Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “An impassioned book, laced with anger and indignation, about how our public education system scorns so many of our children.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
In 1988, Jonathan Kozol set off to spend time with children in the American public education system. For two years, he 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.
 
Praise for Savage Inequalities
 
“I was unprepared for the horror and shame I felt. . . . Savage Inequalities is a savage indictment. . . . Everyone should read this important book.”—Robert Wilson, USA Today
 
“Kozol has written a book that must be read by anyone interested in education.”—Elizabeth Duff, Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“The forces of equity have now been joined by a powerful voice. . . . Kozol has written a searing exposé of the extremes of wealth and poverty in America’s school system and the blighting effect on poor children, especially those in cities.”—Emily Mitchell, Time
 
“Easily the most passionate, and certain to be the most passionately debated, book about American education in several years . . . A classic American muckraker with an eloquent prose style, Kozol offers . . . an old-fashioned brand of moral outrage that will affect every reader whose heart has not yet turned to stone.”Entertainment Weekly
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About the author

Jonathan Kozol is the author of Death at an Early Age (for which he received the National Book Award), Savage InequalitiesAmazing Grace, and other award-winning books about young children and their public schools. He travels and lectures about educational inequality and racial injustice.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Jul 24, 2012
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780770436667
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Language
English
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Genres
Education / Philosophy, Theory & Social Aspects
Political Science / Public Policy / Social Policy
Social Science / Sociology / Urban
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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“The nation needs to be confronted with the crime that we’re committing and the promises we are betraying. This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable.”

Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly 60 public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer. Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.

Filled with the passionate voices of children and their teachers and some of the most revered and trusted leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.


From The Shame of the Nation

“I went to Washington to challenge the soft bigotry of low expectations,” the president said in his campaign for reelection in September 2004. “It’s working. It’s making a difference.” It is one of those deadly lies, which, by sheer repetition, is at length accepted by large numbers of Americans as, perhaps, a rough approximation of the truth. But it is not the truth, and it is not an innocent misstatement of the facts. It is a devious appeasement of the heartache of the parents of the poor and, if it is not forcefully resisted and denounced, it is going to lead our nation even further in a perilous direction.


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