Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

Savage Inequalities Children in America s Schools For two years beginning in Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country from Illinois to Washington D C and from New York to San Antonio He spoke with teachers principal

  • Title: Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools
  • Author: Jonathan Kozol
  • ISBN: 9780770435684
  • Page: 263
  • Format: Paperback
  • For two years, beginning in 1988, Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington D.C and from New York to San Antonio He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children What he found was devastating Not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremFor two years, beginning in 1988, Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington D.C and from New York to San Antonio He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children What he found was devastating Not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremes was widening and it has widened since The urban schools he visited were overcrowded and understaffed, and lacked the basic elements of learning including books and, all too often, classrooms for the students In Savage Inequalities, Kozol delivers a searing examination of the extremes of wealth and poverty and calls into question the reality of equal opportunity in our nation s schools.

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      Published :2020-03-24T10:35:03+00:00

    About "Jonathan Kozol"

    1. Jonathan Kozol

      Jonathan Kozol is a non fiction writer, educator, and activist best known for his work towards reforming American public schools Upon graduating from Harvard, he received a Rhodes scholarship After returning to the United States, Kozol became a teacher in the Boston Public Schools, until he was fired for teaching a Langston Hughes poem Kozol has held two Guggenheim Fellowships, has twice been a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, and has also received fellowships from the Field and Ford Foundations Most recently, Kozol has founded and is running a non profit called Education Action The group is dedicated to grassroots organizing of teachers across the country who wish to push back against NCLB and the most recent Supreme Court decision on desegregation, and to help create a single, excellent, unified system of American public schools.


    1. Two cases of mothers lying about where they reside in order to get their young children into better school districts have made news recently. In Ohio in January, Kelley Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in county jail and three years probation for enrolling her children in the Copley-Fairlawn School District rather than Akron, where she lived. "School officials said she was cheating because her daughters received a quality education without paying taxes to fund it," said an ABC article. "T [...]

    2. A heart-wrenching jeremiad about the sorry state of minority schools in this country. Kozol has stated in interviews that we are worse off (both in conditions and segregation) than we were before Brown vs. Board of Education. That seems hyperbolic, but after reading his observations here, it's hard to argue. A blistering attack on the use of local property taxes to fund schools, it's also a sobering testament to the intractability of problems of class and race in America. Should be required read [...]

    3. *FIRST IMPRESSION*Is this just going to be Mama Might Be Better Off Dead: The Education Chapter?*HALFWAY THROUGH*Answer to the question above: yes. Look, Mr. Kozol, I'm not anti-expose, but I hate being confronted with a tragic and intractable problem to which the author presents no viable solution. Sure, it's important - and crucial - to acknowledge the inequities, to publicize them. But Kozol's hortatory exclamations of "yes, let's equalize the money" do little, if anything at all, toward buil [...]

    4. I picked this book up while researching for my book, since my protagonist grew up in the Bronx housing projects. But Savage Inequalities ended up meaning so much more, and led to a big Jonathan Kozol reading spree. Racial inequality, our apathy for the poor, all such concepts that seemed distant, became urgent and real for me. Having grown up in India, I have to admit, I didn't know this side of America, and I was struck deep in the gut by the stark description of the realities in the housing pr [...]

    5. A college professor of mine who i greatly admire once labeled Jonathan Kozol as a modern day prophet. The idea is that he is a person willing to say things that most of us don't want to hear. And that he is willing to say it starkly. Its true. Kozol does an excellent job in this book talking about a number of failing school systems in the country, and then comparing them to thriving (and well-funded) school systems very close by. I read the book a long time ago, but it still resonates, and i sti [...]

    6. Everyone knows that this is a masterpiece. If you ever found yourself trying to argue with someone who believes that money does not matter in schools and that urban schools need tough leaders to getthemselves together, then read this book. It tears this argument into scraps. Also it helps to debunk the myth that Hollywood sells of dedicated teachers who work magic in the classroom. Schools need resources like buildings and classroom materials. Teachers just need to be not evil before anything el [...]

    7. I first read Kozol's Savage Inequalities in a college education course, and I remember that what I read left me confused, sickened, and hoping for change. That was about 10 years ago--and Kozol's book was written 10 years before that. The first thing to remember and consider when picking up this book--however challenging it may be--is that it is 20 years old. I think things have changed for urban schools in a lot of ways. Not completely, not entirely, not "equally"--but changes have been made. T [...]

    8. As it did for some other folks who have posted reviews, this book cemented my desire to go into sociology. It is a devastating critique of our educational system and how it perpetuates inequality, keeping poor children from achieving their potential and locking them into poverty. This book was written almost 20 years ago, and rather than improving the quality of education for ALL children in impoverished school districts, we now give vouchers to allow the "good" children to leave them, creating [...]

    9. This book makes me simultaneously want to scream and sit down to write a revised education budget. A quarter century later and you *know* none of this has changed for the better.We should make this required reading in high school Or at least in the high schools where students can read.

    10. ""But [no one] can tell us what it means to a child to leave his often hellish home and go to a school -his hope for a transcendent future-that is literally falling apart."- Jonathan KozolIf I could choose one book to give to people who seem to be oblivious to the ways in which racial inequalities are often put into place from a very, very early age, it would be this one. I'm often dumbfounded when I encounter someone who honestly believes that every has the same opportunities in life in America [...]

