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Education Entrepreuners Seen As Facing Uphill Climb in U.S. Schools

Experts who gathered recently to discuss educational entrepreneurship pointed to what they see as barriers to expanding its influence in the K-12 arena: federal and state policies, district bureaucracies, a climate that resists change, and outright political opposition.

"In a system that is producing results that we as a nation find somewhere between awful and deplorable, we need to think seriously about an environment that's going to foster entrepreneurialism so that we have innovation in the system," said Joel I. Klein, the chancellor of the 1.1 million-student New York City school system.

"We are designed to be an anti-innovation enterprise," Henry M. Levin, the director of the Center for the Study of Privatization, based at Teachers College, Columbia University, says in a conference paper that even innovative new schools tend to move back toward the norm over time. "There is something about schools that seems to excise or modify change," he writes.

This article, written by Eric W. Robelon, appeared in the November 30th publication of Education Week.

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