Maggie Wilson Author

Historical Non-Fiction in Northern Ontario

Pearson’s Wrong Answer

I’m in the process of writing a letter to the dean of my college to “reflect” upon my experience as a mature student. While I am grateful that this reblogged post supports my experience of faulty material in the curriculum, it makes me heartsick.

My theory: the textbooks are revised almost on an annual basis so that schools and students are obliged to purchase each year. In the process of revision, errors are made and not caught. Until the test.

It’s all about money.

This is infuriating.


Updated(Oct. 10): Pearson responded to this post in the comments section. SeePearson’s Apology.

Last Friday morning, my fourth grader handed me her “Thursday folder” shortly before we needed to head to the bus stop. I was glad to see a perfect spelling test, and a bunch of excellent math assignments and math tests. Time was short, however, so I flipped to the wrong answers. And sprinkled among the math tests, I came across two wrong answers that caused me concern.

The first problem was this:

Now, I looked at this problem before I’d had my morning coffee, and I wasn’t sure at first that I wasn’t just missing something. So I posted this picture to my Facebook feed, and asked my friends to confirm that I wasn’t crazy.

But my daughter was right: if Curtis walked three miles a day for 26 weeks, Curtis did in fact walk…

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20 replies

  1. This post was a bigger education for me because I didn’t appreciate the significance of standardized testing. It has often frustrated me to not have access to the results of tests after the fact … but it never occurred to me that errors like this were being made.


    • Hi Joanne. I hadn’t given anything to the standardized tests, either.

      The name “Pearson” jumped out at me when I was scanning the Freshly Pressed selections and found Parenting the Core’s blog. It is the name associated with most of my online text books. I thought that the errors that I encountered were recent, isolated, exceptional occurrences. Not so much, to my dismay. You see, I thought that I might get some action from the school if I suggested, “Please! Ya gotta do something!” I’m afraid that errors like this are now expected and considered “par for the course”, you should excuse the pun.


  2. You are right, Maggie – it’s all about the money, and when the federal gov’t bureaucracy is in charge it’s all about the POLITICAL money. It doesn’t matter which party rules, the Dept of Education and Dept of Health and Human Services award exclusive software and service contracts primarily based on whether the company’s owners have been political donors to ‘the party’. Competency and accountability are rarely factors affecting those decisions even when significant failures come to light.

    Following the money used to be easier when we had journalists who cared about facts and investigative reporting.

    Now it takes voices like this Mother and who in power listens?


    • Who in power listens? No one. Their kids have guaranteed jobs, if they want or need them.


      • Yup. As I just wrote on Almost Iowa’s post, this must be my month for bitching. I’m fed up to the ceiling with the incompetence of nearly everything the federal gov’t controls and now we gotta vote “for” this utterly broken federal system one more election cycle.

        I just looked at the Pearson website. Lots of promises and feel goods about changing the world, longevity contracts in hand! Your bitch about textbooks was my bitch 30 years ago. The day the Dept of Education was established was the day education in the US began its decline.


  3. I think it may even be worse than the idea of money and contracts corrupting the education system. When you talk about ‘standardizing’ an education you are really talking about standardizing children. In the case of special needs kids getting access to a better quality of instruction that might be ok. But let’s be honest. That isn’t the real intent. The real intent is to treat our children like units on an assembly line. It is about industrializing child development. And since all children are not created equally that means it reinforces the class structure.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That is such a good video, and thought provoking! I do hope ‘the powers that be’, listen!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Money makes the world confound. You called it, Maggie. It makes dollars but no sense!

    Liked by 1 person

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