If you haven't, do read the article since it addresses the widening achievement gap between the poor and middle class children, the role parenting plays in bridging that gap, and how different types of schools (namely charter schools, like KIPP) are tackling the very monumental task of trying to catch up underprivileged students with their better off peers.
On that last point, I found this comment to be especially important. From The Quick and the Ed:
Tough's conclusion, which I think is the right one, is that while the achievement gap is caused by a lot of deep-seated inequities that occur outside of schools, really good schools can go a long way to mitigating those problems--but only if they're really good schools.
It's not enough to stop giving disadvantaged students less money, worse teachers, and fewer educational resources, which is what we're doing now. We have to give them more of all of those things than we give other students, which is difficult and expensive--but not nearly as hard as managing the consequences of the inequitable school system we have today.