Chicago Firms Head Back to School: City Leads in Corporate-Sponsored Schools
A uniformed 11-year-old boy contemplatively chews a chocolate chip cookie, one of three brands he and his classmates are comparing as they sit in a classroom in Kenwood. "If you pick cookie A, what does cookie B represent?" asks the boy's teacher, Connie Moran. Her nine students chant loudly and in unison: "Opportunity cost!"
Not a phrase one expects to hear in an elementary school, but Ms. Moran's taste test is part of a lesson designed to teach sixth-graders economic concepts like consumer decision-making. They are students at Ariel Community Academy, a 9-year-old Chicago public school of 400 students founded and subsidized by Ariel Capital Management LLC, the Chicago-based mutual fund manager.
"I don't necessarily think it's a bad idea. But if it is an experiment, then it should be approached with moderation," says Chad d'Entremont, assistant director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Columbia's Teachers College in New York. "If Chicago is turning its back on funding public schools, then it becomes a problem."
This article, written by Kate Ryan, appeared in the September 12th, 2005 publication of Crain's Chicago Business Print.
Published Monday, Sep. 26, 2005