Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools

by Jonathan Kozol
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Overview

Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools by Jonathan Kozol

For two years, beginning in 1988, Jonathan Kozol visited schools in neighborhoods across the country, from Illinois to Washington D.C., and from New York to San Antonio. He spoke with teachers, principals, superintendents, and, most important, children. What he found was devastating. Not only were schools for rich and poor blatantly unequal, the gulf between the two extremes was widening—and it has widened since.  The urban schools he visited were overcrowded and understaffed, and lacked the basic elements of learning—including books and, all too often, classrooms for the students. 
   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 nation’s schools.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780770435684
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 07/24/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 102,623
Product dimensions: 5.34(w) x 7.84(h) x 0.71(d)

About the Author

Jonathan Kozol is the author of Death at an Early Age (for which he received the National Book Award), Savage InequalitiesAmazing Grace, and other award-winning books about young children and their public schools. He travels and lectures about educational inequality and racial injustice.

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Savage Inequalities 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well written, but so very wrong. Not only have I worked as a teacher and an administrator in Camden, I am a minority who lives in Camden. Increased funding will never help as things are now. The monies reach the children.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bookreader9899 More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written book, some truths are are very hard for some people to accept. In not one place did I read where any group of people were being blamed. The way public schools are funded is not fair and never has been fair. The one thing I notice about some comments that are made is that if the children learned how to behave if the parents were more involved in school. But I have to ask what does a child's behavior have to do with being placed in a class with 40 other students or not having textbooks. Inner city schools are older and the districts larger then their counter parts in the suburbs. So it's just common sense that most of the money is going to go to the old buildings that are falling apart. With student enrollment falling off due to magnet schools and birth rates falling off yes funding and the cost of running the schools has gone up. One day people are going to wake up, the light is going to go off - People are going to understand we have to make the investment in our children. We allowed other countries to catch up and pass us, we had a great head start when more then half of the world's countries were rebuilding after WWII. If we don't wake up as a country we will never make that ground up to be able to compete on the global market or to keep making advances in science and medicine. No one should have to work three jobs to make ends meet and things are getting bad when college graduates can't get jobs. Things for the average American worker are getting worst not better, we are working harder and longer for less. It's not because people are lazy people the price for everything is going up. No one is silly enough to think their job is safe anymore and it's really bad when fast food places are not hiring and a lot of their staff is over the age of 25! Just because a group of people aren't doing well doesn't mean they blame you or you should get defensive. It doesn't change the fact that life isn't fair at times, or bad things happen to good people. I read this book over ten years ago and it's still a very good read.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Savage Inequalities is a mere glimpse of the terror that forced upon the children of the most poverty-struck cities in America. Kozol acknowledges the factors of racial and social inequality that plays against the yongest members of our society when they look for an education. Why is it that white children are utilizing the most high-tech gadgets in an air-conditioned in comparison to black children who are sweating in a crowded room, fighting over the only textbook in the class. This book is one of the most eye-opening written works that I have ever read. It is absolutely mesmorizing and captivating. And my friend Katy Redmond (The Class Diabetic) liked it too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
John Kozol¿s book Savage Inequalities describes the educational problems of the of minorities in the United States, including those in New York City and East St. Louis. This book portrays how children in schools are discriminated against and not believed in by their teachers. The author emphasized the fact that schools are still segregated and education is not taken seriously in some of the large cities of the United States. Kozol passionately states his opinions and theses on each subject, keeping the reader interested, even though he is slightly repetitive. Kozol¿s main point is that Americans are still living in a ¿separate but unequal¿ society, which could make the reader doubt and get angry at U.S. education systems. Kozol explains his theses very early in the book, and relates back to them several times in order to get through to the reader. There are also parts of the book that make the reader very angry or sad by saying that the United States is worse off than it was several years ago. Overall, this book is well organized and can make the reader ashamed of this part of American society. It opens up the readers¿ eyes to what is really going on in schools in these deprived cities, with the growing political problems. This book is mainly geared for teachers or parents, but is a good read for anyone who wants to learn or fight against about the injustices of unequal education.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book does not deserve a full star but unfortunately that is the lowest rating one can give. The author does not compare like schools and he glosses over issues that prove his assertions false. He is condescending in his belief that minority parents lack the skills and abilities to advocate and fight for their children in the issue of choice. Kozol only focuses on the funding that the schools receive. He does not look at how the individual school districts disperse those funds to the individual schools. Unfortunately, the time spent reading this biased book was wasted.