Schools for Profit (7)
Purpose and/or definition:
-There are three types of for-profit schools. One: Educational Management Organizations (EMOs) which are primary and secondary institutions. They work jointly with charter schools or schools districts, using public funding to finance operations. Two: Post-Secondary institutions which operate like strictly as businesses. They acquire funding from enrollment fees (by each student). Three: K-12 schools which also operate as businesses.
-According to Kevin Carey (director of the educational policy program), “For-profit schools exist in order to fix educational market failures left by traditional institutions. They profit by serving students that private/public nonprofit institutions too often ignore.”
-The largest for-profit venture in public schools is the Edison Schools.
-In 1990, Benno Schmidt, the presidents of Yale University, was attending a party. There, Schmidt ...view middle of the document...
-Curricular changes include devotion of more school time to math and science. Foreign language courses are to be taught during early grades and proven programs (“Success for All”-reading program, “Everyday Mathematics”-approaches to math) are used regularly.
-Learning contracts are used to promote and increase student accountability.
-Edison’s plan also calls for “linking” students to the school by using a company-provided, home computer. The computers give the students access to a virtual library and gives both parents and students a dedicated communication link to teachers.
-EMOs are market-oriented, rather than mission-oriented like most charter schools.
-Chris Whittle, partner (Benno Schmidt)
Arguments for and against this school choice:
For: A Columbia University study found that Edison Schools have higher teacher morale, enthusiasm for the curriculum, and satisfied parents.
Against: Edison employees stated that the company was hiding its problems from the public and that the need for special education students, among others, was not being met. Also, additional studies by the American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association, and RAND Corporation noted that the students appeared to being doing no better than regular public school students-sometimes worse.
-After being confronted by financial issues and questioning-Whittle turned his public venture unto a private
company. “The future of Edison Schools remains rocky.” Critiques worry that schools fueled by a profit motive will shortchange students’ academic/social needs in order to make money. “The business community is certainly not timid about investing in public education.”
Examples of exemplary schools w/their websites:
John Adams Middle School http://www.edison.k12.nj.us/Domain/11
Lincoln Elementary School http://www.edison.k12.nj.us/Domain/19
Edison High School http://www.edison.k12.nj.us/Domain/8
-Today, Edison manages about 100 public schools throughout the country.
-Advocates of the private management schools, called privatization, argue that corporations can more effectively and less expensively provide specific services for and even run innovative schools-mainly those serving underperforming children.