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Pearson businesses have a special, privileged role in society: our job is to bring learning to life. We try to create the most effective educational services; the most reliable tests of educational achievement; the most independent and authoritative business news, comment and analysis; the most entertaining and informative books. Here are some examples:

Pearson Education US

School

  • Last year, we reported that Pearson Education's School companies commissioned 21 independent scientific research studies to validate the effectiveness of its mathematics, reading and science products. For example, an independent research firm conducted a study of Pearson Prentice Hall's Algebra 1 and concluded it increased student performance, helping to achieve higher test scores and improve attitudes towards the study of mathematics. The study showed that 53% of students in grades 8-12 using Algebra 1, performing below average at the beginning of the year, improved to average or advanced by the end of the year. In addition, 43% of students performing at average at the beginning of the year improved to advanced levels by the end of the year.
  • Pearson Scott Foresman published an early intervention programme centred on the compelling research of two of the most respected authorities in early literacy. Based on Project Optimise, a five-year longitudinal research study by Dr. Edward J. Kame'enui and Deborah C. Simmons, Pearson Scott Foresman's Early Reading Intervention identifies at-risk children in kindergarten and first grade (ages five and six) and provides intervention to improve reading achievement.

    Research shows the 97% of kindergarten children who were taught with Scott Foresman's Early Reading Intervention experienced faster achievement rates and were able to sustain that level of achievement into second grade. The Early Reading Intervention programme is aligned to the US Department of Education's nationwide literacy initiative, Reading First. Pearson Scott Foresman's new elementary reading programme, Reading Street, is the first of its kind to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act and Reading First.

Higher Education

  • Pearson has pioneered a series of online resources such as MyMath Lab and Math XL - an innovative series of text-specific online courses designed to work with Pearson Addison-Wesley and Pearson Prentice Hall mathematics and statistics textbooks. The system allows college maths students to practice problems and submit assignments online, and the software intervenes to provide assistance if the student is struggling. A white paper commissioned by Pearson Education validates the success of MyMathLab, showing how it has successfully reshaped how the subject is taught and learnt in college courses. The report, 'Making the Grade: A Report on the Success of MyMathLab in Higher Education Math Instruction,' summarises several surveys conducted amongst faculty and student users of MyMathLab, as well as interviews with faculty members and instructors. Colleges and universities around the US are reporting increases in pass rates of 30-40%, as students benefit from learning at their own pace, in their own way.

    Since 2001, approximately 1 million students have been using MyMathLab and MathXL. Last year alone, 350,000 students enrolled in a course using either version, and more than 1,100 colleges and universities are using the programme. One instructor at DeVry University said. "MyMathLab is the best thing that has happened in the 46 years I've been teaching math. For the first time, students are coming to class wanting to learn."

    Pearson has other Lab curricula including MyPhysicsLab, MyPsychLab, MyEconLab, MyHistoryLab, MySpeechLab, and more are planned.

Pearson Education Australia

  • In 2005, Pearson Education Australia released a new book, Bullying Solutions, at the National Coalition Against Bullying Conference in Melbourne. The book so impressed the education minister for the state of Victoria that a copy was immediately ordered for every school in the state.
  • The 2005 Pearson Education Australia UniServe Science Teaching Award was won by a team from the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne. Their submission was based on the development of original software that enables students to submit an anonymous draft of an assessment item and receive feedback via reviews from fellow students.

Financial Times Group

The Financial Times newspaper has a strong reputation for incisive and objective news reporting. This commitment dates back to 1908 when Pearson's then proprietor, Lord Cowdray, ventured into the publishing industry by investing in a London newspaper, the Westminster Gazette. He believed that the purpose of the paper was to be an independent voice in the community and this value has stood firm ever since.

The FT and its network of business newspapers and websites are an important channel for helping to shape the debate on key political, economic and social issues. The FT Group also plays an important part in raising the profile of various causes and campaigning organisations. For example:

