ABSTRACT

Literature and studies that define black, disadvantaged adolescents have

been a common thread ofresearch among sociologists and educators over

the past forty years. Their theories and assumptions have created myriads of practices and programs to alter the phenomenon. Yet, today the majority of these children continue to be unsuccessful in school and in their everyday lives. Black and Hispanic children have the highest drop-out rate among any ethnic group. In 1994 the Chicago drop-out percentages were 45.3% and 42.9% respectively for the two groups. The 1994 Citywide Drop-out Rate for the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was 42.6%. The comparative drop-out statistics for the CPS from 1989 through 1993 were 47.8%, 45.9%, 51.5%, 45.3% and 42.7% respectively (Chicago Public Schools Department of Research and Evaluation, 1995). The gap between the research insights, the practices, and the daily existence of these children is a dilemma which gives rise to continuing debate.