OSRP students attend various schools within their communities. The vast majority of the River City students attend either River City Senior High School or Highland Senior High School,1 and most Springfield students attend Springfield Senior High School. Those who do not attend these high schools are either attending one of the middle schools in the community or are registered in a special education or a Catholic school. This chapter will discuss the views that various groups within OSRP have of the schools. The opinions may be interpreted as generic perspectives on the high schools within these communities. Some comments, however, may be related to a specific school, and these will be notated.
First, I will explore the relationship between the schools and the students, as seen through the eyes of the young people and then their parents. I found that both groups have serious critiques of their community schools. Then this chapter will relate the OSRP staff perspective on these schools. They view them in far more benevolent terms than the students or their parents. It is speculated that this may be related to the fact that many of the staff also work as faculty at these schools or work closely with them on a regular basis. As discussed in chapter 5, instead of blaming the schools for problems relating to their students' lack of academic success, many of the staff put the onus on the families. Finally, the chapter links the above findings the dominant ideology within the program. I argue that the conservative ideology of hope and the related policy of stifling student critique do not contribute to the development of an effective language with which to criticize nonfamily institutions.
This section and the one that follows explore how the students and their parents view the schools that the children attend. The number of expressed positive feelings were more than offset by a tirade that was critical of schools. As such, the emphasis in this chapter is on critique. Although it omits some of the tributes that were paid to schools and their staff, it does not distort the opinions of the subjects. I made critical analysis the focus of this chapter because it was the major theme communicated to me