  • The FT is partner to a number of not-for-profit organisations such as the UK's Business in the Community and The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum. Both are committed to promoting and advancing responsible business behaviour and the FT has used its publishing voice to bring their work to a wider audience, helping to put social responsibility on the mainstream business agenda.
  • Last year the FT's Asia edition published a special report on the Pakistan earthquake. The eight page supplement focused on the challenge facing the government and its citizens in seeking to rebuild the affected region. In addition, the FT donated over 200,000 worth of advertising space to support a variety of causes, including the Disasters Emergency Committee, the Red Cross and Unicef for their relief efforts following the tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake.
  • The FT's journalism attracted many accolades in 2005 including several awards for reporting of social issues. Awards included: Newspaper Feature of the Year Award from the Work Foundation Awards in 2005 for its special report entitled Reinventing Retirement; FT journalist Amy Kazmin won first prize in the magazine category of the Human Rights Press Awards jointly organised by the FCC and Amnesty International, for her piece entitled 'Deliver them from evil'; FT journalist Fiona Harvey was honoured by the Foreign Press Association for Environment Story of the Year, for a piece on climate change sceptics.
  • Research by Futerra, a specialist sustainable development communications agency, found the FT provided the most balanced reporting on climate change issues. The findings were based on a review of 320 UK national newspaper climate change articles between August and November 2005, including 63 from the FT.
  • The FT is sponsor to The European-Atlantic Movement (TEAM), a charity that aims to promote understanding and discussion of European, transatlantic and world affairs to sixth formers and teachers. As a non-political organisation, this partnership fits well with the FT's independence as a newspaper.
  • FTSE, a joint venture between Pearson and the London Stock Exchange, includes a series of 'socially responsible indices' alongside their financial products. The FTSE4Good Index series is designed for use by retail SRI fund products and for fulfilling institutional mandates. All licensing revenues from FTSE4Good indices are donated to UNICEF.

The Penguin Group

Since Allen Lane founded Penguin in 1935, the company has championed free speech, never afraid to court controversy along the way. For example, in 1960 Penguin published the first unabridged version of Lady Chatterley's Lover and more recently in 2000, Penguin defended author Deborah Lipstadt in court against holocaust denier, David Irving. Here are some examples from last year, of the way Penguin continues this tradition of bravery, freedom of expression and a commitment to raising awareness of social issues:

  • Rough Guides, our travel guide imprint, published and printed two million copies of The Rough Guide to a Better World in 2005, in partnership with the Development Awareness Fund of the Department for International Development. The not-for-profit book was distributed free via post offices in the UK. Last year, Rough Guides also published The Rough Guide to Ethical Shopping.
  • In 2005, Penguin lent its voice to the fight to end extreme poverty, teaming up with the key campaigners leading the debate: The Commission for Africa, Professor Jeffrey Sachs of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and Make Poverty History, to publish three major books on the subject. Our Common Interest: An Argument (Commissions for Africa) and The End of Poverty (Professor Jeffrey Sachs) dealt with the issues at the heart of the global G8 Summit. Make Poverty History sold on a not-for-profit basis with 25p from the sale of each copy going towards the Make Poverty History campaign.
  • At the end of the year, Penguin published Free Expression Is No Offence in association with English PEN, as part of their campaign of the same title. English PEN exists to uphold writers' freedoms around the world; to campaign against the persecution and imprisonment of writers for stating their views and to promote the friendly co-operation of writers and the free exchange of their ideas. The book launched on 10 December 2005 to coincide with the United Nation's Human Rights Day, highlighting Penguin's ongoing commitment to the fundamental right of freedom of expression.
  • Puffin supports many literacy and educational charities around Britain. These include the 7-Stories Centre for the Children's Book in Newcastle, which help with resources for teachers' centres in Britain and Ireland. Every two years, Puffin works with Comic Relief to produce a special picture book for young children. In 2004, it was an Angelina Ballerina story and in 2006 it will be a book by top children's illustrator, Lauren Child. All proceeds go to Comic Relief, a charity which aims to end poverty and social injustice. In 2005, Puffin teamed up with the Football League, the Department for Education and Skills and the National Literacy Trust on an exciting new initiative, 'Playing with Words,' and through a donation of 10,000, used football and footballers to encourage boys and girls aged 9-13 to read. Puffin provided posters, stickers and a reading journal for the children to record their reading activities. The pilot scheme is currently in full flow with six schools participating in the test run.
  • Annually, Penguin is one of several major World Book Day contributors. This is a charity that aims to introduce all children to the magic of reading. One element of this is the production of a small selection of books by the country's very best children's writers and illustrators, priced at just 1.
  • Penguin is proud to be the UK publisher of Anne Frank's Diary. The company also contributes to the Anne Frank Exhibition, which travels the country educating young people about the need for tolerance and the issues of bullying and racial hatred.
  • Dorling Kindersley has a history of publishing partnerships with charities including the Royal Horticultural Society, The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and St John Ambulance. DK has also developed a special relationship with UNICEF, publishing books to raise awareness of the UN's Convention of the Rights of the Child. In 2005, Dorling Kindersley published the paperback edition of Stars at Bedtime, a selection of children's short stories chosen by celebrities, with donations from the book going to St George's Hospital in the UK.
  • Penguin Australia lends its publishing voice to raise awareness of various causes. One example is a series of anthologies entitled Girls' Night In and Kids' Night In. Every book sold includes a royalty donation to War Child, an international relief and development agency dedicated to providing effective and sustainable aid to children affected by war. To date, this publishing programme in Australia has raised over 210,000 for the charity.

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