ERIC Number: ED422439
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998
Reference Count: N/A
Chicago's Private Elementary and Secondary Schools: Their Role in Neighborhood Revitalization.
Institute of Urban Life, Chicago, IL.
During the 1995-96 school year, the 387 nonpublic schools of Chicago (Illinois) enrolled 104,636 students, while the 550 public schools had an enrollment of 412,921. One of every five Chicago students attended a nonpublic school. About 10% of Chicago private school students are in schools that cater to the upper and middle class, but the majority, more than 300 schools, serve working class and white collar households. Fifty-one percent of these schools are Catholic. These schools specialize in mainstreaming the urban poor, and pluralism is their hallmark. The typical Chicago nonpublic school is a neighborhood-based institution, usually associated with a local church. On the whole, these are fragile institutions operating on shoestring budgets. They strive to keep tuition down, and they struggle to pay teachers salaries that are less than they could earn in the public schools. To survive, these schools depend on a precarious combination of increasing tuition, underpaid staff, dogged leadership, low overhead, dedicated volunteers, reassuring security, and scholarships and subsidies from religious bodies. They have higher graduation rates than the public schools, and they enjoy a reputation for strict discipline, low absenteeism, negligible dropout rates, rare vandalism, and shared values. In Chicago, the diversity of these schools is noteworthy. They attract parents who desire a religiously oriented education for their children, but they also offer viable options for parents who are displeased with the public schools, but choose to live in the city. Upwardly mobile families are often willing to risk being urban pioneers if they can find an alternative to the local public school. The nonpublic schools of the city often escort students and their parents into the urban mainstream. The desirability of Chicago to families with school-age children depends in no small measure on the continuing presence of viable nonpublic schools. (Contains 5 tables and 18 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Disadvantaged Youth, Elementary Schools, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment, Low Income Groups, Minority Groups, Neighborhood Improvement, Parent Attitudes, Private School Aid, Private Schools, School Role, Secondary Schools, Urban Schools, Urban Youth
Institute of Urban Life, Loyola University of Chicago, 10 East Pearson Street, #101, Chicago, IL 60611 ($1).
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Institute of Urban Life, Chicago, IL.
Identifiers - Location: Illinois (Chicago)