This book, the second in the Twentieth Century Fund's series of studies on the privatization of public services, finds that current arguments for privatizing schools are based on wishful thinking. After examining what the actual experience has been with privatization around the country, Hard Lessons concludes that the promise of saving money and improving educational quality through privatization is, at minimum, being oversold. While this report is likely to be disputed by those who have a strong attachment to the notion that privatizing always improves output--and by those with a financial stake in the for-profit school " industry" --it will be an important part of the ongoing debate. The report, which focuses on big city schools, argues that while the magic wand of privatization must be abandoned, the efforts to solve the problems facing our nation's urban schools must continue; there are hard questions to be asked, new solutions to be tried, and the case must continually be made for new resources for our public schools, even in today's political climate.
Used availability for Carol Ascher's Hard Lessons
October 1996 : USA Paperback