Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Education Publisher Fires Sales Executive After She Spoke Candidly About What Her Business Is All About
Project Veritas' James O'Keefe strikes again with another undercover video investigation. His target this time is Dianne Barrow, a high-ranking sales executive with giant education publisher Houghton Mifflin. Barrow, the west coast sales manager for the education publisher, told O'Keefe, "I'm in it to sell books," Barrow said of the controversial Common Core standards. "Don't even kid yourself for a hearbeat." "It's all about the money." She added, "I hate kids."
Bianca Olson, Sr. Vice President for Houghton Mifflin, told the Daily Mail today that Barrow had been terminated following the release of the video. "These statements in no way reflect the views of HMH and the commitment of our over 4,000 employees who dedicate their lives to serving teachers and students every day," Olson said. "'The individual who made these comments is a former employee who was with HMH for less than a year," she added, referring to Barrow's firing on Tuesday.
In the video, Barrow is heard saying she worked for the nation's largest education publisher, Pearson Education, before joining Houghton Mifflin. "And I've worked for Pearson," Barrow said. "Oh yeah, everybody has worked for Pearson." "It owns the world, you know," Barrow said. "They just do underhanded things." Pearson, of course, is the company Indiana just hired at a cost of $27 million a year to conduct Indiana's ISTEP test after it sacked its prior vendor, McGraw Hill.
Advance Indiana readers may also recall that Houghton Mifflin's name has come up in the investigation of former Chicago School CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from another education vendor, SUPES Academy. Recent news reports indicate that federal prosecutors in Chicago are also looking at Byrd-Bennett's past relationship with Houghton Mifflin, which provided her free trips after the company was awarded a $40 million contract from the Detroit public schools while Byrd-Bennett was employed there. Houghton Mifflin had also employed Byrd-Bennett for a short period of time in a six-figure job when she was in between education jobs in Cleveland and Detroit. She returned to work for the company after she left her job in Detroit before taking her new job in Chicago.