Savage Inequalities By Jonathan Kozol
The following paper presents a book review. The book which has to be reviewed is “Savage Inequalities” by “Jonathan Kozol”. The book covers the research of the author on the school or disable and privileged children.
He also shows a comparison between the schools in urban and suburban areas. Furthermore in the book, he tells that how the education is effected due to unavailability of books to the children in the schools of the poor neighboring areas. By reading this book, people can easily conclude the conditions of the city schools with the uptown ones.
The comparison presented in the book is based on the difference of quality of education being given, the races that are involved are analyzed, the facilities being provided to the children there and the situations under which these children are getting education. Adding further to this, he also suggests that suburban schools value the money better, as they provide the children with a better and secure future. Children can flourish more in the suburban school setting as it is providing them with better and good opportunities ahead.
He thinks that all the children in the schools should be treated equally and should be provided with an equal amount of money, so that one is not superior to the other. If a child studying in the school belongs to a poor background, he should have been given equal money so that he can coup up with the other students who are better than him. Theme of the book: In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol tells about his analysis, that he did by investigation the environment of a number of schools in America.
His main focus was the public schools. The book explains his visits to approximately 30 schools, between the year of 1988 and 1990. These schools were basically ranged from the poorest inner city schools to the ones in the wealthier sub urban communities. He found a huge gap between the conditions of the communities and the schools. His main focus throughout the book was on the question that “How is there such an enormous difference inside a country with all these public schools who claim to provide everyone with equal opportunities? In this survey, Jonathan observed the fact that how the underprivileged schools are not given equal attention, where the education standard is low and poorer as compared to the one that is being followed in the wealthier localities. The poorer schools are not given money to upgrade their current status and can come up to the mark. Even though it is necessary for all the children to go to a school until the age of 16, they are still kept back sue to all the differences in the school in which they draw lines and separate them on the basis of race as well as the social class.
He studies the financial support given to the schools as how unequal that is when it comes to relate the public class divisions. He also examines institutional and biological racial discrimination, segregation, unfriendliness of students, employees that are in underprivileged schools, substantial decomposing away of constructions and even the physical condition of the apprentices (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). Overview of “Savage Inequalities”:
Jonathan Kozol’s main focus in the entire book is to explore the urban school districts, which are separated by the racial difference and category of the students which includes their class. The black or nonwhites are considered to be very poor, which discriminates them harshly with ones who are rich and belong to a wealthier class of suburban schools. He observes that even if a school is not creating diversions, the divisions occur within the school that has a vast population of students. This division is mainly caused by the type of education being given and the career tracking which the students follow.
This division is also created by the people by just thinking about there status and considering them superior in class. One of the reasons for these differences could be “its all in the head” motto. The most important tribulations that have an effect on these institutions are an entrepreneurial structure that involves the imitation of the partition of work. Schools afford the education to congregate this obligation all the way through the trails of apprentices into the characters that they will accomplish in their financial configuration.
The author further explains and points out that the upper class of white people want their children to be properly educated, and get into better jobs and places. They want to see a bright future for them and work in a comfortable environment in less polluted areas. These people have an upper hand and will benefit from the dissection of labor and will even use their resources to create an influence with the government, in order to maintain their proper places on the positions they are working. In his book, he also discusses a few casual conversations with the students of the schools.
For example, he talked about financial support unfairness amongst institutional regions with a group of wealthy students in Rye, New York, in that group, one student posed her beliefs by saying that she doesn’t exactly have any interest in these funding supports for the poorer schools, since she was unable to see that how would it benefit her (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). She really didn’t care about the situation of the schools that are under privileged. She knew the fact that how all those class and status divisions would favor her in different aspects. Then why would she bother looking the other way?
Using various variety of details and scenarios to describe the conditions of the most prosperous school such as “New Trier High School and on the other hand the most underprivileged school such as “Du Sable High School”. In this comparison he portrays the most terrible environments in which the students attend their daily school and also tells that in the well off schools, the students are given such wonderful and good options and opportunities to make their career. He distinguishes the underprivileged and affluent institutes to demonstrate the readers the worst conditions that are available.
Kozol also talks about a very crucial and one of the major issue and that is of racism. He brings the fact to knowledge that mostly the poor or black children usually the Hispanic are bad savings. No matter how good they are or how good they could be. Meager educative surroundings effect in substandard learning and serious educational shortage in learners. It turns out to be very noticeable the system the management, the civilization, and the instructive system do not pass unfortunate offspring in the United States (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). Kozol vividly illustrates the deplorable conditions of the poorest schools.
In distinction, he gives some colorful images of the richest suburban schools that surround them. He effectively demonstrates the racist conditions and social class discrimination that lead to the variations within the public school system as well as discusses the funding formula for America’s public schools. Kozol provides descriptions of the worst of the worst, but his research only extends to a limited number of urban schools (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). Perhaps Kozol could also include more on his views as to what the “minimal” requirements for a good school should be. What are the basic needs of a public school?
He says that there should be more poor schools that resemble the better schools. Talking of the wealthy schools and the schooling they are providing, is that the minimum standard that they should provide? Or should the wealthy schools give a bit less so that the poorer schools can come up to their standard? Are all the public schools on the same level, as in providing equal opportunities to all the students? As a result, if the parents ask for more than the amount of quality education being provided in the public schools, they either demand for more, or mostly go for tuitions or private education for their offspring.
