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The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of…
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The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)

by Jonathan Kozol

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This is an AMAZING book regarding education in the US. Although written in 2005, I can't say that I have hope that all of the problems he shines light on has suddenly disappeared.

This book challenges the notion that schools are integrated, even though Brown vs Board of Education was....over 60 years ago. In fact, as Kozol finds, if you go to a school named for one of the civil rights leaders that fought for integration and desegregation (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr)...you'll likely find irony in that most of the students in that school are students of color, and most likely in a school that is on the short end of funding and resources. In effect: our schools are still very much separate, but not anywhere near equal.

My TFA folks--think about the schools where you taught, is it true? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is an AMAZING book regarding education in the US. Although written in 2005, I can't say that I have hope that all of the problems he shines light on has suddenly disappeared.

This book challenges the notion that schools are integrated, even though Brown vs Board of Education was....over 60 years ago. In fact, as Kozol finds, if you go to a school named for one of the civil rights leaders that fought for integration and desegregation (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr)...you'll likely find irony in that most of the students in that school are students of color, and most likely in a school that is on the short end of funding and resources. In effect: our schools are still very much separate, but not anywhere near equal.

My TFA folks--think about the schools where you taught, is it true? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Although it isn’t that recent, this non-fiction book portrays the truth in about our replaced education system; from liberal education to culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction. Through the voices of teachers, children, and principals, this book acknowledges and applauds those teachers that are fighting against these new ways of education, but specifically attacks the practices that are forced upon the urban setting schools. Could be used in a senior or AP senior English class; book club/literature circles connecting to similar topics; text-to-self connections as a student/teacher; writing prompts etc. ( )
  Backus2 | Nov 20, 2013 |
Essential reading. Describes the process of de facto segregation in schooling, based on population, demographics, and funding. This problem goes back decades, and is self-perpetuating, feeding into itself due to the effects of poverty and crime and prejudice and how they all feed into each other.

How could all this happen, even after the de jure ban on segregation passed by Brown v. Board of Education?

-The schools are underfunded due to the system which is dependent upon property taxes, which also are derived from poorer neighborhoods. (See also, [b:Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools|25078|Savage Inequalities Children in America's Schools|Jonathan Kozol|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348278848s/25078.jpg|25833])

-This underfunding leads to a poor quality materials, decaying buildings, lack of cafeteria food or desks, etc.

-Misguided and overly strict education programs, which try and force all types of students into a standardized mold instead of allowing some variation for different career tracks

-A 'corporate' approach to education, making students think like 'managers', 'team-players', and being subservient to a larger authority or group

-A heavy and misguided focus on standardized testing, forcing students to prepare for the test above all. This is also related to the problem of underfunding, as the 'No Child Left Behind' debacle left students with bad scores without funding. Thus the problem is compounded and made worse.

And so forth. All of this leads to the segregation of schools by race and class, and a major cause of socioeconomic stratification in America. In other words, apartheid - not directly by law, but indirectly.

Would integration alone resolve this problem? Hardly. There are so many compounding factors that relying upon only one method would be woefully inadequate. But attacking the funding deficit would be a start. Or removing the over-regimented program of standardized testing. Or...

Not too long ago, I worked in my state senate, and talked to a Republican senator who was an advocate in doubling state funding for preschool programs. He was almost alone in his party in advocating this program, and he'd had almost no success in pushing it through over the past six years - arguably due to a climate of 'fiscal austerity' and unsubtle racist code phrases against any educational reform. When I asked him about why he pushed it and very few others did, he looked at me with a sigh of resignation and said "Preschoolers don't have lobbyists." ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
very interesting but absolutely no discussion about the crime and violence that is one reason that almost ALL parents don't want their kids educated in schools with poor kids.
great reader. ( )
  mahallett | Mar 3, 2013 |
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For Louis Bedrock: a good teacher who has stayed the course
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An analysis of urban education argues that conditions have worsened for inner-city children, looking at how liberal education is being replaced by high-stakes testing procedures, culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction, and harsh discipline.… (more)

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