Thanks for the question, it's a great one. And a question that, while simple, really necessitates me beginning by saying that there are no simple answers with which I can respond.
To begin, when you use the word "every opportunity" you must realize that I, being the perpetual optimist, want to take you literally and really deliver "every" opportunity. I therefore think you can see where it's most logical to begin: money.
First off, I teach in a Title I school that is hardly swimming in cash and still I do not believe that money is the ultimate cure to all our problems but if we as a society want to be honest with ourselves we have to realize that we are spending approximately $7,300.00 per year per pupil (at least in California) to educate a child while we are commensurately spending about $48,000.00 per year to incarcerate a juvenile delinquent. I think one can easily see that financially our priorities are askew. More money would provide better resources, smaller classes and more personnel. Basically, I am saying that if we infuse a horde of cash, we'll get better results. Heck, just look at the amount of kids in our classes. Our students to teacher ratios are brutally excessive (many, many classrooms this year across the nation will average a 37 to 1 student to teacher ratio). I'm no rocket scientist but it doesn't take a genius to see that if there were only 20 kids per class as opposed to 37, a teacher would have a far better chance of being more effective. Smaller classroom sizes bring more opportunity for learning.
And the reason we do not have smaller classroom sizes is because of money.
However, as I said, money is by no means the only thing we need so that every opportunity is given to students who need just a little more attentiveness to reach their goals. As a matter of fact, if we simply throw money at schools we are certainly not going to reap the benefits we want. We need other things.
First, we need better support in the home. Year after year the students who consistently excel in my class come from the group of people that have the best support from their families. It's not race, socio-economic status or whether or not there are two parents in the home. It boils down to support. Kids who get it on the home front have adults in their life who know how to get what their kids need from the schools and, much like a self-fulfilling prophesy, these kids get a taste of the "every opportunity" scenario which you mention. The little push comes from people outside of school pushing in consort with the people who are already pushing in school.
I also feel that to expand the opportunities we need to reinvent our education system. It was built for a prior era. An 11 week summer vacation is far too much time off. Kids regress tremendously in both their academic skills and their work habits and my feeling is that we'd be better able to provide more opportunities to all students if we expanded the school year. Kids need more time in the classroom if they are going to be successful and have all their needs met. Yes, I believe in vacations but these are sabbaticals we are providing and they do a lot more harm than good in my opinion.
Additionally, I feel that the community needs to become better partners with our schools. The business world does not partner enough with public education which is a bit ironic because at the same time they do not support our schools well they are commensurately dependent on the quality of the kids our nation's schools produce. Everyone knows we need help and yet very few folks actually reach out and give back to our schools in a way that has real substance. More people are starting to recognize this and take ownership of about this matter but not enough people are actually doing something right now. One does not need to be Bill Gates to make a difference. More people should get involved. Everyone has something to offer. That's where more attentiveness comes from. Asking our schools to do more is not going to be nearly as effective as asking our citizens to do more. We need much more help than our current education system can handle all by itself.