All are complex problems, entwined in money, ideology and bureaucracy and exceedingly difficult to repair. But there is one broken element in public education that is apolitical in nature and costs zero to fix.
How do you define a failing school? Brookside Elementary is located in a pleasant, middle-class neighborhood of split levels and tidy ranch homes, in Norwalk, Conn., a 50-minute train commute from New York.
A teacher can't force-feed the importance of early education on disengaged parents, any more than he or she can legislate that parents learn English, or become more involved in their child's schooling.