Private enterprise in american education
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Private Enterprise in American Education. Andrew P. Kelly American Enterprise Institute February 21, 2013. The Debate About Private Sector in Ed. Or. For-Profits in Ed: Good, Evil, or . . .?. “Public Schools Lost Millions to Crooks and Cheaters” Tampa Bay Times.

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Private Enterprise in American Education

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Private enterprise in american education

Private Enterprise in American Education

Andrew P. Kelly

American Enterprise Institute

February 21, 2013


The debate about private sector in ed

The Debate About Private Sector in Ed.

Or


For profits in ed good evil or

For-Profits in Ed: Good, Evil, or . . .?

“Public Schools Lost Millions to Crooks and Cheaters”

Tampa Bay Times


For profits in ed good evil or1

For-Profits in Ed: Good, Evil, or . . .?

“How Online Learning Companies

Bought America’s Schools”

The Nation


For profits in ed good evil or2

For-Profits in Ed: Good, Evil, or . . .?

Diane Ravitch:

“I find myself uncomfortable about the very idea of making a profit by providing public education”


Unfairly persecuted

…Unfairly Persecuted?

“At bottom, the crusade to keep private-sector

innovation out of education is about resisting such change.

It's also a species of the same blind dogma that brands

all profit-seeking as morally suspect.”

Joel Klein, The Atlantic


Unfairly persecuted1

…Unfairly Persecuted?

“[Schools] are not being victimized by a group of evil geniuses looking to manipulate their administrators into handing over boatloads of money. . . When I hear people crying foul and pointing fingers at a few bad apples . . . I have an easy answer for them: don’t buy those products.”

Tom Segal, EdSurge


Aei s private enterprise in american education

AEI’s Private Enterprise In American Education

Or


Reality neither side is right

Reality: Neither Side is Right

  • Inadequate quality control and accountability mechanisms lead to abuses and scandal in supplemental educational services, virtual schooling, and others.

  • Also true that private sector is often barred from participation based on tax status:

    • For-profits ineligible for federal i3 and SIG grants (as independent participants.

    • As of 2008, 16 states barred for-profits from operating charters (concession in New York for raising charter cap).


Reality public money to private sector is norm

Reality: Public Money to Private Sector is Norm

ARRA funds to for-profit green energy firms

$6 billion in NASA money for private space travel competition

$20 billion in federal money for Electronic Medical Records


It s also the norm in education

It’s Also the Norm in Education…

Public doesn’t flinch when education funding flows to:

Source: Phi Delta Kappan Poll, 2001

Source: Phi Delta Kappan Poll, 2001


But things get dicey re school management

But Things Get Dicey RE: School Management

Source: Phi Delta Kappan Poll, 2001


Aei s private enterprise in american education1

AEI’s Private Enterprise In American Education

Goal is not to prove or disprove the value of for-profit provision.

Project aimed to shed light the strengths and weaknesses that private sector ventures bring to education.

Series of papers and convenings bringing together entrepreneurs, researchers, and policy wonks to role of private enterprise.


Private sector strengths

Private Sector Strengths

Ability to attract capital.

Ability to attract talent.

Ability to scale.

Incentive to serve customer and innovate.


Private sector weaknesses

Private Sector Weaknesses

“The customer is always right:” consumers sometimes value things unrelated to quality.

Temptation to scale through mass marketing, deceptive advertising, and cut-rate provision.

Reluctant to be evaluated.


Tensions

Tensions

Incumbents vs. New Ventures.

Research and transparency.

Philanthropy and the “crowding out” problem.

Policymakers’ understanding of profit-motive.

Trust and legitimacy must be earned.


Takeaways

Takeaways

Stop fixating on tax status as key signifier of quality or merit.

Acknowledge that private ventures bring both strengths and weaknesses to schooling.

Researchers should study for-profits more intently.

Private ventures need to state the value proposition to policymakers and the public.


Papers available on our website

Papers Available On Our Website

http://www.aei.org/policy/education/private-enterprise/


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