Jonathan Kozol essay
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Jonathan Kozol discusses the disparities in the education system between school of different races and classes in his book “Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s schools”. He believes that the greatest problem is the racial segregation which had become worse in national schools than when he started advocating against it in 1968. In the book, Jonathan states, “…the fruits of inequality are self-confirming” (p. 180). In other words, he meant that the results of inequality are evident in beliefs and actions. In this quote, Kozol is making reference to the poor conditions of most national schools. There is a wide segregation or disparity between the schools in poorer communities and schools in rich suburban communities. There is evidence in a huge difference within the national school system in a country claiming to provide equality for all. Most poor children start their young life with an inferior education when compared to children who grow in wealthier communities. Kozol describes the conditions of the poor public schools. Consequently, he provides a description of the wealthy schools and effectively illustrates how racism and social class differences have led to the disparities in the public schools.
Unequal funding of schools relates to the social class conditions, institutional as well as environmental racism, isolation and alienation of children and school staff within poor communities including the physical deterioration of infrastructure and poor health conditions of students. These factors contribute to the physical disarray of students. The students recognize that social class system has made them be viewed as expendable and have no value to invest money and resources. Most schools attended by poor students lack adequate facilities such as classrooms, and there are imbalances in student-teacher ratio. There is a significant difference within the schools in suburban areas where children are very wealthy, where there is a proportionate student-teacher ratio, adequate infrastructure as well as school staff that welcome innovation. Major differences appear in schools and result from the racial and class systems. Thus, race and class differences are the main causes of segregation which is exhibited by all poor schools. In addition, even when a district school has a diverse student population, segregation is portrayed through special education programs and vocational tracking.
These situations are self-confirming because the inequalities have increased. There are some states that have equalized per pupil spending but set the equal level so that the wealthier simply raise extra income more privately; hence, the system has become more savage presently than before. Currently, schools for African-Americans are more widely spread and segregated. Most students walk a long distance to populated schools. The most salient issue that affects public schools is the capitalist system that requires the production of division of labor (Bowles). Hence, most schools do not have large numbers of black children mixed with white children. Policies created by the class system are to ensure that they meet their places in the social hierarchy leading to the continuation of the poverty cycle, class division as well as environmental and institutional racism. The examples provided by Kozol include the location of the poor communities near dumping sites (Kozol 88). The poor communities are unable to govern themselves, and their children are not worth the money for their education (Kozol 9). This is evident in the funding schemes that allocate public funds to public schools (Kozol 54).
The major cause of inequality in the school system is the lack of appropriate address of the situation. In addition, most people understand segregation as a past injustice that had already been tackled. Consequently, national reports do not consider mentioning segregation or inequality. The reports are concerned with the low reading scores, high school dropouts, and lack of motivation. In some states such as Detroit and Baltimore, there are proposals for separate schools and classes for black males. The students from poor families attend overcrowded, environmentally unsound, and understaffed schools that lack basic facilities such as textbooks.
Kozol suggests that equalized funding of government schools can solve the problem of inequality in school. However, funding alone cannot solve the problem if there are no transformations in the society for real improvements to occur (Spring 23). Therefore, it is essential to realize a solution that will solve the problem beyond the school system. Inequality in schools can be resolved by reforming the societal conditions surrounding the school system. The problem of segregation can be solved if the society collectively stands together and demands the rights of all children to have equality in the beginning of life. Hence, the society should understand the situation and move the way forward to solve the problem. The society may be willing to transform the system by understanding how it operates (Kozol 107).