managing to track every student in the country how true this is I don't know (never really know though... )if you back up and look at the broader pictures happening (re bullying )will see its all a big lead up to another way of schooling via tech and not in a class room... least ways that's how I see it.. So as long as I have the freedom to buy which ever curriculum I want for any particular unique child I have my freedom however another liberty taken is not cool with me.
reply to post by gnosticagnostic
 


I had to quote your entire post because I agree with your entire post, though I'll twist parts of it to show where we came to the same conclusions from different directions.

Home-schooling is superior to private education in most cases, and public education in almost all cases, because you don't need to build a curriculum that might be taught by the school's football coach or by a 20-year-old substitute teacher who also works at the local record store. (In school, I had both.) The main reason for its superiority is that you have chosen to do this and you're so serious about the importance of your child's education that you're willing to forego whatever else you would have done with your day, every day, to tend to the project personally.

Is the development (and inevitable revision) of common core a part of a movement toward "new education reform"? Yes, yes it is. Also, any local high school's math department's weekly meeting is part of a movement toward new education reform. Any weekend meeting that the governor's wife organizes with (gasp) corporate funding and little passed hors d'oeuvres is also part of that movement. Best practices are shared, bad lesson plans are complained about and revised, and so on. Education, like any endeavor, will continue to be changed and argued about. Some of that change is wrong-headed or ill-intentioned, and some of it results in better ideas and real improvement. Hopefully the real improvement will be what survives implementation and review by the brighter teachers and the arguments of the more-engaged students and parents.

Home-school teaching tools are a very interesting subject to me. I see some ad-hoc communities arising online, and I can promise you that the things you use to teach your children, if you discuss that and evangelize for your approach on forums and with other homeschoolers and neighbor parents, that will be talked about and will eventually educate the professional educators and publishers.

To put it another way, home-schooling is contributing to a "new education reform" movement, and I can dig that.


(And yes, teaching is moving online. Colleges will be the first to get hit. Four years of on-campus undergrad at what will then be 50k a year will be a luxury for all but a few in no more than 10 years.)



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 05:11 PM
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Out of curiosity, how do you feel about Apollo buying McGraw-Hill?
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


I'm not troubled in general with private equity coming in and coaching up an inefficient company and taking it public or selling it for a profit. I've worked for publishers owned by private equity. Most of the folks I knew over at Mcgraw were wiped out about a year ago, around the time Apollo came in.

What I do have a problem with is what is seeming more and more universally to be the case. Private equity does not understand publishing. And so everything they try to do to "fix" publishing just makes these companies less profitable and -- what's really important to me -- less effective. We're making worse products, we're not leading in technology, and our products are becoming so ridiculously expensive for the sake of a dollar today that we are tearing our entire industry's pricing model apart.

Was that dramatic? I wasn't intending to be dramatic.

I don't mind greedy. I do mind greedy and bad at it.
edit on 9-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)
edit on 9-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 05:18 PM
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reply to post by michael22
 


My experience with Apollo: they are a "slash and burn" mentality. Rather than slander them with specifics, I can see a future for McGraw-Hill where product quality continuously declines, and where the value of ownership drafts/pay disbursement never weakens.

Apollo is notoriously good at extracting value from a company before selling it off. What can't be gained from business growth will be gained by screwing someone over.

Its a shame....the textbook "industry" already has enough issues.

Thanks for your reply. When I saw who their latest victim was last year, I almost spat out my coffee.



posted on Oct, 9 2013 @ 06:16 PM
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My experience with Apollo: they are a "slash and burn" mentality. Rather than slander them with specifics, I can see a future for McGraw-Hill where product quality continuously declines, and where the value of ownership drafts/pay disbursement never weakens.
reply to post by bigfatfurrytexan
 


Yeah, there are two kinds of private equity. One, like Bain (Romney's co.) or the several PEs that kicked Houghton around for a while, come in and make a company profitable. Other PE's will squeeze every dollar out of a company and then sell the rest for scrap. For example, Rocky Point amusement park's inglorious demise: en.wikipedia.org... That one there incensed me. It's heartbreaking to see a good place turned into a debt zombie and stripped to the frame rails and thrown into the garbage.

The vulture PE usually doesn't show up in publishing, because there are so few resellable assets. They don't own valuable real estate, since most of them lease; they don't own printing presses, they have very few physical holdings. It's sad to hear that's happening to Mcgraw, but honestly, their books were a mess forever. They're probably being saddled with debt from other venture assets, so when they go bankrupt they'll clear a lot of debt off the books of other businesses.

That is the circle of life for businesses, but that doesn't mean it's good for the kids, or the intellectual legacy. I hope you appreciate that we are actually losing the ability to create good books, technically. I used to be able to get someone on the phone at a publisher or a printer who understood the really, really fine points of craftsmanship, but those people are being replaced without consideration for institutional knowledge handoff, because their bosses don't understand what they're doing such harm to. They're too busy tipping over the couches these people sat on, looking for loose change.
edit on 9-10-2013 by michael22 because: (no reason given)





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