(CNSNews.com) - Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.I'm not blaming the teachers for this. Most of what makes some students proficient at reading is what value the parents (okay, in most homes now, the "parent," singular) put on reading. Math is a bit more complicated. Still, when you have a place that is something of anti-Lake Wobegon, where most kids are below average, where random acts of murder take place with distressing frequency in spite of restrictive gun control laws, I'm guessing that the teachers really aren't the core problem.
Still, there comes a certain point where you have to wonder what is going to fix this problem, short of some sort of ferocious cultural imperialism, along the lines of the original Operation Head Start, where for practical purposes, middle class specialists took over parenting of ghetto kids for the first few years. (And yes, there are some white subcultures in America that probably need an equivalent cultural imperialism to give their kids any chance of not ending up poor or in prison.)