Can Pearson Education Stay Relevant?
The largest education company in the world, Pearson Education, has endured recent setbacks. Sales are down roughly 4 percent this quarter and 10 percent of the Pearson workforce has been laid off. Needless to say, it’s been a rough year. The anti-testing movement that is sweeping the nation is no doubt to blame for the decline in Pearson profits.
U.S. News spoke to Pearson CEO John Fallon about the future of the company and what changes will be instituted to continue to help people progress in life via learning. Fallon states the next three to five years will be when new products will be released that Pearson has been working on.
One area of focus will be placed on bridging the gap between high school, college and career. Pearson plans to work closely with high school and community colleges to assist in dual credit courses and develop programs that directly involve employers. Working with employers to identify skills gaps will aid Pearson in creating courses that will address the gaps and prepare students more thoroughly. Another focus in the next few years will be on providing online courses to students via partner colleges. The third area of growth will be on personalized adaptive learning, so that educators will be able to assess in real-time how their students are performing and how best they can alter their instruction to increase mastery learning.
With the Every Student Succeeds Act, each student in grades three through eight and once in high school will be assessed to measure progress. This doesn’t automatically mean more business for companies like Pearson, though. Immediate, actionable feedback is necessary for students to actually benefit from the assessments in real time. So the challenge for Pearson and other major assessment companies is to administer smarter tests, with actionable diagnostic data will be available to teachers immediately.