Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform / Edition 1

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Overview

Jean Anyon argues that without fundamental change in government and business policies and the redirection of major resources back into the schools and the communities they serve, urban schools are consigned to failure, and no effort at raising standards, improving teaching, or boosting achievement can occur.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Writing passionately from her experience of working for reform in the inner-city schools of Newark, New Jersey, Anyon (dean, education, Rutgers Univ.) argues that reform must include efforts to restore the political power and economic opportunities that have been lost to inner-city residents over the past 80 years. A sense of hope and the chance for a semblance of the lifestyle enjoyed by those in the surrounding suburbs is a requisite, according to Anyon, for allowing children in minority-dominated inner-city schools to succeed. Anyon shows the effects of decisions based on social class and race while providing a historical study of government actions related to education in Newark that can be extrapolated to other poor areas. This important book is recommended for educators, sociologists, city planners, and public policy decisionmakers.Scott Johnson, Meridian Community Coll. Lib., Miss.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807736623
  • Publisher: Teachers College Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 713,521
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 Cities, Urban Schools, and Current Visions of Educational Reform 3
2 Social Class, Race, and Educational Reform at Marcy School 14
3 Industrial Strength, Educational Reform, and the Immigrant Poor: 1860-1929 41
4 Beginning of the Decline: The 1930s 57
5 Pauperization of the City and Its Schools: 1945-1960 75
6 Organized Crime and Municipal and Educational Chaos: The 1960s 99
7 Class, Race, Taxes, and State Educational Reform: 1970-1997 129
8 Revisiting Marcy School: Lessons from History and a New Vision of Reform 151
References 187
Index 205
About the Author 217
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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling

    Jean Anyon's purpose in conducting her research on the school system of Newark, New Jersey was to evaluate the many influences affecting the deterioration of the educational setting within this once prosperous East Coast City. In his forward, William Julius Wilson states, "the intent¿ is to illuminate how the cumulative effects of economic and political decisions in the larger urban context have, over time, severely constrained the ability and actions of current actors in central city schools, including their efforts to achieve meaningful school reform." Newark has been called "the city that became a ghetto". Several observations were made by Anyon assessing of the current conditions of the school system. Students in schools in central cities tend to have less access to science and math resources, programs, and teachers with science or math backgrounds than do those in more advantaged schools¿ Students in urban schools have only a 50% chance of being taught by a certified mathematics or science teacher. Instruction focuses almost entirely on basic skills taught in rote fashion with little opportunity for application. The schools failed the children of the poor - who were often taught in dirty, overcrowded classrooms, with uninspiring teaching methods; an the system itself was fraught with corruption. "Teachers are late, and absent too much, and there is a constant teacher turnover as teachers leave." In an attempt to offer suggestions, Anyon states "joint decision making among teachers and administrators, the training of teachers, flexible scheduling, multiage groups, and core planning in individual schools" as "examples of the new organizational forms. New York City¿ school choice¿ alternative schools¿small, personalized schools; cooperative learning; integration of curriculum; longer class periods; deeper curriculum study and fewer topics; parental involvement, joint management by teachers and administrators; and new forms of assessment, wherein students show both their knowledge and their capabilities in a comfortable setting through demonstrations and portfolios of work rather than through pencil-and paper tests. Philadelphia¿ small, self-contained learning communities¿ within large comprehensive high schools and closely linked to local universities and national networks of other restructured schools. Restructure the city environment itself, which produces these students and the failing schools. Educational change in the inner city, to be successful, has to be part and parcel of more fundamental social change. An all-out attack on poverty and racial isolation that by necessity will affect not only the poor, but the more affluent as well, will be necessary in order to remove the barriers that currently stand in the way of urban educational change. Marcy School was the site of the majority of observations made by Anyon. Some positive observations regarding this setting were made. Marcy was considered by some personnel to be a good school. "It's a happening school," said an assistant superintendent. The drug counselor claimed, "It's a very good school - there aren't drugs all over it like in some of the other schools." Others, such as the school psychologist, considered it to be "in the middle - not great, not terrible; right at the mean." No teacher or administrator considered it to be among the worst schools. The principal said, "We may have problems, but we're no way the worst." However this seem to be the extent of the strengths that Anyon was able to mention of this school. And there was little return to these statements. There was no discussion of building upon these strong points. And these comments never seemed to be truly internalized or appreciated by the author. From there the discussion turned to an endless negative discussion. As an explanation to the attitudes of some of the teachers, Anyon offered, "victims of race and class exploitation sometimes grow to mimic the behav

