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Savage Inequalities

In: Social Issues

Submitted By eschock1
Words 2924
Pages 12
Eric Schocklin
James Mac Avery
Unequal America

Savage Inequalities: Children In American Schools

Jonathan Kozol began a substitute teaching career in 1964 in a Boston public school. The school was extremely segregated, and was also very crowded. In fact it was so crowd Kozol’s fourth grade class did not even have a class room to work in. They had to share the auditorium with another fourth grade class, the school choir, and the kids rehearsing for the Christmas play. Needless to say their environment was not one meant for studying. Later that year Kozol moved to a new fourth grade class. The problem with this class was that they haven’t had a steady teacher since they were in kindergarten. Kozol was their thirteenth teacher that year alone. He realized that their knowledge was not where it was supposed to be, reading at a second grade level, and at a first grade level in math. It really became a noticeable issue after their first test. He really wanted to find a way to spark the children’s interest in school, so he decided to read them his favorite poetry. He noticed that the kids were really drawn to a poem by Langston Huges called Dreams Deferred. When the school became aware of what Kozol was teaching the children, he was immediately fired. When asked why, the school said because some of the poems he was reading were on the “do not teach” list because it was too difficult and went against the curriculum. After some time out of work Kozol was asked to work at a suburban school just outside of Boston. The change he experienced was drastic. He now had twenty one students in a spacious class room, and a principal who really loved her job. After teaching in there for several years, Kozol decided to take a leave of absence from teaching to pursue other dreams. On this leave of absence, Kozol did a lot of research on adult illiterates, and trying...

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