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Posted at 2:54 PM ET, 06/ 8/2010

Branding Montgomery County schools

By Washington Post editors

Montgomery County Public Schools could soon become a brand sold around the country, under a contract with an education publisher approved by the Board of Education Tuesday afternoon.

Pearson Education, one of the country's largest education publishers, and the Montgomery schools will develop an elementary school curriculum together. Pearson will hold the copyright, give $2.25 million to the school system to support the initial development and pay royalties to the school system afterward. The publisher hopes to market the curriculum nationally under the Montgomery County Public Schools' name.

The school system had independently embarked on developing the curriculum, which officials said would give more time to social studies, art and other subjects during the school day. But school officials said the money from the publisher would accelerate the implementation and would also help develop tests that inform the instruction.

Stay with for more details.

-- Michael Birnbaum

By Washington Post editors  | June 8, 2010; 2:54 PM ET
Categories:  Maryland  | Tags:  board of education, montgomery county schools  
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Read the contract here and see how the Board of Education bypassed their rule to hold new business until the next meeting:

Posted by: jzsartucci | June 8, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Question: Do MCPS and Pearson realize that the Department of Education is authorized to publish and distribute any copyrightable materials produced with Department grant funds even if a grantee or other party copyrights those materials.

Just exactly how do Pearson/MCPS think they are going to make money on this?

Posted by: ontarget1 | June 8, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Here are some highlights of the contract language:

"Pearson will provide development funds to MCPS to pay for positions in the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Programs (OCIP) to accelerate development of the new curriculum. Pearson will market and sell the curriculum and MCPS will receive royalties from the sale of the curriculum."

In addition, the contract language states that "Montgomery County is a high achieving urban school district."

The contract language also states that "MCPS shall provide staff resources..."

And, contract language states that 'Publisher (i.e., Pearson) shall be able to use MCPS name, marks, logo, and other indicia ("MCPSMark") on the Program to identify MCPS as one of the authors of the Program: and "Publisher may use MCPS Marks in connection with advertising, promotion, and sale of the Program."

Section 7.A requires MCPS staff to "be present at such times and places as Publisher may reasonably specify in order to attest to the efficacy and of the Program without additional compensation" and to "promote the adoption of the Program in other school systems nationwide."

The contract goes on to state that "Publisher may use MCPS specified classrooms to (i) demonstrate or showcase the program and (ii) to validate/field test the Program..." This section goes on to discuss the possibility of the "disruption of the education of the children in the classroom..."

Posted by: freestategal | June 8, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

and lest we forget, this is the 'CEO' that the Post was touting just a few short months ago. Again, Mr. Hiatt, please step up and take responsibility. Thanks to you we now have this BOE-approved contract to be inked.

Posted by: freestategal | June 8, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

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