settlement, as Audit Scotland reported last week.
The executive should move swiftly to establish a reliable measure of state schools' prowess compared with institutions abroad and in the private sector.
But the best way to get value for money is the same in any industry: give schools freedom to invest their resources as they want and let parents judge the results by maximising their choice over where to send the kids.
Pupils will follow the most successful educational methods on offer, and standards will rise across the board in response.
Queen Street, Edinburgh