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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 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 From the Hardcover edition.
Looks at the causes and consequences of the growing income gap in the United States.
First published in 2006. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
This volume presents a complex portrait of the American teacher through a fascinating range of "story" narratives, including fictional short stories, poetry, diaries, letters, ethnographies, and autobiographies. Through these stories, the volume traces the evolution of the teacher and the profession over the course of two centuries -- from the late 1700s to the late 1900s. In depicting the profession over time, the authors include stories by and about both male and female teachers, as well as teachers from a wide range of cultural and ethnic backgrounds, including white, black, Hispanic, Asian-American, immigrant and native-born, and gay and straight. This book offers accessible, comprehensive introductions to both the central ideas associated with each period and to the representative individual stories that are included within it. The volume editors connect each of the parts to earlier and later ones by tracing evolving themes of feminization, teacher activism, conceptions of curriculum and discipline, and issues of multiculturalism. Questions, suggested readings, and activities are offered at the end of each section. Photographs and drawings -- retrieved from state historical archives -- provide telling images of the teacher in each of the four periods.
Through conversations in honor of Dale D. Johnson, this book takes a critical view of the monoculture in curriculum and policy that has developed in education with the increase of federal funding and privatization of services for public education, and examines the shift from public interest and control to private and corporate shareholder hegemony. Most states’ educational responsibilities—assessment of constituents, curriculum development, and instructional protocols—are increasingly being outsourced to private enterprises in an effort to reduce state budgets. These enterprises have been given wide access to state resources such as public data from state-sanctioned testing results, field-testing rights to public schools, and financial assistance. Chapter authors challenge this paradigm as well as the model that has set growing premiums on accountability and performance measures. Connecting common impact between the standards movement and the privatization of education, this book lays bare the repercussions of high-stakes accountability coupled with increasing privatization. Winner of The Society of Professors of Education Book Award (2018)

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