The Shame of wholesale the Nation: The Restoration of online sale Apartheid Schooling in America outlet sale

The Shame of wholesale the Nation: The Restoration of online sale Apartheid Schooling in America outlet sale

The Shame of wholesale the Nation: The Restoration of online sale Apartheid Schooling in America outlet sale
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Since the early 1980s, when the federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, segregation of black children has reverted to its highest level since 1968. In many inner-city schools, a stick-and-carrot method of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons is now used with students. Meanwhile, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education 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, principals, and teachers, and some of the most revered leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems. 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.

Review

“A call for activism, The Shame of the Nation firmly grounds school-reform issues in the thorny context of race and concludes that the nation has failed to deliver the promise of Brown.” —Washington Post

“A vividly written account from the frontlines of ‘apartheid education.’ It is impossible not to share Kozol’s outrage.” —Chicago Tribune

“Segregation is back, and only a writer of Jonathan Kozol’s wisdom and passion can assess its terrible price, one child at a time. It isn’t easy, but before we can craft a solution, we have to feel the shame.” —Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Shines a spotlight on poor, minority children, sabotaged and isolated by an educational system tilted to slight them . . . His outrage ought to infect us.” —Los Angeles Times

The Shame of the Nation is a national wake-up call about what is happening to our children on our watch in schools across the country. It should be required reading.”
–Marian Wright Edelman, CEO and Founder, Children’s Defense Fund
 
“A powerful, morally enraged polemic in which [Kozol] argues that we have failed to deliver the promise of Brown v. Board of Education…We know that more funding and more integration would help poor African-American children, and we are not doing anything about it. That is indeed shameful. It is inspiring that afer all these decades, Kozol is still angry about these inequalities, and eloquently so. His book will make you fighting mad, and it should.” –Newsday
 
The Shame of the Nation urges national action, including major funding increases and access to preschool. It’s hard to imagine anyone better qualified than Kozol to press the case. Still, that Kozol has to tell the story of educational segregation and resegregation again and again, that he so often seems alone in doing so, and that so little progress is made—that is truly a shame of our nation.” –Columbia Journalism Review
 
“Alive with the compelling voices of students and educators Kozol has come to know in countless visits to inner-city schools—voices many of us otherwise would not hear…His glimpses inside America’s second-class schools tell the story that numbers can’t.” –The Christian Science Monitor
 
“Jonathan Kozol has been a voice in the wilderness for poor children in the United States. Now, in his most powerful book, he returns to the nation’s dirty little secret of resegregation of the public schools and the erosion of Brown v. Board of Education. He is our nation’s conscience on issues of race, poverty, and children.” –Theodore M. Shaw, director-counsel and President, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
 
“A real cry from the heart. Everybody who cares about children, about democracy, about citizenship, and about America’s future must read this book.” –Roger Wilkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor, George Mason University
 
“A gripping narrative of children’s lives within our nation’s rapidly resegregating schools…A prophetic work that sears our conscience for the high ideals of racial justice we have all too willingly betrayed.” –Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
 
The Shame of the Nation reveals the disparity in our schools as dramatically as Hurricane Katrina revealed the disparity in our society.” –Howard Gardiner, Professor of Education and Cognition, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of Multiple Intelligences
 
“This book will make your blood boil. I found myself reading whole pages aloud to anyone I could.” –O, the Oprah Magazine
 
“Shame on all of us to let this happen to our children and praise to Jonathan Kozol for telling us yet again of our gross failure to provide for our children the education they deserve.” –John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus, Duke University

From the Back Cover

"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.

Also available as a Random House AudioBook and an eBook

About the Author

Jonathan Kozol is the National Book Award–winning author of Death at an Early Age, Rachel and Her Children, Savage Inequalities, and Amazing Grace. He has been working with children in inner-city schools for more than 40 years.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

CHAPTER 1

Dishonoring the Dead

One sunny day in April, I was sitting with my friend Pineapple at a picnic table in St. Mary’s Park in the South Bronx. I had met Pineapple six years earlier, in 1994, when I had visited her kindergarten class at P.S. 65. She was a plump and bright-eyed child who had captured my attention when I leaned over her desk and noticed that she wrote her letters in reverse. I met her again a few weeks later at an afterschool program based at St. Ann’s Church, which was close to P.S. 65, where Pineapple and a number of her friends came for tutorial instruction and for safety from the dangers of the neighborhood during the afternoons.

