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The Future of Tweed’s ‘Edison Partnership,’ As It Is Playing Out In Philadelphia

Inside sources report that while the Department of Education solicited a number of last minute applications to bolster their numbers, there were five significant bids to become one of the ‘partnerships’ to which Tweed would like to outsource its educational functions. Those five bidders were: New York University, Teachers College, the Center for Educational Innovation, New Visions and Edison.

If you want to look into the future and see what New York City will get with Edison as a “partner,” consider this story, Schools Pay $1.6 Million for ‘Ghost’ Pupils, in today’s Philadelphia Daily News. The Philadelphia school district is running a rather large deficit, and yet it is paying Edison more than $1.6 million to educate students who, in the words of the Daily News, “do not exist.”

The Daily News explains that the Orwellian named

School Reform Commission… decided to maintain the per-pupil funding level for 12,591 students in Edison-run schools, even though the combined enrollment at the company’s schools had been dropping since the contract began in 2002.

The effect this year is that Edison, which receives $750 per student, is being paid for 12,591 students while actually only educating 10,395.

What is amazing is that Edison keeps tottering on the brink of financial disaster, given that it is paid so handsomely for not educating Philadelphia public school students.

A hat tip to the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a great on-line journal of news on Philadelphia public schools, which originally broke this story.



  • 1 Jackie Bennett
    · Mar 10, 2007 at 8:59 am

    Here’s what made me laugh. In defending the extra dollars they took from Philadelphia, Edison said, “there was not a reduction in our costs…Most of our costs are driven on a school-by-school basis, as opposed to a student-by-student basis. That means that as our enrollment was declining, our costs were not.”

    Maybe someone ought to tell Joel Klein.

    (quotation is from the article Leo Casey linked, and attributed to Todd McIntire, of Edison)

  • 2 xkaydet65
    · Mar 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    Just a question from the peanut gallery, but wouldn’t NYU involve Diane Ravitch. She is, I believe, a member of the faculty of the NYU School of Ed. This, if true, would be a good thing, would it not?

  • 3 Leo Casey
    · Mar 13, 2007 at 9:26 am

    Both Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier have positions at NYU. I have seen both recently, and both were unequivocal in their opposition to the latest reorganization. They have said so on their blog, Bridging Differences. If either Diane or Deborah were involved in this effort from NYU, I am certain they would have shared it with us.

    Unfortunately, on the business side of things, and this is a business venture with large amounts of dollars, universities do not go to their foremost educators for advice. That is as true of Teachers College as it is of NYU.

  • 4 jd2718
    · Mar 13, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    … two of the largest private landlords in NYC…

    As far as Ravitch, she is very intelligent, and sometimes she is right. But it doesn’t mean she will always be friendly towards us, nor that she will always be right.