Q) How did this set of beliefs take hold, even among some liberals who previously had recognized that the public education system should be run as a civic institution rather than a business?
A) Multiple reasons, really. In general, in American politics there’s been a shift toward the Right going on since the Reagan presidency. And even before that, there’s been a growing attraction toward market-based solutions to public policy problems. This embrace of market models, and along with it a technological orientation to social issues, has become increasingly bi-partisan. It’s the new wisdom.