The next time I visited her school, it was the spring of 1997. She was in third grade now and she was having a bad year. The school was in a state of chaos because there had been a massive turnover of teachers. Of 50 members of the faculty in the preceding year, 28 had never taught before; and half of them were fired or did not return the following September. Very little teaching took place in Pineapple’s class during the time that I was there. For some reason, children in her class and other classes on her floor had to spend an awful lot of time in forming lines outside the doorways of their rooms, then waiting as long as 30 minutes for their turn to file downstairs to the cafeteria for lunch, then waiting in lines again to get their meals, then to go to recess, then to the bathroom, then return to class. Nearly two hours had elapsed between the time Pineapple’s classmates formed their line to go to lunch and finally returned.

On another day when I was visiting, before the children were allowed to have their lunch they were brought into an auditorium where old cartoons like Felix the Cat and Donald Duck and other flickering movies from the past were shown to keep them occupied before their class was called to file down into the cafeteria. The film in the film projector, which must have been very old, kept slipping from its frames. The lights would go on and kids would start to hoot and scream. I sat beside Pineapple and her classmates for three quarters of an hour while a very angry woman with a megaphone stood on a stage and tried to get the room under control by threatening the kids with dire punishments if they did not sit in perfect silence while they waited for the next cartoon.

In the following year, when she was in fourth grade, Pineapple had four different teachers in a row. One of them was apparently a maladjusted person who, Pineapple said, “used swear words” to subdue the children. (“A-S-S-E-S!” Pineapple said politely, since she did not want to speak the word itself.) One was fired for smoking in the building. Another was “only a helper-teacher,” Pineapple reported, which, a member of the faculty explained, might have been a reference to an unprepared young teacher who was not yet certified. Pineapple, who had always been a lively and resilient little girl, grew quite depressed that year.

When Pineapple used to talk to me about her school she rarely, if ever, spoke in racial terms. Going to a school in which all of her classmates were black or Hispanic must have seemed quite natural to her—“the way things are,” perhaps the way that they had always been. Since she had only the slightest knowledge of what schools were like outside her neighborhood, there would have been no reason why she would remark upon the fact that there were no white children in her class. This, at least, is how I had interpreted her silence on the matter in the past.

So it surprised me, on that pleasant day in April as the two of us were sitting in St. Mary’s Park, while Pineapple’s little sister, who is named Briana, wandered off at a slight distance from us following a squirrel that was running on the grass, when Pineapple asked me something that no other child of her age in the South Bronx had ever asked of me before. Leaning on her elbows on the picnic table, with a sudden look of serious consideration in her eyes, she seemed to hesitate a moment as if she was not quite sure whether the question in her mind might somehow be a question you are not supposed to ask, then plowed right on and asked it anyway.

“What’s it like,” she asked me, peering through the strands of beaded cornrows that came down over her eyes, “over there where you live?”

“Over where?” I asked.

“Over—you know . . . ,” she said with another bit of awkwardness and hesitation in her eyes.

I asked her, “Do you mean in Massachusetts?”

She looked at me with more determination and a bit impatiently, I thought, but maybe also recognized that I was feeling slightly awkward too.

“You know . . . ,” she said.

“I don’t know,” I replied.

“Over there—where other people are,” she finally said.

Pineapple was usually very blunt and clear—she sometimes inadvertently hurt other children’s feelings by her tendency to make unsparingly direct remarks—so her use of that ambiguous and imprecise expression “other people” didn’t seem like her at all.

I asked her if she could explain which “other people” she was thinking of. At that point a wall went up. “You know,” was all she said—“where you live . . . where the other people are. . . .”

I didn’t try to press her further about who she meant by “other people” after that. I think she felt it would be rude to say “white people,” which is what I was convinced she meant, and I have no memory of whether, or how, I tried to answer her. She and I have since had many talks in which she posed the racial question more explicitly. Pineapple is a shrewd teenager now and she has seen a good deal of the world beyond the Bronx and doesn’t feel she has to mince her words in talking to a grown-up friend whom she has known now for so many years.

