Shame of a Nation

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For those that are not aware, America’s education system is experiencing a dilemma that is going unnoticed. Schools today are not just being inadequately funded, or overcrowded, but something more interesting. Jonathan Kozol explains the issue at hand in his book, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America.

Jonathan Kozol started out as a fourth grade teacher and holds an English degree from Harvard University. He has written a number of other books highlighting topics of our education system. He has published Rachel and her Children, Savage Inequalities, Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation, and others. The content of his books include life in the South Bronx, where it is very poor, and narratives of children. If you were to compare Kozol’s writing to something more popularly known, you can compare it to the movie, “Freedom Writers”. The school conditions presented in this movie are somewhat similar to what Kozol is describing in The Shame of the Nation. Schools in poorer cities aren’t being funded enough, thus depriving students of a quality education and opportunity, and are separating by race. For The Shame of the Nation, Kozol constructed 5 years worth of preliminary research upon writing his book. He visited 60 schools in 30 different districts, and 11 various states. What he found proves to be disappointing. Schools today are in worse conditions than they were in the desegregation era. Schools where there are predominantly blacks and Hispanics are not properly funded and overcrowded. Standardized tests are set for students to fail, due to lack of resources in these schools. He also points out how schools in this country are made up of mostly the minority, and undergoing “resegregation”. For example, he quotes a colleague who says, “American public schools are now 12 years into the process of continuous resegregation. . . During the 1990s, the proportion of black students in majority white...
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