How Chemical Is NC’s Romance With The “Privatisation” of Public Educational Data?

Last month a publication concerning the influence of Pearson Education was released entitled “Pearson 2025: Transforming teaching and privatising educational data.”


It’s startling to read and yet it’s not so hard to conceive of the conclusions that both researchers come to. And yes, “privatising” is correctly spelled as Pearson is based in London and their reach is incredibly far reaching across the globe.

For many people that reach is too far. And the hold is too tight.

Pearson’s hold on educational data seems to be evolving more and more. And in the world of standardized testing, concepts like “data-driven” and “personalized learning” mixed in with virtual classrooms and technology create the best conditions for a company like Pearson to have a stronger hold here in North Carolina.

Consider the following quotes from our state superintendent:

“We will continue to use data-driven analyses, including feedback from classroom teachers, to drive changes ….” – Mark Johnson in October of 2018 concerning the report on the ineffectiveness of Read to Achieve.

“At DPI, we want to transform our education system to one that uses 21st century best practices so students and educators have access to unique learning experiences personalized for their individual needs and aspirations.” – Mark Johnson from “North Carolina Public Schools Accelerating into 2018” in December of 2017 on

New, personalized learning technology allows teachers to get the information they need about students’ progress without high-stakes testing. Especially in the early grades, progress checks can feel like a normal, engaging lesson instead of an examination. In many cases, students won’t even know we are checking in on their progress.” – Mark Johnson from “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna test it anymore!” in January of 2019 on

Then consider DPI’s relationship with SAS, a private company that generates the School Report Cards, EVAAS Data, and the NC School Finances website.

And do not think that SAS and Pearson do not know each other.


There’s lots of money to be made in the private handling of public school student data.