Do The Poor Deserve Bad Schools?

Of course not. Equal opportunity is what America is all about. That is why there is growing criticism of the shameful disparities in funding.

Before starting their morning lessons, children in public schools across the U.S. recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The familiar words echo in immaculate suburban buildings with bright, airy classrooms and labs where children study art and languages, learn on the latest computers and play sports in well- equipped gyms. They also ring out in overcrowded, eroding, inner-city schools where sewage backs up into bathroom plumbing and where students share used textbooks and practice typing on handmade, fake keyboards. Whatever the setting, the pledge ends the same: "with liberty and justice for all."

The notion of equal opportunity is central to the...

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