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UMKC University Libraries

Urban Education

This guide discusses the specific situations, factors, elements, and unique demands that characterize teaching and learning in large metropolitan areas.



Concerns grow over student achievement and racially segregated schools.


Supreme Court rules in Brown v. Board of Education that separate schools are inherently unequal.


Title I of the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) targets the largest pool of federal education assistance to help schools serving disadvantaged students.


Sociologist James S. Coleman's “Equality of Educational Opportunity” report concludes that disadvantaged African-American students do better in integrated classrooms.


National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests launched but report statewide average scores only, allowing states to mask lagging achievement among poor and minority students.


Latinos are becoming most segregated minority in U.S. schools. “Magnet schools” are established. School integration efforts gradually end.


Supreme Court rules in San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez the Constitution does not guarantee equal education for all children. . . . In Keyes v. School District No. 1, the court bans city policies that segregate Denver schools.


Steady gains in African-American students' test scores over the past two decades begin to taper off by decade's end. . . . Poverty concentrates in cities. . . . Governors lead efforts to raise education standards.


New Jersey Supreme Court rules in Abbott v. Burke the state must provide more funding for poor schools than for richer ones.


Minnesota enacts first charter-school law.


In reauthorizing ESEA, Congress requires states receiving Title I funding for disadvantaged students to hold them to the same academic standards as all students.


Knowledge Is Power Program charter schools launched in Houston and New York City. . . . Boston creates Pilot School program to research ideas for urban-school improvement.


Florida establishes first statewide school-voucher program.


Countywide, income-based school integration launched in Raleigh, N.C.


Cambridge, Mass., schools begin integration based on income.


No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) requires states to report student test scores “disaggregated” by race, income and gender to avoid masking the failing scores of some groups. . . . U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of Ohio's school-voucher program, which allows public funding for tuition at Cleveland parochial schools. . . . State takes over Philadelphia's bankrupt school system, allows private companies to run some schools.


Hoping to halt isolation of the lowest-income students in inner-city schools, Omaha, Neb., tries but fails to annex neighboring suburban districts.


Department of Education admits that few students in failing city schools receive the free tutoring NCLB promised and that no states have met the 2006 deadline for having qualified teachers in all classrooms. . . . Government Accountability Office finds that nearly one-third of public schools, most in low-income and minority communities, need major repairs.

2007 Gov. Deval L. Patrick, D-Mass., puts up $6.5 million to help schools lengthen their hours. . . . Democratic Mayor Adrian Fenty, of Washington, D.C., is the latest of several mayors to take control of schools. . . . New York City Schools Chancellor Joel Klein says he will fire principals of schools with lagging test scores. . . . Teachers' unions slam report calling for all high-school seniors to be proficient in reading and math by 2014. . . . Houston school district calls for state to replace NCLB-related standardized periodic testing on math and reading with traditional end-of-course subject-matter exams.

Clemmitt, M. (2007, April 27). Fixing urban schools. CQ Researcher, 17, 361-384. Retrieved from Accessed October 31, 2014.

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