New book, Last Bell: Breaking the gridlock in education reform, challenges legislators, school officials, and education reform leaders to do better by the nation's children by taking a free market approach

Nov 11, 2015, 10:14 ET from SABIS

NEW YORK, Nov. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A new book portrays the alarming state of U.S. public schools, examines thirty years of failed reform efforts, and concludes that the nation must attract the best public education providers, including for-profit companies, to boost achievement and secure America's future.

In Last Bell:  Breaking the gridlock in education reform, education company leader Carl Bistany and journalist Stephanie Gruner Buckley argue that the failure to significantly improve public education threatens the long-term competitiveness of the U.S. economy. They explain that the problem is growing worse as the nation grapples with a poverty crisis in which more than half of the nation's public school students qualify for subsidized lunches and the achievement gap between high- and low-income students widens.

The authors argue for the expansion of charter schools, many of which have long waiting lists and have shown promising results, particularly for disadvantaged students. They explain why the tax status of education providers is irrelevant and outline the advantages that for-profits realistically bring to the table. Finally, and what makes this book a genuinely interesting read, they chronicle the battles over education reform, which are more often about adults protecting spheres of influence and pots of money than about the needs of children and the U.S.'s economic future.

"The compelling part of this book is the firsthand experience with public school officials and decision makers, both elected and appointed, who fight competition, particularly from for-profit providers, at every turn," writes Eric A. Hanushek, a leader in the development of economic analysis of educational issues, in the book's foreword. "It is useful to put some of the recurring arguments they make against for-profit involvement into perspective."

Last Bell is due out on December 1, 2015, and is available now for pre-order on and

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About the Authors:

Carl Bistany is director of SABIS Holdings and oversees the operating companies that manage schools in the global SABIS® Network. The network, which was established in 1886, educates 70,000 students in schools located in 16 countries on four continents. 

Mr. Bistany has led the fourth-generation family-owned business since 1992 and transitioned it into a globally recognized, professionally managed enterprise. In addition to his active involvement as director, he has been instrumental in expanding the SABIS® Network in the private sector as well as the public sector including the U.S. charter school market.

Stephanie Gruner Buckley is an American writer in London. She previously worked as the Europe Editor for Quartz, as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal in Europe, and as a staff writer at Inc. magazine. She teaches investigative reporting, ethics, and business reporting to journalists in economically developing countries.