So we have standardized testing and test results in Texas so you can see the raw scores -- and the economic/racial demographic breakdowns of every public school. Remember the No child left behind stuff?
So the measuring stick is out there plain for anyone to see. Problem is no one seems to want to change anything or do anything about it.
There is systematic economic segregation (which is correlated with race). In our instance in Austin we had a great neighborhood, but with a bad school.
A big public apartment complex -- transplants from Katrina disaster brought the level of our elementary down, and had a downward spiral effect with anyone with the means to get out of there. If you look at the test scores compared with the neighborhood across the street huge differences. Less than 10% of the elementary were in accelerated or GT programs. Vs across the street it was 50% of the students were GT / accelerated. I don't thing 50% of rich kids are Gifted and Talented but they perform better on the tests and get to go to better schools.
So what's the difference between across the street -- just the price of houses. You pay to be in a good school by your neighborhood you live in. It made me sick to do it but we moved so we could have our daughter in an environment where she wouldn't be the oddball if she did good in school.
The only way to give equal opportunity would be to break this economic segregation and do intentional economic integration. If you mix in the poor performers with the good ones I think that would give the poor performers with some natural ability but bad circumstances a fighting chance. As it stands now the home and school environment are pitted against them.