File this one under #longreads, but read it nonetheless.
It ostensibly explores the Washington Post Company’s foray into privatized education via its purchase and vast expansion of Kaplan (yes, that Kaplan, the one that does the test prep many of us have taken).
Today, Kaplan is a multinational, multibillion-dollar enterprise with 70 campuses and nearly 100,000 students, many of them online, many of them reliant on government aid. This newspaper, meanwhile, has struggled to remain profitable amid dramatic changes in the news industry. Newsweek was sold. The Post Co. now calls itself an education and media company — no longer the other way around.
While a fascinating education story, here’s why it’s important from the FJP’s perspective: as newspaper’s struggle financially they’re branching out into different businesses. For the Post Company, this means education, and this means being very involved in governmental decision making by the very same government its news organization covers, needles, and if it does its job right, agitates by uncovering malfeasance and spreading sunlight in the dark corners that some hope to keep hidden.
What then of the newspaper’s mission when it comes to covering educational policy and funding issues?
Part of the answer is that the article is in the Washington Post.