Read an excerpt For two years, beginning inJonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington, D. He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children. What he found was devastating.
A Conversation with Jonathan Kozol Marge Scherer We ought to finance the education of every child in America equitably, with adjustments made only for the greater or lesser needs of certain children. Have you read Savage Inequalities?
It's a question that comes up at most educational conferences these days. The best-selling book by Jonathan Kozol has touched many of the nation's educators and riled others, including some notable politicians. In it, he compares rich and poor schools located within a few miles of one another.
The stark contrasts of physical surroundings and learning environments—in cities and states from St. Louis to Detroit, New Jersey to Texas—bring home a startling realization of just how different school can be for poor and minority-race children as opposed to middle-class and white children.
In this interview with Educational Leadership, Kozol, a public school advocate since his early teaching days, describes the conditions that face our nation's urban students and suggests what we can do to eradicate the inequities.
In Savage Inequalities, you describe East St. Louis as the saddest place in the world. For the benefit of those who haven't read your book, would you please describe the conditions that you found there?
Well, when I visited there a couple of years ago, East St. Louis was the poorest small city in America, virtually percent black, a monument to apartheid in America.
The city was so poor, there had been no garbage pickup for four years. There were heaps of garbage in the backyards of children's homes and thousands of abandoned automobile tires in empty lots. On the edge of the city is a large chemical plant, Monsanto.
There is also a very large toxic waste incinerator, as well as a huge sewage treatment plant. If you go there at night you see this orange-brownish smoke belching out of the smokestacks descending on the city. The soil is so toxic with mercury, lead, and zinc, as well as arsenic from the factories, that the city has one of the highest rates of infant mortality in Illinois, the highest rate of fetal death, and also a very high rate of childhood asthma.
The schools, not surprisingly, are utterly impoverished. Louis High School, one of the two schools I visited, had a faint smell of water rot and sewage because not long before I visited, the entire school system had been shut down after being flooded with sewage from the city's antiquated sewage system.
The physics teacher had no water in his physics lab—I remember that vividly. I was certainly stunned by that.
- Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol documents the devastating inequalities in American schools, focusing on public education’s “savage inequalities” between affluent districts and poor districts. This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol. In , the author, Jonathan Kozol, is a young man who works as a teacher. Savage Inequalities in American Education Pages: 1 ( words) Published: October 27, Soc Elizabeth Ortega 4/20/ Savage Inequalities Irl Solomons history class Irl Solomons class has four girls in his senior homeroom, all of whom are either pregnant or have babies.
In a city poisoned by several chemical plants, the science labs had very few chemicals. It was a scene of utter destitution.
I did meet several wonderful teachers in the school, and I thought the principal of the school was excellent. The superintendent of East St.
Louis is also a very impressive person. In a sense, that sort of sums up the situation in many cities where I find great teachers and often very courageous administrators struggling against formidable odds, and then finding themselves condemned by venomous politicians in Washington for failing to promote excellence.
You say that a primary reason that such conditions exist in public schools is inequitable funding. What kind of funding do you think would rectify the shocking conditions in the poorest schools?
Are taxes too low? Are Americans not spending enough for public education? Louis, like many poor cities in America, taxes itself at a very high rate. It's one of the most heavily taxed school districts in Illinois. In New Jersey, its counterpart is Camden.
Camden has almost the highest property tax rate in New Jersey. But in both cases, because the property is virtually worthless, even with a high property tax, they cannot provide adequate revenues for their schools.
What we ought to do ultimately is get rid of the property tax completely as the primary means of funding public education, because it is inherently unjust. To use the local property tax as even a portion of school funding is unjust because it will always benefit the children of the most privileged people.
That is a persistent betrayal of the whole idea of equal opportunity in America. It's a betrayal of democracy.Savage Inequalities Quotes (showing of 46) “Placing the burden on the individual to break down doors in finding better education for a child is attractive to conservatives because it reaffirms their faith in individual ambition and autonomy.
This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol.
In , the author, Jonathan Kozol, is a young man who works as a teacher. - Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol documents the devastating inequalities in American schools, focusing on public education’s “savage inequalities” between affluent districts and poor districts.
Within Within Savage InequalitiesSavage Inequalities •• ““Ghetto education as a permanent American Ghetto education as a permanent American reality appeared to be kaja-net.comy appeared to be accepted.”” Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools.
"Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools" is a book written by Jonathan Kozol that examines inequalities in the American educational system. Savage Inequalities Quotes (showing of 46) “Placing the burden on the individual to break down doors in finding better education for a child is attractive to conservatives because it reaffirms their faith in individual ambition and autonomy.