That evening, however, I repeated what Pineapple said to Martha Overall, the pastor of St. Ann’s, who pointed out to me how little contact with white people, other than the principal and teachers at the school and some of the grown-ups working at the church, most of these children ever had. “They don’t have any friends who are white children. When I take them with me sometimes to Manhattan to go shopping at a store for something special that they want or to a movie maybe on one of their birthdays, and they find themselves surrounded by a lot of white kids, many of the younger ones get very scared. It’s an utterly different world for them. In racial terms, they’re almost totally cut off.”

One of the consequences of their isolation, as the pastor has observed, is that they have little knowledge of the ordinary reference points that are familiar to most children in the world that Pineapple described as “over there.” In talking with adolescents, for example, who were doing relatively well in school and said they hoped to go to college, I have sometimes mentioned colleges such as Columbia, Manhattanville, Cornell, or New York University, and found that references like these were virtually unknown to them. The state university system of New York was generally beyond their recognition too. The name of a community college in the Bronx might be familiar to them—or, for the boys, perhaps a college that was known for its athletic teams.

Now and then, in an effort to expand their reference points, the pastor takes a group of children to an inter-racial gathering that may be sponsored by one of the more progressive churches in New York or to a similar gathering held in New England, for example. I have accompanied the St. Ann’s children on a couple of these trips. The travel involved is usually fun, and simply getting outside the neighborhood in which they live is an adventure for most of the children in itself. But the younger children tend to hold back from attempting to make friends with the white children whom they meet, and many of the teenage kids behave with a defensive edginess, even a hint of mockery, not of the white kids themselves but of a situation that seems slightly artificial and contrived to them and is also, as they surely recognize, a one-time shot that will not change the lives they lead when they return to the South Bronx.

It might be very different if these kids had known white children early in their lives, not only on unusual

occasions but in all the ordinary ways that children come to know each other when they go to school together and play games with one another and share secrets with each other and grow bonded to each other by those thousands of small pieces of perplexity and fantasy and sorrow and frivolity of which a child’s daily life is actually made. I don’t think that you change these things substantially by organizing staged events like “Inter-racial Days.” Even the talks that certain of the children are selected to deliver on these rare occasions often have a rather wooden sound, like pieties that have been carefully rehearsed, no matter how sincere the children are. Not that it’s not worth holding such events. They energize politically the adults who are present and sometimes, although frankly not too often, long-term friendships may be made. But token days are not the ebb and flow of life. They ease our feelings of regret about the way things have to be for the remainder of the year. They do not really change the way things are.

Many Americans I meet who live far from our major cities and who have no first-hand knowledge of realities in urban public schools seem to have a rather vague and general impression that the great extremes of racial isolation they recall as matters of grave national significance some 35 or 40 years ago have gradually, but steadily, diminished in more recent years. The truth, unhappily, is that the trend, for well over a decade now, has been precisely the reverse. Schools that were already deeply segregated 25 or 30 years ago, like most of the schools I visit in the Bronx, are no less segregated now, while thousands of other schools that had been integrated either voluntarily or by the force of law have since been rapidly resegregating both in northern districts and in broad expanses of the South.

“At the beginning of the twenty-first century,” according to Professor Gary Orfield and his colleagues at the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University, “American public schools are now 12 years into the process of continuous resegregation. The desegregation of black students, which increased continuously from the 1950s to the late 1980s, has now receded to levels not seen in three decades. . . .

During the 1990s, the proportion of black students in majority white schools has decreased . . . to a level lower than in any year since 1968. . . . Almost three fourths of black and Latino students attend schools that are predominantly minority,” and more than two million, including more than a quarter of black students in the Northeast and Midwest, “attend schools which we call apartheid schools” in which 99 to 100 percent of students are nonwhite. The four most segregated states for black students, according to the Civil Rights Project, are New York, Michigan, Illinois, and California. In California and New York, only one black student in seven goes to a predominantly white school.

