Textbook Vendor: Common Core Standards ‘All About the Money’

Published February 3, 2016

An undercover journalist for a nonprofit organization captured candid video of a national textbook company’s sales executive making inflammatory remarks about federal Common Core standards and textbook companies’ support of them.

Project Veritas, a nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct,” interviewed now-former Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Accounts Manager Dianne Barrow about why educational publishing companies generally support the federal education standards.

‘What Are You, Crazy?’

“You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for the education, do you?” Barrow said in the recording. “It’s all about the money. What are you, crazy? It’s all about the money.

“I hate kids,” Barrow said later in the video. “I’m in it to sell books. Don’t even kid yourself for a heartbeat.”

Gilbert Sewall, director of the American Textbook Council, an independent national research organization established in 1989 to review and monitor the history textbooks used in government schools, says Barrow’s candid remarks are not surprising.

“Textbook companies [and] publishers are in business to make a profit,” Sewall said. “Textbook publishers are subsidized; their buyers are governments. The word I have for you, the word which captures my view of textbook publishers, is ‘mercenary.’ They are in the business of selling what teachers and curriculum supervisors want to buy.”

Qui Bono?

Stephen Gordon, a spokesman for Project Veritas, says most of the support for Common Core is based on financial concerns, not pedagogical ones.

“Almost every teacher I know hates Common Core,” Gordon said. “There are a lot of liberals speaking out against Common Core. There is even a lot of opposition within various teachers’ unions. It seems the only people who benefit from Common Core are the publishing companies and the politicians to whom they send their donations.”

Gordon says he hopes his organization’s undercover journalism gets people talking about education reform.

“We’d like to see politicians at all levels making Common Core more of a priority,” Gordon said. “If Common Core became a hot debate topic among the presidential candidates, the mainstream media would be forced to provide the issue the coverage it deserves.”

Andrea Dillon ([email protected]) writes from Holly Springs, North Carolina.

Internet Info:

“Undercover Common Core Video: Executive Says ‘I Hate Kids, It’s All About The Money,'” Project Veritas: http://www.projectveritas.com/posts/news/undercover-common-core-video-executive-says-i-hate-kids-its-all-about-money/