Earlier this month, President Biden issued a sweeping executive order that pushes federal agencies to undertake a series of initiatives aimed at increasing competition in the U.S. economy. The order itself was mostly symbolic, but it sent a strong signal about the administration’s preferred direction on U.S. competition policy. Only time will tell if and how any of its specific provisions pan out, but what’s already clear is the mismatch between the president’s approach to competition in the private sector and his support for monopoly when it comes to public education.
Biden’s aversion to competition in schooling was particularly vivid on the campaign trail, where he bluntly admitted that he was “not a charter school fan” despite the strong evidence of their efficacy. Consistent with the Democratic Party’s education platform and in contrast with his gesture towards competitiveness in the private economy, the president and his allies see no inconsistencies between their protection of the status quo when it comes to education and their calls for dismantling it on other fronts.