During the past 25 years, the Harvard study notes, “there has been no significant leadership towards the goal of creating a successfully integrated society built on integrated schools and neighborhoods.” The last constructive act by Congress was the 1972 enactment of a federal program to provide financial aid to districts undertaking efforts at desegregation, which, however, was “repealed by the Reagan administration in 1981.” The Supreme Court “began limiting desegregation in key ways in 1974”—and actively dismantling existing integration programs in 1991.

“Desegregation did not fail. In spite of a very brief period of serious enforcement . . . , the desegregation era was a period in which minority high school graduates increased sharply and the racial test score gaps narrowed substantially until they began to widen again in the 1990s. . . . In the two largest educational innovations of the past two decades—standards-based reform and school choice—the issue of racial segregation and its consequences has been ignored.”

“To give up on integration, while aware of its benefits,” write Orfield and his former Harvard colleague Susan Eaton, “requires us to consciously and deliberately accept segregation, while aware of its harms. . . . Segregation, rarely discussed, scarcely even acknowledged by elected officials and school leaders”—an “exercise in denial,” they observe, “reminiscent of the South” before the integration era—“is incompatible with the healthy functioning of a multiracial generation.”

Racial isolation and the concentrated poverty of children in a public school go hand in hand, moreover, as the Harvard project notes. Only 15 percent of the intensely segregated white schools in the nation have student populations in which more than half are poor enough to be receiving free meals or reduced price meals. “By contrast, a staggering 86 percent of intensely segregated black and Latino schools” have student enrollments in which more than half are poor by the same standards. A segregated inner-city school is “almost six times as likely” to be a school of concentrated poverty as is a school that has an overwhelmingly white population.

“So deep is our resistance to acknowledging what is taking place,” Professor Orfield notes, that when a district that has been desegregated in preceding decades now abandons integrated education, “the actual word ‘segregation’ hardly ever comes up. Proposals for racially separate schools are usually promoted as new educational improvement plans or efforts to increase parental involvement. . . . In the new era of ‘separate but equal,’ segregation has somehow come to be viewed as a type of school reform”—“something progressive and new,” he writes—rather than as what it is: an unconceded throwback to the status quo of 1954. But no matter by what new name segregated education may be known, whether it be “neighborhood schools, community schools, targeted schools, priority schools,” or whatever other currently accepted term, “segregation is not new . . . and neither is the idea of making separate schools equal. It is one of the oldest and extensively tried ideas in U.S. educational history” and one, writes Orfield, that has “never had a systematic effect in a century of trials.”

Perhaps most damaging to any effort to address this subject openly is the refusal of most of the major arbiters of culture in our northern cities to confront or even clearly name an obvious reality they would have castigated with a passionate determination in another section of the nation 50 years before and which, moreover, they still castigate today in retrospective writings that assign it to a comfortably distant and allegedly concluded era of the past. There is, indeed, a seemingly agreed-upon convention in much of the media today not even to use an accurate descriptor such as “racial segregation” in a narrative description of a segregated school. Linguistic sweeteners, semantic somersaults, and surrogate vocabularies are repeatedly employed. Schools in which as few as three or four per-cent of students may be white or Southeast Asian or of Middle Eastern origin, for instance—and where every other child in the building is black or Hispanic—are referred to, in a commonly misleading usage, as “diverse.” Visitors to schools like these discover quickly the eviscerated meaning of the word, which is no longer a descriptor but a euphemism for a plainer word that has apparently become unspeakable.

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Dienne
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
"Tortured dignity"
Reviewed in the United States on February 13, 2013
This is quintessential Kozol. No one familiar with any of Kozol''s other work will fail to recognize the crusading journalistic stance that Kozol typically takes in his work. He does a lot of observation and describes what he sees. He also delves into the history,... See more
This is quintessential Kozol. No one familiar with any of Kozol''s other work will fail to recognize the crusading journalistic stance that Kozol typically takes in his work. He does a lot of observation and describes what he sees. He also delves into the history, statistics and other backstory material behind the stories he presents. He moves from example to example, trying not to let too much commentary get in the way of letting the story present itself. But he makes no pretences of being "objective" or "unbiased". He clearly has an agenda, perhaps even a mission - one to expose the seamy underside of how the richest country on earth treats "the least of these my brethren".

