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How to Eradicate Failed Schools by 2030

Imagine a time, Christopher Whittle says, when a big-city school system like New York City's would hire a handful of competing companies to run all of its schools.

Teachers would make two or even three times the typical salary of today. Principals would be trained in "principal colleges" that looked a lot like medical or law schools. Students, as they got older, would spend increasing amounts of time learning independently, outside the classroom. And the federal government would vastly increase what it spends for research and development in education.

"He's a creative guy," said Henry Levin, who heads up the National Center for the Study of Privatization at Teachers College, Columbia University. But based on some of Mr. Whittle's ambitious predictions in the past for Edison, Mr. Levin said, "I think some humility is required on his part. ... He's lost a lot of people's money."

This article, written by Erik Robelen, appeared in the August 31st 2005 edition of Education Week. previous page