In Savage Inequalities, Kozol delivers a searing examination of the extremes of wealth and poverty and calls into question the reality of equal opportunity in our. SAVAGE INEQUALITIES CHILDREN IN AMERICA’S SCHOOLS JONATHAN KOZOL I look into the faces of these children. At this moment they seem full of hope. Savage Inequalities has ratings and reviews. Lobstergirl said: Two cases of mothers lying about where they reside in order to get their young.

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Savage Inequalities

Return to Book Page. Preview — Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol. Children in America’s Inequaliites by Jonathan Kozol. National Book Award-winning author Jonathan Kozol presents his shocking account of the American educational system in this stunning “New York Times” bestseller, which has sold more thanhardcover copies.

Paperbackpages. Published Jonatha 12th by Harper Perennial first published August To see what infqualities friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Savage Inequalitiesplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Nov 16, Lobstergirl rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Two cases of mothers lying about where they reside in order to kozop their young children into better school districts have made news recently.

In Ohio in January, Kelley Williams-Bolar was sentenced to 10 days in county jail and three years probation for enrolling her children in the Copley-Fairlawn School District rather than Akron, where she lived. When she refused, she was indicted.

In Connecticut in April, Tanya McDowell, a homeless single mother from Bridgeport, is being charged with larceny and conspiracy for enrolling her 5-year old son in Norwalk schools, fraudulently using a friend’s address.

Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools

If convicted, she could face 20 years in prison. Jonathan Kozol wrote Savage Inequalities twenty years ago, but obviously its lessons haven’t taken hold. Kozol described the vast funding disparities between rich and poor school districts in America, due to the way public education is primarily or initially funded by local real estate taxes. Local taxes on the value of homes and businesses in the district form the base of per-student funding.

In poor districts, because the properties are worth less, tax revenues will be inadequate and the state is supposed to kick in sufficient funds to raise the amount to a level approximately equal to the richest districts. In practice, this rarely happens, which is why schools in rich districts are lavishly equipped, teacher salaries are much higher, class sizes are smaller, textbooks are plentiful and up to date, athletic facilities are abundant, libraries are full of books, bathrooms are clean, and students white.

In poor districts the opposite is true. Kozol tells tale after tale of deprivation. A year-old South Bronx student in “is facing final exams, but, because the school requires students to pass in their textbooks one week prior to the end of the semester, he is forced to study without math and English texts. Many of them will join the military.

If there’s a war, we have to fight. Why should I go to war and fight for opportunities I can’t enjoy – for things rich people value, for their freedom, but I do not have that freedom and I can’t go to their schools? Bad teachers who are unwanted in better off schools are unloaded onto worse schools.


Everything conspires against equality, and of course the children are the ones who are made to suffer. Kozol reminds me of Howard Zinn in the way inequalties sees neutrality on an issue as pointless, even detrimental. The worlds that Kozol and Zinn looked at aren’t neutral places. Power structures and systemic inequality are already in place; children are born into them. The question is, do we do anything to ameliorate these inequalities, or not?

Money doesn’t solve education inequities, is a constant refrain of inequalitirs, wealthier school districts, some reformers, the Wall Street Journal editorial pages. Yet if anyone suggests redistributing school funds – taking money from rich districts and giving it to poor districts – the screaming, moaning and wailing reach a fever pitch.

So it seems money does matter for rich districts, just not for poor ones. Kozol quotes President George H. Bush a jpnathan of the very expensive Phillips Andover Academy weighing in on education spending: More spending on public education, said the president, isn’t “the best answer. Bush went on to caution parents of poor children who see money “as a cure” for education problems. Every American ought to read this book.

Savage Inequalities | Jonathan Kozol

Whether or not you have children, whether or not they attend public school, whether or not you pay real estate taxes, you ought to read this book. Published 20 years ago, it remains profoundly relevant. It informs current debates about education reform; it ought to inform our opinions about the Michelle Rees and Wendy Kopps of the world. Ree is the lavishly praised, reformist former head of D. Ree is now under something of a cloud for unsubstantiated claims on her resume and for a D.

