Meet the Suburban Parents

From the American Spectator, by Lewis M. Andrews:

Teachers unions are widely regarded as the most serious obstacle to the reform of public education, but history suggests a second critical, though less obvious, impediment. It was the muckraker Upton Sinclair who in 1919 conceded — and, as a socialist, with no great pleasure — that the success of any reform movement in the United States depends on the active support of the upper-middle class.

What Sinclair had learned from his own crusade to reform the meatpacking industry was that most social injustices are supported by powerful economic interests. And it is only the upper-middle class that has both economic independence and political clout to agitate for improvement, often shaping needed change to satisfy its own concerns.

A more recent illustration of Sinclair’s thesis was the early environmental movement in the 1960s, which drew membership disproportionately from professionals and college graduates. While the movement is rightly credited with saving the Hudson and Ohio Rivers and reviving the health of the Great Lakes, it also did much to enhance property values in affluent suburbs, university towns, and vacation communities inhabited by its supporters.

Unfortunately for the health of America’s public schools, the upper-middle class suburban parents who could do the most to advance education reform nationally by modeling it in their own communities have for decades been mute on the issue.

Read the rest here.

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One Response to “Meet the Suburban Parents”

  1. Ciaran Says:

    Very interesting article. The fundamental problem is that most people don’t care. “Education” is a racket; teaching jobs are now sinecures for Lefties. No one wants academic standards to improve. The West Chester parents don’t want little Sydny (female) or little Ari to be shown up as lazy, indulged dolts – and “urban” issue? Sooner or later we will be FORCED to examine Race and IQ. Or not – as the USA transforms into South Africa.

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