The visiting editor who wrote that competition, via vouchers, "would force schools to evolve and find and better methods to teach our kids" ("Visiting editors' parting shots: Oil, vouchers and volunteering," March 30, Page B-6) is right and he is wrong. In high school mathematics, for example, we are still using texts used in the 1890s. Competition has no link to improvement.
The problem with education in California is
that the colleges and universities and the state Department of Education persist, when it comes to teaching mathematics, in living in the ivory-covered towers where no technology, no new ideas are allowed to grow.
Private schools are no better than public schools in California. Sure, more rich kids attend them and rich kids have automatic advantages over average- and low-income families. Mom is well-educated, feeds her children a good breakfast and enjoys a privileged social status.
Teachers are no better in private schools than in public schools -- in fact, most are too lazy to become credentialed.