Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools Hardcover – Aug 27 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
Kozol believes that children from poor families are cheated out of a future by grossly underequipped, understaffed and underfunded schools in U.S. inner cities and less affluent suburbs. The schools he visited between 1988 and 1990--in burnt-out Camden, N.J., Washington, D.C., New York's South Bronx, Chicago's South Side, San Antonio, Tex., and East St. Louis, Mo., awash in toxic fumes--were "95 to 99 percent nonwhite." Kozol ( Death at an Early Age ) found that racial segregation has intensified since 1954. Even in the suburbs, he charges, the slotting of minority children into lower "tracks" sets up a differential, two-tier system that diminishes poor children's horizons and aspirations. He lets the pupils and teachers speak for themselves, uncovering "little islands of . . . energy and hope." This important, eye-opening report is a ringing indictment of the shameful neglect that has fostered a ghetto school system in America. 50,000 first printing; BOMC and QPB selections; author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
In 1988, Kozol, author of Death at an Early Age ( LJ 7/67) and the more recent Rachel and Her Children ( LJ 3/15/88), visited schools in over 30 neighborhoods, including East St. Louis, Harlem, the Bronx, Chicago, Jersey City, and San Antonio. In this account, he concludes that real integration has seriously declined and education for minorities and the poor has moved backwards by at least several decades. Shocked by the persistent segregation and bias in poorer neighborhoods, Kozol describes the garrison-like campuses located in high-crime areas, which often lack the most basic needs. Rooms with no heat, few supplies or texts, labs with no equipment or running water, sewer backups, fumes, and overwhelming fiscal shortages combine to create an appalling scene. This is raw stuff. Recommended for all libraries. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91 under the title These Young Lives: Still Separate, Still Unequal; Children in America's Schools .
- Annette V. Janes, Hamilton P.L., Mass.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
Kozol goes far to point out the disservice we are doing to Jefferson's idea and to the children of this country (U.S.A.). We are so wrapped up in "saving" money, that we are willing to sacrifice the children of the poor so that we can continue on in our own comfort. It has reached the point where some schools now teach "job skills" (typing, shop, etc.) to the children of the lower class. The only message this conveys is to tell them that this is all they're good for.
The book goes even further and examines every concievable excuse for this disparity. For those who believe that the current system of education in this country is fair and equitable, this book will show you that it is anything but.
This book is an eye opener as to the educational system in this country. Segregation is alive & well decades after Brown v. Board of Education. Most of the schools he visited are close to other wealthier (and predominately white) schools so he can really show the inequality between them. The poorer schools have limited to nonexistent materials and equipment. One school in New York (known simply as public school 261) conducts classes in an abandoned roller rink with no identification and not even a single encyclopedia set. One of the few exceptional teachers he found had to buy materials out of her pocket (pg. 47). The enormously high drop out rates at these schools are almost welcomed as they free up seats in the over-crowded classrooms (pp. 54 and 111). Most heartbreaking is that so many teachers and administrators he talked to seem to have given up on improving conditions and saving these kids. More than once, adults are quoted as dismissing the matter with "They're not going anywhere" (pp. 52 and 160).Read more ›
Every person who is contemplating a career somewhere in the field of education needs to read this book at least once. The most idealistic people who have the highest and loftiest ambitions and a true burning desire to help children in need will want to read this graphic account of poverty and its correlation to education. Once they wipe away the tears, those potential educators will have a strengthened resolve. Perhaps their actions will enable Kozol to write a new work someday in the future chronicling the uplifting of children and schools.
Upon finishing Savage Inequalities, I was thoroughly depressed by the information that had been given to me. The hazardous learning environments represented in his analysis came as a complete shock and I found myself continually disgusted with the level of civility offered to these young children. I must admit, I was hooked for a while, completely involved in Kozol's argument and grossly interested in his methodology for explanation. But, I soon caught myself. His rhetorical use of dry, hyper-simplistic language and the overly repetitious nature of his argument brought about flashing caution signs in my mind. Where this technique of factual argumentation will often work with the poorly educated reader, the captivated social enthusiast, or the eager Kozol fan, it wasn't working for me. And when those yellow flags popped up, I knew there was something fishy with his use of language and repetition. Close inspection of the writing suggests he might be trying to focus the attention of the reader in a direction favorable to his thesis. In situations like these, I am quick to follow up on his information and on the other areas of the controversy that the author may have failed to mention.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
this book shows that there is reasons for riots, protests, marches etc. people say that there is no reason for any of it. read this book. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2004 by Tomas
I'm a freshman in college and was completely unaware to the extent of the hellish conditions in these urban schools. This book is truly engrossing and should be read with tissues. Read morePublished on Nov. 1 2003
Kozol's book presents a world of horrible inequality among America's school children. He presents to the reader schools that are horrifying because they are poorly funded. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2003 by Maggie Mcdowell
I was a sophmore in college when I read this book---and now I'm looking for a job in DC public schools--and a lot of my inspiration came from this book. Read morePublished on June 13 2003
A book which anyone involved in the education system can read. With remarkable deftness and detail, Kozol presents the sad state of America's schools. Read morePublished on April 30 2003 by Lane Young
It was around 11 years ago when I first visited America. During that time, I had a chance to visit an American school in Boston that my cousin was attending. Read morePublished on March 16 2003 by Phil Moon
Kozol is a good reporter, but two years of teaching has not made him an authority on education. The conditions of poor schools are sad and I feel sorry that the physical... Read morePublished on March 4 2003 by Celeborn
In the book Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol talks about the educational differences found in American schools and how significantly tragic these differences are. Read morePublished on Dec 2 2002 by Kathleen Boylan