"Notable and Quotable" in The Wall Street Journal finds a quote from Elizabeth "Fauxahontas" Warren way back in December, 2003, probably on a day when public radio's programming was more soporific than normal.  She was talking about people rendering themselves house-poor as a way of exercising school choice, perhaps commenting on the research that later made its way into The Two Income Trap.  "They're trying to buy schools.  The public school system has failed middle-class families, especially anywhere near metropolitan areas.  And so, unlike a family a generation ago who could buy a house based on what they thought they could afford and then send the kids to the school down the street and count on everything working out, today's family shops school district, school district, school district, school district.  And the problem is they're paying a real premium for it."

Yes, school district test scores are capitalized into house prices, and yes, often, your good school district comes bundled with a granite countertop, that being the way positional arms races work.

The problem is half a century of technocratic interventions in which the middle classes had to bear the brunt of mainstreaming the delinquents and desegregating the neighborhood schools didn't work out so well.  Those who could get out, got out.

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