Reform: Will Reformers Ever Broaden Their Agenda?
Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone was their front. They might have loved "The Wire" but they didn't incorporate any of its lessons into their agenda. Skyrocketing child poverty rates didn't persuade them to pay more than lip service to broader social issues. Even universal preschool was too broad a challenge for them to take on in any meaningful way.
You might think that the last few months of awareness-raising around class would finally change all that -- would finally make poverty and other social issues a stronger part of the reform agenda. But it won't be a quick or easy shift, and it won't necessarily be popular even if it's adopted. It's hard to change the way you think, harder still to admit it publicly and operationalize new thinking.
This recent Esquire article notes that while the US has less social mobility than all the other OECD countries besides Italy and Britain class issues can still be hard for people to see and respond to because they're so entrenched and so at odds with self-perception: "The emerging aristocracy remains staunchly convinced that it is not an aristocracy, that it's the result of hard work and talent. The permanent working poor refuse to accept that their poverty is permanent. The class system is clandestine."