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling

    The book, Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban and Educational Reform, written by Jean Anyon, takes an in-depth look at an urban Newark, New Jersey school and how its history and socio-economic past has negatively affected the school system. In order to attempt to explain the plight of the Marcy School, where Anyon conducted her research, she first sets the stage and looks back at the history of Newark and its declining environment. In Chapter 1, Anyon looks at the poverty problems facing the cities and compares the problems to the racial isolation of the area. She illustrates how the declining economy forces the mainstream residents to move to the suburbs for jobs, however, "residential segregation prevented most black families from following" (Anyon,5). The schools suffered from these changes as well. It is Anyon's argument that "until the economic and political system in which the cities are enmeshed are themselves transformed," there is little hope for any changes within the city schools (Anyon,13). In Chapter 2, Anyon presents the conditions of the Marcy School, and illustrates why change is necessary. Anyon uses research to illustrate how the school problems are a direct result to the social and economic problems facing the community. Chapters 3 and 4 look at the history of Newark by discussing the industrial strength of the New Jersey community as well as the rise of immigrants to the community. Chapter 5 discusses the economic decline of the community and its effect on the schools from 1945 until 1960. These changes were a direct result of social, economic, and political developments contributing to city segregation (Anyon,75). In addition, the physical conditions of the schools were deplorable, and insufficient funds forced any changes to be impossible. Chapter 6 discusses the relationship between a declining urban school system and the departure of business and the middle class (Anyon, 99). The schools reflected the affects of these segregated times. Poor materials and untrained staff led to a suffering curriculum. Chapter 7 looks at unsuccessful reform attempts that took place from 1970 until 1997. During this time, many court cases played a role in reforming educational funding. The problem lies, however, in determining how and where the money should be spent. In Chapter 8, Anyon presents some ideas about how to improve the Newark schools by taking into account a plan that would involve teachers, administrators, and city leaders all working together to make change. Anyon first addresses the four major problems of Newark's history: declining neighborhoods, political patronage, ghettoization of minorities, and the municipal overburden (Anyon,155-162). Anyon proposes that by getting involved with the city, some of the underlying problems may be corrected that would in turn affect the schools. Anyon stresses that in order to make improvements, a strong set-up of funding placements must occur. The money needs to be used properly and efficiently. In this book, Anyon stresses her argument that by the community joining together and learning from past historical mistakes, the urban communities will be reestablished and then the urban schools will follow.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling

    This was an informative book concerning issues surrounding urban education, funding, and racism. This book provides a background of Newark, New Jersey school system. This book is divided into three sections with eight chapters starting in the 1860 and going to the present day. In 1984, New Jersey threatened to take over Newark School District because their student achievement scores were very low and there was needed improvement of school administration. In 1989, the districts leaders initiated a four-year program to reform eight inner city schools, which included Marcy School. Marcy School had twenty-five classroom teachers. It had several support staff personnel, as well. The author, Jean Anyon, started her involvement with Marcy School in February of 1992. She remained there for several months. She did return to Marcy School after New Jersey took over the district in July of 1996. The methodology that the author used was exploring the whole surroundings that affected the school system. She started her research from 1860 and moved to the present day. She explored how the city came about, and what influenced it to today. From 1860 to 1929, the author wrote about the city, the state, and the schools. She also wrote about educational reforms, immigrants, patronage, and corruption. The city and the state were having an economic growth spurt. Although small in area, it ranked 6th in the nation in the value of its manufactured products and was the 11th largest city in population (Anyon, 41). The schools were experiencing a number of growths as well. One was the influx many immigrant students who were attending schools. Another was the reform that called for many changes such as kindergarten, all-year school, and vocational and trade programs. The start of political patronage and corruption in the city government was also apparent in affairs of the board of education (Anyon, 51). In the 1930¿s, the author wrote about the city, the state, and the schools. She also wrote about financial constraint, influx of African Americans, effect of redlining, and results of the depression. The city had a decline of taxable urban property and property values due to the depression. Also many factories moved to the suburbs for greater tax advantages. The city had financial constraints because ¿corporations built large projects at public expense¿ (Anyon, 59). The influx of African Americans resulted in redlining. Which in turn resulted in people having difficulty with getting loans for repairs or building homes. In the schools, patronage continued. The school board instead of the superintendent named the persons for service in the school. The school board controlled the finances for the schools. They had disproportionate figures compared to the state when it came to disbursement of funds. The physical facilities were beginning to run down. The instruction at the elementary level was very ¿uniformed throughout the city despite the difference in class and ethnicity in population¿ (Strayer, 1948, Anyon, 70). Racial segregation and ghettoization had adverse effect on the black students. From 1945 to 1960, the author again writes about the city, the state, and the schools. During this time, many African Americans migrated to the North because they were no longer needed to do certain jobs in the South. These blacks came to Newark with no experience and a lack of a high school diploma. Therefore, they received lower waged jobs. Not only did the Southern blacks need jobs but housing as well. It was difficult to find housing because the city would rather have shopping centers or parking lots built because of tax reasons. The city¿s politics were in control by the whites. New Jersey, as a whole, had a growth in population during this time. The state gave more money to the rural schools than the urban. Also, Newark was still considered wealthy. The state did not contribute a lot of money to the Newark school system. At this time, there was

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling is pertinent in all inner-city school situations

