Campbell professor goes off on a poorly-researched tangent:
Governments own and run most of our schools and therefore do not operate in competitive environments similar to those that brought us, among many other things, vast improvements in technology and telecommunications, higher quality foods at lower prices, bigger and cheaper HDTVs, and ever-cheaper means of transportation.
We run our schools much like the socialist-run factories of the last century: a top-down command and control system with a one-size-fits-all mentality.
Like most free-market fundies, Steckbeck feels the need to serve his tripe with a dash of fear-inducing "Socialism!" Maybe hoping to hide the fact he's just peddling an opinion, and not something that stands up under close scrutiny. HDTV was invented by Korean Woo Paik (product of public schools), and developed/introduced by Japan's public television network. And then a consortium of US-based electronics companies pooled their resources and developed standards which would (among other things) allow them to monopolize the technology and keep pesky entrepreneurs from joining the fun. I'm not through with him yet:
A truly competitive system encourages schools to innovate as they compete for tuition dollars. Entrepreneurs then have the incentive to continuously discover new ways of targeting diverse talents and meeting the disparate and ever-changing needs of each individual. There is greater incentive to bring about a more creative environment that encourages imagination, problem solving and creative thinking. Otherwise, they go out of business.
I'm beginning to see where the slow trickle of Libertarians are coming from. Apparently every economics department feels the need to have a Hayek-smoking, invisible-hand-jerking fantasist on staff. The reality of the private "entrepreneur"-run school is a constant flogging of the profit margin until said entrepreneur realizes there's not much money to be made in education. And it usually starts with the incredibly flawed belief that teacher qualifications don't really matter, so you can hire somebody with a BA for $13 per hour and get the same results as if you're employing one with a graduate degree. Sure, there are the exceptions. But every attempt to replicate their process fails, because the success was due more to demographics than "creative thinking," but free-market analysts miss that because they're looking for the magic wand instead.