In his essay “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid,” Jonathan Kozol brings our attention to the apparent growing trend of racial segregation within America’s urban and inner-city schools (309-310). Kozol provides several supporting factors to his claim stemming from his research and observations of different school environments, its teachers and students, and personal conversations with those teachers and students. As we first take a look at the frightening statistics Kozol provides, this claim of segregation becomes so much more real. As evidenced in the text, the vast majority of enrollment in most of the public schools in our major cities is black or Hispanic: 79% in Chicago, 94% in Washington, D.C., 82% in Saint Louis, and 84% in Los Angeles, to name a few (Kozol 310). Not only that, but according to Kozol’s research, Caucasian children living in public school districts that enroll blacks and Hispanics as majority will often opt-out of attending that particular school and instead enroll in a predominately “white” school (Kozol 310-311). Kozol further strengthens this claim by describing the astonishing differences in urban and inner-city school conditions, ranging from overcrowded schools and clean bathrooms to differences in educational programs (with libraries and programs such as arts being non-existent to inner-city students), and each factor seems to further indicate that racial segregation is present (313-316). Gross discrepancies in teacher salaries between the city schools and the suburban “white” schools plays another important role in Kozol’s claim. The greater the teacher’s salary, the greater the spending limit per student, which inadvertently places the white student a step ahead and creates yet another barrier between the different student populations.
Kozol further points out a disparity in funding from federal and state governments, which tend to send more money to
Cited: Kozol, Jonathan “Still Separate, Still Unequal: America’s Educational Apartheid” From Inquiry to Academic Writing Eds. Stuart Greene, April Lidinsky. Boston/New York/Bedford/St.Martin’s, 2008. 308-330. Print.