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Privatizing public schools: Big firms eyeing profits from U.S. K-12 market

The investors gathered in a tony private club in Manhattan were eager to hear about the next big thing, and education consultant Rob Lytle was happy to oblige. Think about the upcoming rollout of new national academic standards for public schools, he urged the crowd, the Huffington Post reports. If they’re as rigorous as advertised, a huge number of schools will suddenly look really bad, their students testing way behind in reading and math. They’ll want help, quick. And private, for-profit vendors selling lesson plans, educational software and student assessments will be right there to provide it.
“You start to see entire ecosystems of investment opportunity lining up,” said Lytle, a partner at The Parthenon Group, a Boston consulting firm. “It could get really, really big.”

Indeed, investors of all stripes are beginning to sense big profit potential in public education. The K-12 market is tantalizingly huge: The U.S. spends more than $500 billion a year to educate kids from ages five through 18. The entire education sector, including college and mid-career training, represents nearly 9 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, more than the energy or technology sectors…

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Comment:

  1. jcbjr

    August 4, 2012 at 2:04 am

    The very idea that private firms are eying profits through privatizing public schools is absolutely sick!!! There for sure are many improvements that can and should be made. But thinking the optimum approach is through privitation is – again – SICK!