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The Gift of Education: How a Tuition Guarantee Program Changed the Lives of Inner City Youth


reviewed by Jayne R. Beilke January 12, 2006

coverTitle: The Gift of Education: How a Tuition Guarantee Program Changed the Lives of Inner City Youth
Author(s): Norman A. Newberg
Publisher: State University of New York Press, Albany
ISBN: 0791466191, Pages: 221, Year: 2006
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This is a sobering book.  In 1987, philanthropists George and Diane Weiss promised 112 sixth-graders in Belmont Elementary School a fully paid college education. Upon graduation from high school, students could choose to pursue postsecondary education at an institution of their choice. Located in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Philadelphia, 60% of the Belmont school children lived in households headed by single females, 70% were on welfare, and the average unemployment rate was approximately 26%. Between 1987 and 1993, over half of the students’ parents had been involved in illegal drug use for at least two years. This case study underscores the nearly insurmountable challenges facing children who grow up in America’s inner cities. Equally discouraging, however, is the revelation of the futility of even the most well-intentioned attempts to improve the life-chances of poor children through education. For the Belmont 112, the presumptive “gift” of education was as... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record, Date Published: January 12, 2006
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 12291, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 10:27:23 PM

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About the Author
  • Jayne Beilke
    Ball State University
    E-mail Author
    JAYNE BEILKE is a professor at Ball State University. Her interests include African American educational history and the history of philanthropy.
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