chapter  4
Moral Identity Development and School Attachment
WithRobert Atkins, Daniel Hart, Thomas M. Donnelly
Pages 18

Schools have come under increasing scrutiny in recent years. In the United

States, the focus has largely been on the perceived failings of urban schools in

serving poor children. A host of remedies have been proposed, including char-

ter schools, school reorganization, vouchers permitting children in failing pub-

lic schools to attend private academies, tougher standards, and so on. The

premise of much public debate is that schools develop skills that are essential

for economic success. Consequently, schools that do not foster this expertise in

children are failing in their responsibilities. No doubt the collection of skills

valued in the workplace must be transmitted to youth, and the failure to do so

cripples the financial life prospects ofmany youth in urban areas (see Jencks&

Phillips, 1998, for a discussion).