This chapter takes a look at the demographic characteristics of urban America and how they are changing. More specifically, it is concerned with the changing dynamics of the student population in urban schools and the implications of these changes for teaching and learning. Three general observations shape the chapter. First, immigration is the driving force behind much of the demographic shift in urban areas in the United States. Second, defining "urban" is not as straightforward as it once was. Indeed, inner suburbs often look more like core cities than traditional suburbs. And third, generalizing at the national level can be misleading. Variation by region within the country is large and important. These changes and the ways in which they vary present new demands and challenges that are strongly felt, especially in literacy areas and especially in urban schools. (In Teaching All the Children: Strategies for Developing Literacy in an Urban Setting, edited by Cathy Collins Block, Diane Lapp, and Eric J. Cooper (3-11). New York: Guilford Press.)
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