Yikes! In the Wash. Post, Sebastian Mallaby describes still another school that must be stopped and lays out the macro-stakes:
Some enlightened cities take a less hostile view [of options and charters in the public sector]. They want to manage a good portfolio of education options, and they’re happy to let innovative start-ups provide some of them; they are not slavishly loyal to the teachers union. But in much of the country, charters face an uphill battle, even though the balance of the evidence suggests that they do better for pupils. Because high schools require large premises and are complex, opening a charter high school is particularly tough.
People who care about inequality should care about this, too. We could roll back the Bush tax cuts — an excellent objective, certainly — but the American class system won’t soften until inner-city classrooms improve. Education is the last, lumbering public monopoly, and it is not performing: Only 23 percent of blacks and a fifth of Hispanics graduate from high school prepared for a four-year college; a quarter of all college freshmen require some sort of remedial course. So long as this is so, the alarming wealth gap in this country will remain unbridgeable, no matter whether tax policy is designed by Republicans or Democrats.