Public-Private Partnerships « Center on Educational Governance (CEG)

Public-Private Partnerships

Public-Private Partnerships Overview

In the past decade, the private sector has expanded without precedent in all aspects of public education. In addition to domains such as food service and transportation, districts, states and schools are hiring outside organizations to design, deliver and evaluate remedial instruction; test-score data storage, on-line curriculum, and consulting services on school and district restructuring among other areas. So far, the scope and speed of these developments has outpaced research on their implementation and effectiveness. Beginning in 2001 with our national study of the role of public-private partnerships in charter schools, CEG’s work addresses issues critical to building the knowledge base in this area, including:

Our work in this area focuses on studying the use of partnerships across the public, for-profit and nonprofit sectors to improve the delivery of education services.

Project Summaries

Implementation and Impact of Supplemental Educational Services under NCLB

July 2009 – Present

Supplemental educational services (SES) are a major federal intervention authorized by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. Public schools that have not made adequate yearly progress in increasing academic achievement for three years are required to offer
children in low-income families the opportunity to receive SES through tutoring. Tutoring must be provided outside of the school day, and states are urged to promote expansive choice in registering nonprofit, for profit, faith based and community organizations. This project seeks to identify successful approaches and effective strategies for the design and delivery of SES programs providers. The study employs a longitudinal mixed-method design including in-depth field research on the implementation of SES, and rigorous nonexperimental evaluation methods to estimate the impact of SES on student performance.

This project is a joint effort of the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Center on Educational Governance at the Rossier School of Education University of Southern California, and Texas Schools Project at the University of Texas-Dallas. The project is housed within the Value Added Research Project at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

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Supporting the Creation of Charter Schools: Using Cross-Sectoral Alliances to Enhance Capacity

October 2001 to December 2004

In this national study, the Center on Educational Governance conducted site visits to 22 charter schools in a sample of 11 states to examine how new-start charter schools use public-private partnerships to enhance capacity. Charter schools in the study partnered with a wide variety of public organizations, nonprofit groups, and for-profit businesses to enhance everything from their facilities to the curriculum and services offered to students. The study also examined the factors that motivated organizations to develop strategic alliances, and the conditions that supported or impeded such alliances.

Funding Source: Ahmanson Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, United States Department of Education

Books and Book Chapters

Burch, P. (2009). Hidden Markets: The New Education Privatization. New York: Routledge. The Critical Social Thought Series.

Gomez, L., & Hentschke, G. C. (2009). K-12 Education and the Role of For-Profit Providers, in J. Bransford, D.Stipek, N. Vye, L. Gomez, & D. Lam (eds.),  The Role of Research in Educational Improvement Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press, 137-159.

Hentschke, G. C. (2007). Characteristics of Growth in the Education Industry: Illustrations from U.S. Education Businesses, in K.Leuze, K.Martens, & A. Rusconi (eds.), New Arenas of Education Politics: The impact of  international organizations and markets on educational policymaking. London, Palgrave Macmillan,pp. 176-194.

Davies, B.J., & Hentschke, G. (2006). Public-private partnerships in education: Their nature and contribution to educational provision and improvement. Nottingham: National College for School Leadership.

Hentschke, G., Malloy, C., Smith, J., & P. Wohlstetter. (2005). Charter school partnerships:  8 key lessons for success. Los Angeles: Center on Educational Governance.

Kourilsky, M.L., & Hentschke, G. (2003). Educational entrepreneurship and covisionary multisectorism. In M. Kourilsky &W.B. Walstad (Eds.), Social entreprenership. Birmingham: Senate Hall Academic Publishing.

Journal Articles

Burch, P. (2010). The bigger picture: Institutional perspectives on interim assessment technologies. Peabody Journal of Education, 85(2), 147-162

Davies, B. & Hentschke, G. (2006). Public-private partnerships in education: Insights from the field. School Leadership and Management, 26(3), p. 205-226.

Smith, J. & Wohlstetter, P. (2006). Understanding the different faces of partnering: A typology of public-private partnerships. School Leadership and Management, 26(3), p. 249-268.

Wohlstetter, P., & Smith, J. (2006). Improving schools through partnerships: Learning from charter schools. Phi Delta Kappan, 87(6), p. 464-467.

Wohlstetter, P., Smith, J., Malloy, C.L. (2005). Strategic alliances in action: toward a theory of evolution. Policy Studies Journal, 33(3), p. 419-442.

Wohlstetter, P., Malloy, C.L., Hentschke, G., & Smith, J. (2004). Improving service delivery in education through collaboration: An exploratory study of the role of cross-sectoral alliances in the development and support of charter schools. Social Science Quarterly. 85(5), p.1078-1096.

Wohlstetter, P., Malloy, C.L., Smith, J., & Hentshke, G. (2004). Incentives for charter schools: Building school capacity through cross-sectoral alliances. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(3), p. 321-365.

Policy Briefs

Smith, J., Wohlstetter, P., & Hentschke, G. (2008). Partnerships between charter schools and other organizations. Washington, D.C.: National Center on Charter School Finance and Governance.

Center on Educational Governance (2004). Charter school laws and partnerships: Expanding opportunities and resources. Denver: Education Commission of the States.

Other Publications

Davies, B., (2006). Public-private partnerships: Guest editorial. School Leadership and Management, 26(3), 201-203.

Wohlstetter, P. & Smith, J. (2004, September 29). Partnering to improve education: Lessons from charter schools. Education Week. 24(5), p. 30-32.


Center on Educational Governance
Rossier School of Education
University of Southern California
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