As a longtime supporter of public school privatization, "A Very Pricey Pineapple", by Ms. Gail Collins, is a sobering editorial which describes a creeping danger to the privatization initiative: monopoly.
What's most worrying about this article is the implication that the doings of an apparent monopoly are to be construed as those of a privatized system. I disagree. The privatization movement she describes seems more a post-Soviet land-grab than an organized transfer of responsibility away from government bureaucrats, and into a highly-competitive marketplace of choice driven by economic incentive.
I think most every supporter of privatization envisioned something different from that which Ms. Gail Collins describes; specifically, privatization should involve the application of free-market principles to a bloated, wildly expensive, and increasingly ineffective socialist-style public education system. Nowhere in the brochure did it mention anything about super-monopolies and no-bid style contracts. That's not privatization, that's plunder.
Have a read for yourself here: