From John Goodman’s excellent post today “Silence of the Left” (emphasis added):
The topic du jour on the left these days is inequality. But why does the left care about inequality? Do they really want to lift those at the bottom of the income ladder? Or are they just looking for one more reason to increase the power of government?
If you care about those at the bottom then you are wasting your time and everyone else’s time unless you focus on one and only one phenomenon: the inequality of educational opportunity. Poor kids are almost always enrolled in bad schools. Rich kids are almost always in good schools.
So what does the left have to say about the public school system? Almost nothing. Nothing? That’s right. Nothing. I can’t remember ever seeing an editorial by Paul Krugman on how to reform the public schools. So I Googled to see if I have missed something. The only thing I found was a negative post about vouchers. And Krugman is not alone.
You almost never see anything written by left-of-center folks on reforming the public schools. And I have noticed on TV talk shows that it’s almost impossible to get liberals to agree to the most modest of all reform ideas: getting rid of bad teachers and making sure we keep the good ones.
MP: If the left was really concerned about income inequality, the inequality of educational opportunity, and solutions to those important issues, they would be focusing their attention on education success stories like the Success Academy charter schools operating in New York City, featured recently on CD. The table below highlights the phenomenal educational results at four of the Success Academy charter schools in Harlem, where 96% of the students are minority (black and Hispanic) and 78% are from low-income households that qualify for free lunch, and yet those charter schools are ranked academically higher than about 97% of all schools in New York state based on standardized test assessments in math and reading.
What’s the response from the left to the proven success achieved by Success Academy charters? New York’s super-liberal mayor has started his war on the city’s charter schools that he promised as part of his campaign platform, and Paul Krugman remains silent.
|Success Academy Charters||Grades||Black (%)||Hispanic (%)||Free Lunch (%)||Statewide Performance (%)|
|Harlem Success Academy 1||K-6||80.1||17||77.7||97|
|Harlem Success Academy 2||K-4||77.9||20||75||96.8|
|Harlem Success Academy 3||K-4||64.3||30.9||80||97.5|
|Harlem Success Academy 4||K-5||73.5||20||78.5||97.1|