Mobilizing the Private Sector for Public Education: A View from the Trenches

Christina Hentges

Harry Anthony Patrinos and Shobhana Sosale, eds.
September 2007

Countries differ in their social and economic practices, but from the United States to Venezuela to the United Kingdom one can find public-private partnerships (or PPPs) to improve education. The essays in this World Bank volume explore the mechanics of PPPs and their effects. From the U.S., Gregg Vanourek and Checker Finn conclude that charter schools encourage parent involvement and increase efficiency of per-pupil spending. In Latin America, a Colombian public-school program puts high-performing private schools in charge of public schools, most of them in poor areas. While PPPs vary greatly in their specifics, they all work to bring high-quality services to typically disenfranchised groups, and they all rely on the skills of private management. Unfortunately, they also face multiple barriers: fear of private control; church-state separation angst; and unfriendly labor organizations. Dispelling myths about private oversight is therefore key for PPP success, and this book's authors do their best. Check it out here.

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