Controversy Over Scholastic Sponsorships Goes Beyond Coal
May 24, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

One of the major reasons why it is important to have public-sector involvement in the production of learning materials is that you can't trust the private sector to stay focused on the learning. If there's money to be made, say, by selling a particular message, they'll sneak it in. Thus we see material distributed by Scholastic Corporation recently influenced by the pro-Coal lobby. And while they've backed off on the Coal Lobby, "Scholastic's InSchool Marketing clients have included the Cartoon Network, Claritin, SunnyD, Disney, and McDonald's." And for how long will Scholastic remain this contrite: "We acknowledge that the mere fact of sponsorship may call into question the authenticity of the information, and therefore conclude that we were not vigilant enough as to the effect of sponsorship in this instance?" Total: 190
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