South Bronx

Map College Ready South Bronx


According to the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, “90% or more of high school students in five Bronx neighborhoods are not ready for college-level work by the end of four years of high school.”¹


The Annenberg Institute for School Reform measures college readiness in terms of home zip code by using the same process that the City University of New York (CUNY) uses to determine whether or not a student must take a remedial course. 


 “School’s not for people like me” (140).


“When I was in school I had trouble understanding the lessons. It just didn’t enter my head. I sat down in class and looked at the teacher, and I don’t know, it didn’t interest me” (140).



Neno’s mother sent him to the Bronx from Dominican barrios to “better his education” and “reduce his delinquency” (139). He struggled academically and began to skip class, choosing to “[hang] out…and eventually [drop] out” (139-140).²

Neno’s discouraged mindset was reinforced by the lack of opportunities in the education system where he lived. His mother sent him to the United States–to the Bronx–in an attempt to grant him the opportunities that she was not able to receive in her home country. Nevertheless, when he attended school in the Bronx, the lack of encouragement from teachers and the lack of any extracurricular activities that would promote the value of education made it easy for Neno to skip class and ultimately stop going to school completely.

Effects of income inequality in low-income neighborhoods on education:

  • “Low family income makes it more difficult for parents to gain access to the high-quality child care that prepares children for kindergarten” (8).
  • “It can also lead to classrooms filled with low achieving, inattentive classmates.”
  • “Crime in low-income neighborhoods may provide tempting alternatives to working hard at school and at the same time make it more difficult for neighborhood schools to recruit high-quality teachers.”
  • “Plant closings can disrupt family life for children whose parents lose jobs, as well as deplete community resources that might have been channeled into school improvements.”³ 


  1. Monahan, Rachel. “Analysis: 90% of Students in 5 Bronx Neighborhoods Not Ready for College.” NY Daily News. NY Daily News, 24 Oct. 2012. Web. 22 Nov. 2015. <>.
  2. Contreras, Randol. Stickup Kids : Race, Drugs, Violence, and the American Dream. Berkeley: U of California, 2012. Print.
  3. Duncan, Greg J., and Richard J. Murnane. Whither Opportunity?: Rising Inequality, Schools, and Children’s Life Chances. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 2011. Print.


Back: Education Disparities

Back: Income Inequality