Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The sad story of Edison Schools

The American Prospect home of the fine TAPPED blog, offers a nice overview of Edison Schools, a company that has tried (and failed) several times to make a buck off of public education:

Edison learned what career educators have always known: Managing schools isn't as simple as it first might seem. The idea behind for-profit public education was that districts would turn over school budgets to Edison, plus supplemental funds ... Edison was supposed to run an ├╝ber-efficient operation and pocket the surplus. But it never worked that way.
The article goes on to detail why, but the article is missing a couple things. First, it fails to adequately describe the chaos that ensued when Edison abruptly folded its school management business, suddenly leaving metro Philadelphia without the infrastructure to educate thousands of students. It would be the equivalent to Bechtel closing up shop halfway through the Big Dig.

Secondly, the author mentions " the eventual reauthorization of No Child Left Behind". The eventual reauthorization is hardly the fait accompli as implied here. Large portions of the Republican party object to its intrusion into state jurisdictions -- Republican governors have chosen to forgo federal funds so as not to be shackled by the law's requirements. On the Democratic side, Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton advocated ending this morass of regulatory ignorance.

The media has convinced itself that NCLB is here to stay, but there are vocal stakeholdres on both sides familiar with the law's perniciousness. There's a reason they haven't attempted renewal in this session. We can only hope.


Anonymous said...

You should have followed the link in the story, and you would have realized that Edison is still working in Philadelphia, and obviously getting the job done.


Quriltai said...

Nope. Edison folded, shut down, and then "re-organized" into a new company, and is spending their way back into the Philadelphia market. You got your facts wrong.