Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education

By Kathryn M. Neckerman | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWO

Labor Markets

This chapter examines the role of labor markets in the problems of inner-city schooling. Given the long history of racial discrimination, African-American youth might reasonably have been skeptical about the economic value of education. Stanley Lieberson and others have identified the 1930s as a time when racial disadvantage in the labor market may have increased.1 Direct evidence regarding perceptions of the labor market is very limited. What we can do, however, is track the labor market experiences of black and immigrant workers over time. Perceptions of the labor market are likely to have been grounded in the experiences of family, friends, and neighbors. Thus, we can gain some indirect insight into how black and immigrant youth saw the economic value of schooling by observing labor market opportunity and employment patterns of black and immigrant Chicagoans over time.

This chapter begins with a discussion of opportunity and discrimination in white-collar employment, the sector in which education has traditionally been the most important. Next, we consider opportunity in blue-collar and service occupations. The third section examines quantitative evidence of the economic value of education for black and immigrant workers, and the final one addresses economic alternatives in the face of labor market discrimination.

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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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