The Politics of For-Profits in Education Aren't Always What They Seem

While many of the recent debates about for-profit companies in K-12 and higher education have reflected traditional ideological divisions between Democrats and Republicans, a closer look reveals that these lines in the sand are far from constant, particularly when it comes to the Democratic position.

In More Than Meets the Eye: The Politics of For-Profits in Education, the second report of AEI's Private Enterprise in American Education series, AEI research fellow Andrew P. Kelly, who was recently named

one of sixteen next-generation leaders in education policy, illustrates how the typical political divides do not tell the whole story when it comes to the appropriate role of for-profits in education.

Some of his interesting findings include:

  • In K-12 education, Democrats have been amenable to for-profit involvement on policies like Supplemental Education Services and school turnarounds, where the for-profit role is limited to support services or a small subset of troubled schools.
  • In higher education, Democrats are divided on the 'for-profit question.' A surprising coalition of 58 Democrats--including some of the most liberal--broke ranks and joined Republicans in their effort to prevent the enforcement of proposed gainful-employment regulations.
  • At the K-12 level, roughly 75% percent of the public is supportive of for-profit contracting for peripheral services like transportation and facilities management, but only 25 to 30% are comfortable with for-profit management of entire school sites and instruction.
  • At the higher education level, the majority of Americans approve of for-profit colleges and universities, though they consistently see them as lower quality than public or nonprofit institutions.

Andrew P. Kelly can be reached at [email protected]. For more information on AEI's Private Enterprise in American Education project, please visit www.aei.org/enterpriseined or contact Jenna Schuette at [email protected]. For additional media inquires, contact Jesse Blumenthal at [email protected]

.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 20
    MON
  • 21
    TUE
  • 22
    WED
  • 23
    THU
  • 24
    FRI
Monday, October 20, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Warfare beneath the waves: The undersea domain in Asia

We welcome you to join us for a panel discussion of the undersea military competition occurring in Asia and what it means for the United States and its allies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters

AEI’s Election Watch is back! Please join us for two sessions of the longest-running election program in Washington, DC. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
What now for the Common Core?

We welcome you to join us at AEI for a discussion of what’s next for the Common Core.

Thursday, October 23, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Brazil’s presidential election: Real challenges, real choices

Please join AEI for a discussion examining each candidate’s platform and prospects for victory and the impact that a possible shift toward free-market policies in Brazil might have on South America as a whole.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.