ERIC Number: ED397518
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Private Management of Public Schools: Early Experiences in Four School Districts. Report to Congressional Committees.
General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.
School districts nationwide are experimenting with a range of reform options, one of which is private management of public schools. This General Accounting Office (GAO) report describes the early experiences of four school districts that contracted with private companies for management of their public schools. Specifically, the report describes: (1) what the private companies and school districts were required to do under the contracts; (2) what happened in the school districts as the contracts were being implemented; and (3) the impact of private-management efforts on students. The GAO visited the four school districts--Baltimore City Public School District (Baltimore, Maryland); Dade County Public Schools (Dade County, Florida); Hartford School District (Hartford, Connecticut); and Minneapolis School District (Minneapolis, Minnesota)--that had contracts with private, for-profit companies in school year 1994-95. The private companies were Education Alternatives, Inc. (EAI), and Public Strategies Group (PSG). GAO also reviewed the contracts and the reported school operating expenses and analyzed student-outcome data. The study found that responsibility and authority varied under the different contracts and that school districts' experiences in implementing private management differed. In Dade County and Minneapolis, officials reported that attendance rates improved. In Baltimore and Dade County, students received individualized instruction. In general, students had greater access to computers and attended better maintained schools. Despite the positive impacts, however, scores on standardized tests did not substantially improve in Baltimore, Dade County, and Minneapolis. Student outcomes were not yet available for Hartford. The GAO made no recommendations regarding the privatization of education. Four figures and 12 tables are included. Appendices contain methodological notes; statistical data; and comments from the four school districts, EAI, and PSG. Acknowledgments and a list of GAO contacts are included. (LMI)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Attendance, Community Attitudes, Contracts, Corporate Support, Elementary Secondary Education, Free Enterprise System, Privatization, Public Schools, School Business Relationship, School Districts, Scores, Standardized Tests
U.S. General Accounting Office, P.O. Box 6015, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-6015 (first copy free; $2 each additional copy).
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: General Accounting Office, Washington, DC. Health, Education, and Human Services Div.