So true. I am middle class, living in the suburbs, and went to public school. I consider private school every year for my kids, because the public schools no longer provide the challenge and enrichment my kids need. But I can’t swallow the cost, and consider myself a public school person. To be clear, I don’t fault the teachers for the inadequate differentiation. I fault budget cuts and politics. Budget cuts have led to increasing class sizes (33 in our kids’ elementary school classes). And politics has led to the so called “gifted” program, which used to accept the top 5%, to letting in almost the top 20% of the class in the name of ‘fairness’, ‘equality’ and ‘open access’. This means it is no longer designed to challenge the true top kids, who need a program like this the most.
Is a desire for equity actually making some school districts less socio-economically integrated?
I ask not because I have the answer, but because I see indications it might be the case—and am seeking more data to find out whether it is in fact so. And if it is, what can be done to shift the tide which I believe is fundamentally corrosive to our nation.
First is a trend among middle and upper middle class families who once would have moved to the suburbs as soon as they had children instead staying in large cities and in fact moving to urban cores.
At the same time, the public schools in these cities have turned their focus on children coming from poorer and often non-English speaking families, because that’s what their school populations have shifted to due to the white flight that began in the 1950s.
So now in some areas of some urban school systems…
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