The news that Pearson officials have been subpoenaed in a corruption probe by the attorney general's office for allegedly bribing NYSED officials with lavish trips and gifts in order to garner a state testing contract has a bit of an ironic side to it.
Back in the summer, Merryl Tisch bragged that the new state contract with Pearson would allow the Regents and the NYSED to conduct quick, accurate analysis of test results across the state to see if there was any cheating by teachers, administrators, or districts.
So Pearson - the company that's going to make sure the state test results are on the up-and-up and tamper-proofed - engaged in criminal activity in order to get a state testing contract that asks them to make sure nobody engages in criminal activity and cheats.
Well, who better to make sure there's no criminal activity around the state tests than a bunch of corporate criminals who grease the skids with kickbacks and bribes?
The contract with Pearson is much more expensive then the previous state testing contract with McGraw-Hill, btw.
Pearson is slated to receive $32 million over five years (and perhaps even more if the state finds money to add additional standardized ELA and math tests to 9th, 10th and 11th grades, as NYSED Commissioner John King hopes.)
McGraw-Hill received $26 million over eight years for its contract with NY State.
Why the discrepancy in contract amounts?
Perhaps the McGraw-Hill people didn't treat NYSED officials as well Pearson has.