Education A National Roundup

Edison Poised to Leave Chester, Pa., Schools Early

By Catherine Gewertz — April 12, 2005 1 min read

Edison Schools Inc. is likely to end its work with Pennsylvania’s Chester- Upland school district in June, a year ahead of schedule.

A sex scandal involving the district’s acting high school principal sealed the decision for the state-appointed control board that runs the beleaguered 7,500-student district.

But Edison officials said last week that they had tentatively concluded earlier that they could no longer continue their work in Chester-Upland.

Eboni Wilson, who by many accounts had been improving the operations of Chester High School since Edison brought him aboard last fall, was arrested last week for allegedly having two sexual encounters with a 16-year-old student in the school’s auditorium. Mr. Wilson says he is innocent of the charges.

Adriene Irving, one of three control board members, said panel members agree Edison should leave in June. The New York City-based company manages eight of Chester’s nine schools. “It’s just one more black mark on Edison’s record,” Ms. Irving said. “We think it’s time.”

Adam Tucker, an Edison spokesman, said company officials were inclined to leave Chester in June. But he said that prospect had “nothing at all” to do with Mr. Wilson’s arrest.

The control board had been considering letting Edison’s contract expire in June 2006 because the district has persistent academic and financial problems. (“State-Run Pa. District Battles Host of Woes,” March 2, 2005.)