The following is a letter to Sandi Kirshner, Executive Vice President at Pearson Higher Education, regarding the decision made by the Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Northern Colorado to quit buying Pearson textbooks for Spanish 101 and Spanish 102. Please continue to publicize the Pearson Boycott by sharing this post. Be sure to share it at Pearson’s new FB page.
Well done Department of Hispanic Studies at UNC and thank you Don Perl for sharing this letter. More information about Don Perl and his work with the Coalition for Better Education can be found at thecbe.org.
Executive Vice President
Pearson Higher Education
75 Arlington Street
Boston, MA 02116
May 23, 2012
Dear Sandi Kirshner:
I appreciate your detailed response received on May 22nd to my questions regarding Pearson’s “philosophy of education.” Here in Hispanic Studies at the University of Northern Colorado we have discussed in some depth the most appropriate direction for implementing resources for our Spanish language students.
I think a bit of professional information about me is relevant at this time. As a middle school teacher in the academic year 2000 – 2001, I was charged with administering high stakes standardized testing to my inner city students. I studied the issue in considerable depth and after much deliberation decided that I could not, in good faith, administer these tests and still consider myself a professional educator. That act of civil disobedience began a journey to raise the awareness of the citizenry of the dangers posed by high stakes standardized testing. Enclosed please find a copy of the letter dated January 16, 2001, stating the reasons for that refusal.
We started a coalition, we forwarded a ballot initiative, we have advertised on billboards on the roadways of Colorado advising parents of their rights as their children face high stakes standardized testing, and have played a part in crafting legislation to take a bit of the onus off the testing regimen.
In view of this mission and our moral opposition to the dangers inherent in high stakes standardized testing, and in contemplation of Pearson’s involvement in the creation of these tests now so ubiquitous throughout the nation’s public schools, we must look to other publishing houses to provide our students with the necessary resources for Spanish language acquisition.
Department of Hispanic Studies
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, Colorado 80639
cc Seth Osburn – Pearson Publishing – 16816 South First Avenue, Phoenix, AZ 85045