Chris Whittle

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For the paleontologist and writer on paranormal topics, see Christopher H. Whittle.

H. Christopher "Chris" Whittle (born August 23, 1947) is an American media and education entrepreneur. He is the chief executive officer of Avenues: The World School, a planned international system of independent pre-K-12 schools. Avenues opened its first campus in New York City in fall 2012.[1][2] Previously he headed several publishing ventures, including serving as publisher of Esquire magazine and leading Whittle Communications, and founded Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning) with Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.

History[edit]

Whittle was born in Etowah, Tennessee. After graduating from the University of Tennessee with a major in American Studies, Whittle started the magazine Knoxville in a Nutshell with Phillip Moffitt and others. He started the 13-30 Corporation in Knoxville. In 1979 13-30 bought Esquire magazine, where Whittle served as chairman and publisher for a number of years. In 1986, 13-30 became Whittle Communications, which was one of America's top 100 media companies in the late 1980s - known for creating and publishing single-advertiser magazines that were placed in medical office waiting rooms. In 1989, Whittle Communications launched Channel One News, a national in-school television news program (first anchored by Kenny Rogers Jr., Brian Tochi, Michele Ruiz, Hicks Neal, Kathy Kronenberger and Mark Carter). Channel One News' programming reached eight million students daily in 12,000 schools[3] and won the Peabody Award.[4] Whittle sold the company in 1994.

He is the author of Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, published in 2005,[5] and wrote a chapter on the rise of global schooling for Customized Schooling: Beyond Whole-School Reform, published by Harvard Education Press in 2011. Whittle sits on the board of the Center for Education Reform[6] in Washington, D.C. In October 2010 he received an "accomplished alumnus" award from the University of Tennessee, his alma mater, where he has funded over 180 full scholarships.[7]

Edison Schools[edit]

Whittle serves on the board of EdisonLearning (formerly Edison Schools).the company he founded with Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. in 1992. Edison was an early pioneer in public/private partnerships in K-12 education in America. EdisonLearning now serves 450,000 students on three continents through the schools it operates and a variety of other educational programs. Edison Schools was a public company from 1999 to 2003, with its stock traded on the NASDAQ. After reaching a high of close to USD$40 per share in early 2001, shares fell as low as 14 cents. The company was taken private in 2003, in a buyout which valued the company at $180 million [8] or $1.76 per share.[9]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Priscilla dei conti Rattazzi, daughter of Urbano dei conti Rattazzi and Susanna Agnelli. They have two daughters, Andrea and Sasha.[10]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

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