WHAT? The 2005 article by Jonathan Kozol called "Still Separate, Still Unequal", addresses the "obvious reality" that segregation still exists in schools. Kozol use this article to argue that segregation continues to remain a major issue in our school system and that more educational opportunities exist to those in power, the whites, while the blacks and Hispanics are receiving severely malnourished opportunities in their educations. This inequality has continued to widened the achievement gap between both the races into "two very separate worlds of education."
SO WHAT? In this article, Kozol wants his readers to gain a better awareness on the issues that are effecting the "minority" of students in urban schools. He shows statistics that supplement the underlying question of why minorities are being treated unfairly and given less opportunities for success than their white counterparts. I have gone on to bullet some of the main issues he brings to light:
Choice of where to educate
· not sending students of different races to the same school, even when the opportunity exists. (whites choose to go white schools) (those in power create a shift in the balance- $ included)
$$ is a factor
$$ is a factor
· per pupil spending in '98 was $8000 for a 3rd grade student in NYC urban public schools vs. $12,000 in a fairly typical white suburban district of NY vs. $22,000 in wealthiest white suburbs of NY
· even teachers salaries were comparable. So inequality is shown to be a factor of who has the money. If you have money, you get more opportunities and more experienced teachers. (expensive education-whites vs. cheap education- minorities)
· preschool (Baby Ivies upward to $24,000 year vs. NO/denied opportunity for preschool for no reason)
· "high-stakes testing accountability" (head start with preschool vs. slow start to learn, which was not their or parents faults!)
· schools operating in unsanitary conditions: "water flowed down," "green fungus molds," "class size rose to thirty-four and more," "no windows," "no place for recess," collapsing ceilings," "decay and disrepair," "art and music programs had disappeared," "no doctors"..."lack of basic supplies like toilet paper"... Does anyone care or bother or look in that direction? Clearly it is the whites in power as one girl said, "It's as if you have been put in a garage where, if they don't have room for something but aren't sure if they should throw out, they put it where they don't need to think of it again."
· "school reform" (I think of Gist and how she wants to uproot
because they haven't meet the standards for years) (Skinnerian approach sounds horrific- lack of hands on learning and real authentic engagement. One teacher goes on to say that "I can do this with my dog." I take from that, that what she meant to say is that it doesn't take a dummy to know this. "rich get richer, and the poor get SFA.") Central Falls
· courses offered are not geared towards college, but "vocational and obviously keyed to low-paying levels of employment." Why can't the students create the supply and demand for classes, rather than have the school dictate what is available? The schools are limiting their chances for high achievement. Its a continuum of feeling stuck and no way out or up.
NOW WHAT? Those in power, the white, would think "who wants to invest in this mess without seeing any results?" Its a mentality that I feels exists. The problem is seen as an endless money pit because they need so much help. Its our fault though for letting the gap widen for so long. There is work to be done. Kozol doesn't argue how to fix the problem, he just brought to light the issues. From what I have learned so far, it is those in power that need to step it up. The future seems grim because we have a
LOT of stepping up to do. We the privileged must reconsider sending our white children to schools with the minorities. This is the only way to bring attention to the issues I have mentioned. When there is a shift in power, there is a shift in attention. When there is a shift in attention, there is a shift in where money should be spent.