Issue #353

Venture capitalists are poised to ‘disrupt’ everything about the ‘education market’ (bye-bye democracy if they succeed)

Next year, the market size of K-12 education is projected to be $788.7 billion. And currently, much of that money is spent in the public sector. “It’s really the last honeypot for Wall Street,” says Donald Cohen, the executive director of In the Public Interest, a think tank that tracks the privatization of roads, prisons, schools and other parts of the economy. That might be changing soon as barriers to investment are rapidly fading. As Eric Hippeau, a partner with Lerer Ventures, the venture capital firm behind viral entertainment company BuzzFeed and several education startups, has argued, despite the opposition of “unions, public school bureaucracies, and parents,” the “education market is ripe for disruption.” Hippeau’s vision is the growing sentiment among investors. The Nation, 9-25-14.