Book Review

Public Schools/Private Enterprise

Reviewed by George E. Pawlas,
Associate Professor of Educational
Leadership, University of Central
Florida, Orlando, Fla.


As more and more states are looking at charter schools and voucher plans as potential stimuli to improved student achievement, the privatization of school services and schools has moved to the forefront.

Entrepreneurs have sensed this mood of the country and have begun to use political pressure to open up the education market to business opportunities.

The personal experiences of authors Samuel Flam and William G. Keane form the basis of Public Schools/Private Enterprise. The eight chapters of the book focus on the major issues related to privatization, including premises and precedents and the politics of privatization.

Flam and Keane do not draw any political or philosophical conclusions about whether privatization in or of public education is sound public policy. Rather they have chosen to help concerned parties understand the privatization debate.

Administrators will benefit from the mix of scholarship and craft knowledge the authors have used as the basis for Public Schools/Private Enterprise. Their balance of theory and personal experience should enable the readers to benefit from their actual encounters with privatization.

(Public Schools/Private Enterprise, by Samuel Flam and William G. Keane, Technomic Publishing Co., 851 New Holland Ave., Lancaster, Pa. 17604, 1997, 178 pp. with index, $39.95 hardcover)