    11. Although I agree with the premise that all children should have equal opportunity via material needs, I disagree with his tone in blaming the middle class for "oppressing blacks" for this I give this book 4 stars. Overall, a good worth it read and eye opening. It is clear that corporate toxic waste is not really free waste that the environment can absorb. Corporations need to be responsible in not polluting US soil in their search for profits. The real sin here is that while corporation plants l [...]

    12. Kozol does and should discompose suburban liberals like me. This extraordinarily thorough and compelling book goes far beyond suggesting that there is a problem with America's schooling and priorities; it delves deeply into statistics, causes, and, most powerfully, reasons why we have allowed the problem to persist. Spoiler alert: Americans don't come off looking particularly ethical or sensitive in this analysis.That's good. This journey through East St. Louis, Chicago, New York City, Camden, W [...]

    13. Ahhh! This was so frustrating to read! How can this be happening? In America? Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but what students receive from public education is far from equal and definitely not even close to equitable. “One would not have thought that children in America would ever have to choose between a teacher or a playground or sufficient toilet paper. Like grain in a time of famine, the immense resources which the nation does in fact possess go not to the child in the g [...]

    14. However heart-wrenching it is to read about disparities in schools between the rich and the poor, as a millennial reading this it's old news. We shouldn't be surprised that funding differences result in unequal outcomes for children across our nation. I appreciate Kozol for bringing this issue into the popular discourse, but we can no longer be complacent. Change needs to happen, but unfortunately there is no strong argument for what can be done differently to affect this change. Good book, espe [...]

    15. Tough read. Could not finish. Disheartened at the lack of basic needs for children like a clean, healthy environment. How can they be expected to learn? One day I hope to pick it up again.

    16. Before reading “Savage Inequalities,” if someone came up to me and said, “Systemic racial segregation continues to exist in our public schools today,” I would have considered this an exaggeration. We’ve come a long way from the days of “colored” bathrooms and drinking fountains. Reading “Savage Inequalities” has challenged this notion of mine.Kozol takes an in-depth look at how the public school system in America, despite common belief, has remained largely separate and unequal [...]

    17. This is one of the most compelling books I've ever read. Written in 1991, it is Kozol's account of the state of inner-city public schools at the time, and sadly, I believe the analysis to be practically unchanged in the intervening twenty years. It was especially meaningful for me as I try to move to a job in charter school management, both reinforcing the importance of the work and complicating my view of the problem and its solution.Kozol does not pull any punches, and at times this book was q [...]

    18. This book is filled with research, court cases, and quotes from parents, students, and school administrators as well as perceptions from Kozol himself. I'm curious to know what (if anything) has changed in the past 25 years. The U.S. espouses equality and yet so much evidence points to lack of equality in the public education system. People seem to be inheriting their opportunities rather than beginning on an equal playing field. Kozol examines both race and class and how suburban dwelling folk [...]

    19. Kozol presents a strong argument for why inequalities exist in the public schooling system in this country, basically focusing on issues with money (or lack thereof for inner-city schools) and race (i.e. discrimination and lack of true integration across the board). His evidence rings true and the book is filled with scenario after scenario of inner-city vs. suburban school and the extent to which resources differ. Want to know what I find truly scary? In Dallas, the Catholic system functions as [...]

    20. Savage Inequalities is not a book that you read for pleasure. It is a book that needs to be read, though, for an understanding of the disparity that exists in the quality of education provided to children in America. Kozol's thesis is powerfully presented via a journalistic, fact-based approach which provides gut wrenching views of the conditions that so many of our children face as they try to attain an education. The book was written 20 years ago, but from everything that I see and know to be [...]

    21. What did I learn? I learned that without realizing it my tax money is going to creating a segregated system of schooling with unrealistic standards applied to all people's, and held especially high for those who have the least help.I was especially struck by the statement that Kozol made in regard to testing scores. There is no way for there to be an ever expanding pie of "above average". In order for there to be more above average students there must be students who are performing poorly enough [...]

    22. I was assigned this book in college for a course called Prophecy. It changed my life, but I didn't know it at the time. The next semester, I took Women's Studies, then I became a sexual assault advocate, and then the world began to come into focus. Everyone in America should be required to read this book before they graduate high school. Injustice is all around us, but I began to live my life more meaningfully when I could recognize it. I started to finally unravel myself when I followed my comp [...]

    23. I read about a fourth of this book but just couldn't finish it. The author painted such a hopeless picture of America's urban schools. Maybe, since I'm an educator, this picture did not surprise me and so I felt like education can still occur in hopeless conditions (because I've witnessed it!) However, I think that everyone who thinks that teachers are to blame for our students inability to achieve greatness as seen in other countries should read this book for a dose of reality.

    24. This was an amazing book that opened my eyes up to startling inequalities in the public education system. It may be 20 years old, but it feels incredibly relevant. I'm now more aware of existing educational segregation in my own community and in places I travel, and am seriously considering a career in education policy because of this book. Terrific muckraking journalism, wholeheartedly recommend it.

    25. Great insight - horrible truthEveryone with a child in school NEEDS to be aware of the differences in education that exist in the US. Only when we look with open eyes into the tragic abyss, may we become ready to sacrifice in order to change. Two teachers I know were influenced to teach in integrated schools because of this book. It is depressing, real, and also inspiring.

    26. I read this book just after I finished high school. It was pretty shocking information for a naive young woman who had been mostly sheltered in a middle class, suburban upbringing all her life. I still think about the lessons I learned from this and other Kozol books frequently.

    27. Important, seminal book. Class, money matters. New Trier is not Crane HS. The separate but unequal treatment of Amerca's children through school funding is tragic, criminal.

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