This time Kozol''s focus is on the educational system and the de facto return of segregated schooling, especially in urban areas, and the failure of the dream of Brown v. the Board of Education, despite the fact that Brown is still nominally the law of the land. Kozol shines his spotlight on how it is that 60 years after the landmark Supreme Court case, many schools are nearly as segregated as they were the day the decision as handed down. In fact, segregation is once again worsening, as funding cuts are disproportionately impacting "low-performing" (usually high minority population) schools, leading the more affluent (white) to pull their children out. Furthermore, laws designed to promote integration and equitable funding are either sunsetting or are being overturned by the courts, and charter schools are arising that aggrevate the disparity between the "pedagogy of poverty", how poor and minority children are educated, vs. how affluent children are educated.

Kozol spends page after page in the first two-thirds of the book documenting conditions he often finds when he visits schools in poor and minority neighborhoods: the lack of textbooks, the unsafe and unsanitary physical conditions from leaking roofs to unusable bathrooms to entire wings being shut off and condemned. He documents the "tortured dignity" of teachers who do their best to provide decent education and a positive influence to children under such conditions, but who struggle with burnout and top-down imposed "no excuses", rigidly controlled curricula and behavior management programs. One teacher, using the mandated system of silent hand gestures to control her class tells Kozol, "I could do this with my dog".

But Kozol isn''t merely saying that we need to provide better resources or more progressive curricula to poor and minority schools. He is saying that segregation itself is the problem. The conditions he documents would not be tolerated in schools serving predominantly white children. As the "Brown" court found, there is no such thing as "separate but equal". Segregated education is inherently harmful to the minority group (and, he hints, to the majority groups as well, albeit in different ways). Furthermore, Kozol spends nearly a chapter exploring the impact of a later Supreme Court decision, Rodriguez, which ruled that states are not obligated to provide "equal" education, merely to ensure that all students receive "adequate" instruction. Hence, we now are actually one step behind even the horrendous Plessy v. Ferguson decision because we no longer need to pretend to equality, only adequacy. One man''s "adequate", however, is another man''s "shameful".

Some reviewers have criticized Kozol for being short on solutions. However, KOzol is quite explicit about his solution. Integration (along with the resultant equitable funding) is the only way the imbalances will ever be fairly worked out. Yes, in the meantime, poor and minority schools need to be made more human and progressive. All schools should receive equitable funding (Note: "equitable" does not mean "equal" - the funding should follow the need, such that schools in low-income neighborhoods should get more funding to deal with greater needs, which is exactly the opposite of the No Child Left Behind/Race to the Top system in which the most affluent schools are "rewarded" for having the highest test scores. But in Kozol''s view, there should be neither low-income nor affluent schools, much less "black" or "white" schools, as integration is the key step.

Not that such integration will come easily, nor will it just happen. It''s going to involve a new mass movement, comparable to the Civil rights Movement. It''s a matter of more and more people waking up to the reality of what''s happening and deciding to do the right thing. O one can do it for us - for you or for me. It takes committed people working across geographical and socio-economic barriers. Funny, but when the current batch of "reformers" - the Michelle Rhees and the Bill Gates and the Sam Waltons of the world - claim that education is "the civil rights issue of our time", I don''t think that that''s really what they have in mind.

