And do note, this article came out the day before the President-elect named Betsy DeVos as his choice for Secretary of Education.
DeVos is a staunch opponent of the 'Common Core' curriculum.
From the Wall Street Journal Nov. 22, 2016:
Big education company miscalculated in its investment in a digital curriculum
Pearson PLC, the world’s largest education company, made a major miscalculation on the Common Core academic standards, expecting a windfall that failed to materialize as it headed into a downward spiral in sales, stock price and staff.On December 1st 2015 there appeared at the daily FT Alphaville Markets Live the following which we memorialized in a December 30 post wrapped with a video, brief introduction and picture:
The company’s Common Core strategy ran into trouble on two fronts: It struggled to develop and deliver new digital courses on time, as the academic standards themselves faced a political backlash in which several states pulled out.
Pearson’s strategy included a digital curriculum for the common academic standards approved by most U.S. states starting in 2010, and a vigorous pursuit of standardized testing contracts that backfired. Those were among several factors that hurt the U.K.-based Pearson, exacerbating a decline in U.S. college textbook sales that company executives say is the primary culprit for its problems.
Pearson’s share price has declined 32% over three years and sales have fallen in three of the past four. It has laid off thousands of employees. Investment analysts have predicted that Chief Executive John Fallon could be replaced if the situation doesn’t turn around.
Mr. Fallon, in a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, said Pearson will eventually make money on its Common Core courses and is heading for recovery. “We are testing the patience of our shareholders, and we have to get on and deliver,” he said.
Reduced college enrollment and the closure of some for-profit colleges in the U.S. have cut college textbook sales, Pearson’s largest North American revenue stream. Those problems and others reduced Pearson’s profits by $338 million a year, “which for a company of our size is a lot to absorb,” Mr. Fallon said.
As for Common Core, Pearson invested more than $125 million to build the digital courses, but they are three years behind schedule and haven’t produced returns, current and former executives say. Last year Pearson took a write-down of about $103 million on that and other digital products. Worse yet, its high-profile role in controversial Common Core testing brought a backlash in some states, and it lost several big U.S. contracts.
“The simple fact is that Pearson’s brand is politically toxic in the United States,” Ian Whittaker, an analyst at Liberum Capital Ltd., wrote in January....MORE
Possibly the Funniest (profitable) Thing We Saw In 2015: FT Alphaville's Founder/Editor Channels Mr. Subliminal
For our younger readers, here's Mr. Subliminal on Donald Trump cheating on his wife Ivana in 1990:
And here's FT Alphaville's editor, Paul Murphy,
on former FT Alphaville owner Pearson and its stock, Dec. 1, the day the Financial Times was handed over to Nikkei, while appearing to be having a normal conversation with Alphavillein Bryce Elder:
Yesterday the stock closed at 783.91, making the Dec. 1, '15 sell rec at 832 look good but the thing I'm wondering is: Can PSON revisit the 657.50 it closed at on Jan. 20 of this year?