Educational Entrepreneurship
Realities, Challenges, Possibilities

Educational Entrepreneurship
Edited by Frederick M. Hess
Harvard Education Press, 2006, $29.95

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SEPTEMBER 5, 2006

Entrepreneurship has emerged in recent years as an unprecedented and influential force in U.S. K-12 education. Yet the topic has received surprisingly little serious or systematic attention. A new collection of essays, Educational Entrepreneurship: Realities, Challenges, Possibilities (Harvard Education Press, August 2006), fills this gap. Though today’s entrepreneurs are gradually remaking the structure of K-12 education, most accounts of their work either celebrate successes or bemoan their excesses. Seldom do observers stop to examine the challenges and opportunities in store. This timely volume addresses a number of central questions: What is educational entrepreneurship and what does it look like? Who are the educational entrepreneurs and what motivates them? What tools do entrepreneurs need to be successful? What policies or practices enable or impede entrepreneurship? What would it mean to open up the education sector to more entrepreneurial activity?

In this volume, an interesting and admirable range of contributors offer articles on the nature of educational entrepreneurship; the political, policy, and legal landscapes facing educational entrepreneurs; various models of entrepreneurial activity; the role of for-profit organizations in K-12 education; and possible future directions for educational entrepreneurs. The result is a lively, provocative book that introduces this expanding field to readers concerned with K-12 education in the United States--and with efforts to reform and improve it.

• An introduction and conclusion by the editor, Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at AEI.

• Chapter 1: “What Is Educational Entrepreneurship?”, by Kim Smith and Julie Landry Petersen of NewSchools Venture Fund.

• Chapter 2: “Entrepreneurs at Work,” by Paul Teske and Aimee Williamson of the Center for Education Policy Analysis at the University of Colorado.

• Chapter 3: “The Policy Landscape,” by Patrick McGuinn of Drew University.

• Chapter 4: “Mapping the K-12 and Postsecondary Sectors,” by Adam Newman of Eduventures.

• Chapter 5: “For-Profit K-12 Education: Through the Glass Darkly,” by Alex Molnar of the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University.

• Chapter 6: “Entrepreneurs within School Districts,” by Joe Williams, author of Cheating Our Kids: How Politics and Greed Ruin Education.

• Chapter 7: “Markets, Bureaucracies, and Clans: The Role of Organizational Culture,” by Robert Maranto of Villanova University and April Gresham Maranto.

• Chapter 8: “Why Is This So Difficult?”, by Henry M. Levin of Teachers College, Columbia University.

• Chapter 9: “Opportunities, but a Resistant Culture,” by Steven F. Wilson of Harvard University.

• Chapter 10: “The Bias against Scale and Profit,” by John E. Chubb of Edison Schools.

• Chapter 11: “Educational Entrepreneurs Redux,” by Larry Cuban of Stanford University.

What education experts say about Educational Entrepreneurship

“Educational entrepreneurs are proving that the calcified delivery system of public schooling can be shaken up and retooled for the twenty-first century. Hess and his colleagues look at the phenomenon from every angle in this rich assortment of essays. This is a book that provides plenty of fuel for discussions about where school reform is headed.”

--Nelson Smith, President, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools

“If you believe America’s schools can be changed for the better, then here’s abook for you. Hess and his colleagues explore a new breed of educational revolutionaries and the difficult contexts in which they labor. There is a bit of everything between these covers, from the risk and messiness of it all to the promise.”

--Chris Whittle, Founder and CEO, Edison Schools

“Educational entrepreneurs are playing an increasingly visible role in shaping the future of education in America. This insightful book offers a window into how this movement has evolved, the hurdles it faces, and its growing impact on our nation’s schools.”

--Michelle Rhee, CEO and President, The New Teacher Project

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