Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It is unfortunate that Jonathan Kozol's book, Savage Inequalities, now seems like a timeless classic

I first read Kozol in 1995, as an undergraduate in education. Four years later, I lived his writing while teaching an a large but ill-equipped and strapped for money school. I was the the only white face in my classroom and learned to deal with roaches the length of a deck of cards. Many of my third graders did not read beyond a kindergarten level. Years later, Savage Inequalities, as it was published first in 1991, I am struck by what Mr. Kozol says right at the top of page 4.

" What seems unmistakable, but, oddly enough, is rarely said in public settings nowadays, is that the nation, for all practice and intent has turned its back upon the moral implications, if not the legal ramifications, of the Brown decision. The struggle being waged at all, is closer to the one that was addressed in 1896 in Plessy v. Ferguson, in which the court accepted segregated institutions for black people, stipulation only that they must be equal to those open to white people. The dual society, at least in public education, seems in general to be unquestioned."

By what means as educators are we beginning to question this dual society when we know that black and brown students are not being reached in the same manner as their white peers?

1 comment:

  1. Great Post Rachel.

    I think this is incredibly true, between states, between districts and even within districts. But we must remember "we must be the change we want to see in the world". As we make the necessary changes and succeed in improving our school, our district, our state, others will take notice. Keep up the fight!