Analysis Of Gross Socio-Economic Inequities In Public Education

Decent Essays

Kozol explores and calls attention to the gross socio-economic inequities exhibited in public education. He discovers his findings through interviews, research, and examination. Among the influx of inequities, Kozol analyzes rationales that contribute to the inequalities of the American education. Two rationales that the author suggests that lead to segregation of schools is the No Child Left Behind Act from the Bush administration and the immense amount of standardized testing that they place on students. These implications harm the lower socio-economic side of society. At the end of the book, the author makes a purpose to inform the readers that the segregation is not the necessarily the schools’ fault but rather the blame should be …show more content…

For instance, one teacher who had previously been a real estate agent recounted his experience of applying for a teaching position: “A friend said, ‘Bring your college transcript in.’ I did. They sent me to the district. The next day I got the job….” (Kozol, p.145). These schools that lack funds also exceed capacity such as Walton High School in the Bronx, which is built to hold 1,800 kids, but accommodate 3,400 students (Kozol, p.145). Jonathan Kozol interviewed multiple students and had them explain in their own words how they would describe their school. These students made remarks about the physical appearance of their school and how it poorly affected their learning and created negative attitudes to physically being at school. All of these effects occur because of the segregation evident in schools. The segregation that Kozol discusses is not the same as it was in civil rights history but rather he uses this term to point out the obvious predominance of certain races, such as African American and Hispanic, in low-funded schools. In fact, Kozol notes differences in race by stating that, “In several states, moreover, the funding gap for children of color is a great deal larger than the gap for children of low income” (Kozol, …show more content…

While the act made the attempt to give students the “right to transfer”, the children in urban systems did not typically have enough high-scoring schools to children of a failing school to transfer to (Kozol, p.203). A potential solution to this problem could have been making transfers “not only within school districts, but between them…the transfer option might have had real meaning… it might have opened up the possibilities for mightily expanded racial integration in suburban schools surrounding our core cities” (Kozol, p.203-204). Essentially, the transfer option that the act proposes is ineffective. In fact, Kozol boldly makes remarks against George W. Bush for catering to the privileged white Americans. One of his convictions is as follows: “Playing games of musical chairs with children’s lives when half the chairs are broken and the best chairs are reserved primarily for his class and race, is cynical behavior in a president” (Kozol, p.204). Although many inner-city schools need more funds, during his term, President Bush had only allocated half of the funds that Congress approved. Furthermore, Jonathan Kozol calls attention to how the Bush administration placed strong fiscal limitations that led to a piercing decline of the number of low-income children aided by Head Start programs (Kozol,

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