A popular conception is that we have systematically shortchanged our children by failing to provide adequate schools. This view ignores the fact that government at all levels has poured hundreds of billions of dollars into the public education system, quadrupling per pupil spending since 1960. Even with such increases and the plethora of personnel, facilities and programs made possible by them, student achievement has languished. Current achievement levels are not much different than they were forty years ago .
Even in the face of this dismal record, politicians, parents and educators have been
reluctant to change the framework through which education is delivered, especially when
offering expanded choices to children outside traditional public schools.