Schools Betrayed: Roots of Failure in Inner-City Education

By Kathryn M. Neckerman | Go to book overview

Conclusion

This book seeks to explain the origins of the troubles of inner-city schooling that emerged in the 1940s and 1950s, coinciding with the changing urban conditions of the post-World War II era. These problems cannot be attributed to urban change alone. School policies are a critical part of the explanation. We might suppose, for instance, that cities after 1945 were hampered by a shrinking tax base and by rising numbers of disadvantaged students. There is no question that inner-city schools were handicapped by resource scarcity. The problems of poor facilities, overcrowding, inexperienced teachers, and double-shift schedules were only too plain. These resource deficits did not result from economic and demographic change, however: after 1945, Chicago's public schools had more money, not less, to spend on education. Instead, these deficits reflect decisions made by school officials about how to allocate funds and students. Students were segregated by race, and fewer resources were allocated to black schools.

Another possible explanation highlights labor market discrimination. In this account, black students became indifferent or hostile toward school because they did not expect their education to pay off when seeking employment. As this book shows, racial discrimination had a profound effect on Chicago's black community, but its effect differed by class. For relatively advantaged students, discrimination didn't negate the economic value of education. In fact, educated black workers sought

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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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