International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Urban Education’s Core Challenges: How Racial and Socioeconomic Segregation and Poverty Help Create a Culture of Low Expectations and Achievement in Urban Schools
James R. Moore

The educational performance gap – defined as the difference in graduation rates and academic achievement between higher-performing suburban students and lower-performing urban students – and its relationship to equal educational opportunities has been the subject of considerable research since the 1966 Coleman Report demonstrated that the socioeconomic status of a student’s family and peers were the most important variables in determining the level of academic achievement. However, 56 years after the seminal Brown decision, the educational performance gap between suburban (mostly white and Asian-Americans) students and urban (the vast majority of whom are African-American and Latino) students continues to exist throughout the country. This article will explore how segregated poverty and a culture of low expectations contribute to the persistent differences in educational performance between urban and suburban students. The article will offer viable solutions to narrowing the educational disparity between urban and suburban students.

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