Yes, we do know what to do it's just being allowed to do it that is the problem

Quite how schools should be run and by whom is one of the great battles of our times. The reason this is a battle is because the government pays for them thus politics defines how they should be run and by whom. Which brings us to the Academy movement, or as it is in the US, the charter school movement.

At which point we have the New York Times. Yes, they're inherently liberal in that American sense, statist even, but if even they are getting the message perhaps there is hope yet:

The briefest summary is this: Many charter schools fail to live up to their promise, but one type has repeatedly shown impressive results.

Hannah Larkin, the principal at Match, refers to such schools as “high expectations, high support” schools. They devote more of their resources to classroom teaching and less to almost everything else. They keep students in class for more hours. They set high standards for students and try to instill confidence in them. They focus on giving teachers feedback about their craft and helping them get better.

Schools that actually try to teach pupils, which monitor the ability of teachers to teach pupils, work well. Our word, fancy that.

Finally, no matter how successful charters may be, they undeniably make life uncomfortable for some people at traditional schools.

Quite so. But what are we running schools for, the education of the children of the comfort of those doing the educating? 

Let us rephrase that. We are, with the defence of traditional as it is now schooling, arguing that schooling should defend the interests of those doing the educating. But what we should be defending is the quality of the education received, not the quality of life of those doing the providing.

Or as it should be put, that free market in education methods tells us, teaches us, which method works. And our method of measurement is and should be - sod the teachers, what about the children?