Is there a place for for-profit organizations in public education? If i3 and higher ed are any indication, the Administration rejoinder seems to be no. Gadfly wonders, though, are we being distracted by tax status to the detriment of evaluating quality? Yes, for-profits may be tempted to cut corners to fatten the bottom line. But they can also bring unique strengths to the table, such as a relentless pursuit of cost efficiencies, motivation to expand, nimbleness in resource allocation—and up-front private capital. Let’s table their tax status for a second and ask ourselves a different query: Are they doing a good job? 

Opinion: In Education, For-Profit Gets a Bad Rap,” by Michael Horn, Huffington Post, May 20, 2010

The For-Profit Question,” by Frederick M. Hess, Rick Hess Straight Up a blog of Education Week, May 24, 2010

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