Why are Memphis City Schools a good case study for the challenges facing urban America?
If you look toward the end of the book at the comparison of Memphis to many of the other city school systems in the larger cities in the country, you see a lot of comparable data. Inner city schools are facing pretty much the same problems throughout the country. They’re serving high concentrations of low income, often primarily African American and Hispanic populations that, because of their income situation, bring to the classroom many additional teaching challenges. In inner cities, too, there’s usually, as there was in Memphis, an out-migration of middle-income African Americans to [nearby counties], further isolating the most poor students in the city schools. Considering these common trends, I think Memphis is a pretty good bellwether of urban education challenges across the country. Q: You note that the most significant difference between Memphis City Schools and the neighboring Shelby County Schools is the degree of poverty of students in these districts. What impact can povert