jackieeh's review against another edition
the_naptime_reader's review against another edition
I enjoyed the first two chapters the most and felt he got his point across clearly. The he spends four more chapters beating it into your brain. I didn't need the beating. I have experienced these disparities first hand. My high school was mentioned repeatedly in the book for having money and funds that create an outstanding education. My two years in Philadelphia with Teach for America let me see and experience the other side first hand.
People might read this and think oh this book is 20 years old, it couldn't be this bad anymore.
At my school in Philadelphia (just like this book):
-the track team practiced in the hallways of the building due to lack of athletic space
-students shared textbooks, not every kid had a set to use for the year
-the bathrooms stunk badly
-the heating system had only one swithc on or off creating 90 and 100 degree days in my 4th floor classroom in the middle of the winter, where evry window was open
-no a/c meant the same unbearable conditions in summer
-teachers financed supplies largely out of pocket
-There was one computer lab but spent most of its time locked and off limits to students
-there were no lockerooms for students to change for gym
-the class size could be quite large at times (33 the legal allowance) but I started my first year with 39 on my roster, not enough desks for all in the room. Once the 8th graders began dropping out, gettnig kicked out, etc. I dropped into the mid to upper 20s.
the list goes on and on.
This book just made me said. Another 20 years have gone by and there has not been great systemic change. More generations of children have grown up in inadequate schools.
If you would rather skip the book at least read his most concise explanation of school funding on pages 207-210. It very clearly explains the problems with the current method of funding.
A quote from Kozol (pg 177)-"...the rigging of the game and the acceptance, which is nearly universal, of uneven playing fields reflect a dark unspoken sense that other people's children are of less inherent value than our own. Now and then, in private, affluent suburbanites concede that certain aspects of the game may be a trifle rigged to their advantage. 'Sure, it's a bit unjust,' they may concede, 'but that's reality and that's the way the game is played. In any case,' they sometimes add in a refrain that we have heard now many tmes, 'there's no real evidence that spending money makes much difference in the outcome of a child's education. We have it. So we spend it. But it's probably a secondary matter. Other factors--family and background--seem to be a great deal more important.' In these ways they fend off the dangers of disturbing introspection; and this, in turn, enables them to give their children something far more precious that the simple gift of pedagogic privilege. They give them uncontaminated satisfaction in their victories. Their children learn to shut from mind the possibility that they are winners in an unfair race, and they seldom let themselves lose sleep about the losers."
jgnolfo's review against another edition
Known as a classic in the Education Inequality genre, I finally tackled Savage Inequalities. It definitely deserves its classic status as it lays the foundation for arguments saying that education inequality is worse off than before Brown v. Board. BY A LOT
Synopsis: SA answers the forever-asked question: “Why are some schools poor and crappy while some schools are rich and successful?” Kozol makes it look easy with an extremely concise account of the racism, Social Darwinism, and misinformation that keeps urban (and sometimes heavily rural) schools at rock bottom.
Review: SA is a ground-breaking text for education inequality. It explains the concepts perfectly for those who know virtually nothing about property taxes and state formulas. Its six case studies are written with precision and grace as he chronicles the lives of innocent children trapped in schools because they happened to be born in a poor area of town. My heart broke several times hearing what actual kids said about their educations. How they deserved it. How they had it coming. How they don’t need more if they are going to work at McDonalds the rest of their life. It was devastating.
The only reason that this lost some stars is because of its age. It may be a classic but it is old and the research is outdated. If anyone knows of more modern (from 2010-present) nonfiction tackling an introduction to education inequality, let me know. I want to recommend this to everyone for its concepts, however, I fear the new data and new policy may be misinforming some readers. Don’t get me wrong, inequality still exists (it’s most likely worse), but up-to-date data is needed in this subject. Who knows, maybe I will add to this area of research in the future!
mtk_reads's review against another edition
Short version: educational funding in the US is deeply, profoundly fucked up.
This part in particular stuck with me - Kozol is quoting O.Z. White, talking about educational funding in San Antonio and Rodriguez vs. San Antonio ISD:
"To a real degree, what is considered 'adequate' or 'necessary' or 'sufficient' for the poor in Texas is determined by the rich or relatively rich; it is decided in accord with their opinion of what children of the poor are fitted to become, and what their social role should be."
And the rich get richer, and the poor get screwed.
acinthedc's review against another edition
asehulster414's review against another edition
courtneyg's review against another edition
turnip11's review against another edition
Moderate: Classism, Death, Grief, Gun violence, Child death, Drug abuse, Medical trauma, Drug use, Police brutality, Pregnancy, and Racism
jschumann3's review against another edition
Kozol presents a convincing argument for overhauling the current public school financing system, and promoting desegregation, all while remaining realistic about the possible obstacles, pitfalls, and public reaction.
This book isn't for the faint of heart; the state of many of these schools will shock and appall you. Too bad - read it anyway.