Frederick M. Hess is the director of Education Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. He is the coauthor (with Michael J. Petrilli) of No Child Left Behind Primer (Peter Lang, 2006) and editor of Educational Entrepreneurship (Harvard Education Press, 2006).
This important volume takes stock of the debate, neither demonizing nor celebrating the for-profit sector, to understand what it takes for for-profits to promote quality and cost effectiveness at scale. Contributors address how policymakers and other education stakeholders can create an environment where the power of for-profit innovation and investment is leveraged to better serve students. The role that private enterprise can and should play in American education needs to be brought to the forefront of reform discussions. Editors Hess and Horn move beyond heated rhetoric to offer a thoughtful and probing analysis that will enable stakeholders to craft a viable future for public education.
Contributors: John Bailey, Tamara Butler Battaglino, Stacey Childress, KC Deane, Whitney Downs, Todd Grindal, Andrew P. Kelly, Mickey Muldoon, Matthew Riggan, Chris Whittle, Ben Wildavsky
“The public and private sectors often interact in an uneasy and unstable dance of cooperation, but education has come later to the dance hall than other areas of public policy. There is much we still need to learn, and this broad and diverse collection provides an excellent place to start.”
—Jeff Henig, Chair, Department of Education Policy and Social Analysis, Teachers College, Columbia University
“No subject in education reform is more polarizing than the role of for-profit enterprises. But as Hess and Horn demonstrate in this volume of remarkably objective analyses, both the for's and the anti's have the issue all wrong. Business has important roles to play, but specifying them takes the kind of nuanced thinking that ideologues hate. Policymakers would do well to read this engaging volume and tune out the noise that has obscured serious debate.”
—John Chubb, Interim CEO, Education Sector
In Education Unbound: The Promise and Practice of Greenfield Schooling, Frederick M. Hess advocates for an entrepreneurial approach focused on supporting outstanding teaching and learning. Sharing the examples of organizations whose bold alternative strategies represent promising shifts in K-12 education, Hess builds a case for
* School systems marked by data on performance and productivity and compelled to compete on cost and quality.
* Personnel policies designed to attract, retain, and reward teachers and leaders committed to excellence.
* Education funding configured to support new ventures and foster creative problem solving.
The goal, Hess argues, ought not to be the creation of a new "best" system but schools capable of evolving with the students and society they serve. Education Unbound is a catalyst for conversation and change and a must-read for practitioners, policymakers, would-be education entrepreneurs, and anyone committed to school excellence and the next steps in education reform.