You can go read Joanne's post; I'm going to quote one of her commenters here:
I'm sure the NEA and CTA can concoct reasons why even more money should be spent on these kids. And I'll only mention in passing that direct instruction with standards-based curricula might help here....
But the point is that bags of money, contrary to the never ending complaints by supporters of the status quo, won't do the job. Not that we need this further datapoint but it's nice to have the observation confirmed, again.
Also, it's my opinion that elevation-by-osmosis is a crock as well. Just dragging kids twenty or thirty miles so they can rub up against all those suburban kids, with their disciplined and purposeful life (yeah, right), is both patronizing and unsupported by any evidence.
The problem isn't that there are struggling urban schools. The problem is that there are urban school districts. A couple of cities may be trembling on the edge of addressing that problem. Bloomberg wants to do an end-around the state legislature which won't officially raise the charter cap by creating defact charters and the mayor of Indianapolis has gone to the state legislature to get the city district rolled into the municipal government.
It'd be nice to have a reason for the continued existance of school districts other then inertia and political will but I don't think there is one.