Read and enjoy. The author makes a larger point:
But the subtext here is more important than the top-line. The stories from Washington DC and New Orleans are not about the failure of public education; they’re about the importance of competition in creating a sustainable society.Charter schools offer viable options (when they aren't choked by regulations and budget restrictions). Still, Parent Performance Contracting would work better.
The great political scientist E. E. Schattschneider, in his seminal book The Semi-Sovereign People, emphasized the importance of conflict (the word he uses for the competitive struggle over a political issue). "The role of people in the political system is determined largely by the conflict system, for it is conflict that involves the people in politics and the nature of conflict determines the nature of public involvement."
The “conflict system.” In other words, the structure of political competition matters.
An underappreciated story of the Progressive Movement and its progeny (The Fair Deal, The New Deal, The Great Society, The New New Deal, and so on) is its emphasis on collaboration over competition. FDR put it this way: "Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off."
This has it exactly backwards. It is cooperation that is useful to a certain point, and then we must rely on competition.