Change Is Glacial, If At All

From Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol:

In Boston, the press referred to areas like these as “death zones” — a specific reference to the rate of infant death in ghetto neighborhoods — but the feeling of the “death zone” often seemed to permeate the schools themselves. Looking around some of these inner-city schools, where filth and disrepair were worse than anything I’d seen in 1964, I often wondered why we would agree to let our children go to school in places where no politician, school board president, or business CEO would dream of working. Children seemed to wrestle with these kinds of questions too. Some of their observations were, indeed, so trenchant that a teacher sometimes would step back and raise her eyebrows and then nod to me across the children’s heads, as if to say, “Well, there it is! They know what’s going on around them, don’t they?”

Of course they do. How can they not, especially if they have access to television? And to think that these were his observations in 1964. Nearly forty years later, no progress has been made.

Equal opportunity?

By the way, I consider Kozol one of the more articulate voices on the issues of poverty, culture, and education. He won the National Book Award for Death at an Early Age.

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