Project Veritas

Two Executives Terminated as O’Keefe Hidden Cam Common Core Videos Force Top Publishing Companies to Respond

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Immediately following the release of two Project Veritas undercover videos that focus on Common Core, top textbook publishing companies are responding. Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt released the following statement after two of their executives were caught on camera, “HMH will not tolerate behavior and conduct that contradicts our values and commitments to learning… The individuals who made these statements are no longer with the company.”

“It’s never about the kids,” is how Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt Strategic Account Manager Amelia Petties reveals how the textbook industry prioritizes profits over students, echoing the comments of her colleague Dianne Barrow who was featured in the first Project Veritas Common Core video of this series. Barrow’s employment with Houghton-Mifflin was terminated at the time of the release of that video.

In the first videoDianne Barrowthe West Coast Accounts Manager for Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt was caught on camera saying, “You don’t think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education do you? No. They’re in it for the money. The fact that they have to align the educational standards is what they have to do to sell the books.” She also added, “I hate kids.”

Houghton-Mifflin CEO Linda Zelcher told the Daily Mail that she was “appalled by these comments.” Zelcher added,“These statements in no way reflect the views of HMH and the commitment of our over 4,000 employees who dedicate their lives to serving teachers and students every day.”

However, the second video released by Project Veritas showed that other Houghton-Mifflin executives actually do share similar views to Barrow regarding Common Core and children. As with other James O’Keefe video series, Project Veritas plans to release additional videos exposing different facets of Common Core.

Pearson, the number one textbook publishing company and profiteer of Common Core also responded to the videos with a similar statement, saying, “The comments in this video in no way represent Pearson’s values or business practices. They are offensive to our 40,000 employees, many of whom are parents, former teachers, or students themselves, and are dedicated to working each and every day to help people make more of their lives through learning.”

Thanks to these undercover videos, we’ve now injected faces into the Common Core debate,” said Project Veritas President James O’Keefe.   “These two formerly employed Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt employees now serve as the poster children for the corporate profit-before-kids mentality which permeates the textbook industry. As I predicted, publishing companies are being forced to respond.”

“In the words of Houghton-Mifflin, our upcoming videos in this series will continue to show more ‘behavior and conduct that contradicts the values and commitment of learning,’ abuse of taxpayer dollars and how major textbook publishing companies are enriching themselves at the expense of children,” concluded O’Keefe.

About Project Veritas

Project Veritas is a non-profit investigative news organization conducting undercover reporting. Project Veritas investigates and exposes corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions to achieve a more ethical and transparent society. Project Veritas is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.