The possible solution for lack of quality in urban schools according to Kozok is equalized funding. The schools will not be solved by funding alone. For real improvement to occur changes in the greater society will have to take place. After all equals schools are not determined by equal funding. Would equal funding really be desired by policy makers? If public education was really valued by the politician and if they really believed in providing equal funding for all, a lot of money would “become available. ” Jonathan Kozol in his book Savage Inequalities takes into consideration the condition of several American Public Schools.
He visited schools in the neighborhood and discovered wide disparity in the conditions between the schools in the poorest inner-city communities and schools in the wealthier suburban communities. How can such huge difference be possible in the public schools systems of the country that claims to provide equal opportunity for everyone? Kozol finds it obvious that many of the children from the poor communities get education which is far inferior to that of children who are growing up in the wealthier communities.
Strong evidence is provided by the book of the national oppression, endemic in the American system. Kozol focuses on the discrepancy in resources amongst predominantly Black or Latino (usually inner city) schools and those that are predominantly white (usually suburban), Case studies and statistics are used to compare the opportunities given to some kids to succeed while others (oppressed nations) are set up to fail (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). The topic of the conditions that are faced by children should pose an easy win for Communist looking to explain to people the need for equality for all.
It’s hard to believe someone thinking that a kid, born into circumstances out of his or her control, deserves suffer poor housing, inadequate healthcare, and substandard education. While people argue that adults “bring it on them”, the children clearly have no control over where they are born. But Kozol highlights, with astonishment, that he found racist arguments being made by white adults about the potential of Black and Latino kids to justify the better funding of the schools in the white neighborhoods.
Kozol brings to mind how during the social movement people would have been vilified by such arguments, but in the early 1990s when he wrote the book, these attitudes were commonplace. Not just the adults but the kids in these wealthier schools had excuses explaining why they deserved better schools than kids who sometimes lived miles away. The statistics presented in Kozol’s book are startling; bring to attention how classes in one school are segregated racially. In one classroom there are all white students with the exception of maybe one or two Asian or Black children.
In another class, which is the “special” class, all black children are present, with maybe one white child. According to the author, the children are separated more from each other in magnet schools. The poorer Pilcher 3 children do not get the opportunity to apply for these selective schools. Even if the parents are informed, on many occasion they do not have proper education to be able to fulfill the necessary requirement to admit their children to the special schools. He strongly disagrees with the business approach to education, stating that limits cannot be put on a child for the child will never strive to go beyond that limit.
He maintains that this approach will not introduce Excellency but will in fact just repeat unevenness (Jonathan Kozol, 1992). Recommendations: After reading this book my perception has completely changed, I had never known that a large number of schools were situated in the ghettos and are overcrowded or only had two toilets working share by 1000 students, and also no toilet paper is available. The thing that has really upset me is the fact that schools in the same city limit but in the suburbs have an average of 20 children per classroom and also have enough supplies and computers enough so that no child needs to share.
It is clear that the majority of these suburban schools are dominantly white and the minorities are in the urban schools. The dropout rates in the book are very high. Most children drop out of secondary school and do not get proper education due to lack of supplies and very little or interest of the teacher. The greater part in the poor schools are that of the Hispanic or black while the elite white class children and the rare Asian children are in the gifted classes of the sub urban schools.
The small population of blacks and Hispanics that attend the same schools go to the “special” classrooms and their “mental retardations” is shown as a reason for their placement. A majority of these students belong with the whites and Asians, they are not mental. It seems like the teachers were so unmotivated to teach in the urban schools that it reflected off of the children, the children become unmotivated towards learning which has become the reason for such high dropout rates in secondary schools.
These children never get real education; instead they receive partial discrimination due to the color of their skin. Access to private schools is denied to them, they do not get toilet paper or working toilets, and they are subdued, so they are not able to expand their horizons and are made to learn without the use of materials or supplies. They are never given a chance to attain proper education and so they suffer the consequences by living in poverty and having their children attend schools similar to their parents.
This is all very upsetting to me as even though the school systems have improved a great deal there is nothing that can be done for the poor parents who were not able to get real education due to their color and class. I hope these parents realize that what they suffered from should not affect their children. Today this issue has been subdued only because the number of schools situated in ghettos also educates the whites along with the minorities. I myself attended a high school situated in the ghetto in Bradenton, Florida. I did not actually live in a ghetto nor did any of my friends.
My opinion about Savage Inequalities would be that the book presents a good over view about the conditions of the schools in the urban and suburban areas. The way it compares the situation in the schools is very innovative. But at a point I find the book very disturbing and heart touching, on the other hand this book became an eye opener and now I can look back and think what were the situations before and how they are now. It is very good to see the things change with the passage of time. The schools have realized the fact that the race and class doesn’t matter, it’s the talent that a student carries.
Although the schools maybe dominating with the majority of whites and the minority of others, the students are still receiving quality education, without comparing one race to another, they are able to realize the fact that it’s not the race which helps a person to succeed from one another. The single inconsistency that I observe in the book was that Kozol failed to notice a few matters. He didn’t address to the fact that no matter if the poor are in minority, they still have the right for proper education and learn the things that the rich are learning.
He also did not defend the fact that it’s not the poor who are responsible for lack of quality education for the poor children, whether they be in minority or majority. Overall it was a good book, worth reading and spending time on it. It had covered some really interesting facts that I enjoyed reading. On a finishing note, what I consider is that the importance of these savage discrimination, productively arrange offspring into victors and defeats; those institutions persuaded the children that they ought to have in some sagacity to be unsuccessful in their schooling.