The Atlanta cheating scandal's tough lessons for business leaders
City business leaders enabled the Atlanta teaching scandal. Here's how not to repeat the mistakes of the past.

Article Highlights

  • Atlanta cheating scandal revealed businesses donate dollars to #school districts without asking questions #education

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  • The business community can only play important roles in k-12 schooling if their partnership is credible @AEIEducation

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  • Business leaders who support local schools should (in the words of Reagan) "trust, but verify"

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As details of the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) cheating scandal continue to emerge, the city’s business leadership has come under fire for its unabashed support of former Superintendent Beverly Hall. The tough truth is that Atlanta’s business community is partly to blame, as it ignored one of the cardinal rules of true partnerships: effective ones are two-way streets. City business leaders ended up working for, not with, the city’s school district leadership.

Too often, local businesses wanting to get involved in their K-12 education systems fall into this trap. Eager to be seen as “partners,” they donate dollars first and ask questions later. But to be effective, business leaders must recognize that partnering with school districts or policy makers doesn’t simply mean carrying their water. It means asking tough questions and insisting on certain end results or operational targets in exchange for support.

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About the Author

 

Frederick M.
Hess

 

Whitney
Downs

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Thursday, October 02, 2014 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Campbell Brown talks teacher tenure

We welcome you to join us as Brown shares her perspective on the role of the courts in seeking educational justice and advocating for continued reform.

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Friday, October 03, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Harnessing the power of markets to tackle global poverty: A conversation with Jacqueline Novogratz

AEI welcomes you to this Philanthropic Freedom Project event, in which Novogratz will describe her work investing in early-stage enterprises, what she has learned at the helm of Acumen, and the role entrepreneurship can play in the fight against global poverty.

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