An interesting perspective via @MrPABruno and @alexanderrusso
Biddle is exactly right that when parents pony up for tuition at Sidwell Friends they’re not paying for the education so much as they’re paying for things like the ability to signal social status. If the wealthiest families don’t choose schools exclusively - or even primarily - on the basis of educational quality, however, then why should we expect anything different in the case of less fortunate families?
Elite private school practices - high costs, small classes, broad curriculum - threaten much of the reform agenda, but in their defensiveness reformers often try to have it both ways. If wealthy parents choose schools poorly, then the case for expanding school choice is undermined. On the other hand if wealthy parents choose schools well, then the criteria by which reformers judge school quality are probably too narrow.
Hit the link for the rest. Interesting to note (as one commenter did) that this somewhat ignores the argument that choice is good for its own sake, rather than simply as a lever of education reform and gap-narrowing (the latter instrumentalist argument being the more predominant one).