College & Workforce Readiness

Anticipating Profits From Common Standards

By Catherine Gewertz — March 29, 2010 1 min read

As you know, the common standards are up for public comment through the end of this week (more than 5,000 comments so far, sources tell me). While lots of debate has focused on whether the standards cover the right stuff, whether their level of rigor is appropriate, and whether they were developed in a sufficiently transparent way, a bit less conversation has centered on the standards’ potential as a business venture.

Not that no one’s talked about it. The potential profits to be made from designing curriculum materials and assessments for the standards have been a trigger for skepticism from the beginning, especially when some of the companies who can gain from that venture, such as the College Board and ACT Inc., were included in the writing teams for the project. And in this story, we quote a publishing association exec being pretty blunt about the business opportunities inherent in the common standards venture.

Along those lines comes this story from the Wall Street Journal, quoting a top exec at Pearson in a similar vein. We should hasten to add here that state standards, as well, have always represented business for testing companies, textbook publishers, and the like. Nothing new there.

Thoughts?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.