Let me start off this post by saying how shocked and horrified I was when I finished reading the article Still Separate, Still Unequal by Kozol. As an educator, I was aware to an extent the unequal distribution of resources and money between inner-city schools and suburban schools. I, however, did not realize how much of a difference there was. The most powerful parts of this article were the distributions of the conditions in some of the inner-city schools and the interviews with the students at these schools. This article made me think about how there is a larger inequality that is present in the US school systems. This inequality effects children of color more than any other child in this country. The difference between the education of children continues into adulthood and then begins again with the next generation. Kozol points out that starting at birth, children in the inner-city are already at a higher disadvantage than their suburban counterparts. For example, the inner-city children may not have access to formal education until they go to kindergarten, while their counterparts have years more education under their belts. Another example Kozol expresses is based on students‘ experiences in an urban high school in LA. The school had deplorable health and sanitary conditions on top of a curriculum that prepares students for employment firmly in the working class. This inequality was made more apparent when he further explained that in Beverly Hills High School, the students are given advanced career training in professional fields. It amazes me how much these school, can differ and they are only a few miles apart. I wonder how school districts and the US Department of Education can get away with this blatant racism and as Kozol says, “the reversal of integration.”
Based on Kozol’s article I have formulated some questions for educators:
- Is this reversal of integration intentionally being done by the education system and by society? If so, why? And how, as educators, can we change this?
- Why are programs that place a “managerial” and military-like emphasis on education now a prominent feature in inner-city schools? Kozol says that a student’s happiness cannot be measured by standardized testing, so how can we teach effectively and ready these children emotionally for the outside world, when we as teachers are held so highly accountable?
- What can teachers and administrators do to close the gap between the schools that serve the inner-city and the schools that serve the suburban areas?
- What can be done with the large discrepancy between the curriculum of inner-city schools and those of suburban schools, which further widen the gap between the two social classes and continue the racial inequality?
- As I stated before, this article shocked and horrified me, I am wondering how the article made you feel as an educator?