Mercury, lead, and several other pollutants are known for reducing cognitive function. If these pollutants are kept at high levels, then many children will not perform well in school. If many children don't perform well, it will demonstrate that public schools are failing. Thus, private interests, which always do "better" will take over. Of course, they can reject those children adversely affected by pollutants.
I posted the above as a comment to "The Latest G.O.P. Temper Tantrum", Robert B. Semple, Jr., New York Times, 2013-05-09. Temper tantrum is the description Semple gave the walkout by some G.O.P. Senators from the hearings for the confirmation of Gina McCarthy as the head of the EPA. See also "Lead and 'failing' schools".
E. Nowak of Illinois responded to my comment with
"And the closer people live to factories, the more toxins they breath in. The rich, always live far, far away from the industrial centers."
But we don't even have to live close to factories to be introduced to toxins. What are all the pesticides used in agriculture doing to us. What are the neoniconitides used to "kill aphids and other crop-destroying insects" doing to us? These are nerve poisons that disrupt neural activity. They are put into seeds and "become incorporated in the tissues of the adult plant". If we eat these plants what's to guarantee that the neurotoxins won't be affecting us? See "Honeybee die-off brings 'Silent Spring' back to mind", William Souder, Star Tribune, 2013-05-12. In other words, are these neurotoxins affecting the performance of school children?
I'm sorry if you think I'm a scold about free markets and Adam Smith's "invisible hand", but we really have to hold to account those who corrupt both ideas to hide their own self-interest against the public good. Please tell your friends about
"The Invisible Adam Smith" and "Humpty Dumpty and Free Markets".