The story of the Edison Schools is a gripping tale of money, kids, and greed. What began in the 1980s as an enterprise to transform public schools quickly became a troubled business battling falling test scores and dismal stock prices. How did the most ambitious for-profit education company in U.S. history lose respect, money, and credibility in such a short time?
Revealing how American "McEducation" went from glory to crisis, "The Edison Schools" tracks entrepreneur Christopher Whittle's plan to introduce a standardized nationwide curriculum and cut administrative waste. Education specialist Kenneth J. Saltman finds that the critics' predictions came true in Edison schools across the country: Experienced teachers left in droves, students were virtually given answers to standardized tests to drive up scores, and difficult students were "counselored" out.
Saltman uses the Edison saga to highlight key debates about the role of schools in American democracy and illuminate broader issues of privatization and cultural diversity. Showing how the profit motive helped created "Edron," the book will force teachers, parents, students, and general readers to reconsider the role of private money in this critical part of our public life.
* A full expose of the Edison schools, the largest attempt ever to privatize public education
* Uses the schools to study larger issues of accountability, trust in our institutions, and the social role of public education
* Uncovers the reasons for the collapse of Edison, from falsified score reports and accounting scandals to a near-takeover by right-wing radicals
Kenneth J. Saltman is the co-editor of Education as Enforcement, and author of Collateral Damage and Strange Love: Or How We Learn to Stop Worrying and Love the Market.
"Informative, engaging and elegantly written, this book brilliantly reveals how corporations and their drive to maximize profit are infiltrating our public school system, imposing their priorities on our children, and undermining values of community and democracy."
-Joel Bakan, author of "The Corporation
"This is a brilliant and eye-opening book about the baleful influence corporate culture is having upon public education and should be read by every parent, student, and citizen concerned about the fate of public education."
-Henry A. Giroux, Global Television Network Chair in Communication Studies and English at McMaster University
"The privatization of America's public schools is one of the most important political projects of this century, and this agenda cannot be understood without also understanding the history and trajectory of the Edison Schools, the largest for-profit school management company in the United States."
-Alex Molnar, Professor and Director, Education Policy Studies Laboratory, Arizona State University
"well-documented historical critique of Edison, Inc., which has tried to create the country's largest for-profit network of schools."
-"Rethinking Schools Online, Spring 2005
"A well-documented historical critique of Edison, Inc., which has tried to create the country's largest for-profit network of schools. The author scrutinizes a range of important issues from the reading and math curriculum used in Edison schools to the broader political forces that are advocating privatization of schools."
-Rethinking Schools Online, Spring 2005
Series: Positions: Education, Politics, and Culture
Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 248
Published: 24th February 2005
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 20.68 x 13.11
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1