    Ghetto Schooling Reflection Paper and Book Review By: Elizabeth Baumgartner Time-line 1860-1929: Ghetto Schooling took a culturally historical look at the plight of inner city schools in the United States. Jean Anyon examines the connections between politics, schooling and the inherent racism that pervades our society. The solutions to these problems are evident but very difficult to enact. We will start by looking at the system of schooling in Newark, New Jersey as a case study in a historical perspective. In the 1860¿s Newark was the `crown jewel¿ of the industrialized United States. The school system at this time featured a relatively homogenous population in that the students were white immigrants from Ireland and Germany. The students of the school system at this time seem to represent all social classes. By the 1920 many new immigrants had descended on Newark and its school system. Most of these immigrants were the poorest of the poor, they came in such large numbers the school system did not have an adequate infrastructure to accommodate this swell of non-English speaking immigrants. Not only was the infrastructure a problem, a pervading attitude of racism denied many of these children a chance of a good education. The schools were overcrowded and teachers who were not equipped to teach them often taught the children or worse yet they were forced to be in classrooms with teachers who despised them because of their `otherness¿. As the children were in a school system that failed them there was also the pull of industrial jobs that could simultaneously remove them from the oppression of poor school while providing a much-needed additional income to help their struggling families make ends meet. The political structure of Newark and other large cities were so designed to keep any political power from poor inner-city immigrants. Because of the disconnected nature of the political system, the issues of the poor were ignored. Across the nation the political power was unconcerned with the plight of the poor immigrant worker. By failing to see the connection between their own future and the future of the poor the political powers had further isolated a large population of undereducated workers. The effect of this unequal distribution of political power was to have small pockets of political power within the city organized by the immigrants who couldn¿t get power any other way. This caused widespread abuses of power within an already beleaguered population. The commission form of city politics was rife with corruption that profoundly affected a school system that was already failing children of `foreign races¿. Furthermore, the corporations that provided the `pull¿ for these poor immigrants to come in the first place showed no responsibility towards the betterment of the failing Newark school system. The final blow to the early school system in Newark came in the form of the Great Depression¿. Time-Line 1930-1960: As we have seen in this book the economic winds of a city is closely paralleled to the quality of its public schools. During the 1930¿s American cities suffered from the tenuous economy caused by the `Great Depression¿. During this era there was an increase in corruption and patronage as there wasn¿t enough money and power to go around in the poor areas of the cities. Redlining became prevalent at this time also which led to dwindling property values and marked decreases in educational funding in the city. The isolation became greater since the poor were left to live in a faltering city while the more affluent fled to the suburbs. Segregation also contributed to the unequal school system of the 1930¿s and one that we still see today. Between 1945-1960 the mass exodus of middle-class whites and corporations was gutting the cities across the United States. This problem was compounded by the pervading state political structure that ignored the inner-city problems while taking special interest in the suburbs a

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2002

    The Sinking of Educational Reform

    Jean Anyon¿s portrayal of educational reform in Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Education Reform could be paralleled to the sinking of the Titanic. Educational reform could be represented by the Titanic and Marcy School would take on the role of the tip of the iceberg. Marcy school on a surface level might not appear a serious obstacle to being ¿reformed¿. The surface level of the iceberg is the reform environment of Marcy School in the present(Part I). The tip of the Marcy iceberg is made up dysfunctional teachers and principals, anger and anguish of students and teachers, systemized abuse of students by teachers, the social gulf between parents and reformers as wells as other manifestations of class and poverty. Anyon, however, does not spend the entire text recounting present conditions at Marcy and their subsequent effects on educational reform efforts. Instead, using historical analysis, she looks below the surface and unveils through one hundred years of political, economic, social and educational policy history, the complexity of the submerged mass of conditions of Marcy School(Part II). She ends the voyage with her visions of rescue for the ill-fated reform ship(Part III). Anyon begins with a narrow focus of the question---Why have federal, state and local school reform efforts failed to raise student achievement at Marcy School? Using a case study, Anyon¿s observations of Marcy School are documented over a one year period(Feb. 92 ¿ Feb. 93) while she served as a ¿staff developer providing coaching in the methods of cooperative teaching and learning¿. She was part of an unsuccessful four-year reform effort which began in Newark in 1989. The reform targeted eight Newark schools but Anyon¿s study focuses on only one, Marcy School. The school (K-8), included 25 classrooms occupied by 500 students---71% black, 27% Hispanic and all but three students were on public assistance and free lunch. Using her obtained data, Anyon assesses ¿the impact of class and race on school reform by describing how three factors---sociocultural differences among participants in reform, an abusive school environment and educator expectations of failed reform---occurring in a minority ghetto, ¿constitute some the powerful and devastating ways in which the concomitants of race and social class can intervene to determine what happens in inner city schools, and in attempts to improve them¿ (p. 17). She also cites other prevailing attitudes for reform failures as hostilities between groups involved, lack of assistance from the board of education, frustration, and student opposition to teachers and academic demands.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling - A Solution for Today's Failing Urban Schools???

    Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform, was written by Jean Anyon. She gathered her research while working as a staff developer at Marcy School in the Newark, New Jersey school district. In the early 1980s, the Newark schools underwent a state sponsored evaluation. In 1984, the state ordered that Newark schools must increase student achievement and improve administration or they would lose accreditation. To avoid takeover by the state, the district implemented a 4-year reform project in eight Newark city schools including Marcy. The project included extensive reform efforts such as School Based Management, professional development, all-day kindergartens, ungraded primary classes, new textbooks for almost all instruction in primary grades, teacher retraining in the methods of Madeline Hunter, staff development in cooperative learning, and many additional services offered for students. Ultimately, the state took over the Newark city school district in 1995. By exploring the historical and economic past of the Newark school system, the methodology of this study uncovered some enlightening information and possible causes for the current educational situation within the city. One event that led to great financial problems in the Newark school district began during the great depression. Because of the widespread unemployment, school officials overused patronage in filling personnel openings within the district. In 1938, 40% of elementary teachers in comparable cities had four or more years of college education, while only 26.5% of Newark¿s teachers had as much training. In fact, 42.5% of teachers in Newark had less than three years of college education. As quoted in Ghetto Schooling, ¿The custodial and cafeteria staffs were overlarge, unskilled, with ¿liberal allotments of non-working time,¿ and on wage scales at least 15% higher than the norm.¿ Additionally, ¿Although state requirements for the job of principal included a master¿s degree or equivalent, 30% of Newark¿s 44 principals had not completed college.¿ p.66. The excessive number of employees in the Newark school district and their inflated salaries were a great expense to the district. The high expenses coupled with the cities inability to collect taxes, neglect in applying for available federal grants, and reliance on funding from property taxes with declining values begin to explain some of the district¿s budget deficits. For many years, audits revealed that the district had over $500,000 in unexplained balances. Another event that began in the 1940s led to a decline in the quality of education in Newark. Most of Newark¿s teachers in the 1940s and 1950s were Irish, Italian, or Jewish immigrants. Black children from the rural south entered the Newark school system and were perceived by teachers as ¿difficult¿ and ¿unruly¿. Those teachers were quoted in 1945 while shouting degrading comments at their students such as ¿You¿re a disgrace to your family,¿ and ¿ Get out! I¿m tired of looking at you.¿ p91. Comments very similar to those were shouted at students in 1992-1993 during the period of time when Jean Anyon was visiting Marcy school. In the 40s and 50s, the teachers¿ attitudes were explained as a ¿clash of cultures in the classroom¿. The teachers were trying to move up to middle-class or had successfully become middle-class, while the students were trapped in the working-class. Eventually, these ¿difficult¿ students, reduction of salaries, and lack of instructional materials made teaching in the city unappealing to new teachers. Older teachers moved to the suburbs or changed professions. The eventual shortage of qualified applicants caused the district to hire many long-term substitutes who were not qualified or could not pass certification testing. In February of 1958, Newark lowered its examination standards to try to attract more teachers. p.92 Those teachers who stayed in the city to teach still lacked the cultural diversity to understa

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Review of Ghetto Schooling

    Jean Anyon¿s Ghetto Schooling follows the author¿s participation in reform efforts in Newark, New Jersey¿s schools in 1992 and 1993. Anyon worked with staff development programs at Marcy School and other districts during this time of reform. Before the attempts at reform were abandoned, she worked one full day per week throughout the school year. Anyon spent time in classrooms and offered suggestions about cooperative teaching and cooperative learning. Anyon spent more than 200 hours with Marcy School¿s teachers and students. She also participated in district sponsored reform team meetings at which she was able to talk with numerous teachers. Anyon was also able to spend some 21 lunch periods and countless walks through the halls and yard getting to know the students at Marcy School. This allowed for both formal and informal interviews to occur. In addition, Anyon came to know the assistant superintendent who was responsible for the reform at the school. Those officially interviewed for this research included the assistant superintendent, the school staff, 24 classroom teachers, the school¿s support team, the administrators, the drug counselor, 25 students, and 15 parents. In order to get a more complete picture of the situation at Marcy School, Anyon read many school, district, and state reports regarding the school and its attempts at reform. Also under analysis were the curricula and curricula materials practiced and otherwise found at Marcy School. Anyon includes an extensive historical review of the city of Newark and its schools over the last 100 years. Enabling her to generalize her research to other cities and their schools, Anyon compares the economic and political histories of cities such as Boston, Detroit, New York, and Chicago. Anyon recounts government policies and practices at local, state, and national levels. She describes the then current situation and its causes through the use of newspapers and other recorded official documents. Anyon¿s work to retell the history of the Newark schools also includes many interviews with knowledgeable figures related to the story. Having read Anyon¿s detailed history of Newark and her search of the city¿s public record thoroughly, one can look back at the city of Newark 100 years ago and see a big, bustling city operating in a financially stable manner. Eventually, concentrated poverty and racial isolation transform the city, and, as history shows, the people Anyon meets and studies at Marcy School have little, if any, responsibility for or control of the situation. The problems for Newark begin as early as the 1920¿s when the city experiences a lack of corporate accountability. With property taxes becoming the basis of school funding, the problems continue through the 1930¿s and the Great Depression. As Anyon writes, ¿In the thirties, a decline in economic resources led to a decline in city services and in the maintenance of infrastructure. Lack of resources had a dampening effect on education as well: There were no educational reforms undertaken during the Great Depression, and in all but the white middle-class areas of the city, educational offerings and facilities suffered (page 73).¿ Inhabited largely by whites, by the 1950¿s, economic resources diminish as businesses stop spending money in the city, city services decrease, and the city of Newark begins to decay. An attempt at reform of the schools happens at this time but is thwarted by corruption within the school board. During the 1960¿s, the population begins to shift from primarily Anglo-Saxon to increasing numbers of African Americans and Hispanics. As the whites move to the suburbs and the suburbs grow, political support and control move with them. Political corruption is common on the local level while the state and federal governments do not invest in the city at this time. During the 1960¿s, industries close or move from the city resulting

