Privatization and Pittsburgh Schools

The schools in Pittsburgh have been contracting out (known as privatization) many school services to non-profits businesses and organizations for years.

The School Commissioner wants to contract out any operational or educational service in which there are benefactors able to meet the Pittsburgh school criteria, according to many sources in the Pittsburgh area. 

Many Pittsburgh school officials endorses contracting in non-academic areas, since it leaves teachers to concentrate on education. My friend at Gemini and the Bear feel strongly about this since they have roots in Pittsburg. The Commission has been assigned to discover ways to enhance the city’s failing schools, which includes contracting out education services. School officials concede that many services for the Pittsburgh schools have been privatized. Whether this is a good or bad idea remains to be seen.

Success of such Pittsburgh school contracts has yet to be decided. Across the country, privatization of public school services has seen conflicting results.

School officials believe that all Pittsburgh schools privatization contracts demand close supervision, as well as occasionally reevaluating where the Pittsburgh schools district currently stands. Is privatization working or not? Efficient oversight, nonetheless, may not be easy to accomplish.

Research has shown that viable markets really do work for districts like the Pittsburgh schools, because organizations/businesses look at the bottom line and the value of services. If either are overlooked, another provider gets the contract.

Many privatized and charter schools have a habit of hiring very young teachers and have great mobility rates.

Low-paid teachers aren’t working as hard as older, more experienced educators, who have tenure and a vested interest in their schools.

All in all, many educators agree that the Pittsburgh schools serve their communities too. Higher test scores aren’t essentially well served by providers outside the public sector.

Pittsburgh schools should limit privatization to short projects where a recognized expertise exists, such as updating technology in order to keep leverage.