Philadelphia’s experiment with privately managed schools is leading to improvement, says this CNN story.
Two academic years after Pennsylvania took over the failing Philadelphia school system and made the controversial move to contract out management of about one-sixth of its schools, test scores are up and class sizes are down. The district plans to expand private-sector involvement and is closely watched by U.S. educators as the leader in inner-city school reform.
. . . Private companies and universities today manage 45 of Philadelphia’s 270 public schools. As private managers, they set curriculum and hire teachers and principals. But they are subject to the same state-wide performance criteria as schools that are under the district’s management
Last year the district nearly tripled the number of schools attaining the state’s performance benchmark, with the number of privately run schools achieving that level rising to 23 from seven the prior year.
Competition seems to be improving district-run schools as well.