The extremely popular American Girl brand is based on a collection of dolls approximately 18 inches tall who depict girls from ages 9 to 11 and each have their own backstory. If I had a little girl the pull would be strong to buy one because I can never resist the trappings that come with American Girl dolls–accessories galore, including pets, handbags, clothes, pretty much anything you can think of.
However, this year something sinister lurks in the American Girl doll accessory pack for girls 8 and older. Here is a summary of what you will find in the kit; the emphasis is mine:
- A backpack that features two side pouches, a front zippered pocket, and a screen-printed American Girl logo
- A colorful notebook with lined pages for taking notes
- A mini math textbook so she can study up
- Three pretend mechanical pencils
- A faux water bottle with flower graphics
That’s right, folks. For a not insignificant price you can buy your little girl’s doll a pack that will make her ready for school, just like your little girl! How exciting. Sounds innocent so far, right?
Well, notice my emphasis on the math textbook. I’m not a fan of squelching a child’s desire for modeling her doll’s imaginary life with her own; it is after all the imagination that can make great thinkers and doers. However, taking a closer look at this math textbook it is plain to see it is the enVision Math book which is Common Core aligned and put out by the massive textbook publisher, Pearson. Pearson is a huge monopoly type educational material company that basically owns American public education.
Pearson makes money off of our children. Every time a child takes a test or a school buys new textbooks or even if a child receives tutoring, Pearson gets paid. Even teacher licensing is now controlled by Pearson.
Kudos to the marketing team at Pearson who decided to grant American Girl their wish of selling a miniature math book for their miniature customers. And kudos to American Girl for not doing their research and seeing that a rapidly growing number of parents and tax payers are seriously unhappy with Common Core, Pearson, Bill Gates, and any other from a myriad of educational policies and/or products right now.
Or, perhaps American Girl did do their research but are in agreement with the Common Core standards. Either way, it’s a bad call and it begs the question: Did Pearson grant them the rights to reproduce the mini math book for free and they now will glean all of the free product placement advertising or did they charge for the replication?
Again, either way, bad move, American Girl. I’m already seeing parents and teachers boycotting the doll. Pearson makes enough money off of our kids–maybe American Girl should hear from us.