This article in the LA Times, of all places, tells about 3 inner city charter schools in Oakland, CA which score near the top of all California public schools using an unapologetic approach which emphasizes discipline, hard work, and traditional values.
"Not many schools in California recruit teachers with language like this: 'We are looking for hard working people who believe in free market capitalism. . . . Multicultural specialists, ultra liberal zealots and college-tainted oppression liberators need not apply.'"
"School administrators take pride in their record of frequently firing teachers they consider to be underperforming. Unions are embraced with the same warmth accorded 'self-esteem experts, panhandlers, drug dealers and those snapping turtles who refuse to put forth their best effort,' to quote the school's website."
How well does this approach work?
"Among the thousands of public schools in California, only four middle schools and three high schools score higher. None of them serves mostly underprivileged children."
Don't expect public schools to embrace this model any time soon. Only competition can force the public school monopoly to make the kind of real changes necessary to emulate success stories like this.