Jonathan Kozol's "Still Separate, Still Equal
In this section of the publication, Jonathan points out that racial segregation is evident in American schools, and that the segregation fuels the performance gap. The author states that all people are due equal education and all that goes along with healthy society. He regrets, however, that this is not the case in the American education system. He worries why an eight year old is responsible for her performance in a complex, standardized exam, while the officials who are responsible for her dismal performance are not answerable to their failures. The book points out that the inner city students do not get fair and equal chances to perform as well as their suburban counterparts. Children of the wealthy and the middle class that comprise of the government officials get quality education from expensive private schools. The poor man’s child that gets poor ...view middle of the document...
The suburb teachers get better pay than the inner city teachers. The schools attended by the high officials’ children have more resources and funding than the inner city schools. He, therefore, feels it is unfair to punish a child who cannot change the state of affairs, or the teacher for poor performance. Those answerable need to take responsibility for an unjust system.
Jonathan is upset with the use of the school as a mere tool for utilitarian adulthood. He feels that a school should not be a factory to create future workers, but should provide environment that children enjoy their childhood as they learn. It worries him that the school routine is so defined that children have become robotic. The routine is annoying as it is all with the aim of making the children pass examinations instead of turning them into better people. Learners do not enjoy their childhood because enjoyment is not part of getting excellent grades.
Racism in American schools is evident in the pattern of enrolment. Statistics Kozol provides are both disquieting and frightening. A majority of those enrolled in public schools are Blacks and Hispanic. This accounts for 79% in Chicago, 82% in Saint Louis, 94% in Washington DC and 84% in Los Angeles (Jonathan, 310). Further revelation shows that Caucasian children staying in districts dominated by public schools enroll in white dominated schools (Jonathan 310-311). Implication of this is that a majority of the children who suffer the low quality education are Blacks and Hispanic. The system, therefore, intelligently sieves some races out of success. This is by all means racism in the education system.
Kozol makes his point in this publication. Further evidence of this hidden racism is further outlined when he describes the conditions of inner city schools. They are overcrowded and lack decent bathrooms. The schools lack libraries and some programs offered in suburb schools. Teacher’s salaries in these schools are much less than those of the suburb schools. These factors display why Jonathan feels that the American children are “Still Separate, Still Equal”.
Jonathan Kozol. Still separate, Still Unequal: America's Educational Apartheid. Harper's
Magazine V.311, N.1864. Sept, 2005.