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PORTSIDE  July 2011, Week 4

PORTSIDE July 2011, Week 4

Subject:

Kozol: Schools Still "Separate and Unequal"

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 28 Jul 2011 23:03:07 -0400

Content-Type:

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Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (105 lines)

Kozol: Schools Still "Separate and Unequal"

    The author of Savage Inequalities says
    America's classrooms are now as segregated as
    they were in the '60s.

By Kristina Rizga
Mother Jones
July 26, 2011

http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/07/jonathan-kozol-school-segregation

This Saturday, teachers are rallying in Washington, DC. Save
Our Schools [1] is being organized by teachers and other
public school supporters who view federal policies such as
No Child Left Behind and Race To The Top as the wrong
approach to educational reform, arguing that they rely too
heavily on standardized test scores and punitive measures
for schools that don't make the grade. Save our Schools'
website calls for [2] more equitable funding for schools,
and more opportunities for classroom teachers and parents to
influence decision-making, from developing lesson plans to
shaping national policies.

Matt Damon, who recently narrated The American Teacher [3]
documentary, will be speaking. So will Jonathan Kozol [4],
former teacher, civil rights activist, and author of Savage
Inequalities and other influential books on economic and
racial inequities in American schools. I haven't heard much
from Kozol since he published The Shame of the Nation: The
Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America [5] in 2005.
So it was interesting to see his thoughts on the state of
public education in an interview [6] with Anthony Cody, a
former teacher and one of the rally's organizers, on the
Education Week site.

Kozol thinks that No Child Left Behind is creating two
classes of citizens: Those in low-income schools who are
taught to "to spit up predigested answers," and those in
affluent schools who are taught to ask insightful questions,
demand things, and make decisions. Kozol believes that
racial segregation in the nation's schools is worse than
when he started advocating against it as an activist in
1968.

Here are a few highlights of his views on the state of
education today and the latest efforts to reform it.

    You published Savage Inequalities [7] back in 1992. What
    has happened to the level of inequity in our schools in
    the two decades since then?

    The inequalities are greater now than in '92. Some
    states have equalized per-pupil spending but they set
    the "equal level" very low, so that wealthy districts
    simply raise extra money privately. [...] The system is
    more savage now than ever.

    Our Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, is fond of
    saying that "Education is the civil rights issue of our
    time." Is he right about that?

    [...] He [Duncan] doesn't lift a finger to address the
    glaring fact that public schools for black and Latino
    kids from coast to coast are now more wildly and
    shamefully segregated than in any year since 1968. I
    walk into high schools, with as many as 3,000 students,
    from Chicago to Los Angeles, from Dallas to Miami, from
    Denver to New York, and in an entire day I might see ten
    white students. [...] Separate and unequal didn't work
    100 years ago. It will not work today. And anyone like
    Duncan who attempts to tell us otherwise is guilty of
    historical myopia.

    How do you see the rise of charter schools affecting
    racial and economic segregation in our schools?

    Charter schools are far more segregated than most other
    public schools. This was pretty much predictable. [...]
    The "niche" effect of charter schools guarantees a swift
    and vicious deepening of class and racial separation.
    [...]

Read the full interview with Kozol here:

http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/living-in-dialogue/2011/07/time_to_get_off_our_knees_why.html

___________________________________________

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