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Review of Ghetto Schooling

    Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Education Reform, is an interesting explanation of the case study done by the author, Jean Anyon. Anyon was a part of the attempted educational reform of the Newark, New Jersey schools in the late 1980's and early 1990's. Although most of her personal contact was with the faculty, staff, administration, parents, and children of the Marcy school, she gives the historical background for the Newark schools system starting in 1860. This history ventures all of the way to the present, which includes her personal experience in the reform process. Although the reform process in which she participated in failed, she did learn a great deal and shared a lot of insight about school reform. Her main point was that reform would not happen until the economic and political systems that surround the schools are transformed, neither would the schools be transformed. (Anyon 13) I found this book to be informative and insightful. Through this reading I have a better understanding of the inner city school setting, and how much help is needed there. Unfortunately, as Anyon point out, money is not the answer. The answer is reform on the larger scale. This book helped me to see this. Additionally, because of my current quest to become a teacher this booked helped me to prepare for some of the obstacles I may face. Although I will probably never teach at a school like those in the Newark district, it is very beneficial to my learning process to see the problem that plague the educational community. I am glad this book was part of my college curriculum.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    A Must-Read Guide for Political and Educational Leaders

    The book Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform by Jean Anyon provides a well-researched, insightful look at the decline of Newark¿s educational system over the last one hundred forty-two years. She provides statistical information as well as interview accounts of the reasons for the decline in the education of Newark¿s children. As a citizen of a small, Midwestern town, I learned a lot about the operations and opportunities for failure in the inner city school system. Anyon¿s hypothesis is made clear on page 13 of Ghetto Schooling. She states ¿that until the economic and political systems in which the cities are enmeshed are themselves transformed so they may be more democratic and productive for urban residents, educational reformers have little chance of effecting long-lasting educational changes in city schools.¿ I believe Anyon strongly supports her hypothesis throughout her book, both through statistical analysis as well as interviews and first-person accounts of the decline of the Newark schools. I also believe it speaks strongly to the truth of her hypothesis that Anyon was able to conduct many of her interviews while working as part of the Marcy School team in the Newark city district. She was able to include her own personal accounts of the decline as well as accurately document the current state of schooling in Newark through interviews with staff, administrators, and students. Her organization of her findings is clear, breaking the history of Newark into distinct blocks of time and analyzing the political system, the educational system, and the state of the city during each of these time blocks. Anyon¿s theory that the actions of the political system at any given time had a direct effect on both the state of the city and the state of the educational system is proven repeatedly throughout her book. Anyon¿s research begins in 1860 Newark, a time of prosperity for the Newark schools. At this time, Anyon points out that Newark¿s industrial success caused great prosperity for its citizens and its school system. Newark was a great draw for immigrant families to the industrial and manufacturing jobs it could provide. However, it is during this time that Anyon begins to describe the downfall of the big industrial city. The slums and disparity between the wealthy and the immigrant, working-class poor was beginning to grow. Anyon¿s statistical analysis of the ethnic and economic status of the children in the schools was extensive. She found that more than half of the students were of poor, immigrant background. Of great importance, she also described the majority of the teachers as ¿native born of immigrant parents.¿ The discord developing between these ¿American¿ teachers and immigrant students is described statistically as well as through narratives from the teachers themselves. Anyon includes a letter from an Irish teacher that states ¿she and others of her profession were subjected to insult and the risk of physical injury by children of foreigners¿ (page 49). In my opinion, this increasingly tense situation foreshadows the decline of the quality of education. The teachers dislike of the students and their fear of them could only lead to a declining educational quality in the Newark schools. During this time, Anyon also describes the corrupt political system that is running the Newark school system. The large, commissioner run political system used corrupt practices that benefited themselves and their friends, but this system did only damage to the school system. Anyon¿s literature review includes many citations of unfit appointments throughout the history of the Newark school system, as well as inefficient paperwork and bookkeeping that cost the district government monies that could have helped keep the district running more efficiently. Anyon¿s inclusion of these corrupt government and political workings was key to understanding the decline of the Newark school system. The inefficiency

