So, I was watching a Twitter conversation today involving some political aspirant from Texas, and at this point. I had to jump in (well, not "had to," but I did anyway).
1) This tiresome baloney. What business does "efficiently" is not what government does at all— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
2) because the secret of "efficiency" is to serve only chosen customers and serve them only just well enough— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
3) efficiency loves mediocrity and hates excellence— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
4) and most of all efficiency demands that some "customers" be left behind, unserved— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
5) the private sector does not, will not, can not serve all citizens— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
6) so if you want mediocre schools that only serve some citizens, then the private sector is the one to call— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
7) but if you want pursue excellent education for all, the private sector is not usefull— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
8) has gov achieved excellent education for all? Nope nope nope. But for the private sector it's not even an aspiration— Peter Greene (@palan57) December 23, 2017
I've made versions of this point before. Efficiency, particularly in business, is all about choosing which customers you will cut loose. On the top end are customers whose ideas of excellent quality are too expensive to meet. That includes students with special needs, who are a small enough part of the market that they can be safely ignored, and children of wealthy parents, who will go procure what they want anyway. On the lower end are poor people, who can't provide sufficient ROI. Bottom line-- private sector efficiency always means abandoning a portion of the market. There is no private sector industry built on providing products and services to all citizens, and those that come close (automotive, restaurant) do it by providing some folks with top quality and providing others with cheap crap.
As I admit at the end, the public school system has not successfully provided educational excellence for everyone, but the private sector doesn't even want to.
The conversation lurched on, and Grisham eventually retreated to the notion that he supports all kinds of schools (and, presumably, the magic fairy dust that makes it possible to run multiple schools with the same money you used to use for a single school). Then he marked himself a faux conservative by falling back on the notion that he would wear liberal disapproval as a badge of honor. Remember when conservatives were defined by actual principles and not simply the ability to anger liberals.
But I digress. Private sector efficiency is great for doing things like creating a hamburger chain, but it is completely unsuited to run a nation's public education system.