Revolve One cohosts, Rudy and Crystal Garcia, recently sat down with Andrea Johnson, cofounder of C MATH is EASY, a non-traditional math coaching service that focuses on TSI prep. C MATH is EASY was born out of a shared burden between Andrea and Elsa Brown, both originally math teachers. They realized that 80% of adults and high school graduates were failing the TSI. This is a far-reaching problem given that certain TSI scores are required to get into the fire academy, join the EMT program, start nursing school, go back to school as an adult, and so much more. Andrea and Elsa knew they needed to act. So, they met at McDonalds, and while their kids roamed the plastic tubes of the playground, Andrea and Elsa scribbled their ideas onto a stack of brown paper napkins. The content on these napkins would eventually evolve into a successful small business that grew exponentially over several years. Since founding C Math is Easy, they have served over five hundred students and boast an astounding 80% passing rate for their TSI MATH Prep. Their approach was so effective that in 2019 they copyrighted and published their TSI Math Workbook so more students could have access to their material. However, despite their hard work and growing influence, their revenue suddenly saw a sharp decrease after the initial release of the workbook. Andrea has a theory for this decline. She believes the Upward Bound Program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi stole her work and reproduced her intellectual property with their own logo on it.
Andrea discovered this potential infringement by accident when a family she had tutored for over 4 years asked for her assistance. Andrea obliged and asked the student to bring along any coursework materials she had. This was when, as stated in her interview with Revolve One, she found the content all too familiar. Andrea claims significant parts of their workbook—some thirty to forty pages—had been plagiarized. Their work was retyped in a smaller font, converted to black and white, and copied verbatim. Naturally this finding was discouraging for both Andrea and Elsa, who put years of accumulated progress and hard work into this product.
After this unfortunate discovery, they pursued legal action against the University. However, they found this process far more difficult than expected due to sovereign immunity. In laymen’s terms, sovereign immunity means you have to receive permission from the state to sue a state institution. As you could imagine, this quickly gets complicated. Although letters have been sent by attorneys, Andrea has yet to hear a response against the accusation. This is unfortunate given that Andrea and Elsa’s desire is not to separate from schools and universities, but to partner with them. In fact, the two of them have spent years connecting with principals, superintendents, counselors, city council members, and school board council members all with the hopes of expanding the reach of their highly successful service. Although this issue remains unresolved, we can only hope if Andrea’s claims prove true, that the University and schools of Corpus Christi, who promote and praise small businesses and minority-led businesses, put their money where their mouth is and make things right.