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just imagine your school. Now picture the cafeteria occasionally flooded with sewage, the ceiling falling down in places, almost 50% of the children getting held back each year, having either destroyed textbooks or none at all, and your teachers caring less whether you do well in school. These are only a few of the harsh realities that Jonathan Kozol portrays in his Savage Inequalities, a novel that describes selective urban schools in need of help. Children that live in these districts often face discrimination or poverty and unfortunately these children do not have a similar school experience as a child from a suburban school. Throughout his novel, Kozol vividly describes the problems with inner-city schools in East St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., New Jersey, and San Antonio, which compel the reader to feel the need to help. Kozol, as a child who faced many of the problems he describes throughout his novel, sends a cry for help from those in need. Jonathan Kozol was a teacher who taught in poor schools who was suddenly transferred to suburban schools. He was shocked by the differences between the wealthy and poor schools. This led him to want to help change these differences as much as he could so he traveled to thirty different cities, conducted research, and wrote this book to help. Reading this non-fiction novel by Kozol was extremely interesting because although he mostly discusses his opinions, he throws in facts and statistics in almost every paragraph to prove his point. Also, occasionally Kozol¿s writing style may seem repetitive, but he is only trying to prove his point by showing that similar problems can occur in different areas throughout the United States. Throughout his novel, Kozol is trying to convey the theme to his readers to treat everyone equally despite racial and financial differences. In every chapter, Kozol vividly depicts the problems with urban schools in a particular setting such as East St. Louis, Chicago, New York, Washington D.C., New Jersey, or San Antonio. He continues to discuss children that are either poor, or of African American or Hispanic descent to show the reader what a typical day of school looks like for these children. Kozol gets the readers attention with his fascinating statistics such as ¿in Jersey City, 45% of 3rd grade children fail their basic-skills exam, compared to only 10% in Princeton¿ (Kozol, 158). Facts like these keep the reader interested in what Kozol has to say. For me personally, these facts were often very descriptive and hard to imagine such as ¿a quarter of the ceiling has been patched and covered with a plastic garbage bag¿ (Kozol, 89). After giving the reader such amazing descriptions of the underprivileged schools, he goes on to compare these schools to sub-urban schools. These suburban schools, such as Rye, NY, have many more privileges and rights than the inner-city schools. In chapter 3, Kozol describes in depth public schools of New York City and how there¿s a high percentage of Black and Hispanic children in the ¿special education¿ classes, while those few Caucasians and Asians in the school are in the honors classes. According to Kozol, this is clearly prejudiced and although segregation is illegal today, he believes there¿s no way that there¿s this much of a difference between the honors and regular classes and the races of the children in these classes. Kozol only wants ¿all children to be allowed a stake in the enormous richness of America¿ (Kozol, 233). He doesn¿t want any child to be unable to grow up as an adult who makes a lot of money. In other words, children that grow up in poor families do not have to be poor forever, and the way to stop this is to give poor children an adequate education. Kozol argues, ¿Whether they were born to poor white Appalachians or to wealthy Texans, to poor black people in the Bronx or to rich people in Manhasset or Winnetka, they are all quite wonderful and innocent when they are small¿ (Kozol, 233
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a very good book, recommended for everyone who is involving in education system. It'll be also great for parents of every race to see how unfortunate and unfair lives can be. The author's observation may be decades ago and seems outdated, but the fact is that those unbelievably poor conditions non-white children have been facing do not really change. It is a very ugly truth that people should accept and try to make some changes.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent multicultural source that I read as part of a teacher educational program. It is not biased as others have stated, but rather it is revealing and poignant. It should be read by everyone, not just educators, to understand the reality of America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for an education class and it was excellent. In many of his books including this one, Kozol explains why the old 'this is America so pick yourself up by the bootstraps and work your way out of poverty' is our way of blaming the victim or rationalizing the failures of both the individual and society.Yes, there are some extreme examples, but they are nonetheless real.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was assigned this book in a class 2 years ago and have used it for 3 other classes since. NH has similar problems as inner city/suburban areas that he talks about, and this prompted me to write to our state government and try and get some changes enacted. Such a moving book - you laugh, you cry, you gett utterly p***ed off, and your life is changed forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Es sumamente increible percibir el hecho que la educacion publica en Estados Unidos sea tan desigual y perversa a pesar que la garantia al derecho de la educacion no sea un privilegio sino un derecho especialmente a los mas pobres de nuestra "avanzada" nacion.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a product of a system that has treated students unfairly. I have reached a point in my life where now it is time to give to those students that are still living this type of life. I have read this book 2 or 3 times and have still found more and more information that has pushed me to succeed in making my goals real. I want to help those that are still apart of a system that's unfairly managed. If you haven't read this book READ IT. SAVAGE TRUTH. PEACE
Guest More than 1 year ago
The reality of Kozol's book, Savage Inequalities, may be scary for some to contemplate. This book is wonderful in that it makes people, from all socio-economic backgrounds, recognize that we compromise our children's education each day. Then we ask why 'those people' are like that. Well, I think this book makes everyone stop and realize the answer to that question. This book should be a requirement for graduating high school, ANYWHERE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Educated in a prosperous suburb in the 1980s and early 1990s and currently student teaching in an inner-city school district, I have seen the reality of Jonathan Kozol's research, although not to the degree that Kozol reports. Should the wealthiest nation in the world have schools with inadequate numbers of out-of-date textbooks, crumbling chalkboards, and lavatories without toilet paper? Are these savage inequalities or utterly barbaric ones? Congratulations to Jonathan Kozol, a modern-day muckraker in the great traditions of those such as Ida Tarbell and Upton Sinclair, for opening the eyes of the American public to the inequalities inherent in education. This text is a must-read for ANYONE connected with education-parents, teachers, and administrators of all racial and socioeconomic backgrounds.