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling review

    Ghetto Schooling is a comprehensive study of the decline and subsequent reform attempts in the Newark, New Jersey school system. Jean Anyon recounts the political and economic struggles that have occurred in the city from 1860 to the present, and thoroughly investigates the ¿failed¿ attempts at school reform during that time. In her case study, Anyon spent over a year (more than 200 working hours) at a school in Newark, which she calls ¿Marcy Elementary School¿ (a pseudonym). She worked at the school during 1992 and 1993 as the primary staff developer, conducting workshops and spending full days in the classrooms with teachers. In addition to her time at Marcy, Anyon also worked with Marcy and seven other schools in the district during a four-year reform movement beginning in 1989. The design of Anyon¿s study is a combination of a case study and an archival approach. The limitation of using this type of approach is that the findings cannot be generalized because of poor representativeness. Although Anyon mentions several other inner-city districts similar to Newark, her only case study was in the city of Newark. In her case study, Anyon employs the use of careful observations, archival records, and interviews. The reforms studied in Ghetto Schooling are much like the reforms attempted in other urban areas. In the Schools IV video, a similar situation is studied in Baltimore, Maryland. A school administrator in that urban district states, ¿We have a real clear list of what doesn¿t work, but we have no idea of what will work.¿ This is similar to the frustration in the Newark schools documented by Anyon. When she first began working at Marcy School, a learning disabilities specialist stated to Anyon, ¿Nothing has worked before, so we¿re trying everything. Did you see the movie Animal House? That¿s what this place is like¿ (Anyon, p. 19). Anyon¿s use of the political economic background of Newark in relation to the development of the school district has its valid points. She presents an in-depth analysis of both political and economic shortcomings in the city¿s past, and relates that with several of the hurdles the Newark district must overcome. The validity of the economic relationship comes from the fact that a child¿s socio-economic status is one of the biggest predetermining factors of success in school. The political relationship is of importance because of the patronage and corruption which affected the district. Anyon makes several hypotheses in Ghetto Schooling about the reasons for the decline in the Newark city schools. These vary from political corruption and patronage appointments to the hiring of unqualified staff. At the end, she also proposes several hypotheses regarding the possibilities for lasting and effective school reforms. Her findings were that the decline in the quality of Marcy and the other Newark schools did not occur overnight. Instead there was more of a snowball effect ¿ a chain reaction of events leading to the district¿s demise. She proposes at the end a lengthy list of reforms which have a better chance of being successful in the urban school setting. The most important factor, she has found, is that the schools cannot be reformed in an isolated context ¿ the entire urban area must undergo a drastic reform. Anyon¿s theory of reform of the Newark city schools is based on a broader social reform of Newark as a city. Before we can ¿fix¿ what is wrong in our urban schools, we have to first ¿fix¿ what is wrong in our urban communities. This revitalization of the city of Newark would require financial assistance at the state and federal levels. Big corporations must also pay the money they owe and the money they have promised to the cities that house them. She also proposes a national urban tax on corporations based in the United States. Anyon also theorizes that state control of failing districts, when done properly, can help urban schools. Another area of change lies in the administration of indi

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2002

    Ghetto Schooling - Does it really give us any new information?

