Scholars studying K-12 education often examine public systems around the world (like the Finnish school system) to figure out ways to improve the American system and then completely ignore the massive, multi-billion dollar domestic private education sector. This sector includes not only private schools, but also private tutoring and education-themed books and services.
The first lesson that should be drawn from an examination of the market: Fundamentals are important.
There has been a great shift in the content of the courses in public schools away from fundamentals, which are disparaged as "rote learning." Grammar is barely taught; it shocks many people when they realize that few high school students can define "adverb."
Here is how the private sector has responded:
The shift away from fundamentals was motivated, of course, by good intentions. The problem is the either/or mentality of many changes in education. Pure fundamentals: bad. No fundamentals: bad.
Can't we meet somewhere in the middle?
I'm an entrepreneur and I teach math, history, economics, and fitness. I'm looking for arguments.