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.