August 10, 2011


Gates still does not address the Lake Wobegon problem. No one does.

Yet that was not universally true when I was young. There were places with great schools – many districts in California were held up as examples – and places with wretched schools, but none of that depended on luck, because each school district was responsible for education. No one thought that education in the United States was universally awful. Moreover, the resulting economy built by the products of that education system dominated the world. American Know-How was a cliché, but it was a cliché because it was so obviously true.

That has all changed in my lifetime, and the consolidation of education into state and federal monopolies with their complete control over local districts has produced what we have now: a great inequity


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