Breaking Out, Then and Now

Revisiting his alma mater, a TIME correspondent finds that even for bright, ambitious Chicago youths like Keri Wingo, the obstacles to success are far more formidable than the ones he faced 25 years a

Do you feel that you are getting a good education at Phillips High School?" asks Leroy Lovelace, pacing the aisles of his classroom. "Yeah," booms a male voice from the back row, "because most of the teachers seem concerned if you fail or not. A whole lot of teachers up here care. Even you, Mr. Lovelace."

"How do you know whether or not I care?" the teacher challenged.

"Because you told us not to miss more than 10 days every semester or our grades would start going downhill," the student said.

"Then why is it, Russell, that we have such a...

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