The first step is to get informed and the second step is to get angry. Reading THE SHAME OF THE NATION can help kickstart both of those steps and I recommend it highly. But it can''t end there. Too often the problem seems overwhelming, so we shrug our shoulders and focus on our own children. But Kozol sees inner-city poor and minority children as his children too, not someone else''s problem. Race and socio-economic status may be obstacles, but they shouldn''t be barriers. Our educational system should provide a quality education to all children - future voting citizens of our democracy - and should be the pride of the richest country on earth; it shouldn''t be the shame of the nation.
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KSB
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Wow! I wish I would have ready this sooner!
Reviewed in the United States on May 2, 2019
Kozol does a great job of bringing to light the segregation our United States educational system has. Kozol discusses a handful of schools where the buildings are literally condemned by the city yet are still housing children! Other schools where the entire window fell out... See more
Kozol does a great job of bringing to light the segregation our United States educational system has. Kozol discusses a handful of schools where the buildings are literally condemned by the city yet are still housing children! Other schools where the entire window fell out while Kozol was there observing, or computer classes that do not have any computers, science classes with no science equipment. I wish every teacher in the United States would read this book! I am a better teacher because of it!
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katarina
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
MUST READ, IF YOU CAN HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!
Reviewed in the United States on April 27, 2015
This book made me cry because it itemizes the very real, and very current divergence in the learning experiences between differing races of American children. Kozol has been an educator, researcher, author, and speaker for many years. His bleak look at the educational... See more
This book made me cry because it itemizes the very real, and very current divergence in the learning experiences between differing races of American children. Kozol has been an educator, researcher, author, and speaker for many years. His bleak look at the educational disparities between the opportunities for children of color and white children will break your heart. His irrefutable data back up his claims that we REALLY MUST do something differently within our public educational system to bring parity to all children.
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Randi Michael
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
... school systems can be but it was a very good
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2017
I would suggest everyone reads this book it was hard for me to understand how cruel the school systems can be but it was a very good read
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Gene Betit
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Four Stars
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2018
Kozol once again captures the shame of this nation, just as he did in Savage Inequalities.
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Gloria J. Hardee
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2018
Thank you
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R. McOuat
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Big problem but where''s the solution?
Reviewed in the United States on November 12, 2006
Clearly, the disparities in funding of public education for students in wealth and poor communities are disconcerting. Kozol evidences the conditions under which we educate poor and minority students with vivid and brutal anecdotes. For that reason alone, "Shame of the... See more
Clearly, the disparities in funding of public education for students in wealth and poor communities are disconcerting. Kozol evidences the conditions under which we educate poor and minority students with vivid and brutal anecdotes. For that reason alone, "Shame of the Nation" is a worthy read. However, I wish he spent more time investigating solutions. He hammers the point that the "white flight" of the middle class to the suburbs has left the poor and disenfranchised in the poor urban districts. He paints a vivid picture of schools that increasingly resemble factory production lines. But now what? He seems to hang his hat on racial integration. He argues that integration will fix all the ills, academic and social. He doesn''t spend much time discussing past efforts at integration, such as busing. The trend continues unabated. Each time a new school is opened, the attendance zones become smaller and the homogeneity becomes more intense.Hopefully, writers like Kozol can keep the crisis on the front burner, and over time, we will be able to develop solutions. Somewhere, someone must have had some positive outcomes with low performing schools. I would like to hear more about those efforts.
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Kerri
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I don''t agree with everything in the book, but ...
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2017
I don''t agree with everything in the book, but it was enlightening for sure. It really changed the way I viewed public education and other public services in America. We have a long way to go.
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Top reviews from other countries

Nicholas
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent prose essayist
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 9, 2017
Rigorous, clear-eyed, American prose essayist working in the best tradition of reportage. Kozol is one of my favourite writers and epitomizes the admirable side of America. His writing is so good and such a pleasure to read, that even if you are a dyed-in-the-wool...See more
Rigorous, clear-eyed, American prose essayist working in the best tradition of reportage. Kozol is one of my favourite writers and epitomizes the admirable side of America. His writing is so good and such a pleasure to read, that even if you are a dyed-in-the-wool right-winger, you will still appreciate his writing. And if you choose to dismiss him as bleeding-heart, "left-winger" then you will have failed to recognize that he embodies all the traditional values that have made America strong, admirable and truly great. What it used to be, and could still be if it re-discovers its past and its common sense.
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Mazza
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
More Progressive garbage from the Progressive elite education establishment
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 2, 2016
Not so much history as a histrionic hissy fit of sad-face stories. Kozol started with his ideological agenda and then made everything fit it. What an utter waste of time. The race-baiting agenda is alive and well and making people like him rich. This is why our schools suck...See more
Not so much history as a histrionic hissy fit of sad-face stories. Kozol started with his ideological agenda and then made everything fit it. What an utter waste of time. The race-baiting agenda is alive and well and making people like him rich. This is why our schools suck --- because education students are indoctrinated with crap like this.
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