DOUBLE BIG SUPER SIGH
(Not a confrontational subject-line, just a small parody.)
Ironic that you say a philosophy that deals specifically with reality is "steeped in the tea leaves" (whatever that means) and "unreality."
As for the schooling idea, here's how it would work: Education's primary purpose is to teach people how to think. It's not necessarily geography, or science, or mathematics - otherwise the winners of Jeopardy would be considered the finest minds in the nation - but rather the ability to synthesize that information and extrapolate new lessons, new theories, etc. In other words, it's not what you know, but how you think.
Teaching people how to think can either be done through extravegant facilities filled with computers, extensive libraries and dilettante uniforms or through a pen, some paper and some books. Sure the better schools would get the better teachers but even in the most egalitarian of societies the better teachers couldn't teach ALL the students - so how do you propose to solve the problem?
The privatized system would serve to reward better teachers AND better students (because private schools would obviously always be on the lookout for better students to send through their school-system so that they would have an even better output of alumni and therefore a bigger feedback of alumni economic support - and even if the student is poor and his parents can't afford to send him to the better school there are always scholarships) instead of a regulated egalitarian/socialist school system where they would be/are punished because they are GOOD but are not allowed to stretch their minds to their full capacity (anyone who's ever sat through a fifty-minute high school english class where the children go up and down the rows reading required passages a paragraph per child will tell you) because the rest of the students in class can't keep up. Why punish the good?
I apologize for being devoid of compassion, but compassion is not my specialty. Compassion never invented a new service or product to make humanity's existence easier, better or longer. However, I am a compassionate individual to those who deserve my compasion, but I do not believe in the primacy of good-will.
And I say that people with less money would still be able to be educated because I was educated in a private school with barely any money and still turned out to be an intelligent individual. Besides I only said that because whenver I talk about the privatization of schools I get a barrage of attacks from people wondering what the poor of Appalacchia would do - and thinking as I do sometimes like a businessman I thought to myself that it really doesn't cost all that much money to teach children how to think rationally and that the proper model for education teamed with young, bright teachers would do just fine and would probably make a lot of money, all things considered. To be honest I really don't care all that much about the poor of Appalacchia (or however you spell that) right now, and situations reversed I would not want or expect them to care about me. I'm being honest there.
Also, the magic entrepreneur cannot specifically offer the same quality - but that doesn't stop McDonald's from making burgers, does it? Whether you're eating a steak and garlic potatoes or a burger and fries, you're still eating. Whether you're being taught to think from a pulitzer winning novelist or a kid just out of college, you're still learning to think. And a further response to your question about quality: Government regulated school systems force the same quality on all of their children (or at least the quality that the taxes of the area you live in will pay for). And even you admit that today's American schools are low-quality. What can be done to reverse that? Even massive increases in financial support would do little to increase the quality of a school system so regulated by a distant government figure (check out The Language Police by Diane Ravitch for more on this).
Additionally, the privatization of schools would allow parents to become more active in the education their child receives because seeing as how it would be their money paying tuition they would be able to send their child to a school whose pedagogical (I don't even know if that's a word) and/or religious views they agree with.
Lastly, I believe in the privatization of schools because it creates accountability. Government run programs have no accountability.
I go to Ohio University. I am a magazine-journalism major.