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Project Edison perspires

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Frontline examines Chris Whittle’s Project Edison Thursday night on most PBS stations (check local listings) in Public Schools Inc. The documentary was produced with the Merrrow Report and the New York Times (which has a story today on Edison).

Whittle announced a bold plan to transform schools and make a profit when he formed the company over a decade ago, but has had to scale back those goals. He probably should have realized who tough it would be after the opposition to introducing his Channel One (which he had to sell to Primedia to keep Edison going) into classrooms. Whittle and his admirers and critics are interviewed extensively in the program, but one voice that seems to be missing is the students (though some are shown protesting).

Dale Mezzacappa who has covered Edison for the Philadelphia Inquirer has a review of the documentary.

While the documentary focuses on schools Edison has run in Kansas, Baltimore, and Pensylvania, my former co-worker at the Bay Guardian Tali Woodward has written about criticisms of the company in San Francisco (she also wrote a more recent piece for CorpWatch).

This is the conclusion of Frontline’s season (new programs will resume in October), but you can watch many of the past year’s programs and some from past seasons online.

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