Textbook Publishers Being “In It For The Money” Isn’t a Real Surprise

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:

4 thoughts on “Textbook Publishers Being “In It For The Money” Isn’t a Real Surprise

  1. Mr. Vander Hart. WE seem to both have the same vision. However, I find it repugnant to say that one speaks for all. I work in publishing and have for the past 14 years been very proud to represent National Geographic as well as Hampton-Brown. Both shared a vision to unite the world through rich content and strong research based curricula. I currently work for Ripple Effects which, I and the company, put most of our money back into for development to end bullying, prevent substance abuse and help students achieve resilience. I must confess, there are those who are in it for the money. However, my friends who are at all levels of administration in some of the largest districts in the US, can vouch for me and my team. I find it appalling that you took a drunk woman and an obviously short term (1 year?) sales person who “hates kids” to represent ALL publishers and those of us who are passionate. I wish you well in your development of bettering ub-biased journalistic perspectives. Schools and kids don’t need schisms right now, WE all need unity. Loving our neighbors as ourselves.

    1. Shawn, I think you need to reread what I said about this video as I made some similar points.

  2. Shane, You worded this article just as you should have. You pointed out that it was highly unlikely she had insider knowledge, no evidence of the belief this is company wide, no involvement in the creation or implementation of the standards. That text book publishers are in business to make money just like any other company. You admitted the information in this video doesn’t advance the cause regardless of how bad it is. In no way was I left with the impression that you “lumped” all publisher’s together,nor did I conclude that you had anything to do with this video. You pointed out very clearly in the first paragraph, the details and involvement of who and how this video surfaced and summarized it with articulate reasoning and understanding. Very well done,sir.

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