Why doesnt education use innovation to grow like a successful business? School Inc. A Personal Journey with Andrew Coulson, follows the late Andrew Coulson, series creator/writer/host and senior fellow of education policy at Cato Institutes Center for Education Freedom, as he sets out on a worldwide personal quest for an answer to this question.
In episode three, Forces and Choices, Coulson examines the success of for-profit education traveling to private schools in Sweden, India, and London, where the resistance to education as a business has lessened.
In episode two, Push or Pull, Coulson investigates why excellent private schools in America such as Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield, MI, have not “scaled up” to replicate their excellence on a larger scale, and ultimately, serve more students.
Andrew Coulson explores the educational establishment, its history and the politics that sometimes impede the growth of good schools, effective teachers, as well as the involvement of entrepreneur educators.
In Sweden, all private schools are now fully tax-funded, and parents can easily choose between these so-called “free schools” and the local public schools. Swedish test results have fallen, partially due to a culture of student controlled public schools. Private schools are looking to break that trend by returning to a more traditional model.
In South Korea the private schools were so heavily regulated that they didn’t really look much different from the public schools. Parents decided to opt outside the regular school sector entirely, hiring private tutoring services called “hagwons.” Hagwons in South Korea are big business and provide educators incentive to continuously better their techniques with the highest paid teachers.
Throughout the three-part, three-hour series, Coulson examines the role of innovation, the universal search for educational excellence and – for better or worse – the application of the profit motive.
American Indian Charter School ranked among the top middle schools in California. But in the spring of 2013 the Oakland Public School District voted to shut down all three American Indian Schools, because the charter school had chosen to use its own special education services, and not those controlled by the state; that resulted in a loss of revenue to the public school system.