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For two years, beginning in 1988, Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington D.C., and from New York to San Antonio. He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children. What he found was devastating. Not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremes was widening—and it has widened since. The urban schools he visited were overcrowded and understaffed, and lacked the basic elements of learning—including books and, all too often, classrooms for the students. In Savage Inequalities, Kozol delivers a searing examination of the extremes of wealth and poverty and calls into question the reality of equal opportunity in our nation’s schools.
ABOUT THE BOOK "Raw sewage" and "jail" may not be the first words that come to mind in terms of what might be found in a treatise on public school funding. Yet, these terms, along with privilege, poverty, racism, injustice, wealth, and equity/inequity, sum up the major themes of "Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools," one of nearly a dozen books about the state of American public school education by Jonathan Kozol. The book was researched and written in the late 1980's and published in 1991 as the seventh in Kozol's ongoing critique of the myriad failures of education of American children, particularly children born into poverty. "Savage Inequalities" focuses on funding disparities between urban schools in the North, South, East and Midwest regions of the USA, and the lifetime impact these disparities have on the students, the teachers and the communities. These factors almost ensure, to use Kozol's phrasing, that the generals' children will have the option (and implied likelihood) of becoming generals, and the soldiers' children will only become soldiers, and only if they survive their public school experience. Kozol, a former teacher, and writer, spent nearly three years traveling around the United States, visiting public schools, and talking with then current and former students, teachers, principals, district administrators and students' families. He observed classes and describes (often in painful detail) the facilities, and the communities in the school. He enumerates, again and again throughout the book about, the canyon-sized gaps in per-pupil spending between schools and districts that serve the children of the wealthy, who are most often white, and those that serve the children of the poor, who are most often black and Latino. Although, a school serving Appalachian children is also included among the under-served. MEET THE AUTHOR Deborah is a lifelong writer, non-violence activist, artist, voracious reader, public school teacher and world traveler and practical optimist. She lives by Thoreau's epigrammatic suggestion, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined...." After growing up in a suburb of New York City, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she has lived since 1977. By day, Deborah teaches high school in Oakland, and when not at school, she makes it a point to enjoy the moveable feast (with apologies to Hemingway) offered up here every day. She attended San Francisco State and Cal State East Bay/Hayward, which resulted in degrees in art and education, as well as a couple of teaching credentials. EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK "Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools" is a book about numbers more than about children. However, children's voices, as well as the voices of other school staff, are heard throughout. But the numbers are the foundation of the story: numbers of dollars spent in wealthy districts, the smaller number spent in poor districts, numbers of students in classes, tax rates, high school dropout rates, test scores, teacher salaries, attrition rate of teachers, percentages of graduates and non-graduates, the size of the senior class vs. the freshman class, length of tenure of school principals and superintendents, rates of teen age pregnancies. But most often repeated figure is the amount of funding per pupil here as opposed to there, and the resultant regrettable conditions that follow. As Kozol travels from East St. Louis to Chicago, from Philadelphia to New York City, from Camden (New Jersey) to Detroit, from San Antonio to Washington D.C, the portrait of schools serving predominantly/exclusively African American and Latino children, is a bleak and heart-breaking. He portrays school buildings whose walls are literally crumbling, scores of classrooms without teachers, classes without classrooms, and resources so inadequate that there are not even enough texts for each student to have during class...
The Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice presents a comprehensive overview of the field with topics of varying dimensions, breadth, and length. This three-volume Encyclopedia is designed for readers to understand the topics, concepts, and ideas that motivate and shape the fields of activism, civil engagement, and social justice and includes biographies of the major thinkers and leaders who have influenced and continue to influence the study of activism.
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Why does inequality have such a hold on American society and public policy? And what can we, as citizens, do about it? Inequality in America takes an in-depth look at race, class and gender-based inequality, across a wide range of issues from housing and education to crime, employment and health. Caliendo explores how individual attitudes can affect public opinion and lawmakers' policy solutions. He also illustrates how these policies result in systemic barriers to advancement that often then contribute to individual perceptions. This cycle of disadvantage and advantage can be difficult-though not impossible-to break. "Representing" and "What Can I Do?" feature boxes throughout the book highlight key public figures who have worked to combat inequality and encourage students to take action to do the same. The second edition has been thoroughly revised to include the most current data and to cover recent issues and events like the 2016 elections and the Black Lives Matter movement. It now also includes a brand-new chapter on crime and criminal justice and an expanded discussion of immigration. Concise and accessible, Inequality in America paves the way for students to think critically about the attitudes, behaviors and structures of inequality.
First published in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
How is it that, half a century after Brown v. Board of Education, educational opportunities remain so unequal for black and white students, not to mention poor and wealthy ones? In his important new book, Five Miles Away, A World Apart, James E. Ryan answers this question by tracing the fortunes of two schools in Richmond, Virginia--one in the city and the other in the suburbs. Ryan shows how court rulings in the 1970s, limiting the scope of desegregation, laid the groundwork for the sharp disparities between urban and suburban public schools that persist to this day. The Supreme Court, in accord with the wishes of the Nixon administration, allowed the suburbs to lock nonresidents out of their school systems. City schools, whose student bodies were becoming increasingly poor and black, simply received more funding, a measure that has proven largely ineffective, while the independence (and superiority) of suburban schools remained sacrosanct. Weaving together court opinions, social science research, and compelling interviews with students, teachers, and principals, Ryan explains why all the major education reforms since the 1970s--including school finance litigation, school choice, and the No Child Left Behind Act--have failed to bridge the gap between urban and suburban schools and have unintentionally entrenched segregation by race and class. As long as that segregation continues, Ryan forcefully argues, so too will educational inequality. Ryan closes by suggesting innovative ways to promote school integration, which would take advantage of unprecedented demographic shifts and an embrace of diversity among young adults. Exhaustively researched and elegantly written by one of the nation's leading education law scholars, Five Miles Away, A World Apart ties together, like no other book, a half-century's worth of education law and politics into a coherent, if disturbing, whole. It will be of interest to anyone who has ever wondered why our schools are so unequal and whether there is anything to be done about it.

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