Class Clowns: How the Smartest Investors Lost Billions in Education

By Jonathan A Knee

The past thirty years have seen dozens of otherwise successful investors try to improve education through the application of market principles. They have funneled billions of dollars into alternative schools, online education, and textbook publishing, and they have, with surprising regularity, lost their shirts.

In Class Clowns, professor and investment banker Jonathan A. Knee dissects what drives investors' efforts to improve education and why they consistently fail. Knee takes readers inside four spectacular financial failures in education: Rupert Murdoch's billion-dollar effort to reshape elementary education through technology; the unhappy investors--including hedge fund titan John Paulson--who lost billions in textbook publisher Houghton Mifflin; the abandonment of Knowledge Universe, Michael Milken's twenty-year mission to revolutionize the global education industry; and a look at Chris Whittle, founder of EdisonLearning and a pioneer of large-scale transformational educational ventures, who continues to attract investment despite decades of financial and operational disappointment.

Although deep belief in the curative powers of the market drove these initiatives, it was the investors' failure to appreciate market structure that doomed them. Knee asks: What makes a good education business? By contrasting rare successes, he finds a dozen broad lessons at the heart of these cautionary case studies. Class Clowns offers an important guide for public policy makers and guardrails for future investors, as well as an intelligent expos? for activists and teachers frustrated with the repeated underperformance of these attempts to shake up education.


NEW RELEASES: Business Books to Watch in November

Posted November 2, 2016, 9:00 AM with category of Innovation & Creativity
These are some of the titles we'll have our eyes on in November. Read more


  Choose a format

Price: $23.96/ea
LIST PRICE: $29.95

Bulk Hardcover Non-returnable Discounts
Quantity Price Discount
1 - 24 $23.96 20%
25 - 99 $20.96 30%
100 - 499 $19.47 35%
500 - 999 $18.87 37%
ISBN: 9780231179287

About the Hardcover

Publisher Columbia University Press
Publish date 11/29/2016
Pages 288
ISBN-13 9780231179287
ISBN-10 0231179286
Language English

Need 1000 or more?

Additional discounts may be available for print books. We also offer pricing for RETURNABLE orders. Please call 1-800-236-7323 or email us to request a quote.