The United States is the wealthiest nation in the world. Two factors are generally mentioned as critical to this success: a set of economic institutions that promote efficient and innovative markets and an historical record of broad investment in the human capital of its people. By maintaining generally free and open labor and capital markets, workers and firms adapt quickly to the changing demands for different goods and services. And, particularly as seen from an office in the middle of Silicon Valley, there is fierce competition for highly skilled workers. The result is an innovative and dynamic economy that is the envy of the world.
The stark contrast between the vibrant U.S. economy and the stagnant and expensive U.S. K-12 school system is then difficult for many to reconcile.