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Elsewhere we have documented how conflict between adolescents in the streets shapes conflict in the schools. Here we consider the impact of street codes on the culture and environment of the schools themselves, and the effect of this culture and on the students' commitment and determination to participate in their own education. We present the high school experiences of first-generation immigrants and African American students, distinguishing between belief in education and commitment to school. In an environment characterized by ineffective control and nonengaging classes, often students are not socialized around academic values and goals. Students need to develop strategies to remain committed to education while surviving day to day in an unsafe, academically limited school environment. These processes are sometimes seen as minority “resistance” to educational norms. Instead, our data suggest that the nature of the schools in which minority students find themselves has a greater influence on sustaining or dissuading students' commitment to education than do their immigration status or cultural backgrounds.