School systems and state agencies increasingly deny certification for elementary and secondary school teachers unless the master’s degree has been presented. The quality of the students’ oral class participation usually exceeds that of their written work, and when tests are required, the results are typically disheartening because, even when their reading is good enough, they have never been schooled in effective test-taking skills, let alone acquired the cultural capital their peers accumulate in private or upscale suburban public schools. And the Left, disorganized and dispirited, is at best a mélange of single-issue movements and electoral machines for which the aspiration of providing an alternative education for its activists, let alone its potential constituents, is simply not on the agenda. Although many upper-middle-class students have learned these “skills” already, most public high schools serving working-class students do not require serious academic performance as a criterion for graduation.