The decline of inner-city public schools is the greatest, most bitterly ironic social tragedy in the 50 years since passage of the liberating civil-rights acts. But what works here is no longer an unsolvable mystery. It is the alternatives that emerged to the defunct public system—charters schools and voucher-supported parochial schools. Over the past 20 years, these options, born in desperation, have forced their way into the schools mix. Freed of politicized, sludge-like central bureaucracies, they've proven they can teach kids and send them into the workforce.Economic growth is nonpartisan. But inner-city public education is totally partisan. Democratic politicians made a Faustian bargain with the teachers unions, and the souls carried away have been the black children in those doomed schools.
This is the part of the Ferguson problem that can be addressed. It does not come up as the popular tropes and the usual political players (from Holder to Sharpton) are paraded before media. Those from the education status quo establishment are not interviewed. I still wonder how they sleep at night.