Edison Schools, the country's largest-for profit manager of public schools, announced that it'll be going private (as opposed to being a publicly-traded company, that is). As Thomas Sowell once noted, there's something odd about naming things with respect to intentions, since "welfare programs" often fail to increase welfare, and, as in Edison's case, "for-profit" companies often fail to turn a profit.
Plenty of people are eager to point to Edison's troubles as proof that "for-profit" and "education" don't mix. As the astute Marie Gryphon notes, however, the fact that private institutions actually are allowed to fail when they can't deliver the goods is a feature, not a bug. But I'd add to her analysis my own suspicion that the Dr. Moreau-style hybrid of public schools with private managers isn't a particularly effective solutions. You can outsource central planning to Central Planning Incorporated, you can give a witch doctor an MRI machine, but these aren't the sort of reforms that take real advantage of the systemic virtues of markets and modern medicine, respectively. Private companies tend to be more efficient because they face real competition. Edison may indeed face competition with other managerial firms, but it's still filtered through the political process, rather than responding directly to individual parental preference.