Pictured above: Bob Rider, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, Chris Whittle, and UT President Emeritus Joe Johnson
Chris Whittle visited campus recently and was recognized as an Accomplished Alumnus. Whittle spoke on “The Rise of Global Schooling” to more than 100 people at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy. His lecture was hosted by UT’s Center for Educational Leadership and the Office of Alumni Affairs.
Whittle established Edison Schools—now known as EdisonLearning Inc.—in 1992. The country’s largest for-profit organization for managing public schools, EdisonLearning currently contracts with schools in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates.
Whittle also is known for his more than 20 years in media. After graduating from UT and starting the Knoxville in a Nutshell magazine with others, he started the 13-30 Corp. In 1979, 13-30 bought Esquire magazine and saved it from extinction.
After selling Esquire to the Hearst Corp. in 1986, he formed Whittle Communications, which focused on publishing single-advertiser magazines. He also launched Channel One News in 1989. The brief news program for teens broadcast to four high schools that first year before going national in 1990. Whittle sold Channel One in 1994. The programming is now broadcast to more than 12,000 schools across the country.
Today, Whittle remains affiliated with EdisonLearning as a member of its board. His book Crash Course, which called for dramatic increases in government research and development funds in education, has influenced thinking in both government and foundation circles. Whittle continues to advocate for education reform as an active director at the Center for Education Reform. He also is developing a new education company called Avenues—The World School.
Visit the Accomplished Alumni website for more information.