Participant observation research in an elementary school from 1989 to 1992 reinforces our understanding that often inner city children find a conflict between the behaviors and values that help them survive on the "street" and those that are expected in the middle-class educational system in which they are engaged on a day-to-day basis. While expecting middle-class responses, however, many teachers used archaic teaching strategies that have been abandoned in our best suburban schools. The research also makes clear the need for teachers to have high expectations for children while employing teaching methodologies that focus on individual students and their strengths and weaknesses. Policy recommendations are outlined that could alter the success of inner city education, if employed judiciously.

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