Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Courting the Middle Class

What can schools do to keep parents from going private, or moving to the suburbs?

An article in the American School Board Journal delves into this question.

"Fueled by optimism and driven to succeed, middle- and upper-middle-class families -- and those who aspire to join their ranks -- are cherished by public schools.
It’s easy to see why. Better educated and more affluent, middle-class families tend to send their children to school ready (and eager) to learn. And, as 45 percent of American voters, middle-class families also serve as public schools’ most ardent volunteers, advocates, and fundraisers.
Yet school districts across the country -- especially those in the nation’s largest cities -- are reporting alarming increases in middle-class flight, as more economically able families of all races opt for private and parochial schools, or schools in the farther-flung suburbs.
Reasons for the exodus vary, from soaring housing prices that make good neighborhoods with strong public schools a luxury fewer families can afford, to the well-publicized and persistent myth that most -- if not all -- public schools are failing."
Read the complete article http://www.asbj.com/specialreports/1206SpecialReports/S3.html

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