E.A.I. Proposes To Scale Back Hartford Plan

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Beaten back once by local opposition, Education Alternatives Inc. has proposed a new strategy for reforming the Hartford, Conn., school system.

John T. Golle, the company's chief executive officer, told city and district officials this month that his company may be better off attempting all-out reform at about five sympathetic schools, rather than trying to bring incremental change to the entire district.

The successful transformation of a few pilot schools would likely make others more open to the Minneapolis-based company's reform efforts, Mr. Golle said in a letter to Hartford officials.

The for-profit company's districtwide reform proposals have met with fierce opposition from local teachers and parents and failed last month to win the approval of the Hartford school board. (See Education Week, 5/35/95.)

At the urging of Mayor Michael P. Peters, district and E.A.I. officials sought last week to shore up the company's role in reforming the 25,000-student district.

At the same time, however, district and company officials continued to haggle over the company's expenses, some of which school board members view as excessive.

Similar concerns have arisen in Baltimore, where E.A.I. manages nine schools. There, critics of the company last month persuaded the city council to subpoena the company's records related to its finances, legal fees, and lobbying activities.

--Peter Schmidt

Vol. 14, Issue 39

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