There was a time when almost everyone lauded the American idea of common schooling.
The ideal of equal educational opportunity was far from realized yet widely shared.
It was a goal, an ideal, a vision by which we measured our efforts.
It was a standard we strived to meet.
Urban districts had a small number of selective admission schools, but some urban districts had none at all.
I know. I went to the Houston public schools, and there were no magnets, no selective schools.
There were neighborhood public schools.
Now, after a generation or more of reforms, magnets and selective admission schools are commonplace, not common school education.
And the urban elites are pushing the stratification of education as hard as they know how.
This story from Philadelphia is almost routine: a group of wealthy business leaders are putting millions into specialized schools, one of which is the school that was featured in the documentary about West Philadelphia High School on PBS.
As this reform movement reaches its goals, the degree of separation of students by class will be extreme.
Charter schools represent the latest phase of this movement, facilitating its growth and the addition of new revenues to class segregation.
Has our society given up on common school education?