October 3, 2011 2:23PM

Tarkenton Finds Truth Open on the 10 Yard Line and…

NFL Hall‐​of‐​Famer Fran Tarkenton writes in the WSJ this morning that lifetime tenure and fixed salary scales would make football as awful as they have made our public school system. Seems obvious enough… and that’s where truth comes in, which is said to go through three phases: first ridiculed, then violently opposed, then accepted as if it had been obvious to everyone from the start.

With regard to the bankruptcy of state monopoly schooling, we’re in stage two, teetering on the brink of stage three. And that’s good. But let’s all remember that acknowledging the wrongheadedness of the education monopoly does not imply the automatic understanding of the most effective alternative—or even of a good alternative. So once Truth gets the ball on the ten yard line, let’s be careful not to fumble it. That means empirically determining which policies will create lasting free markets in education, accessible to all, and which will not.