Review of Kozol's Article on Urban Public Schools

Review of Kozol's Article on Urban Public Schools

Length: 1664 words (4.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Review of Kozol's Article on Urban Public Schools

Elements
The first element of Kozol’s article is the reality of urban public schools and the isolation of their students. Jonathan Kozol illustrates a grim reality about the unequal attention given to urban and suburban schools. The article explains how Kozol specifically looks at how they reflect institutional discrimination and the failure to address the needs of minority children. The article notes that these are the inequalities of the title, seen in the way schools in predominantly white neighborhoods are more likely to have sufficient funding, while schools in poor and minority neighborhoods do not. Kozol shows everyone involved in the education system that public schools are still separate and, therefore, still unequal. Suburban schools, which are primarily made up of white students, are given a far superior better education than urban schools. These urban schools are primarily made up of Hispanics and African Americans.
The second is the concern over segregation and the effect it has on society. Mr. Kozol provides his own socially conscious and very informative view of the issues facing the children and educators in this poverty ravaged neighborhood. Those forces controlling public schools, Kozol points out, are the same ones perpetuating inequity and suffering elsewhere; pedagogic styles and shapes may change, but the basic parameters and purposes remain the same: desensitization, selective information, predetermined "options," indoctrination. In theory, the decision should have meant the end of school segregation, but in fact its legacy has proven far more muddled. While the principle of affirmative action under the trendy code word ''diversity'' has brought unparalleled integration into higher education, the military and corporate America, the sort of local school districts that Brown supposedly addressed have rarely become meaningfully integrated. In some respects, the black poor are more hopelessly concentrated in failing urban schools than ever, cut off not only from whites but from the flourishing black middle class. Kozol describes schools run almost like factories or prisons in grim detail. According to Kozol, US Schools are quite quickly becoming functionally segregated. Kozol lists the demographics of a slew of public schools in the states, named after prominent civil rights activists, whose classrooms are upwards of 97% black and Hispanic — in some cases despite being in neighborhoods that are predominantly white. It has been over 50 years since Brown vs. Board of Education. It is sad to read about the state of things today.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Review of Kozol's Article on Urban Public Schools." 123HelpMe.com. 14 Dec 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=161750>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Tracking in the U.S. Public Schools

- Tracking is the grouping of students by perceived academic abilities for instruction. As a pedagogical strategy, tracking was initially introduced into U.S. public schools in the early 1900’s as a way to educate and socialize the broadly changing population of urban, northern cities that swelled from European immigration and poor southern black transplants seeking better opportunities. Societal beliefs of the time regarding distinct division of classes and the requisite assimilation of immigrants into American culture resulted in new educational laws that popularized a system that segregated classrooms into “slow, bright and deficient” (Ansalone, 2010, p....   [tags: Education ]

Research Papers
1840 words (5.3 pages)

Technology Integration in Schools Essay

- The following paper will summarize the book reviews suggested for this class. Through this paper two questions will be answered. Do you see an immediate opportunity for technology integration into these school settings. What may be some barriers to integration. These questions will be answered after all book reviews have been read and analyzed. The following paragraphs will go into depth over these two questions. The first book review was completed by Theresa Richardson, Department of Educational Studies, at Ball State University....   [tags: Literature Review]

Research Papers
1008 words (2.9 pages)

Does Music Affect Public Schools Affect Students? Academic Performance, As Social Overall Growth And Development?

- Step 1 My research question is: does music in public schools affect students in academic performance, as well as social overall growth and development. Within the research question itself; there are the two variables to consider. First, there is the dependent variable of music in public school. This needs to be defined on two different levels: (1) active music in general (i.e.-teaching playing guitar, or having students listening to music), and (2) students learning the language of music as a discipline (i.e.-Learning how to play an instrument, reading sheet music, performing as a solo performer or in a group)....   [tags: Education, History of education, Teacher, School]

Research Papers
1047 words (3 pages)

Essay about America Needs Equally Funded Schools

- Competition is in nearly every aspect of American life. Some may even say that American culture thrives on competition. Throngs of spectators herd into public arenas to watch favorite sports teams compete. Parties are hosted to watch televised competitive sporting events. Businesses coerce consumers to enter shopping facilities through the means of competitive sales ploys. It is only natural that the competitive spirit extends into the education arena. Americans strive toward having the best education system in the world....   [tags: Unequal School Funding]

Research Papers
2683 words (7.7 pages)

