Did you know the wealthy in the UK pay up to 50,000 pounds a year to send their kids to Eton? Where I live Georgetown Prep is almost as pricey. I sent my daughters to an all girls Catholic prep School. My son went to Gonzaga a prep Jesuit school.
Do consider this. One of the major reasons for why these schools are good, is the student body. You cannot reproduce Eton without two royal princes, the Earl of Camperdown, Adrian Cadbury (in addition to being a zillionaire an Olympic rower), most Rothschields, Cameron and, well, you name it. It is stuffed to the gills with the privileged/blue bloods/old and new money and the occasional scholarship student. You cannot replace this with a barbed wire fenced compound and garden variety school teachers/drill sergeants.
You sent your kids to excellent schools PRECISELY because you knew they could not get a comparable education in the public schools. This argues against your point anyway.
It seems to me that one way to make a dent is to provide vouchers to good private schools. The problem with this is that these vouchers not only rob the public schools of revenue, it also robs them of the best students.
We cannot apply the "solution" at the student level. We have to fix the parents. This comes either from making working pay much better than welfare and offering opportunities right where poor people live. We have to improve the education of the adults and that will go a long way to fixing the kids. Why not, instead of putting a couple of year's remedial schooling to the child, do it to the parent. Would this not encourage the parent to value education for the child? And would it not help lift that parent out of poverty?
What is we required all welfare recipients to attend serious classes to get the money? Four years on welfare = a high school diploma and Associate's degree (or comparable trade school.) Here you go daddy. We will pay your child support as long as you maintain a C average in school up to and including a BA/BS degree. And for heaven's sake, we have to provide professional child care and preschool for poor women who are trying to lift themselves out of poverty.
You see Julian. Poverty is the thing.
I once heard an interview with a famous black professor. I can't find it and have momentarily mislaid the gentleman's name so I will paraphrase. He was asked "why do black people loot and burn the ghettos that are their own neighborhoods and not the wealthy white ones?" His answer intrigued me. I admit I have not fully internalized it, though is sound like genius to me....He said, "you do not destroy that which you respect and desire". Gobsmacked I was. What do you think about that?