In addition to an interesting cover article about customer service (starring the ultimate cranky customer, Lewis Black), the September issue of Fast Company also features a debate on the issue of for-profit companies running public schools.

Taking the pro side is the founder of just such a company, although he makes a better case for giving principals more control over their budget than he does for his position in this debate.

The con position is taken by the principal of a high school in Ohio and he gets both the last word and the most important point about public education in general.

Precisely. There is no need to privatize public education nor turn it over to private entrepreneurs. Rather, we should be looking for ways to strengthen public schools, not for ways to make a profit off of them.

Above all else, schools are a public good. We tax ourselves so that we can have the democracy and standard of living we enjoy through the provision of public services such as schools.

There is no evidence that abandoning this public commitment will get us better schools, or a better standard of living. But to do so could do irreparable damage to nurturing in our young the habits of heart and mind that make democracy possible.

fast company, for-profit, schools