Schools alone can’t cure broad social ills

I TAKE serious issue with Scot Lehigh’s assertion that charter schools are the solution to public education’s problems (“A new actor appears on school stage,” Op-ed, April 3). This is absurd. There are two main problems undermining public education that charter schools can do nothing about:

First, the way schools are funded is based on a fundamentally unjust system, drawing largely from local property taxes. This means that wealthier towns can fund their schools better and support superior programming and personnel than poorer towns.


Second, we are increasingly becoming a country of haves and have-nots, and more and more families are either living in extreme wealth or extreme poverty.

Schools have never been structured to provide the social services that poor families in particular need (social work, health clinics, nutrition assistance, etc.). With even more families facing insurmountable economic challenges than in decades past, more pressure is put on schools to achieve the impossible: end poverty. “Closing the achievement gap” has become a code phrase for “closing the wealth gap.”

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

It is ridiculous and unfair to expect schools to accomplish something that can only come about due to serious and sustained political and economic change.

Jennifer Rose-Wood


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com