There's a couple of good Schooling in Ownership Society pieces in the media today. The first comes from my favorite education writer, Valerie Strauss (The Big Business of Charter Schools) in her Answer Sheet column, in today's Washington Post.
She has a link to one of my favorite headlines of all time at The Motley Fool investment blog.
From Waterparks to Charter Schools, EPR Properties Has You Covered
Are you looking to invest in giant water slides or movie theaters? How about charter schools and wineries? EPR Properties (NYSE: EPR ) owns properties in all of these businesses and more.Valerie helps make my case that public education has been a profitable business for the charter profiteers at the expense of students, families, communities and taxpayers.
When I first offered up that notion a decade ago, I was ridiculed by the very profiteers themselves.
"Trying to make a killing in the charter school business"?! Yeah, that's right, the charter school business is so profitable that I'm telling all my friends in the hedge fund business that they're in the wrong business. My message: "If you really want to make a lot of money, start a charter school!" LOL! -- Whitney TilsonLOL! indeed. In 2007, hedge-funder Tilson chided me for implying that there was a profit to be made in the charter school market while he and his group DFER were pursuing exactly that course.
Then there's the story of former football great, "Neon Deion" Sanders who tried to make a killing in the charter school business with Prime Prep Charter only to fail, fall into disrepute, and disgrace the once viable brand he worked so hard to create. Prime Prep was recently named by non-profit Children at Risk as the worst academic institution in North Texas. Don't miss this excellent piece (The Miseducation Of Deion Sanders) on his fall from grace, by Caleb Hannan at DeadSpin.