Or practically irrelevant. I echo Matt Yglesias's point:
Peter Beinart, like all good heterodox liberals, thinks we should curb race-based affirmative action in college admissions in favor of something more focused on class. I'm open to this idea, though I'd like to see a specific proposal rather than a vague suggestion. But every time I hear this debate I have to wonder why we're having it. The presumption that you can solve any significant problem of social justice in America by fiddling with Ivy League admissions policies is dead wrong, as is the idea that the main challenge poor people of any race face education-wise is that they might not get into an elite college.
The issues that obsess the upper middle class tend to get a disproportionate focus from people trying to solve "social problems". The feminist debates about working vs. staying home are one example of this; so are many of the debates over education. I hate to swipe at Elizabeth Warren again, but I do think it's relevant to wonder how housing in good school districts came to loom so large in her thesis. These are problems for a very small percentage of people in a handful of cities who are obsessed with getting their kids into a very selective school, and are faced with tight zoning limits on the housing that can be constructed in the "best" (read, most affluent) school district. Naturally, to many people who live in those cities, that obsession seems universal. But it's not.
Most of the stuff I've seen--including work by Warren--shows that people who declare bankruptcy are less educated than the general population; according to Warren's paper, in 2001 less than 10% of her consumer bankruptcy sample had a college diploma. For most of the country, going to college at all is a more important goal than getting into Harvard, and everything I've read on the subject indicates that parents who have not finished college themselves are much less likely to understand how to navigate the system, or to make fine distinctions between various schools.