Chris Whittle

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

H. Christopher "Chris" Whittle (born August 23, 1947) is an American media and education executive. He is the chairman and CEO of Whittle School & Studios, a global network of independent pre-K-12 schools serving children from ages 3 to 18. Whittle School will open its first two campuses in Washington, D.C. and Shenzhen, China in fall 2019 with an additional 30+ campuses planned in 15 countries over the next decade.[1] Previously, Whittle was chief executive officer of Avenues: The World School.[2][3] He served as chairman of Esquire magazine and founded Whittle Communications and for-profit school operator Edison Schools (now EdisonLearning) with Benno C. Schmidt, Jr.

Early life and career[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[4] and won the Peabody Award.[5] Whittle sold the company in 1994.

He is the author of Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, published in 2005,[6] 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[7] 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 more than 180 full scholarships.[8]

Whittle School & Studios[edit]

Whittle is chairman and CEO of Whittle School & Studios,[9] launched in February 2015.

In the fall of 2019, the first two campuses will open, in Shenzhen China, and Washington, D.C. By 2026, Whittle plans to expand to a system of 30+ major campuses in the world’s leading cities. Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop of Genoa, Italy, each campus will have 600,000 square feet and serve approximately 2,500 students, ages 3 to 18, with about 160 students per grade. Roughly 60 percent will be day students, and the remaining 40 percent will be weekly and full boarders. At capacity, Whittle School & Studios will be a highly integrated global learning community with a faculty of more than 10,000 teachers serving more than 90,000 full-time, on-campus students as well as hundreds of thousands of other students joining part-time, either virtually or on campus.[10]

Avenues: The World School[edit]

Whittle is the co-founder of Avenues: The World School, opened in September 2012 in New York City in the neighborhood of Chelsea.[11] He resigned[12] from Avenues to pursue his next venture: Whittle School & Studios.

Edison Schools[edit]

Whittle served 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 [13] or $1.76 per share.[14]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to photographer Priscilla Rattazzi. They have two daughters, Andrea and Sasha.[15]

Further reading[edit]

  • Trimble, Vance H. An Empire Undone: The Wild Rise and Hard Fall of Chris Whittle, 1995. ISBN 978-1-55972-309-1
  • "Commentary: Chris Whittle". [1]
  • Whittle, Chris. Crash Course: Imagining a Better Future for Public Education, 2005. ISBN 1-59448-902-5


  1. ^ Anderson, Nick (2018-02-07). "Private school with global ambition to open in D.C. and China in 2019". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  2. ^ "Whittle Taps Exeter, Dalton Veterans to Start New York School" by John Hechinger and Oliver Staley, Bloomberg News - January 31, 2011
  3. ^ "Whittle Starts A City School" by Shelly Banjo, Wall Street Journal - January 31, 2011
  4. ^
  5. ^ Channel One site Archived December 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Powell's Book synopsis
  7. ^ Center for Education Reform site, 14 May 2013
  8. ^ Press Release (October 28, 2010). "UT Graduate, Media Mogul Chris Whittle Receives Accomplished Alumni Award". Tennessee Today. University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  9. ^ "Chris Whittle - Tennessee Alumnus Magazine". Tennessee Alumnus Magazine. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  10. ^ Global Education Summit 未来教育大会 (2018-01-15), Characteristics of a Modern School, retrieved 2018-02-08
  11. ^ "Chris Whittle « Avenues – Private School". Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  12. ^ Hollander, Sophia (2015-03-05). "Education Entrepreneur Chris Whittle Resigns From Avenues School". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  13. ^ "Edison buyout draws Ire in Florida. - Free Online Library". Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  14. ^ "Edison Schools accepts buyout". Archived from the original on 2007-07-15. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
  15. ^ Christopher Whittle profile,; accessed 26 October 2015.

External links[edit]