Publication Date: July 28, 2013
The growth of for-profit providers in the K–16 education sector has generated more than its share of controversy. From the emergence of charter schools to postsecondary options like the University of Phoenix, for-profit providers have been lauded for their capacity to serve historically underserved populations but derided for their pursuit of profit, which critics argue is at the expense of the public good.
This important volume takes stock of the debate, neither demonizing nor celebrating the for-profit sector, to understand what it takes for for-profits to promote quality and cost effectiveness at scale. Contributors address how policymakers and other education stakeholders can create an environment where the power of for-profit innovation and investment is leveraged to better serve students. The role that private enterprise can and should play in American education needs to be brought to the forefront of reform discussions. Editors Hess and Horn move beyond heated rhetoric to offer a thoughtful and probing analysis that will enable stakeholders to craft a viable future for public education.
Frederick M. Hess is director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He writes the Education Week blog, Rick Hess Straight Up, and serves as executive editor of Education Next. Michael B. Horn is the co-founder and executive director of education of Innosight Institute. He was named one of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education by Tech & Learning magazine.
“There is much we still need to learn, and this broad and diverse collection provides an excellent place to start.”
—Jeffrey R. Henig, Teachers College, Columbia University
“No subject in education reform is more polarizing than the role of for-profit enterprises. Policymakers would do well to read this engaging volume and tune out the noise that has obscured serious debate.”
—John Chubb, Education Sector