Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

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Jonathan Kozol's Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

In this detailed and shocking book, Jonathan Kozol describes the horrific and unjust conditions in which many children in today’s society are forced to get their education. Kozol discusses three major reasons for the discrepancies in America’s schools today: disparities of property taxes, racism, and the conflict between state and local control. The first of these reasons is that of the differences of available property tax revenues. Kozol discusses the inconsistencies in property tax revenues and the problem that the poorer districts aren’t getting the same opportunities for education as the more affluent neighborhoods. He says the reason for this is that the …show more content…

The statistics he gives in the book are very startling, stating how in one school the classrooms are racially segregated. In one classroom there are all white students, maybe one or two black or Asian children. In another classroom, the “special” class, all the children are black, with maybe one white child. Kozol does not understand how one could look at this situation and deny that this is racism. Kozol says that, according to a study done by the State Commissioner of Education, “as many as three out of four blacks … fail to complete high school within the traditional four-year periods” (112). The dropout rates that Kozol presents to the reader are unimaginable and very heartbreaking.

Other distressing issues Kozol argues are those of magnet schools and the business approach to education, which he discusses in chapter two. In Kozol’s opinion, magnet schools do nothing but separate the children more. He says that the poorer children are not really given a chance to apply for these selective schools. Even if the information is given to the parents, many times they are not properly educated to do anything about fulfilling the necessary requirements to get their children into the special schools. He also disagrees with the business approach to education, stating that one cannot set limits on a child because the child will never strive to go beyond

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