Saturday, December 23, 2017

Public Sector Efficiency

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).

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.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you continually define and sharpen your ideas over time.