Benefits and Costs of For-Profit Public Education


  • Alex Molnar University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee



Educational Administration, Educational Change, Elementary Secondary Education, Public Schools


As a policy initiative, for-profit operation of public schools has not lived up to the claims of its proponents. An examination of issues such as teaching methods, academic achievement, autonomy, local control, and the image and influence of for-profit public schools suggests that "for-profits" are unlikely to succeed in the long term in improving the overall quality of public education. They do, however, seem capable of harming public schools.


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Author Biography

Alex Molnar, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Alex Molnar is a Professor of Education in the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Education, in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. He has a B.A. in history, political science, and education, two Masters degrees, one in history and one in social welfare, a Specialist's Certificate in educational administration, and a Ph.D. in urban education. Molnar, currently the director of the Center for Education Research, Analysis, and Innovation (CERAI) ( and the Center for the Analysis of Commercialism in Education (CACE) (, has been a professor in the School of Education at UWM since 1972. Previously he taught social studies at a high school in the Chicago area. From 1993 to 1995, Professor Molnar served as chief of staff for the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's Urban Initiative, a project that resulted in the creation of Wisconsin's Student Achievement Guarantee in Education (SAGE) program. The statewide SAGE program is designed to increase the academic achievement of low-income children in grades K-3 by reducing class size, reforming the curriculum, providing professional development, and opening schools to morning and evening activities. Molnar is a member of the SAGE evaluation team.




How to Cite

Molnar, A. (2001). Benefits and Costs of For-Profit Public Education. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 9, 15.