For education companies, the costs of going public often outweigh the benefits. Many analysts agree. "Unless you are huge and a publisher, or education is a smaller part of your business, like Apple, Microsoft or a big construction firm, it makes no sense to be public" says one longtime industry observer and investor. It's an ironic sentiment. A field that rightly respects public as an essential touchstone is populated by successful companies viewing private ownership as the best way to achieve their public goals and mission.