Under Indiana’s former Secretary of Education Tony Bennett, the state determined to crack down on low-performing schools. Five schools were handed over to private management. The result was a disaster. Four schools made no progress at all. Enrollment plummeted at all the takeover schools.
Two recent comments point up the failure of private management in running public services. You would think that public officials would look at the record and stop privatizing public services and instead work to improve them.
Reader Chiara writes:
“What I love about the (bipartisan) mania for “running government like a business” is how they seem incapable of delivering basic government services.
“It’s the worst of both worlds. It’s not good government and it’s not good private sector. It’s this awful hybrid that we seem to be stuck with. Can we have two sectors again- a public sector and a private sector? Can we hire some people who don’t have complete contempt for the public sector they’re supposed to be improving?”
Another reader recounts the failure of private corporation Edison in Gary, Indiana.
“Roosevelt school in Gary, IN was taken over a few years ago by EdisonLeaning, a for profit charter school. There is a legal battle between the Gary Community Schools and EdisonLearning as to who is responsible for fixing up the school which is falling apart.
“Here is a partial quote from The Times of NW Indiana.
“GARY — As temperatures dipped below 20 degrees, Gary Roosevelt students and teachers stood outside the school Wednesday protesting a lack of heat in the building and the ability to get a quality education.
“Students have rarely been in the building since they returned from the Christmas holiday. The school was dismissed a half-day on a couple of days because of problems with the boilers that heat the building. It closed Jan. 8 due to the lack of heat and again Wednesday.
“The school is scheduled to be closed Thursday and Friday for development days.
“The students say enough is enough.
“Roosevelt senior Cary Martin said it’s really bad inside the building.
“Some of us have come to expect not being in the building because it’s too cold,” he said.
“This happens every year, but it’s time for a change. This is affecting our education. This is really sad.”
“He said there are also problems with water inside the building, with few water fountains working and none of the showers in the locker rooms.
“Some of my colleagues and friends stink after class because they can’t wash up,” Martin said.
“Food is also an issue, along with mold and damage in the school’s band room.
“In January 2014, due to the heating failures, a number of pipes burst causing the hallways near the gym to flood with up to 2 inches of water. In June 2014, Indiana American Water Co. turned off the water due to a lack of payment on the bill.
“Freshman English teacher Brandi Bullock said the temperature in the hallways ranges in the 40s, while the classroom temperatures are sporadic with some warm classrooms and others freezing.
“The problem is that we can’t be in the classrooms because there are not enough warm spaces,” she said. “It used to be that the library was a warm respite from the cold but the boiler that supported that room is not working.”