28 Jan Permissionless Innovation
By Scarlet Hawk,
Back in September, James C. Courtovich of the Wall Street Journal wrote of the commonalities of school choice and Uber. The next day, Veronique de Rugy of the National Review explained the analogy further with what her colleague Adam Thierer referred to as “permissionless innovation.” de Rugy points out that the act of innovation is to go against the grain of the status quo and therefore will always be something that will not be granted permission from the prevailing system.
Like Uber, school choice has optimized self-determination. No longer are students (or passengers) forced to take only one path, but they are given the ability of autonomy. Like the market for rides, there is competitiveness among schools and implicitly a constant reinvention, should the method of instruction not fit their students’ needs. This means of self-determination speaks to me of a new-wave Industrial Age that like its predecessor is market driven, and bold.
Disruptive technology has always been seen as avant-garde and often has been perceived as meant for risk-loving entrepreneurs only. Nevertheless, I think it is more that the market side of things offers no real alibi to failing schools—either you educate kids successfully, or you do not. If a charter school does not offer value to a student, the family may choose another school. The supply and demand of this educational market intrigues me and seems to be improving the educational marketplace as a whole. However, certainly one could not expect it to be welcomed by all.