    Anyon, Jean. (1997). Ghetto schooling: A political economy of urban educational reform. Paperback - 240 pages (October 1997) Teachers College Pr; ISBN: 0807736627 Reviewed by Joyle Goeken Southern Illinois University Edwardsville November 5, 2002 Since as far back as formal education existed, Newark NJ school district has suffered from numerous problems. In the book Ghetto Schooling ¿ A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform, Jean Anyon deals with the topic of the Newark school district and what has been done and what should be done in the future. The book begins with her experience of being in the Newark School system (Marcy School) as a member of a group trying to restructure eight schools in this school district. Then she follows up with a chronological break down by era of what went on in the Newark district and around the country. The book begins in the present, goes to the past, and finishes up with how we are supposed to learn from our past. In the present time, we see schools that are ill equipped, dirty, having unqualified staff, and chaos. These children come from poor homes (if they have a home), with chaotic lives, neglect, abuse, histories of poor helth and chronic health problems, emotional stress, anxiety and anger (Anyon, 1997). If the children are coming from home environments like this, it does not seem that it would take much to make them want to come to school. However, quite a few students that were interviewed did not want to be there. Why? They did not respect the teachers. They thought the teachers were only there for the money or could not find a job anywhere else. One student did not like the abuse inflicted upon the students by the teachers. This section of the book is the one that stands out above all else. The reason being, I cannot believe how these students are handled. What these teachers say and do is uncalled for. This stems from the fact that these teachers do not have the proper training to be a teacher. We are not going to stop this vicious cycle if we do not train these teachers. We learn how to parent from our parents, and how to teach from past teachers, unless otherwise trained. If I did not get anything else out of this book, I do know how not to teach. From the present, we move back to the past. This section seems like an unending amount of statistical information. We find in this section that the school board was not keeping the education of the students as their motivating factor for their decisions. Greed and personal gain was what motivated them. Janitors were making more than some principals and doing substandard work. The school board was not applying for federal aid they could have received and needed. I believe the reason for this is they felt they would bring a critical eye upon themselves for their corrupt practices. The author¿s main point of this section seems to be that the Newark school district relied upon local property taxes as their tax base for education and suffered because of it. Companies were moving to suburban areas that were giving tax advantages for doing so and the residential areas were left predominately poor. Another big problem of this time was the mass number of students moving into the Newark district. Most of them were black, but it would not matter what race they were. It was the influx of new students all at once that caused the problems. For instance, News in 1954 stated that in one school the enrollment was 907 the previous year and 1653 in the current year. How could any school prepare for this especially a poor one? In addition, the discrimination of schools did not help at all. It appeared that white schools were getting more funding, permanent teachers, and textbooks, while the black schools were lucky if they received one of these benefits, that to me are the foundations of a good education. It also stands out to me that no matter when the Newark district was viewed, it was well below standards most of the time. Chap

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    Review--Ghetto Schooling

    Book Review ¿ Ghetto Schooling Jean Anyon authored the book Ghetto Schooling: A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform in 1997. The purposes of this book were to look at the history of the educational system in Newark, New Jersey, delve into educational reform, and offer an idea of new school reform. This new educational reform would involve ¿reconstruction of the central city¿s environment,¿ (Anyon, pg. xiv) which appears to be a major undertaking. Chapter 1 Anyon presented numerous facts about the make-up of large city schools compared to suburban schools. One main fact was that in 1990 more than 50% minorities inhabited six out of eight of the largest U. S. cities. In these urban schools, 42% of the children are eligible for subsidized school lunches, 40% are in schools that have been defined as high-poverty schools by the U. S. Department of Education (79% of the large city schools are receiving a lower rate of funding than suburban schools), and less than half of the ninth graders at these schools will graduate in 4 years. Anyon researched and found that the school buildings, which were built around the turn of the century, have not been kept up. There are not enough supplies and equip- ment, especially in areas of math and science. Schools in the large cities are more likely to employ teachers who are not certified and other personnel who are not qualified in the areas they work. There is a 50% higher shortage of teachers in these cities than in suburban or rural areas. In order to explain her agenda in the writing of Ghetto Schooling, the words of Anyon at the close of Chapter 1 are an accurate summation, ¿to date, current visions of educational reform have not been strong enough to redress this destructive power of the social environment¿¿ (pg. 13), because ¿¿educational change in the inner city, to be successful, has to be part and parcel of more fundamental social change¿ (pg. 13). Chapter 2 Anyon was hired as a participant in a four-year attempt to restructure eight schools in inner city Newark, NJ and describes Marcy Elementary School, (not the correct name) a K-8 school which was built in 1861. Again, Anyon uses many facts to present data of the minority, poverty level students and non-certified personnel. She analyzed the students and personnel thoroughly in order to ¿assess the impact of class and race on school reform by describing how three factors¿sociocultural differences among participants in reform, an abusive school environment, and educator expectations of failed reform¿occurring in a minority ghetto where the school population is racially and economically isolated, constitute some of the powerful and devastating ways in which the concomitants of race and social class can intervene to determine what happens in inner city schools, and in attempts to improve them¿ (pg. 17). In order to carry out the educational reforms thought necessary to maintain accreditation, many school improvement projects were planned by a board of representative of the Newark¿s majority black population. One major downfall in the success of the reform project was the sociocultural differences between the hired reformers, the parents, and the school personnel. Anyon described several sessions where upper class white executives were brought in the work with parents at Marcy School on collaboration. All participants were separated physically in the room, which immediately led to tension and segregation. The communication noted was never two-way and interaction and trust never established. After only several months, the meetings were discontinued. Workshops, retreats, training sessions were resisted by teachers and administration and did not continue after only two of the four years planned. Anyon states the reason for these failures as ¿¿social distance arising in part from lack of common experience and knowledge of each other in people of different class and racial backgrounds (which) can impair communication,

