Can Pearson, Flush With $2 Billion in Cash, Buy Trust?

WHAT WILL PEARSON DO WITH $2 BILLION after selling The Financial Times and its stake in The Economist Group? In an op-ed, the company’s chief executive John Fallon outlined plans to invest in digital learning, increasing access to affordable education, and “edupreneurs” as part of the company’s “focus on what we see as our own biggest growth opportunity—the global demand for better skills.”

The company knows it has to overcome image issues, and has invested heavily to demonstrate proof that learning tools can deliver desired student outcomes. But despite these intentions, Pearson may still have a hard time improving its brand, opines NPR’s Anya Kamenetz. Not having viable competitors might can actually hurts trust, she writes, and “what might really improve perceptions of the company and conditions for learners is more good old-fashioned market competition. After all, how many other education companies are sitting on billions of dollars?

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