chapter  7
Corporate Social Responsibility and Neo-Social Accountability in Education: The Case of Pearson plc
Pages 18

Our analysis shows that the rapid expansion of Pearson’s education work, and indeed their aim to help shape educational policy agendas globally, has been enabled by the restructuring of the state within nations. is restructuring has witnessed a move beyond New Public Management to what has been called network or “heterarchical governance” (Ball and Junemann 2012), opening up a policy space for the prot making of edu-businesses. As Koppenjan and Klijn (2004: 25) observe, today “[g]overnment is understood to be located alongside business and civil society actors in a complex game of public policy formation, decision-making and implementation.” Some have seen this as the quasi-privatization of the education policy community (Mahony et al. 2004), with edu-business involvement across many aspects of the education policy cycle, from agenda setting through research for policy to text production, policy enactment, evaluation, professional development, and the provision of supporting materials. We also note how international organizations have opened up spaces for the involvement of edu-businesses such as Pearson. For example, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has employed contractors to help develop the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) tests, including Pearson, and more recently Pearson’s former philanthropic arm, the Pearson Foundation, sponsored the dissemination of videos and reports highlighting what nations might learn from schooling systems that perform well on PISA or have used PISA to drive successful reform initiatives. Pearson abolished this Foundation in late 2014, and its

functions, which can be characterized as a form of “philanthrocapitalism” (Bishop and Green 2008), have been incorporated into their main business strategy under the rubric of CSR, which is now a central dening feature of the company’s new culture and raison d’être.