New York City parents of school children have to choose between deteriorating public schools and charter schools. Once upon a time, parents had another choice. Catholic schools in urban areas served lower class and middle class children, doing a more than adequate job of educating them to be citizens and even to aspire higher.
Lately the Catholic Church in its wisdom has closed many of those schools, particularly in urban areas. My impression, which is based on nothing but gut feeling, is that Catholic schools remain only in affluent areas. Urban kids are shit out of luck.
Of course, we can all still sent our kids to Sidwell Friends School, where the presidents' children are enrolled. Can't we? Actually no. The Democrats in Congress eliminated a program whereby a few fortunate Washington DC poor kids were allowed to attend private schools on the government dime, even though these programs were popular, with hundreds of parents applying to the program, although only a small number were actually able to participate.
Teddy Roosevelt sent his children to Washington DC public schools, back in the day when public school was for everyone. Nowadays they are for the desperate and the choiceless.