Literature Review On African American Students Essay

- The purpose of the literature review is to develop a perspective for my project. This following is a review of literature regarding African-American students, their development, personal self-efficacy and their social an educational environment. The schools that I work in are about 97 percent African-American students. From the social work perspective and the Afrocentric perspective I must understand the needs of my students in order to develop effective teaching approaches. (Shin, 2011) A study of 88 African-American elementary students examined in the areas of neighborhood satisfaction, academic self-efficacy, and racial ethnic identity found that Afrocentric identity and neighborhood sati...   [tags: Race, Black people, High school, Racism]

Research Papers
1266 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on As Visible Security is Increased in Schools, Student Performance Slips

- “The public needs to be moved away fro the idea that the criminal justice system can provide the answer to crime. Indeed, our responses to crime often exacerbate the problem.” Matthew Campbell, Former Assistant State’s Attorney, Ellicott City, MD. Significance Despite the passing of Brown versus Board of Education in the 1954, inequality in education still persists and the long term implications have damaging economic impacts especially for minority populations. There is a large body of literature that addresses the long-term effect of education inequality that persist over one's life....   [tags: How School Safety vs Student Achievement ]

Research Papers
2764 words (7.9 pages)

Article Review : The Art Of Teaching And Its Tools Essay

- ARTICLE REVIEW 2 “Great art relies on the mastery and application of foundational skills, learned individually through diligent study.” (Lemov, 2010, p. 1) This quote appealed to me as a teacher in training, it addressed one of my main concerns. Will I become a proficient teacher. Like Picasso, I too want to refine my skills; to persistently hone my abilities so as to someday acquire professional prominence. The article “The Art of Teaching And Its Tools” commenced with conveying professional advice to teachers on how to improve their teaching skills, more so teachers of public schools, primarily those in inner city constituents....   [tags: Teacher, Lesson plan, School, Education]

Research Papers
705 words (2 pages)

Performance of Urban Schools vs Suburban Schools Essay

- Students who go to school in urban schools are not given the same opportunities as a child their age in a suburban area school. Students who go to school in urban schools are put at a disadvantage compared to students who go to school in suburban areas. As a pre-service teacher it is my responsibility to work toward fixing this injustice and inform my surrounding community. As we look into this injustice we see how there are many solutions to this problem and that the government and people need to educated about this issue....   [tags: Urban Schools Funding]

Research Papers
1373 words (3.9 pages)

A Refining of Magnet Schools: The Segregated System Essay

- A Refining of Magnet Schools: The Segregated System Magnet schools are designed to promote voluntary school desegregation and to enhance educational quality through thematic teaching of uniform curriculum (www.magnet.edu). Partially funded by the federal government through grants and assistance programs, magnet schools essentially provide choice to parents and students across America to gain a more specialized education. Intrinsically, magnet schools allow students from many different districts to unite in one school in hopes of creating a racially diverse learning environment....   [tags: Research Papers]

Free Essays
1455 words (4.2 pages)

A Review of the Beck Youth Inventories for Children and Adolescents Essay

- The Beck Youth Inventory Test was developed in 2001 by Judith Beck, Aaron Beck, John Jolly, and Robert Steer. The purpose of this psychological testing tool is a brief self-report to measure the distress in children and adolescents (Flanagan & Henington, 2005). The Beck Youth Inventory includes using five self-administered scales. The five tests include the Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Anxiety Inventory, Beck Anger Inventory, Beck Disruptive Inventory, and the Beck Self-Concept Inventory. These tests can be administered individually or in combination to the youth....   [tags: Test Analysis]

Research Papers
1537 words (4.4 pages)



The final element is the idea of equal access to good education for any child no matter race or social status. Kozol discusses the problems of this area--economic, social, the crime rate--and shows how the schools relate to these concerns. He describes the different classes and the few white faces seen in these classes. Kozol also uses statistics to show how communities are wrongfully denying the fact that their schools are not integrated. Actually it does make you realise that there's a lot to be said for having a (openly acknowledged) class system and an aristocracy

Form:
The genre of Kozol’s artifact is a news article in Harper’s magazine. The magazine is the oldest general interest monthly in circulation in America. It is a politically driven societal magazine. Kozol wrote this article for the lawmakers to address the issues that needed attention in the school system. The secondary audience would then be the school officials so their eyes can be opened to what is wrong with the system. In this piece Kozol uses many statistics about segregated schools and the financial hardships that they face. He also uses references to historical court cases. The ones specific are those that have made strides to change school guidelines. Kozol brings his personal reflections into the piece to add to the honest and genuine feel of the work. Kozol has a vivid caring tone that underlies his entire piece. As well it has a soft dynamic to it. He is obviously completely consumed in his work, and, as well, devoted to the children of America. His sympathy seeps through his piece. He seems genuinely concerned for the well being of the children in these poor schools.

