"And different parents want different things. Some parents want a well-rounded type of education that teaches solid academic skills but also leaves room for art, music, socializing, etc. Others want just the academic rigors and still others want a more artsy kind of education. "
I agree wholeheartedly with this statement. However, since most parents are ill-informed about what is really needed to succeed (including me), there is much more disagreement than there otherwise might be. (As a side note, I don't believe this is because parents aren't smart and capable, but because there is so much bad information. Also, we all tend to make decisions based on our personal observations rather than what some study says . . . look at fad weight loss supplements people ingest, despite the poorly supported claims, that end up being very unhealthy.)
For quite a while now, I've suspected this is true: if the realm of education were less muddled, there would be less disagreement.....amongst parents, at least.
I don't know whether it's true - but if I had to 'put my nickel down,' as a sonogram technician once said to me, I'd put it on RMD's analysis.