In contemporary America, income inequality is indisputably increasing and indisputably limiting the potential and the upward mobility of the ever-increasing percentage of Americans slipping into the have-not category.
In the absence of significant upward pressure on wages exerted by the large industrial unions and in the absence of a large industrial workforce because of the automation of plants in this country and because of overseas competition in labor-intensive manufacturing, higher education is the major factor again differentiating the working class from the middle class.
Some African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and other people of color have undoubtedly achieved great entrepreneurial and professional success. And some White Americans live in rural areas in which poverty is endemic. But the greatest concentrations of poverty are more than ever in urban districts with heavy concentrations of people of color.
The schools in those urban districts have become illustrations of our “under-performing public schools,” in the phrasing…
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