Maker Part A
Jonathan Kozol was born in Boston in September of 1936 into a traditional middle-class Jewish family. Kozol attended Harvard and later Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. He graduated with a degree in English literature. In 1964 Jonathan Kozol left his comfortable surroundings in Cambridge, Massachusetts to begin work as a teacher in low-income, predominately black Roxbury. Mr. Kozol was fired for reading a Langston Hughes poem to his fourth grade students. Kozol has made a practice of leaving comfortable surroundings for more challenging, impoverished areas. He has devoted the subsequent four decades of his life to issues of education and social justice in America. Kozol received the 1968 National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion. Kozol currently lives with his dog Sweetie Pie in a 200 year-old farmhouse in Byfield, Massachusetts.
http://www.campusprogress.org/features/552/five-minutes-with-jonathan-kozol
http://www.bookrags.com/Jonathan_Kozol
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Third_World_US/JonathanKozol_page.html

Maker Part B
I knew nothing of Mr. Kozol before reading this piece but found myself exhilarated by him throughout this reading. He is a single man striving to transform segregation in public schools. He struck me as the type of individual that shows compassion towards others more than he cares about himself. He showed this by staying in the homeless shelter all winter just because he was captivated by the mothers and their children. He seems to indeed care for equality and wants to help attain these goals. The article shows the side to poverty that most of the privileged class in America does not get to see. He dedicated his life to making a change for others. I see him as a hero. Kozol has been an inspiration for change. I can only pray that someday we can have the unified public school system he dreams of.

Historical Context
On May 18, 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court delivered a ruling in Brown v. Board of Education that changed American society by nullifying the old Jim Crow law in the South. This ruling allowed schools to be “separate but equal” with regard to race. This decision was unanimous. The enforcement of this ruling was met with great resistance from local and state governments. Several civil rights leaders paid heavy prices to ensure that the local and state governments abided by it. The Civil Rights Act in 1964 that prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin. Title VI of the Act states, "No person in the United States shall, on the grounds of race, color, or national origin, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." This act made history. The Jim Crow South barely attempted integration for a full decade, and whenever the courts or the federal government tried to compel compliance, America saw an epic confrontation -- at Little Rock Central High School, at the University of Mississippi, in Ruby Bridges' one-girl class in New Orleans, with George Wallace keeping his promise to block the schoolhouse door. It is still talked about today. In 1974, the Equal Educational Opportunity Act (EEOA) mandating that no state shall deny equal education opportunity to any individual.
http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/policy/1_history.htm
http://www.infoplease.com/spot/civilrightstimeline1.html
http://www.watson.org/~lisa/blackhistory/civilrights-55-65/
Purpose
The purpose of this piece is to strive to light the fire of change in others. He wishes to bring to light the amount of segregation and racial inequality that is still present in our country. At the same time I think he is realistic in knowing that change cannot happen overnight and he wants people to first see that there is a problem so we can all work together toward that change. He wants people to take small steps toward making a unified school system that shares the desire for equal education for all students no matter their race or social standing.

Effect Part A
This article had a strong effect on me. I have looked deep into my relationship with my children and their education. I have had a blind eye to the administration and how unequal even the governmental school system is. I feel strongly that he administrations of school boards need to look and see that nothing has changed, and things need to be changed for the positive. I feel that I need to step up and voice my thoughts on better education rather than bailouts for the car companies. Fix our education across the country.

Effect Part B

Questions
1) How do you believe this article would be viewed after Obama takes office?
2) If a woman were to take office, do you think that any change could overcome that of Obama and the race factor? Explain why or why not.
3) How has previous segregation affected you in your life since you have left elementary and high school?
4) Why do you think the government is willing to bail out the car industry, yet not increase educational benefits or schools?
5) How could improving a teacher’s salary show enough incentive to improve the quality in the public school system?
Vocabulary
1) Euphemism- an inoffensive word or phrase substituted for one considered offensive or upsetting
2) Eviscerate - to deprive of vital or essential parts
3) Stentorian- very loud or powerful in sound
4) Didactic- intended for instruction; instructive or intending to teach a moral lesson
5) Montessori- a method of teaching young children that stresses the development of initiative and natural abilities
6) Paradoxical- an opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion
7) Neophyte- a beginner or novice
8) Apartheid- (formerly) the official government policy of racial segregation for both political and economic discrimination against non-whites
9) Acquiescence- the act or condition of acquiescing or giving tacit assent; agreement or consent by silence or without objection
10) Hortatory- giving strong encouragement, courage, confidence, or hope
Return to 123HelpMe.com