JIM JORDAN, THE TELEVISION STAR and her husband, former NFL running back, Jimmy Jordan, are selling their education courses for $1,999.
The couple recently took the plunge on a “digital education” curriculum from Pearson for their two children, ages 9 and 4.
“I just don’t think the price is right,” said Jordon.
“They should be charging $3,000 for a digital certificate, not $1 million.
I would have bought the certificates, but I’m still not getting it.
We have to keep pushing the envelope, and I don’t want to be the first person to do that.”
Pearson has already started selling a digital certification to students who take its online courses.
It is a $300 certificate that includes an online course that teaches how to make and operate a computer, and it is the only one that the company offers.
The company says it has sold more than 200,000 certificates in the past two years.
But critics say the certification is a flop, and they say the price should be at least $3.50 per hour for the full hour.
“Pearson has not changed their curriculum, and that is a fact,” said David Jenson, a former vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce and a leading advocate of digital education.
“The price has never been cheaper.
And if you have to buy the certificates for a certificate that does not exist, that’s the price of failure.”
He said Pearson has not made it clear to consumers why the $3 million price tag is so high.
“You have to go to the website and look at the price,” said Mr Jenson.
“And if you look at what other universities charge, they are doing well at around $2,000.
That is the price that has not been put to the public yet.
It needs to be put to everyone.”
He added that he believes that Pearson is using its digital certification as a marketing tool.
“Why should people pay $3 for a product that does nothing?” he said.
“Is that really worth $3 billion?”
Pearson has faced criticism in the US for charging more for its online programs than its traditional ones, and for its failure to keep up with the pace of changes in education.
The American Council on Education and the Walton Family Foundation, which backs education reform, have both called on the company to do better.
The Walton family, one of the wealthiest people in America, has been among the most vocal critics of the $1.5 billion deal, which the company announced in November.
They have also called on President Barack Obama to investigate the company for fraud and abuse.
Pearson declined to comment.
“We are committed to building a global education ecosystem that is more open, accessible and affordable, and we are committed the Pearson Education Platform will meet these goals,” Pearson said in a statement at the time.
“To this end, we are exploring the potential of a new certification model, which we will soon reveal.”
Education experts also expressed concerns about the value of the certification, which costs about $10 per hour, compared to $15 for traditional certificates.
They said it was unclear whether Pearson’s new model would help boost online education.
But, said one education expert, “it’s not as if the certificates are going to change the way the world works.”
Education expert Jim Martin, who teaches courses at the American Enterprise Institute, said that if the Pearson certification is not good enough, then there should be a better alternative.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there for the $500, $600, $800, $1M, $2M range that will do the job for people who are going into online courses,” he said, adding that he did not think Pearson would be able to sell the certification to people with a “reasonable” budget.
“If you’re going to have a $3 price point, you should have a more reasonable price.”
A spokesman for Pearson said the company was “committed to building an education ecosystem, not a marketing vehicle”.
“We do believe that Pearson’s certification is valuable for consumers, and Pearson will continue to offer more innovative certification options, including Pearson Education for Teachers,” said the spokesperson, who did not say how much the company had spent on the certification.
Pearson has also faced criticism for the lack of a clear path for parents to opt out of its online education certification.
In March, the Education Department said it would be open to allowing parents to drop the certification if they wanted.
“In the US, more than half of all public schools do not offer an online learning certificate.
Parents must enroll their children in the certificate program before they can opt out,” the department said.
A spokesperson for Pearson Education did not respond to a request for comment on this story.