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Response to MineralMan (Reply #10)

Mon May 7, 2012, 09:32 PM

49. The problem of these schools is not new, and I am sorry to see not much more progress has been made

Since I was enraged when I read this Kozol's book, Death At An Early Age. This young lady, despite using out the ultimate card, reflected the spirit of the system she is being schooled in, take a glimpse of the book reviewed here:

September 1967
Death at an Early Age
by Jonathan Kozol


Someday, maybe," Erik Erikson has written, "there will exist a well-informed, well-considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child's spirit..."

It is a commonplace by now to say that the urban school systems of America contain a higher percentage of Negro children each year. More than anywhere else, it is here within these ghetto systems that the mutilation of which Erikson speaks becomes apparent. My own experience took place in Boston, in a segregated fourth-grade classroom. The Boston school system is not perhaps the worst offender, but it provides a clear example of the kind of education being offered the disadvantaged children of many cities. There are, admittedly, in Boston a cluster of unusually discouraging problems, chief among them the school administration's refusal for a great many years to recognize that there was any problem. Only slightly less troubling has been the exceptional virulence of the anti-Negro prejudice, both among teachers and the general public. Yet Boston's problems are not much different from those of other cities, and the solutions here as elsewhere will have to await a change in attitude at all levels of society...

http://www.theatlantic.com/ideastour/education/kozol-full.html

Kozol's work did not change the world as I thought it would in the sixties and seventies, although I'm sure things got better in some places. I've seen the battles for funding for education and control of the minds and hearts of our youth and the wonderful sucesses and failures. In no way do I believe that we should allow the privatization of schools, or fail to support the people to whom our children are their calling in life. And I want to see us fund them.

But this is not what is happening with privatization, it is an apartheid between those who can game the system and wreck it and those who are not wanted by the wealthy. The battle is ongoing.

Kozol has written another book that is more timely and worth reading:

Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

is a book written by Jonathan Kozol in 1991 that discusses the disparities in education between schools of different classes and races. It is based on his observations of various classrooms in the public school systems of East St. Louis, Chicago, New York City, Camden, Cincinnati, and Washington D.C.. His observations take place in both schools with the lowest per capita spending on students and the highest, ranging from just over $3,000 in Camden, New Jersey to a maximum expenditure of up to $15,000 in Great Neck, Long Island.

In his visits to these areas, Kozol illustrates the overcrowded, unsanitary and often understaffed environment that is lacking in basic tools and textbooks for teaching. He cites the large proportions of minorities in the areas with the lowest annual budgets, despite the higher taxation rate on individuals living in poverty within the school district.

Kozol cites various historical cases regarding lawsuits filed against school districts in East Orange, Camden, Irvington and Jersey City in which judges have sided with the children and concerned locals in a given district instead of adhering to state law concerning the taxation and distribution of funding. He additionally goes into detail comparing the current conditions poor, minority children are expected to learn in, and the findings of the historical case Brown v. Board of Education, and Plessy v. Ferguson. He also mentions other such historical cases in which the outcomes have supported what he views to be an unjust system of funds distribution and taxation in Milliken v. Bradley, San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez, and through the overturning of State Supreme Court decisions in both Michigan and Texas by the Supreme Court of the United States...


The rest of the description is at this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Savage_Inequalities

I could post the words of many writers to show this should not be. It's up to us to make sure it ends, or it will end many things we hold dear.



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