The Public Interest

School choice in Milwaukee

Cahad Noyes , Jay P. Greene & Paul E. Peterson

Fall 1996

TO object to compromise is to question a great American political craft. The Constitution could not have been written without compromising the differences between the large and small states. The Missouri Compromise postponed the Civil War for 40 years. In the words of its architect, Henry Clay, “All legislation, all government, all society is founded upon the principle of mutual concession.” Yet, when it comes to institutional reform, the embrace of compromise can be the kiss of death. The poisonous recipe is as follows: Take a savory reform proposal, listen to those with no appetite for change, leave out the ingredients that give it spice, then immediately subject the reform to a double-blind taste test.

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