What's Keeping This Teacher Out Of School

If Education Alternatives Inc. could duplicate its triumphs in Dade County, Fla., the notion that private companies can turn around the nation's public schools might hold great promise. Since the Minneapolis-based corporation began running South Pointe Elementary School three years ago under a five-year, $1.2 million contract, reading and math scores on standardized tests have soared as much as 20%. Parents, thrilled that their kids are excited about learning, are pitching in more at school. "We're doing things to teach children to be lifelong learners," says Principal Arlene Ortenzo. But "what sets us apart is how parents feel about the school."

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