School Inc.
BOB CHITESTER
Executive Producer

Bob Chitester is chairman, president and CEO of Free To Choose Network, a 501-c-3 public foundation housing Free To Choose Media, an award-winning, global entertainment company which produces and distributes thought-provoking public television programs and series; izzit.org, an educational initiative that produces video-centric teaching units for a large network of K-College educators; and Free To Choose Press publishing company.

In 1977, Chitester and economist Milton Friedman undertook a film project which became Free To Choose, an award-winning PBS television series. The international best-selling book, Free To Choose, was based on the series and enjoyed sales in the millions. More than 30 years later, the series and book are still in wide use and have been profoundly influential.

Chitester has more than 50 years of experience in television management and program development.  Working with TCI in Denver, CO, Chitester created Issues USA, a nightly half-hour program, whose alumni includes: David Asman, Eric Burns and Douglas Kennedy, currently regulars on the Fox Cable News Channel, Jonathan Karl of ABC News, and Richard Lowry, editor of National Review.

More than 500 projects have been launched through Free To Choose Media under his orchestration, ranging from documentaries, cable series and home video programs, many of whiach can be viewed on www.FreeToChoose.TV. He is juggling a number of media projects in various stages of production, including Is America in Retreat?, a series on the role of the military in a free society, based on Bret Stephens’ America in Retreat; Work & Happiness: The Human Cost of Welfare; Trailblazers: The New Zealand Story; The Constitution and the Rule of Law with Justice Douglas Ginsburg; a biography of Thomas Sowell; and Andrew Coulson’s series, School, Inc., in partnership with New York’s WNET, as the presenting television station.

TOM SKINNER
Executive Producer

Tom Skinner is executive producer of all Free To Choose Media productions.

Tom is an award-winning television and film executive producer, most notably of the National Geographic specials and Planet Earth. He is an experienced innovator and administrator with a solid academic background, and extensive national and international production credentials in public and commercial television.

From 1970 through 1993, Tom Skinner served as vice-president, executive vice-president, and chief operating officer of QED Communications, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1993, he left to pursue opportunities in independent production for A&E, Discovery and Turner Broadcasting. From 1994 through 1999, he was vice president for programming at Resolution Productions.

Prior to his tenure at QED Communications, Tom was assistant manager at WITF-TV in Hershey, Pennsylvania and associate professor of Radio and Television and executive producer at San Diego State University. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including: four national Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and a Columbia/DuPont Award; and was director of the Academy Award-winning film Journey Into Self.

Tom holds a BA degree in Speech and Education from the State University of New York, Fredonia; an MA in Communications from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Communications and Theatre from the University of Michigan.

Tom is married to Marlis Mann of Leland, Michigan; he has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.

ANDREW COULSON
Writer / Director

Trained in mathematics and computer science at Canada’s McGill University, Coulson began his first career as a Microsoft software engineer in 1989. He left the computer industry in January of 1994 to pursue his love of education, troubled by the fact that teaching and learning were being left behind by the relentless progress in other fields. His book, Market Education: The Unknown History, received endorsements from Washington Post columnist William Raspberry, Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman, Harvard political scientist Paul Peterson, and University of Chicago education psychologist Herbert Walberg. His 2009 paper for the peer-reviewed Journal of School Choice was the most comprehensive review of the worldwide scientific literature comparing alternative education systems. In 2011 he conducted a statistical study titled “The Other Lottery: Are Philanthropists Backing the Best Charter Schools?” Coulson has appeared on national radio and television, lectured on three continents, and has been published in top daily newspapers around the world. He has testified before the United States House and Senate on the state of American education and co-authored amicus briefs for the United States Supreme Court. He was Senior Fellow in Education Policy at the Washington, D.C.-based Cato Institute, and contributed chapters to books by the Hoover Institution and Canada’s Fraser Institute. Prior to his death in February 2016, Coulson made arrangements to ensure School Inc. would be completed for broadcast television.

LEIGH ANNE SIDES
Producer / Supervising Editor

Leigh Anne Sides is a film and television producer and editor who has been working in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years. She served on the post production team for Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Feature 2007, Taxi to the Dark Side and edited the feature documentary, Kennewick Man: An Epic Drama of the West, about a significant archaeological find in Washington State. In addition to editing long form documentaries for National Geographic and PBS, Sides has edited episodes for two seasons of Exposé: America's Investigative Reports, Now with David Branccacio and she was the series editor in 2008 on Wide Angle for PBS. Sides has also edited shows for A&E, The Food Network, The History Channel, Discovery and many other major broadcast and cable networks. In 2003, she was invited to take part in the Filmmaker's Workshop at the Sundance Institute. She has received various awards and honorable mentions for her work, including six Emmy nominations and a Ciné Golden Eagle for her work on the Exposé episode “In a Small Town.” Sides is interested in the arts, politics, environmental issues, human rights, science and nature and strives to reflect those interests in the projects she undertakes.