Earlier this week, we told you how Scholastic, in response to a campaign led by CCFC and Rethinking Schools, stopped distributing a controversial fourth grade curriculum paid for by the coal industry. More importantly, Scholastic announced that it will review its policies and editorial procedures on all sponsored classroom materials.
It’s a critical moment for anyone who cares about quality education. One of the world’s largest educational publishers is listening to your concerns. And since Scholastic’s commercialization of education runs much deeper than coal, let’s tell Scholastic to end its InSchool Marketing program and stop producing and distributing all corporate-sponsored teaching materials.
Scholastic calls itself the “most trusted name in learning.” But its InSchool Marketing program actually undermines teaching and learning.
Here's how the program works: Corporations pay Scholastic to create teaching materials designed to further “client interests” and create “brand awareness” and “consumer loyalty.” The materials are packaged and distributed by Scholastic as learning opportunities for students, often touting alignment with national standards. For example, Scholastic’s Creativity Power Push curriculum, designed to promote Nestle Push-Up Ice Cream, was packaged as meeting national standards for grades 2-4 in language arts and math. Students were urged to visit a branded website and enter a contest by creating their own design for Push-Up tubes. Other Scholastic clients have included McDonald’s, Cartoon Network, Shell, SunnyD, Disney and the corporate-funded Chamber of Commerce.
This is our best chance yet to convince Scholastic to stop selling out kids. This week, with help from Change.org, we’ve launched a new petition urging Scholastic to retire its InSchool Marketing division. In less than 48 hours, more than 40,000 people have signed on. Will you join them in telling Scholastic to stop promoting “client objectives” to a captive student audience?