James O’Keefe, a conservative activist who runs an organization called Project Veritas, is well known for undercover video work he has done in the past. He has turned his attention to the Common Core State Standards. The subject of his first video is Dianne Barrow who is a former accounts manager for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
“I’m in it to sell books. Don’t even kid yourself for a heartbeat,” Barrow told an undercover representative of Project Veritas.
“It’s all about the money. What are you, crazy? It’s all about the money,” Barrow added. “You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you? No, they’re in it for the money.”
She also admitted that she hates kids.
Let’s take a step back. How long was Barrow with the HMH? The Daily Mail reports that their CEO said less than a year.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s CEO, Linda Zecher, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday morning that her company ‘is as appalled by these comments as we expect readers will be.’
‘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.’
‘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.
It is highly unlikely that she had any insider knowledge of the company and there isn’t evidence that this is a belief that is held company-wide. Barrow also had nothing to do with the creation, adoption and implementation of the standards.
What was revealed is that textbook publishers, in particular account managers, do what they do for money. Does this really surprise anyone? It shouldn’t they are, after all, a for-profit business. Will this knowledge advance our cause? Not really. It sounds bad (because it is bad), but regardless of what the standards are textbook and curriculum publishers are in the business of making money.
Here’s the video below: