I agree that social trust among students, teachers, parents and school leaders is a key component of education, but disagree that "The process of teaching and learning is an intimate act that neither computers nor markets can hope to replicate."
I assume we will always lack the human resources for the kind of close attention and investment in students the article suggests we need. What's the upper limit, even, for the teacher to student ratio? While human relationships are crucial for parts of education (e.g. socialization, communication, meaning, motivation), I am more hopeful about other ways to motivate learning and to develop skills, like gamification or SOLEs , even if these strategies don't fully replicate or replace the in-person element.
It's right to caution against a top-down approach to education reform, and I agree that teachers should lead the way in helping the rest of us understand how to best use technology in the classroom. We also need to better understand the market, which to me means: understanding what motivates people to learn (removing social and economic barriers along the way), and how to leverage technology appropriately, instead of using it as a panacea for lacking resources.