The dismal performance of American K-12 education today demonstrates that dramatic improvements are necessary. In a functioning marketplace, profit-seeking firms nimbly adapt to consumer demands to provide increasingly better goods and services. When provided with healthy incentives, firms can access capital, grow rapidly, maximize cost effectiveness, and attract talented employees. In short, free enterprise could play an essential role in meeting the country's grave education challenges. Yet, the policy community--no less the public--rarely discusses for-profit K-12 providers in this way. When the sector is considered at all, it is generally regarded as unsavory or even exploitative. There has not been a national conversation about maximizing the potential of open, transparent markets to improve learning while establishing healthy incentives and accountability that would ensure a level, dynamic, performance-oriented marketplace. This project will change that reality by calling on prominent scholars and reformers to take a clearheaded approach to the role of the private sector in education. To fill the void of original research, AEI will commission six papers to provide a serious, unbiased foundation for policy discussion. Four private working groups will educate policymakers and practitioners who themselves have realms of influence far beyond what AEI could reach alone. A public event will distribute the findings and foster policy dialogue among a broader audience. This project will spark a reasoned national dialogue about the proper role of the private sector in public education in hopes of removing some of the barriers and stigma that prevent high-quality providers from entering a stagnant system. This project holds the potential to make a tangible impact on the statues and district policies that prevent K-12 firms from operating, and it could open up the marketplace for successful providers who would deliver better results in teaching and learning.