How will increased choice and privatization in education impact the future of American education?

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It is impossible to know for sure how these things will change American education.  The educational system is too complex for us to be able to predict anything with certainty.

That said, we can be fairly confident that a few things will happen.  The most important of these is that teachers will lose some degree of the relatively privileged position that they now hold.  Increased choice and privatization seems likely to help erode the power of teachers’ unions since many of the privatized schools will not have unionized staff.  We can also surmise that many teachers will be pushed to work much harder than they do now.  The demands made on teachers, for example, by Michelle Rhee in Washington D.C. were rather extreme.  More schools are likely to make such demands on teachers when teachers are not unionized and when there is more pressure from the public (through school choice) to achieve things like higher test scores.  This is likely to make teaching a much less attractive career for many people, particularly if teacher compensation does not go up to keep pace with the new demands.

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