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2002

    Review of Ghetto Schooling

    This author provides a provocative and troubling look into the Newark, New Jersey School system. This book stems from Anyon¿s experiences while participating in a 4-year program of reform, beginning in 1989, that involved eight schools in the central district of Newark. Much of her anecdotal information comes from one specific school, that she names Marcy School (a pseudonym). Anyon spent approximately a year teaching workshops and coaching in the classroom during the reform program (primarily at Marcy School) and then about another year in the classroom after the reform program was abandoned (Anyon xvii). Anyon¿s describes her main argument as ¿that until the economic and political systems in which the cities are enmeshed are themselves transformed so they may be more democratic and productive for urban residents, educational reformers have little chance of effecting long-lasting educational changes in city schools.¿ (Anyon 13) Using a historical analysis, Anyon describes the crooked path of education in Newark from 1860 to present times. Her analysis shows how past political and economic decisions and actions have affected the development and progress of Newark Schools, and those of other major American cities. Anyon does not lack statistical muscle to back up her argument. Anyon shows that central cities now hold only 29% of the nation¿s population and comprise less than 12% of the national electorate (Judd and Swanstrom, Anyon 1997). She also finds that 79% of the large city schools studied by the Council of Great City Schools are funded at a rate lower than are suburban schools; nationally, advantaged suburban schools spend as much as ten times that spent by poor urban schools. Furthermore, 82.4% of the Great City Schools experienced a decline in local revenues during the survey year of 1992-93. (Anyon 7) Less than one third of the people with less than one eighth of the electoral vote have little chance of turning the tide, hence her argument for transformation. Anyon paints a vivid picture of inner-city schools. She describes dilapidated; unsafe buildings that reek of urine and the poverty level of the students- all but 3 students in Marcy School receive some form of public assistance. (Anyon 15) She also depicts a school environment unlike any most of us has seen; poorly trained, abusive teachers, out of date textbooks or in many cases no textbooks at all, few supplies to provide any kind of enrichment activities, and a lack of essential supplies such as toilet paper and soap. Anyon describes the four-year reform effort as unsuccessful, (Anyon xiv) and suggests, ¿that these and other reforms that were chosen have little if anything to do with this district¿s students and the cultural and economic realities of their lives, and in part because of this sociocultural inappropriateness, the reforms actually impede the students¿ academic progress and thereby preclude reform success.¿ (Anyon 24) Some of her suggestions for potentially more successful reform include a multicultural focused curriculum and a rather liberal viewpoint that would include ¿black dialect¿ as a native tongue, giving a second language status for instructional purposes. I found this book to be compelling, yet frustrating reading. Anyon describes in great detail the deplorable conditions these inner-city students face daily. She also provides a comprehensive history of how the Newark schools arrived at their current day situation. What is lacking for me in this book is a plausible solution to the problem. Anyone reading this book will be appalled at the plight of these children and their school districts but what can realistically be done? Anyon argues that the situation must be transformed (Anyon 13), but paints her solutions with a wide stroke by suggesting increased taxing of corporations, Social Security tax on all earned income, and more strict application of capital gains guideline. (Anyon 183) These are solutions that will require

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    Review of Ghetto Schooling

    The book, Ghetto Schooling A Political Economy of Urban Educational Reform, written by Jean Anyon, is an informative book concerning the issues surrounding urban education, funding, and racism among many groups. Ghetto School is divided into three sections, with 8 chapters, providing background of the Newark, New Jersey school system and plight of inner-city schools beginning in 1860 and following through to present day. The results of Anyon¿s research should be a wake up call for all involved in education, from educators to politicians, and parents. In my opinion, the question is now more relevant than ever. Which factors led to the inadequacy of educational opportunities for urban school districts? Anyon defines her research by "describing the social milieu of isolation and poverty, then illustrate how these conditions affect urban schools. (Anyon 3) When looking back, Anyon has shown the implications for the future, central cities now hold only 29% of the nations population and comprise less than 12% of the national electorate (Judd and Swanstrom 1994, Anyon 1997). As mentioned through her research, the majority of the middle class tax base and industry in which supports both the middle class and school system have relocated to the suburbs. Within these events a deeper problem was created; inequalities within the school system of Newark itself. According to the Council of Great City Schools, large city districts (79%) are funded at a lower rate than are suburban schools; nationally advantaged suburban schools spend as much as ten times that spent by urban poor schools. (Anyon 7) With inner cities holding less than one-third of the total population, convincing voters that change is necessary and needed is a daunting task. To change the past, present, and future, reform of the inner city school is needed. According to Anyon, reform of the Newark inner city school districts will not happen until the economic and political systems in which the cities are enmeshed are themselves transformed so they may be more democratic and productive for urban residents. (Anyon 13) I found "Ghetto Schooling" to be a provocative and educational source of historical information. As a teacher, and future administrator, the need for understanding the vast array of social, political and legal mandates truly dictates not only education, but also the city and state in which they reside. Anyon creates a very realistic in description of past events, many of which are still seen today. The material presented not only punctuates, but makes a very colorful statement of the current economic situation facing many states, including Illinois. After reading this text, I have a better appreciation for the sheer complexity of school funding. Illinois uses three very complicated formulas for determining funding of public schools alone. Anyon¿s explanation of public education is complete, complicated, and enjoyable.

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