Jim Epstein on the Progressive Fight to Keep Poor Kids Trapped in Failing Schools


Annaly Lopez with her daughter Renee outside Success Academy ||| Credit: Jim Epstein
Credit: Jim Epstein

"Just because I live in the 'hood, why should I have to send my kid to a bad school?" says Annaly Lopez, a 26-year-old single mother who had her daughter Renee when she was 18. Renee was zoned for a notorious public school in Harlem, but ultimately won a spot at Success Academy, the charter school network that's been at the center of a raging debate over how to provide a quality education for poor kids.

Reason TV's Jim Epstein writes about how charter schools allow parents a way around the greatest injustice of urban education, which is that the quality of a child's school is often determined by where his or her parents can afford to live.

"I don't want Renee to follow in my footsteps," says Lopez, who dropped out of high school when she got pregnant. "Education makes you feel like you can do anything."