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Edison Schools in Trouble in Philadelphia

Financial troubles at Edison Schools, Inc. have pitted the company's founder, Christopher Whittle, against Philadelphia's schools chief, Paul Vallas.

Edison Schools in Trouble in Philadelphia

Financial troubles at Edison Schools, Inc. have pitted the company's founder, Christopher Whittle, against Philadelphia's schools chief, Paul Vallas. As Edison's stock plummets administrators, teachers, and parents, are becoming increasingly worried about what will happen to students if Edison folds. Edison Schools, which is ten years old, has lost more than $300 million and has never shown a profit. The company runs 20 schools in Philadelphia, where most of the city's 200,000 schoolchildren have test scores far below the state average. Vallas says he's well prepared if Edison fails. He has withheld $4 million in payments to Edison and is working on his own reforms. Other outside managers, both for-profit and non-proft, are running other schools in Philadelphia. Meanwhile many inner-city schools that were promised an influx of resources from Edison are still struggling with dilapidated buildings and a lack of supplies.

"They [city schools] still have less money compared to the suburbs," says Arthur Levine. "We're talking about reform without the resources to make it occur. It's a Herculean task."


The article, entitled "As Edison stock plunges, a radical experiment in educating the poorest kids becomes a soap opera" appeared in the October 21st edition of Newsweek.

Published Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2002

Edison Schools in Trouble in Philadelphia

Edison Schools in Trouble in Philadelphia

Financial troubles at Edison Schools, Inc. have pitted the company's founder, Christopher Whittle, against Philadelphia's schools chief, Paul Vallas. As Edison's stock plummets administrators, teachers, and parents, are becoming increasingly worried about what will happen to students if Edison folds. Edison Schools, which is ten years old, has lost more than $300 million and has never shown a profit. The company runs 20 schools in Philadelphia, where most of the city's 200,000 schoolchildren have test scores far below the state average. Vallas says he's well prepared if Edison fails. He has withheld $4 million in payments to Edison and is working on his own reforms. Other outside managers, both for-profit and non-proft, are running other schools in Philadelphia. Meanwhile many inner-city schools that were promised an influx of resources from Edison are still struggling with dilapidated buildings and a lack of supplies.

"They [city schools] still have less money compared to the suburbs," says Arthur Levine. "We're talking about reform without the resources to make it occur. It's a Herculean task."


The article, entitled "As Edison stock plunges, a radical experiment in educating the poorest kids becomes a soap opera" appeared in the October 21st edition of Newsweek.

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