Beyond the self-serving public school administrative structure there is another factor which explains why our schools are resistant to real reform. The system has created barriers which significantly hinder its constituents from effectively com­municating their concerns.

In other areas of our society which compete for the allegiance of customers and therefore strive to meet their concerns, complaints are sought out in order to address them as quickly as possible and preserve a contented relationship. If a customer remains unsatisfied or feels that his concerns are not being heard, he may take his business elsewhere and in the process, sully the reputation of the offensive firm.

Myron Lieberman, a nationally recognized analyst of educational issues, has written persuasively about the importance of being able to exit the public schoolsystem. When parents and students can exit, school officials listen and react. [37] When parents cannot exit an unsatisfactory school situation except at great cost, the educational system does not get the message that something is wrong and therefore the message does not facilitate effective reform. Only when the consumer can take his or her dollar to another supplier will the producer change unsatisfactory practices.