Children who fail in school, who fail to learn, who drop out, have fewer and fewer jobs and opportunities available to them. Increasingly they end up in prison, where they cost us more than if we’d just spent the money to give them a safe school and a decent education.

Even if you care nothing about education you ought to read this book because the way we treat children, whether ours or anyone else’s, defines who we are as humans. View all 6 comments. Jun 30, Cindy Rollins rated it it was amazing Shelves: This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers.

To view it, click here. It took me four months to read this book. It was just hard to read the realities of the poor in America and not feeling like anything had changed in 25 years. While I do believe this is a must-read for anyone at all interested in education in America, I am not sure at all what the solutions are. One thought is that the whole system is corrupt, inevitably so, that it should just be tanked and Americans should take responsibilty for educating our children. Could children be any worse off in our sc It took me four months to read this book.

Could children be any worse off in our schools than they are now? Kozol does point out that there is no constitutional right to education. Maybe the Government IS the problem.

This is not what Kozol would say but his only answer jonzthan to be complete equalization which is fraught with insurmountable problems as he clearly illustrates. Jonaathan agree with Kozol that our schools need more money, even while also agreeing with others jozol money is not the final answer. I am constantly in shock over how little money my own child’s public school has. It DOES send a message to our children when they are made to go to school but so little beauty surrounds them.


Where is the money? I assume it is being misspent iequalities top-heavy district infrastructure. At this point, maybe it is up to each of us as individuals to find a child and help that one child to get a better education. On a personal note, there is an interesting paragraph on the next to last page: Among the city’s magnet and selective schools are some remarkable institutions-such a Walnut hills, a famous hgih school taht my hosts compared to ‘a de facto private school’ within the public system.

On Savage Inequalities: A Conversation with Jonathan Kozol – Educational Leadership

It is not know if a child from Lower Price Hill has ever been admitted there. Few of these children, in any case, wold have the preparation to compete effectively on the exams that they would have to take in order to get in.

He is 82 now. I am not sure where he went to elementary school, but, hopefully, I can find out. He did indeed take the exam to get into Walnut Hills at his mother’s insistence, even missing a beloved baseball game in order to ride the bus to Walnut Hills on a Saturday morning to take the exam. He passed the exam and attended Walnut Hills for 3 years claiming that it changed his life.

At that time, Walnut Hills was basically a classical school where he learned Latin, logic, and rhetoric. Jun 30, Joseph rated it it was amazing Shelves: A heart-wrenching jeremiad about the sorry state of minority schools in this country.

Kozol has stated in interviews that we are worse off both in conditions and segregation than we were before Brown vs. That seems hyperbolic, but after reading his observations here, it’s hard to argue. A blistering attack on the use of local property taxes to fund schools, it’s also a sobering testament to the intractability of problems of class and race in America.

Should be required read A heart-wrenching jeremiad about the sorry state of minority schools in this country. Should be required reading for libertarians and all those who wonder why ghetto kids don’t just pull themselves up their own bootstraps.

It’s a miracle anyone makes it out alive, let alone succeeds. Mar 18, Daniel rated it it was amazing Shelves: Every American should be required to read this book. Jun 12, Alice rated it really liked it Shelves: Kozol, I’m not anti-expose, but I hate being confronted with a tragic and intractable problem to which the author presents no viable solution. Sure, it’s important – and crucial – to acknowledge the inequities, to publicize them. But Kozol’s hortatory exclamations of “yes, let’s equalize the money” do little, if anything at all, toward building the public and political will to make that a realistic goal.

Kozol wants out of the system completely, and understandably so. It’s an unfair system that puts the power in the hands of those who have lived in the lap of luxury, who have no interest in lifting up those who have not. People like me, for instance.