The Essay; A Tale of Two Schools: How Poor Children Are Lost to the World; was written by Jonathan Kozol. The essay reveals the contrast in our nation's school system by comparing one of the most affluent schools in the country, with a poor inner-city school. Du Sable High School in the ghettos of Chicago and New Trier High in a near by Chicago suburb. Kozol examines many of the problems that face public schools today, and the gap in education funding between inner city schools and schools like New Trier. The course schedule at New Trier is geared for college bound students. For example, New Trier has multiple gymnasiums and an Olympic sized swimming pool. They serve seven foreign language departments. The school rests among a lush 27-acre campus, while Du Sable is crowded into one city block. The school has an attendance rate of less than half of the school capabilities. Kozol states “seniors at New Trier study authors such as Freud and Nietzsche, the seniors at Du Sable are just now learning how to read four syllable words.” With only seventeen percent of Du Sables students attending college preparatory classes, it is no wonder the graduation rate, is sadly at twenty five percent. The low graduation rate is clear throughout the surrounding neighborhood. In his essay, Kozol quotes a reporter asking a sixteen-year-old dropout about how much she would like to make as a possible salary. Her response was, "About two thousand."
Kozol sets up an excellent route to get the reader thinking about the discrimination of today's public school system. He leaves room for questions after reading the story of two very different schools. Why is the quality of education so greatly differ based on a neighborhoods economic status? Should poor communities and lack of excess tax funding be an excuse to have a low quality school system? He does not however give examples of possible solutions to this serious problem. This story was written over twenty years ago, it would interest me to see the changes in these schools over these two decades. Has Du Salle made strong improvements? Is New Tier still flourishing as a magnet school? A lot can happen to a school with the right educators and a community to back them, I believe this essay shows that education not only happens at school but as a society we need to put forth a stronger effort to equally serve all of our countries youth.