Kathryn M. Neckerman

in Schools Betrayed

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2007 | ISBN: 9780226569604
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226569628 | DOI:

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This book, which illuminates the roots of failure in inner-city education, challenges, at its most general level, two fallacies. The first is the view that the failure of inner-city schools was inevitable given the concentration of economic and racial disadvantage in the inner city. The second is the view that the problems of inner-city schools were due to the faults of individuals—incompetent or racist teachers, dysfunctional families, or unmotivated students. In response to both of these fallacies, the book argues that the problems of inner-city schooling are the legacy of school policy choices made decades ago. It also traces these choices and their consequences over six decades, starting in the early twentieth century, when the inner-city ghettos were just beginning to form, and focuses on the schools of Chicago, which faced many of the same troubles as the Harlem schools that Kenneth Clark profiled.

Keywords: inner-city education; racial disadvantage; inner-city schools; dysfunctional families; school policy; Chicago; Harlem; Kenneth Clark

Chapter.  3856 words. 

Subjects: Educational Strategies and Policy

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