Amplify's Joel Klein Responds to Bloomberg News Article

To the Editor:

Re the article: News Corp.’s $1 Billion Plan to Overhaul Education Is Riddled With Failures

I’m writing in response to your recent article on Amplify. I believe your piece is riddled with factual errors, inconsistencies and incorrect analysis.

Your story labels our company and our products as “riddled with failure” based on events from over a year and a half ago, which both you and our customers acknowledge have already been turned around.

Though technical and hardware problems did cause us to put our Tablet program in Guilford on hold in the fall of 2013, we partnered with the district, redesigned our product and ultimately turned a setback into a win.

You seem to go out of your way to discount every positive development at Amplify by:

  • Citing cherry-picked evidence.
  • Faulting our company for issues with school district network infrastructure.
  • Presenting past challenges as if they undercut present-day successes.
  • Confusing correlation with causality.
  • Drawing false inferences.

Only 10 words (out of over 2,000) are used to describe how the largest part of Amplify’s investment, our digital curriculum, is impacting classroom learning. That seems both unfortunate and unfair. Especially in light of what those words say: “students have increased their reading with the curriculum.”

If we are getting 21st century middle schoolers to read more, then this may be one of the most promising successes in education history, so why describe it as riddled with failure?

Amplify is sticking by its customers, turning setbacks into wins, and delivering groundbreaking curriculum to students whose lives are better for it.

Joel Klein
CEO of Amplify

Editors’ Note: Bloomberg stands by its story published April 7. We found one factual error—about one specific time frame—in the 33rd paragraph of the story. We corrected it. As for inaccurate analysis, the article does not fault the company for issues with school district network infrastructure, nor does it cite cherry-picked information. There is plenty of evidence given on the company’s side, including positive comments from the Guilford County school district in North Carolina and a statement from News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson, who says Amplify is “well-positioned to meet the demand for a world-class curriculum.” Amplify is the digital education unit of News Corp.

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