To be competitive as a nation, the United States will have to begin to look at the work force of the future. It will be increasingly black, Hispanic, and female – as well as unprepared for the 16.5 million new jobs that this economywill generate over the next twenty years. Eight hundred thousand kids drop out of school annually with another 800,000 more graduating illiterate.
– Robert Woodson

Education in the United States – public and private, elementary, secondary and post-secondary – is an enormous enterprise, spending $33 t billion per year. It employs 7 million persons of whom 3.4 million are teachers. Over 269 billion per year is spent on public education. Public elementary and secondary education costs taxpayers at least $183 billion. [82] Detroit public school annual expenditures exceed $730 million. The Detroit public schools have a staff of 17,702 including 8,388 teachers.

While Detroit's private schools lag behind their public school counterparts in terms of per-pupil expenditures, teacher salaries, and the extravagance of their buildings, private schools have one central achievement: relatively high student performance. Our focus is quite deliberate. We have declined to focus primarily on Detroit's public education system. Its problems and failings are well docu­mented elsewhere. As Robert Woodson says, "the only thing you can learn from studying poverty is how to create it. The only thing you can learn from studying failure is how to create it." [83] On the other hand, we believe, much can be learned by studying Detroit private education's success. We encourage others to do likewise.

Throughout this chapter, a case has been made for authentic educational reform. There is widespread recognition that the achievements of our educational system do not match our aspirations and Detroit's international stature, nor is it commensurate with our large social and economic investment. Traditional "reform" efforts have not recognized the importance of family choice in educa­tional services. We are united by a voluntary compact which is strengthened when our unique social and religious values are respected and given a voice. To the extent that these motives are suppressed, people feel alienated and disenfranchised. Every credible study of the cause of our educational lethargy has determined that parents should be more involved in their children's educational regime. And yet, we permit our educational system to embezzle the parents' prior right to determine the kind of education their children should receive. What right does society have to request of parents' personal involvement in the education of their children when they are denied a voice in the distinctive character of that education?

Choice encourages parental involvement. It also allows the voice of parents to be heard. The frustration with the egregious flaccidity of our current education system and the bureaucratic excuses from our educational establishment has led to

the demand for enlightened and effective change in Detroit, in Michigan and the: United States.