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PrivatizationSelected Research & Readings (Additional Resources)
 
  PRIVATIZATION
 
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Choice of Schools
Choice of Schools--Charter Schools
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Postsecondary Institutions--For-Profit/Proprietary


Restructuring Schools in Chester Upland, Pennsylvania: An Analysis of State Restructuring Efforts - According to this report, by all accounts, school restructuring in Chester Upland School District is an example of how not to restructure. When a state intervenes to restructure schools, it must also dictate the particulars and thereafter monitor implementation. In Pennsylvania, the state pressed for privatization but did not follow through to ensure the privatization model negotiated was tenable. Nevertheless, almost in spite of everything that has occurred in the district, nearly all the schools have demonstrated some academic gains. While these gains have been limited, they are nonetheless encouraging. Available online are the case study and policy brief. (Lauren Morando Rhim, Education Commission of the States, January 2005) ...

Restructuring Schools in Baltimore: An Analysis of State and District Efforts - According to this report, the state and district restructuring initiatives in Baltimore have produced mixed results in terms of gains in student academic performance. Nevertheless, these initiatives provide practical lessons regarding the process of restructuring. For example, reinforcing decades of research on effective schools, the key policy leaders involved with restructuring in Baltimore identified principals and teachers as the essential forces driving successful schools. This study also found that the supporting conditions that are critical to enabling strong principals and teachers to succeed include school autonomy over budgets, personnel, and curriculum and instruction. Available online are the case study and policy brief. (Lauren Morando Rhim, Education Commission of the States, July 2004)...

Profiles of Nonprofit Education Management Organizations: 2008-2009 - This is the second Profiles report to examine nonprofit education management organizations. (Gary Miron and Jessica Urschel, Education and the Public Interest Sector, October 2009)...

State Takeover, School Restructuring, Private Management, and Student Achievement in Philadelphia - In response to decade of budget crisis and years of low achievement, in 2002 the state of Pennsylvania made sweeping education changes when it took over the School District of Philadelphia. It replaced the school board, laid down district-wide curricula and turned over control of 45 schools to profit and non-profit management organizations, as well as making other changes. Now participating in the nation’s largest experiment in private education management, Philadelphia’s schools are analyzed here for comparative student achievement and institution financial success. (Brian Gill, Ron Zimmer, Jolley Christman and Suzanne Blanc, RAND, 2007)...

Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Organizations, 7th Annual Report, 2004-2005 PDF - As of the 2004-05 school year, there were 535 public schools being operated by 59 for-profit management companies in 25 states and the District of Columbia, enrolling approximately 239,766 students. This study examines the history of education management organizations (EMOs), discussing factors that shape the industry, profitability, accountability and the questionable relationships that exist in the EMO industry. Detailed company profiles are listed, beginning on page 28. (Alex Molnar, David Garcia, Carolyn Sullivan, Brendan McEvoy and Jamie Joanou, Arizona State University, April 2005)...

Commercial Activities in Schools: Use of Student Data Is Limited and Additional Dissemination of Guidance Could Help Districts Develop Policies - This report seeks to answer three questions: (1) Since 2000, what statutes have states enacted or proposed to govern commercial activities in schools? (2) To what extent have districts developed policies implementing amended provisions of the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA) in the No Child Left Behind Act on the use of student data for commercial purposes? (3) What guidance has the Department of Education (DOE) disseminated? Two-thirds of districts believe they are developing or have developed policies mandated by the PPRA. The DOE sent guidance to state education agencies and school district superintendents, but not to associations of local school boards. (U.S. Government Accountability Office, August 2004)...

Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Companies, Sixth Annual Report, 2003-2004 - According to this study, there were 463 public schools being operated by 51 for-profit management companies in 28 states as of the 2003-04 school year. The study also found that 81% of these schools are charter schools and that Michigan and Arizona have the most schools managed by for-profit companies. (Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Companies, Sixth Annual Report, 2003-2004, Alex Molnar, Glen Wilson and Daniel Allen, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University, February 2004)...

Comparison of Achievement Results for Students Attending Privately Managed and Traditional Schools in Six Cities - In the 2002-03 school year, nearly 50 private companies managed over 400 public schools across the country. According to this analysis, in the six cities examined – Denver, San Francisco, Cleveland, St. Paul, Detroit and Phoenix – student test scores varied from significantly higher than those of students in traditional schools to significantly lower. A summary of the findings also is available. (General Accounting Office, October 2003)...

Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Companies, Fifth Annual Report, 2002-2003 - This directory of for-profit education management companies identifies 47 companies managing 417 schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. An increase in the number of charter schools has led to growth in the number of these management companies. Arizona and Michigan, having what are considered the most permissive charter school laws, have 48% of all schools managed by for-profit companies. (Alex Molnar, Glen Wilson and Daniel Allen, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University, January 2003)...

