Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education

By Kathryn M. Neckerman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE

Urban Decline

This chapter considers the simplest explanation for the troubles of inner-city schooling: less money and more needy students. Based on well-known economic and demographic changes of the period after World War II, this explanation posits that school resources declined because the tax base eroded as industry and middle-class families moved out of the city. At the same time, the schools faced an influx of disadvantaged students because economic conditions deteriorated and impoverished southern black migrants moved into the city, while the more affluent families moved out. If true, this account would still leave us with questions: why, for instance, did the problems of inner-city schooling take the specific form they did? However, at least for Chicago through 1960, trends in school funding and student disadvantage do not match popular conceptions of the postwar period. This chapter first examines trends in school resources, relating these trends to the economic history of the city and to institutional change in the schools. The following sections examine demographic change among students.1


Urban History and School Funding

To place Chicago's trajectory in context, it is useful to begin with a quick sketch of the city's history. Chicago was incorporated in 1833, and very

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Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter One - Urban Decline 11
  • Chapter Two - Labor Markets 32
  • Chapter Three - Communities and Cultures 60
  • Chapter Four - Racial Segregation and Inequality 81
  • Chapter Five - Vocational Education 107
  • Chapter Six - Remedial Education 127
  • Chapter Seven - Classroom Dynamics 152
  • Conclusion 172
  • Appendix A - Quantitative Evidence 185
  • Appendix B - Some Historical Evidence About Language Styles and Schooling 193
  • Notes 197
  • Selected Bibliography 243
  • Index 253
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