For-profits and federal education policy

Video

Post-Event Summary
Do for-profit providers in US public education prioritize student achievement or financial gains? AEI's Rick Hess and a panel of prominent practitioners aimed to address this question at an event on Monday.

Michael Horn of the Innosight Institute defended the need for for-profits in public education because for-profit organizations attract more capital, scale at faster rates, and are better equipped to offer innovative solutions to the growing student achievement gaps.

When asked about the accountability of for-profits in the public space, Stacey Childress of the Bill &
Melinda Gates Foundation offered a philanthropic perspective, calling for the private and for-profit education industry to take initiative, measure its outcomes, and make its findings transparent to the public.

Jim Shelton of the US Department of Education agreed with Childress, expressing his fear that if the for-profit education industry is not proactive in measuring its influence on student achievement, one "bad actor" could cast a shadow over the whole industry. He claimed that all other for-profit public-education providers could be penalized by the government, media, and traditional education establishment if the industry does not hold itself accountable.

While the panelists had varying views about the role of for-profits in education, they agreed that more data and transparency could drastically reshape the current culture and policies surrounding the for-profit education industry.
-Lauren Aronson and Chelsea Straus

Event Description
November's US presidential election results will impact much in K–12 and higher education — including the role of private enterprise in public education. Many Democratic policymakers, including those in Obama administration, have supported "gainful employment" regulations and competitive grant restrictions rooted in concerns about the motives and behavior of for-profit operators.

Other policymakers contend that for-profit operators are especially agile, equipped to pioneer new services, and inclined to pursue crucial cost efficiencies. As federal policymakers look to 2013, what kinds of policies, rules, metrics, and regulations will enable private enterprise to serve students while policing against malfeasance? Join AEI’s Frederick Hess and prominent for-profit practitioners as they address this and other pressing questions about the intersection of federal policy and for-profits in education.

If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess
  • An educator, political scientist and author, Frederick M. Hess studies K-12 and higher education issues. His books include "Cage-Busting Leadership," "Breakthrough Leadership in the Digital Age," "The Same Thing Over and Over," "Education Unbound," "Common Sense School Reform," "Revolution at the Margins," and "Spinning Wheels." He is also the author of the popular Education Week blog, "Rick Hess Straight Up." Hess's work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets such as Teachers College Record, Harvard Education Review, Social Science Quarterly, Urban Affairs Review, American Politics Quarterly, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership, U.S. News & World Report, National Affairs, the Washington Post, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and National Review. He has edited widely cited volumes on the Common Core, the role of for-profits in education, education philanthropy, school costs and productivity, the impact of education research, and No Child Left Behind.  Hess serves as executive editor of Education Next, as lead faculty member for the Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program, and on the review boards for the Broad Prize in Urban Education and the Broad Prize for Public Charter Schools. He also serves on the boards of directors of the National Association of Charter School Authorizers and 4.0 SCHOOLS. A former high school social studies teacher, he teaches or has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, Rice University and Harvard University. He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Government, as well as an M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum, from Harvard University.


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  • Email: rhess@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Sarah DuPre
    Phone: 202-862-7160
    Email: Sarah.DuPre@aei.org

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Events Calendar
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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
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Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
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During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

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No events scheduled this day.