Middle-class makeovers

In Boston, middle-class parents are adopting elementary schools, raising money for improvements and enrolling their children, reports the Boston Globe.

(Hurley Elementary) parents raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to subsidize arts and science education. They pushed the School Department to convert makeshift offices back into a gym, and last month, they dedicated the new library, with Swedish-designed furniture donated by IKEA.

Similar transformations are occurring in about a dozen other of the city’s 78 elementary schools. Savvy, often well-connected, middle-class parents are joining forces and adopting undesirable schools, infusing them with new life, resources, and expansive extracurricular offerings.

Naturally, there are naysayers.

But even as the city heralds the new engagement, it has set off worries and debate about diversity and empowerment. Some fear that the efforts of the overwhelmingly white parents might leave black and Hispanic parents feeling excluded or, worse, alienated. In addition, the schools chosen by the parents for improvement have undergone changes in their racial composition, as word of mouth spreads and other white parents decide to send their children there.

The alternative to letting parents improve some schools is letting all schools remain equally bad. Equality isn’t controversial.

About Joanne


  1. One of the wonders of the “diversity” issue is that there’s so little attention given to the difference between transient, accidental, unenforced, unplanned racial segregation and legally enforced racial segregation. The left’s successfully foisted the belief that if there isn’t someone of noble intent counting different colored noses then there’s a social catastrophe in progress.

    In this article we have this:

    Some fear that the efforts of the overwhelmingly white parents might leave black and Hispanic parents feeling excluded or, worse, alienated.

    presented as if any grouping of parents/kids/teachers/whatever requires careful measurement of the racial percentages to keep someone’s feelings from being hurt, maybe. There’s not a breath of a suggestion that there’s any intent to exclude black or Hispanic parents but that’s not good enough. Presumably normal adults may be shy about involving themselves in the education of their kids if they don’t see enough similarly-colored faces in the group.

    They’d just stand there in the parking lot, wringing their hands with anxiety at the thought of entering a room in which there wasn’t some critical mass of black/Hispanic parents. How extraordinarily patronizing.

  2. My son goes to one of the schools mentioned in the article – I’ve got a couple of comments –

    First you can never help but be amazed by the race obsession of the Boston Globe and liberals in general – the article says that in one of the schools the teacher had never taught a white child but now ‘there are concerns about diversity’. There weren’t any before? Also when you hear that the Hispanic voices are less heard because of the presence of others sort of implies that these people have different desires. First this is Boston and most of these parents are bleeding heart liberals who’d bend over backwards to accomodate any requests to encourage diversity. I mean I can’t tell you how many rainbow banners and aids walks and black nativity scenes these kids have experienced. Holiday festival with no religious imagery.

    Second they characterize the school where my son goes as having parents who are ‘doctors and lawyers’. I do know a couple of the parents who are doctors, none who are lawyers. I know other ones who are cops, computer programmers, laborers, teachers, social workers, unemployed, retail managers, small business owners, state workers, SAHMS, college administrators. Do these people not understand what ‘public’ means in the best sense? From all walks of life?

    Last in the beginning of the article they mention raising of standards which is patently untrue. Same BPS committment to mediocrity, same BTU union teachers and employees, same curriculum of TERQ nonmath math, social studies ‘focus on your community’, anti standardized testing. Test scores are terrible and there can be no changes because it’s a union school and must follow all the guidelines and curriculum. Funny they left that whole part out.