Aren't there some fundamental physical limits on how low your energy usage can be for a given amount of information based on thermodynamics? Is it just the case that they're way, way less than what we're using now?
For any sort of data storage the energy barrier between the two states needs to be large enough that the system doesn't thermodynamically fluctuate between them very often. In practice, this means that the barrier needs to be several times larger than kb*T where kb is the boltzman constant. For computation there's not any hard and fast rule about the energy required, but there's lots of practical ones...
What *I* said is that parents who send their kids to private school should be exempt from paying school tax for that 1 year.
What I'm saying is that this will do almost nothing to help low and middle-class families.
I am a believer that the more competition a business receives, the better it is for the customer (versus a monopoly or near-monopoly).
Sure, that makes sense for businesses, but since when is primary education a business? A lot of people would agree that a primary education is a human right: http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a26 Unfortunately for many families a more economically competitive option would be to send kids to work at age 14 rather than to school. Allowing them to do that wouldn't improve schools either.
Yet during this period of national "mediocrity," we created Silicon Valley, built multinational biotechnology firms, and continued to lead the world in scientific journal publications and total number of Nobel Prize winners. We also invented and sold more than a few iPads. Obviously, standardized tests aren't everything.
That's all great, but to some extent many students will be good at science even if they go to terrible schools. Similarly, it's worth trying to give most students a basic understanding of science even if they go into another field.
If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.