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After 10 Years Edison Still Struggling

 

After 10 Years Edison Still Struggling

The 10 year anniversary of Edison Schools, Inc. passed with little fanfare last month. The for-profit education firm still has not shown a profit; on Friday the company's stock sold for 75 cents a share, down from $22 a share at the beginning of the year. Edison's troubles are only one part of a larger national debate on the privatization of education. A study released last month by the General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, found that there is no real evidence to prove whether or not private management of low-achieving public schools can help the schools. Nonetheless, under the provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, private firms are likely to play an ever increasing role in public education. One of the strategies mandated under the new law is that public schools that don't meet standards may be turned over to private companies and other entities outside the public school system.

Henry Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Privatization in Schools, said, "There is a lot of belief in the business community that existing schools and government generally are inefficient. They thought this would be a powder puff, they could go in, educate the kids better, and make money because there was so much waste. But they've discovered that education is not a simple business."

The article, entitled "After 10 Years, Edison Schools Still Struggling to Prove Itself" appeared in the November 10th edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer .

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