Sunday, July 10, 2011
Chris Whittle's latest private school scheme, and why Joel Klein deserves a cut of the action
There's a long article in today's NY Times about Chris Whittle’s latest scam; starting a for-profit private school called Avenues in Chelsea that whose tuition will be almost $40,000 per year: The Best School $75 Million Can Buy .
NYC parents are so desperate to get their kids into a good school that they are willing to pre-pay before the school is even open, to ensure their children have preference on an “early admission” list.
FYI, both Joel Klein and Wendy Kopp of TFA attended one of the glossy promotional events for this school. Perhaps this is what Klein meant when he told Manhattan parents that they have “choices.” No mention of how overcrowded downtown Manhattan public schools are, and how this is feeding into this frenzy.
Klein’s delinquency in failing to create enough public school seats and allowing class sizes and Kindergarten waiting lists to grow out of control will likely help his friend Whittle make money; perhaps he should get a cut of the action. (For more on this see: Why Aren’t Parents Rioting in the Streets?)
Whittle, of course, is the former head of Edison charter schools, which also promised to make money for its investors and provide a superior education, based on "efficiencies" that he would deliver, and failed to make good on either of these promises. Chris Cerf, the former Edison COO, is now Acting NJ Commissioner of Education; perhaps he can go into business with Whittle setting up more private schools, once he's helped to destroy the NJ public school system.
Here's a NY Magazine article from 2008 about a previous Whittle private school that never materialized.