Education Opinion

Why No One Cares Deeply About Iraq -- Or Urban Schools

By Alexander Russo — January 23, 2007 1 min read
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This article in Salon (Where’s the outrage?) argues that there is no significant antiwar movement because the vast majority of the public who are “not facing death or the death of immediate family members, doesn’t care enough.”

I’d argue that much the same is true of reforming urban school systems, which are nearly as far away from many lawmakers’ and middle class taxpayers’ experiences as the Middle East.

According to the piece, by Gary Kamiya, “The elites talk and the kids who go to community college get blown up...People are capable of genuine concern for their fellow citizens, but self-interest is an exponentially more powerful driving force. "

According to some, reinstating the draft is the most obvious way to make sure that the middle class -- and elected officials -- pay attention. What would it take to do the same for urban schools? National service? A critical mass of folks who have a stake in urban schools? Maybe this is what Teach For America’s Wendy Kopp is talking about, after all.

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