A new video released by the undercover investigators with James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas reveals a former textbook-publishing executive claiming that contracts for major projects are rigged and that the industry “is more about politics and money than education.”
In the latest video in a series about Common Core, Gilbert Garcia, who worked for Houghton Mifflin for more than 30 years, discussed a $1 billion-plus contract for iPads and curriculum to be delivered to students in the Los Angeles Unified District.
“I’m going to share this, but it never came from me, the reality was that the evaluations that were done on all the supposed competitors, Pearson was not the real winner, yet Pearson got the contract,” he said.
The 2013 deal was sought by many textbook publishers, he said, but Pearson, the country’s largest textbook publisher, got the money based on pre-determined factors.
“You have a conflict of interest, you have an evaluation that led to the selection of a company that wasn’t even clearly the number one company,” said Garcia.
The evaluation, he explained, “was done behind closed doors.”
“Thanks to these undercover videos, we’ve continued to inject faces into the Common Core debate,” said O’Keefe. “In an extraordinary sequence of events, Project Veritas released three Common Core corruption videos and three Common Core executives have been fired. But so far, none of this has been mentioned on the cable networks. There will be no journalism awards, but we have exposed and will continue to expose how the book publishers are all about the money with no regard for the actual needs of our children, how corporate cronyism and underhanded political deals have contributed to Common Core’s massive disruption and the unraveling of America’s educational fabric, and how taxpayer dollars are used with little accountability to enrich the major book publishing companies.”
Project Veritas said it was not the first time its journalists found a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt executive “revealing that the publishing industry prioritizes profits and politics before education.”
“It’s never about the kids,” is how Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Strategic Account Manager Amelia Petties described the textbook industry’s prioritization of profits over students in a previous video.
Her statement echoed the comments of her colleague, Dianne Barrow, who was featured in the first Project Veritas Common Core video. Barrow’s employment with Houghton-Mifflin was terminated at the time of the video’s release.
The group had revealed Barrow, the West Coast accounts manager for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, saying: “You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education do you? No. They’re in it for the money. The fact that they have to align the educational standards is what they have to do to sell the books.”
At the time, Houghton-Mifflin CEO Linda Zelcher told the London Daily Mail that she was “appalled.”
“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,” her statement said.
When Project Veritas spoke to Kim Koerber, a former Pearson executive who worked with the company for more than 20 years, the group reported, she agreed that the Los Angeles bidding contract was rigged in Pearson’s favor.
“The contract was written for Pearson to win. … All the companies knew that. … Everybody knew that it was written for Pearson,” said Koerber.
WND reported Koerber also stated, “Dead white guys did not create this country.”
O’Keefe said that her statements to Project Veritas journalists included, “Damn the Second Amendment,” and, “People that are not educated, Fox TV viewers, think that Common Core comes from the educated liberal groups, and that’s why they are against it.”
Common Core has been a flashpoint for conservatives for years, and lawmakers in some states have started backing away from its Washington-mandated social viewpoints.
See one earlier video:
In this election year, it’s getting even more attention, with GOP front-runner Donald Trump warning: “Nobody can win when you’re in favor of Common Core. It’s a disaster.”
WND reported another video showed education book industry insiders who “hate kids” and push a “bulls–t” system to “sell books.”
Project Veritas also videoed a Brooklyn, New York, school teacher identified as Jodi Cohen talking about Common Core standards, which are used in more than 40 states.
“It’s a joke. … It’s bulls–t. The thing is, what they do is they create some new f–king system that f–king sucks to sell more books, and then we have to learn something new with the students,” Cohen said, the Daily Mail reported.
In her video, Koerber said Common Core “doesn’t put up with” Republicans who want to get into the education system and talk about their priorities.
She said the strong opposition comes because people “don’t like being told what to do by people they don’t agree with.”
She said Common Core needs to teach children about prostitution, citing the decades-old “Gunsmoke” program and its “Kitty” character.
“Our kids need to know that that’s what it was like, you know,” she said.