NYC parents deliver crushing defeat to Edison Schools Inc.

A plan to privatize five failing New York City schools suffered a more stunning defeat than either side anticipated, with 80 percent of the parents who voted rejecting it, according to the tally released yesterday. Edison executives, who had expected to win contracts with at least two of the schools, expressed shock at the margin of defeat....Related story (New York Post): Mayor Giuliani says he'll include funds for expanded school privatization in his next budget. Earlier: It looks doubtful that Edison Schools Inc. will be a major presence in New York City anytime soon. But Edison officials and their supporters on Wall Street say the rejection the company suffered in New York is not likely to significantly affect its ability to manage or expand its business....Analysts say that failing to take over five schools in Brooklyn, The Bronx and Harlem might not hurt Edison in the short term, but the company needs New York in the long run.

More on Edison and for-profit schools

SAN FRANCISCO: The controversy over the city's Edison Charter Academy is emblematic of a wider philosophical split. To many children's advocates across the country, the fight over Edison is a last-ditch attempt to keep public education public, freely available and accountable to all children, whatever their race or background. (Salon Magazine)...Previous article: Edison has 90 days to fix perceived shortcomings at the Edison Charter Academy in the San Francisco School District, or it will lose its contract. A school district report accused Edison of discriminating against black students, urging special education kids to apply elsewhere and threatening teachers. (San Francisco Chronicle)

LAS VEGAS: Although its uncertain financial picture is drawing national attention and several local hurdles remain, Edison Schools is getting closer to its planned fall startup in Las Vegas. If district officials are pleased with Edison's performance, the for-profit company could take over up to 13 additional schools by 2005, bringing the total to 20. (Las Vegas Sun)

DALLAS: Schools superintendent Mike Moses has ordered a study of elementary campuses to compare operational costs and student achievement with seven schools operated by Edison Schools Inc. The superintendent urged trustees to withhold judgment over an internal report that said the schools run by Edison Schools Inc. could cost the district up to $20 million more than expected this year....Former Dallas schools Superintendent Bill Rojas is long gone, but one of his biggest pet projects is still stirring up controversy among school trustees. Board members say Rojas left them in the dark about financial details and pushed the Edison deal through without much scrutiny....Seven Dallas schools being run by a private company could cost the Dallas Independent School District up to $20 million more this year than expected, according to a district report. The district is paying the extra money for such services as transportation and security that Edison Schools Inc. doesn't have to cover under its contract.(Dallas Morning News)

DETROIT: Detroit Public Schools has put off plans to hire a for-profit educational management company to run as many as 13 low-achieving schools. Instead, Schools Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Burnley has agreed to give the teachers union a chance to help the school district come up with ideas to improve school performance.

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