Society

Executives At School Textbook Publisher Slam Kids, Praise Money (Video)

| by Michael Allen
Dianne BarrowDianne Barrow

Former and present executives from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a major publisher of school textbooks, were caught on hidden video (below) insulting children and praising money.

The videos were filmed by Project Veritas, an organization started by conservative filmmaker James O'Keefe, who tried to spin the executives' comments as being an indictment of Common Core educational standards.

However, the videos turned out to be a first-hand look at the greed inside the for-profit textbook industry that has existed for years.

In a video released on Jan. 12, former Houghton Mifflin Harcourt executive Dianne Barrow laughs and says, "I hate kids."

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"It's all about the money," Barrow adds. "What are you, crazy? It's all about the money."

"You don't think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you?" Barrow continues. "No, they're in it for the money."

Later in the video, Barrow says that school textbook publishing companies did not lobby for Common Core standards to be put in place but seems to imply they did lobby for business afterwards.

"Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is as appalled by these comments as we expect readers will be," Houghton Mifflin Harcourt CEO Linda Zecher told Talking Points Memo on Jan. 12. "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."

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt's senior vice president Bianca Olson told the Daily Mail that Barrow "has been terminated."

Another Houghton Mifflin Harcourt executive, identified by ProjectVeritas.com as Amelia Petties, was caught on a second undercover video released on Jan 14.

“It’s never about the kids,” Petties laughs in the video.

“And slapping a new name on it, which in my case I hope they do," Petties adds. "...Then I can sell a s--- ton of training around whatever you’re calling it.”

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has not yet issued a comment about Petties.

Other people caught in the undercover sting videos include teachers and educators who repeatedly say how the textbook publishers are making big money since Common Core was adopted. However, the publishers were raking in the cash before Common Core, noted Wired.com in a 2012 report.

Sources: ProjectVeritas.com (2), Talking Points Memo, Daily Mail, Wired.com / Photo Credit: ProjectVeritas.com Screenshot