It’s not just what happens inside the classroom that determines a child’s status as an adult. Accomplishments outside the classroom can be just as influential. Yes, a basic public education is in principle free to all (though of course quality correlates with property values). But activities outside of school are not free, so they largely benefit already advantaged kids. While we talk a lot about inequalities between the rich and the poor, and the role school quality plays in perpetuating class divisions, one often overlooked factor is the opportunities middle- and upper-middle-class kids get to strengthen their life skills through organized competitive activities outside of the school system.
More @ The Atlantic
Should you want to dig deeper, Annette Lareau says all of this and more in Unequal Childhoods.