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The Case for the Private Sector in School Reform - Joel Klein - The Atlantic


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A moment's reflection reminds us that business innovation has long been critical to public goals in sectors as diverse as health care, energy, and computing. In health care, pharmaceutical and medical device firms have worked closely with government partners to make America the acknowledged global leader in medical innovation. In energy, privately funded breakthroughs in gas exploration technologies hold the promise of liberating America from dependence on foreign oil. In computing, Google's privately funded search utility has democratized access to information in ways that improve countless lives.

The list could go on—encompassing communications, transportation, and more. In each instance, public and private actors play the roles to which they're best suited: Private firms compete to develop innovative products and services that deliver social benefits, while public authorities set goals, fund basic research, and police market abuses.

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I don't think he makes a strong case.

He doesn't.

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