School Commercialism, Student Health, and the Pressure To Do More With Less - This report notes the current landscape of the commercialism-in-schools debate, particularly as such commercialism pertains to the selling and marketing of food and drinks of limited nutritional value. The author references exclusive contracts with soft drink vendors, the health risks associated with soft drink consumption, the potential targeting of children as a marketing demographic, and recent legislation and litigation. The appendix includes a listing of federal and state legislation (enacted, pending and failed) on school food policies from 1999-2003. (Alex Molnar, Arizona State University, July 2003)...

Public Schools: Insufficient Research To Determine Effectiveness of Selected Private Education Companies - Students in schools managed by private companies have demonstrated academic progress, but more research is needed to determine if this improvement is directly the result of the companies’ programs. Claims that three private companies hired to run public schools do significantly better – or worse – at improving student performance than traditional public schools cannot be substantiated. The companies include Edison Schools, Mosaica Education and Chancellor Beacon Academies. (U.S. General Accounting Office, October 2002)...

Buy Me! Buy Me! - This fourth annual report on trends in schoolhouse commercialism argues that commercialism is becoming normalized and accepted in all aspects of life. Eight types of commercialism are tracked: sponsorship of programs and activities; exclusive agreements; incentive programs; appropriation of space; sponsored educational materials; electronic marketing; privatization; and fundraising. In 2000-2001, media coverage of commercializing activity declined for the first time in a decade, which leads the authors to believe that school commercialism has either become so commonplace that it is no longer newsworthy or resistance to commercialism has taken hold and the media figures represent this trend. (Alex Molnar and Joseph A. Reaves, Commercialism in Education Research Unit, Arizona State University, September 2001)...

Commercialism in Schools: Supporting Students or Selling Access? - This brief explores the growth of commercialism in schools while discussing the controversial Channel One News program, soda contracts and corporate curricular materials. The author delves into the issue of how financial dilemmas often factor into decisions to accept varying degrees of commercialism in schools and offers examples of steps school officials and legislators have taken to manage commercialism. (Erik W. Robelen, The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, November 1998)...

Contracting as a Mechanism for Managing Education Services - Management issues raised by contracts between for-profit firms and school districts, as well as key features of these contracts are the focus of this brief. The author concludes that it is too early to determine whether or not contracting out regular education services has been or will be successful in reaching the goal of greater student achievement. (Jane Hannaway, CPRE Policy Briefs, University of Pennsylvania, November 1999)...

Contracting for Classroom Services - School officials are provided with a list of factors that should be considered when developing a system for purchasing classroom services from private providers in this article. Broader challenges and opportunities that school officials may encounter when contracting for school services are also presented. (John McLaughlin and Senn Brown, AASA School Administrator, May 2000)...

Hard Lessons: Public Schools and Privatization - Privatization of schools is examined through the lenses of student outcomes, cost, parental voice, accountability and equity in this book. The authors conclude by discussing their views of the limits of privatization. This book is not available on the Web, but can be ordered for $9.95 by calling 1-800-552-5450 or by logging onto Twentieth Century Fund’s Web page by clicking the title of this book. (Carol Ascher, Norm Fruchter and Robert Berne, The Century Foundation, 1996)...

Private Management of Public Schools – Early Experiences in Four School Districts - Four school districts that contracted with private companies for management of their public schools in the early to mid-1990s were evaluated in this report. While student scores on standardized achievement tests did not show substantial improvement in the three districts with available data, private management yielded varying benefits for students in different districts. For example, in certain districts, the number of teaching assistants in classrooms increased, school building repair and maintenance was enhanced, student attendance improved and students’ access to computers increased. (General Accounting Office, April 1996)...

Public Education: Commercial Activities in Schools - This report provides information on the nature and extent of the laws, regulations and policies that regulate commercial activities in schools. The researchers reviewed state laws and regulations, conducted site visits to 19 elementary and secondary schools in three states, reviewed reports on commercial activity and interviewed representatives of national education and business organizations. According to this report, in most of the schools that were visited, local school officials (generally superintendents and principals) are responsible for making decisions regarding commercial activities. (General Accounting Office, September 2000)...

Legal Issues Involving Educational Privatization and Accountability MS Word - This occassional paper examines the legal challenges in holding privatized institutions accountable to parents and the state in return for the receipt of public funds. It explores the major constitutional issues at play, and reviews the lessons learned from privatization efforts in the noneducation sector, special education, charter schools and publicly funded voucher programs. (Frank Kemerer, National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, August 2000)...

Profiles of For-Profit Education Management Companies, 2001-2002 - The number of for-profit companies managing public schools in the United States increased 70 percent in the past year, according to data compiled by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University. This fourth directory of for-profit education management companies identifies 36 companies managing 368 schools in 24 states and the District of Columbia. States having what are considered the strongest charter school laws, such as Arizona and Michigan, also have the most schools managed by for-profit companies. (Alex Molnar, Glen Wilson, Melissa Restori and John Hutchison, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University, January 2002)...


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