Annual Report and Accounts 2010

North American Education

North American Education is Pearson’s
largest business, with 2010 sales of
£2.6bn and operating profit of £469m.

Building on our roots as a leading publisher of educational materials and provider of assessment services, we have made significant investments and change to transform Pearson into a world-leading provider of learning technologies for students and enterprise technologies for educational institutions. These technology services – including eCollege, PowerSchool, the MyLabs and Edustructures – are the backbone of our strategy to help educators raise student performance and institutions to become more effective.

Key performance indicators

£ millions 2010 2009 Headline growth CER growth Underlying growth
Sales 2,640 2,470 7% 5% 4%
Adjusted operating profit 469 403 16% 14% 12%
US Education publishing school and college sales growth vs industry
School publishing adoption cycle win rates
Assessment and information testing contract win rates
Online learning users

Higher Education highlights in 2010 include:

  • The US Higher Education publishing market grew 7.3% in 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers, with the industry seeing healthy enrolment growth and good demand for instructional materials. Pearson gained share, benefiting from its lead in technology and customisation, and has now grown faster than the US higher education industry for 12 consecutive years.
  • Higher educationPearson’s pioneering ‘MyLab’ digital learning, homework and assessment programmes grew strongly with student registrations up 32% to more than 7.3 million. Evaluation studies show that the use of MyLab programmes can significantly improve student test scores and institutional efficiency
  • We launched LearningStudio, a broad suite of learning management technologies including eCollege and Fronter. We increased fully-online student enrolments by 54% to 8.3 million in North America. Renewal rates remain high at approximately 90% by value.

Assessment and Information highlights in 2010 include:

  • Revenues at our Assessment and Information division were broadly level with 2009. State funding pressures made market conditions tough for our state assessment and teacher testing businesses; these were offset by good growth in diagnostic and clinical assessments. Assessment and Information achieved good profit growth, benefiting from a shift to premium products and further efficiencies generated from the integration of the Harcourt Assessment business.
  • We renewed two important contracts, extending our long-standing relationships with the College Board to administer the SATs and with the Texas Education Agency to administer state-wide student assessments.
  • We continue to achieve strong growth in secure online testing, delivering 13.3 million online tests in 2010, up 41% over 2009.
  • Our market-leading student information systems business in the US continued to achieve rapid organic growth further boosted by the acquisition of Administrative Assistants Limited in 2010. We now support almost 16 million US students, an increase of 49% over 2009.
  • We achieved strong growth with AIMSWEB, our progress monitoring service which enables early intervention and remediation for struggling students. AIMSWEB now supports almost four million students, an increase of more than 20%.
America’s choice

America’s Choice

Partners in education

We acquired America’s Choice to boost Pearson’s services in school reform, a major focus of the US education department. America’s Choice brings together instruction, assessment, leadership development, professional development, coaching and ongoing consulting services.

To learn more about America’s Choice, watch our film at

School Curriculum highlights in 2010 include:

  • The US School publishing market grew 3.2% in 2010, according to the Association of American Publishers. State budgets continue to be under pressure but the industry returned to growth, benefiting from the stronger new adoption opportunity this year (total opportunity of $800m in 2010 against $500m in 2009).
  • School curriculumPearson gained share with a strong performance from enVisionMATH, Pearson’s pioneering digital math curriculum. A two-year study in elementary schools concluded that students using enVisionMath demonstrated significantly greater improvement in math computation, math problem-solving and math communication compared to students using other math programs. In computation they jumped the equivalent of five grade levels in two years.
  • Successnet, our online learning platform for teachers and students which supports Pearson’s digital instruction, assessment and remediation programmes, grew strongly. It generated almost six million registrations in 2010, up 33% on 2009, with the number of assessments taken through the system increasing 53% to more than eight million.
  • We continue to develop digital programmes, platforms and mobile apps to boost achievement and to increase access and affordability. We successfully launched three major new school programmes:


Twice as much time for teaching

digits, our digital middle school maths programme, provides powerful services for teachers including embedded assessment, differentation of students and automation of administrative tasks. In field tests and pilots, digits helped to make teachers more efficient, doubling the amount of time they had to devote to instruction.

Writing Coach a blended print and online programme that helps middle and high school students in writing and grammar with personalised assignments and grading. Studies of classes using the technology behind Writing Coach show significant gains in writing proficiency as measured by district and state assessments;

Online Learning Exchange, an open education resource that allows teachers to create personalised digital learning programmes using standards-based Pearson content as well as teacher-generated material.

  • Poptropica is the largest virtual world for young children in the US with average monthly unique visitors growing by 40% to 8.1 million from more than 100 countries and speaking more than 70 languages. Poptropica launched seven new islands and was the fifth most searched-for video game on in 2010.

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