The Importance of Urban Education

Public education has long been overlooked as one of the keys to reforming our country’s urban cores. Contrary to reform, we often view these districts as a lost cause and seek ways to remove students from these districts. This attitude only hurts our central cities. In order to revive our urban schools, we must make investments in several areas:

Continuous training for teachers is perhaps the most vital investment school districts can make. Whether this training involves classroom management, crisis response, grant writing, or anything in between, teachers should have skills that can advance their institution. Training this front line staff allows teachers to become more like partners in the district as opposed to a cookie cutter employee.

Infrastructure is another overlooked aspect of investment in urban schools. Many urban school buildings were built in the early to mid-1900s and are no longer healthy environments for learning. Updated infrastructure could increase safety, increase natural light, and provide students an environment where learning is the primary focus.

Finally, technology should be a final investment in urban public schools. Technological changes are at the forefront of our rapidly changing world, and our urban students are being left behind. Urban students should graduate school with proficiency in computer skills, which opens up job opportunities and a whole new world of knowledge: the internet.

How do we fund these things? Each urban area must develop a partnership within the three spheres of any society: government, business, and non-profit organizations. Each sphere has a direct interest in revitalizing urban school systems because of possible growth from the products of these districts. With this partnership between governments, parents, businesses, teachers, non-profit organizations, and students, we can finally put urban school districts on the path to success.

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About Jonathan Thurston

Thurston is a Graduate Research Assistant in the Institute for Urban Research at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. After completing his undergraduate degree at SIUE in history and political science, he was admitted to the Public Administration and Policy Analysis program where he will complete his master's degree.
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One Response to The Importance of Urban Education

  1. Were there other problems? Of course there were, but the chronically disruptive atmosphere was by far the most significant and destructive. It’s a problem that’s conspicuously absent from successful suburban schools—which don’t tolerate outrageous misbehavior—and is usually never mentioned by education reformers, policy experts, consultants, and the other people who pretend to know what’s best for our schools.