Inner city schools in low income communities produce higher dropout rates, teenage pregnancies and astronomically low college attendance for those who do graduate.
They are the schools in the South Bronx, Compton, inner city Miami, Detroit, Chicago, to mention are few. They sit in the belly of poverty and the education they are offer returns catastrophic outcomes for the students who attend these schools. The schools’ condition and neglect resonates to these kids that nobody cares about them. From the drip, drip sound of leaking ceilings, the dilapidated furniture and sub-par food served as well as the outdated, haphazard learning material. From this dark and depressing environment, these conditions create, a “nobody cares” megaphone announcement to these students, while the lessons of how to achieve gets drowned out and faded from their living conditions at home and at school.
Then there is the violence (and the disproportion of inner city students already in the juvenile criminal system by middle school). Inner city teachers, staff members and peer students are faced with high chances of becoming victims of robbery, sexual assault and other violent offenses.
Though the media featured, mass murdering, school gun shootings do tend to come from suburban schools and not urban schools, it is only primarily because inner city schools, due to gangs and drugs, have had violence protection strategies, such as metal detectors and security officers, in place for a long time. This makes it hard for guns to enter the premises but the amount of violent incidents and number of individuals affected by urban school violence is in the thousands annually in this country. It is just not daily news material.
How can children learn in such environments? The answer is not in this article. The answer is long term, it is complex and it needs people in the trenches who will take this social issue on as imperative, urgent and worthy of the battle of involvement.