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AALBC.com's Thumper's Corner Discussion Board » Culture, Race & Economy - Archive 2003 » On Savage Inequalities: A Conversation with Johnathan Kozol.. « Previous Next »

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Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

On Savage Inequalities: A Conversation with Johnathan Kozol..
**taken from page**

Have you read "Savage Inequalities"? It's a question that comes up at most educational conferences these days. The best-selling book by Jonathan Kozol has touched many of the nation's educators and riled others, including some notable politicians. In it, he compares rich and poor schools located within a few miles of one another. The stark contrasts of physical surroundings and learning environments—in cities and states from St. Louis to Detroit, New Jersey to Texas—bring home a startling realization of just how different school can be for poor and minority-race children as opposed to middle-class and white children. In this interview with Educational Leadership, Kozol, a public school advocate since his early teaching days, describes the conditions that face our nation's urban students and suggests what we can do to eradicate the inequities.

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Chris Hayden

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Posted on Wednesday, August 20, 2003 - 01:57 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)


I live in St. Louis where right now the educational system is in turmoil--the city, it seems has been selected as a test case and laboratory in privitization. The school board announced that it was running an $80 million dollar deficit and then turned around and hired a firm for $5 million to implement reforms that mostly are confined to closing schools, laying off or firing teachers, teachers aides and administrators, and privitizing what functions they can.

Right now it just looks like a big trough and the pigs are feeding at it--not one word has been said about strategies for improving grades or test scores or education.

Corporate America is looking around and is seeing huge pots full of public money and is reaching out for it--it will go, if the past is any indication, for stock options for CEOs and board members and contracts for businesses.

These groups have been run out of other towns after they have gotten fat--look for them to come to a town near you in the future.

America, which has eaten its young on more than one occasion, is now in the process of eating itself.
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Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 09:11 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Good morning (and thanks for replying), Chris.

Now you know something? As I read through your post, all I could hear in my mind was the bright and shiny catchphrase that American politicians (and America in general) constantly rhetort: "Education is the key".

It's really quite interesting how education is so much the key but the school system of St.Louis is so much in turmoil. It's really quite interesting how education is the key, yet where I live (@ 2 hours outside of Atlanta), you can almost always tell the (public 'and' private)predominantly black schools from the predominantly white schools from looking at how poorly the school is or is not built. "Education is the key", but little black kids in a school about 5 miles (if that) away from me have been sitting in their classrooms either cold or hot because of the crappy thermostats. Education is soooooo important, but guess what? They don't even want to pay the 'educators'! Why if that is not rhetorical ethic at its finest. I guess "Money is the key" wasn't catchy enough. lol

This whole deal with privatization is just absurd, Chris. All the things you've mentioned just really served as another reminder of how much they really do not care about the people whom they claim are the future. Oh but wait; they do. Just as long as they look like them, I guess. All your message, along with the big message (to me) is saying that we (as parents; either biological or universal) can no longer sit up and expect things to be different and then cry about it when they are not if we are not doing our part to work towards govern our 'own'.

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Posted on Sunday, August 24, 2003 - 06:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Full privatization will not work because education has too many variables and stakeholders that fall outside of the realm of the primary motivation of business, to make a profit. I do, however, think there should be some responsible involvement by businesses, provided there are adequate controls in place to ensure the schools do not become helpless pawns of ruthless profiteers.

Industry could be used to both provide some of the needed funding of schools and help provide direction about how best to prepare the young to compete economically. Since virtually all those who attend schools will eventually be in the workplace, direct involvement by businesses can help the schools focus on helping the students develop skills that can more directly prepare them to earn a good living.

Whenever I see and hear Black folks complain about the inequities of school funding/facilities, I can't help wondering just how involved WE are in ensuring that our kids can get a fair break. Sure the resources/dollars are woefully balanced against our kids. But how many of us volunteer to perform duties and provide resources to shore up those deficits?

*How many Black doctors/nurses free-of-charge (FOC) volunteer some of their valuable time/resources to ensure kids are healthy?
*How many Black plumbers FOC volunteer to fix the leaky pipes that drip water into the classrooms?
*How many Black carpenters FOC volunteer to repair creaky steps?
*How many Black professors visit local elementary/high schools to help prepare youth for college?
*How many Black CPA's FOC volunteer to help the schools budget and allocate the limited funds?

And I certainly don't have to mention how woefully uninvolved many of our Black parents are.

Face it! There is far TOO LITTLE involvement of our own people in helping to educate our kids. Yes, it is the responsibility of the government to provide much of the human, physical and financial capital for education. But we can't expect people, who are often biased/racist, to facilitate the best interests of our precious children when we ourselves seem so uninterested in doing so.
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Morris J. Peavey, Jr.

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Posted on Sunday, December 07, 2003 - 11:25 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

hello Star:
What a world we live in where we are common
what a world where we hope and belive anything
From childhood we believe that we will succeed
only if we find the right way to work and serve

we become just another accountant or plumber
we can't know or summon any reality just a dumber
numb mummer pulling us onto the cot while drumer
after drumer get his sumnon to a real bummer

Just another title moving in a world called a hood
a shroud something to cover the head and hide
us from the old realities the old nappy realities
the old drinking gourd and the mighty north star

the old hopes for freedom and a real identy where the blues was free and not a mystery was hidden
from the eyes of pyring children and we knew ourselves if not our place--and home was magic

no matter the struggle and we love and fought but hoped and grew strong but not distanced before the great experiment of integration and the promise of a great society and the equality that

never was and the lies and commercial acts which did not really affirm anything but intellual naivitay and the depth of escapism where dred scott is running from Bakke and death in said

to be in every nook and crany and inequality is nothing when compared to the three prong skism
we call welfare reform Bakke's affirmative college reform and industrial prison reform

where the destination of our children is facing each other as prisoners and prison guards placing a chill on the old beliefs of equality and equal
realities the old Idian said the cup is broken

Don't try to mend it create a new one the old belief and old lies the old wine skins discard them have a vision for ourselves and live so our children can dream and our commumnities prosper

Surely we can love something beyond simple survival or ego or escape or loses or TV shows
Surely we can live again and sing the blues and feel the spirit and move and grow and create

surely we are alive and everything ain't funny
God ain't no joke and he count promised and the
chains ain't far off and the ghost ah ha dragging them along the road as nafta grow to encompass

the cloven which wasn't ours anyway and the real prize is left unguarded--the souls of Black Folk
the souls of the world humanity is in us all
even our words if real can recreate our world

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