Despite appropriations for elementary and secondary education that are, in real dollars, more than 50 percent higher today than in 1980, reading scores for 9-year-old kids are virtually unchanged.
Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School, and author of the highly acclaimed book "The Innovator's Dilemma," makes the point that real change and improvement come from "disruptive technology rather than improvements on the existing system."
That is, when things aren't working well, you've got to look for fundamentally different approaches to the problem at hand.
This is exactly what the political establishment and the teachers' unions fight to prevent in education. It's because their goal is not to deliver the best possible product to their customers, the kids, but protection of their own interests. Innovators whose goal is the best possible product will try anything to achieve that end, that goal, that very best result.
Our education establishment has little interest in anything other than asking for more money to do more of the same. They may pay lip service to improvement. But, as we know, actions are the measure, not words. When those in control refuse to be open to all options to strive for the best, it's clear that the best is not the goal.
Vouchers and school choice are the disruptive technology that we need in education. Oprah picked up her marbles and left when she was unhappy. Why shouldn't kids and parents be able to do the same thing?