Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2011

Capstone Advisor

Herbert Ruffin

Honors Reader

Marcelle Haddix

Capstone Major

African American Studies

Capstone College

Arts and Science

Audio/Visual Component


Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

African Languages and Societies


Educational inequality is a salient issue plaguing the youth of America and is also jeopardizing the future of this nation. Before the Bell Rings is a two-part examination of the impact of discriminatory housing practices against blacks and subsequently the impact of negative neighborhood characteristics on educational achievement within Ohio public schools.

As blacks migrated from the South to northern cities they were met with discrimination in the form of restrictive covenants, redlining and other societal practices that clustered them together in inner-city locations. The historical analysis component of this study examines the effects of these discriminatory housing practices for blacks within Cleveland, Ohio and how the adverse effects of inner-city ghettos are seen today within the educational system.

The adverse effects are seen in negative neighborhood characteristics and this study examines the effects of poverty, rate of renter ship, and the rate of unemployment on math and reading scores for tenth grade students in Ohio Public Schools. Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates, the U.S. Census’ School District Tabulation and test results from the Ohio Department of Education, this study finds that poverty is the only significant indicator of educational achievement and has a greater effect on math than reading scores. Educational inequality is a multifaceted issue and mediating negative neighborhood characteristics is only one of the many steps that must be taken toward a solution.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.