Paul Thomas is one of our most eloquent critics of the idea that schools alone can overcome poverty.

In this essay, he explains why.

The money quote comes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:

“In addition to the absence of coordination and sufficiency, the programs [addressing poverty] of the past all have another common failing — they are indirect. Each seeks to solve poverty by first solving something else.

I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income….

“We are likely to find that the problems of housing and education, instead of preceding the elimination of poverty, will themselves be affected if poverty is first abolished.”

As one commenter on this blog asked, “How can we get President Obama and Secretary Duncan to read this article?”

I would add, “How can we get Bill Gates, Wendy Kopp, Eli Broad, and their friends to read this article?”