Culture: Yesterday I talked about this voluntary busing idea in the UK, now in the America Jonathan Kozol wants to stop "School Segregation."
|Kozol's message, apparently, has a following. At Politics & Prose, he drew a crowd of hundreds last month for a promotional event just before the book's publication. He made an unusual encore visit yesterday at the store's invitation, drawing another standing-room audience. C-SPAN cameras were on hand to transmit the talk on cable television.
"Sorry to be so grim tonight," Kozol said as he launched into a plea for "elemental racial justice." He added: "In the inner-city schools I visit, I never see white children. Segregation has returned with a vengeance."
In the Washington area, many public schools serve populations that are mostly white or mostly black, a split typical of what Kozol describes in his book through observations of 60 schools in 11 states. In Prince George's County, for example, 77 percent of students are black, 12 percent are Latino and 7 percent are non-Hispanic white. In many of the county's schools, the racial and ethnic gaps are far wider. That is also true in the District's public schools.
Kozol notes that some of the most segregated schools in the country are named for civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Thurgood Marshall, 51 years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown that separate educational facilities are "inherently unequal."
Few educators would dispute Kozol's central contention: that many mostly black schools are in worse shape, physically and academically, than their counterparts in mostly white neighborhoods.
"The main reason I wrote this book," Kozol said in an interview yesterday, "is to inspire Americans to look very hard at the virtually complete apartheid in increasing numbers of our school districts -- including in Prince George's County -- and to address it courageously. They should ask themselves honestly: Is this the kind of country they want to live in?"
To those who point out that segregation today is not imposed by law, Kozol replied: "Whether the causes of school segregation are residential, social factors, economic factors, whatever they may be, segregated schooling is the oldest failed experiment in American social history. It didn't work in the past century. It's not going to work in the century ahead."
Kozol's solution -- not likely, he conceded, to be enacted soon -- is to repeal No Child Left Behind, establish universal public preschool for needy children, drastically reduce class sizes in schools that serve the poorest children (to 18 or fewer students per teacher) and give white suburban schools financial incentives for a new racial integration initiative with massive, but voluntary, systems of crosstown transportation.
Kozol said he wanted to spark an urban-school uprising. "We need a movement by people who actually get chalk dust on their hands every day because they spend their lives with children," he said.|
This is not a racial problem as it was before Brown vs Board of Education, this is a social/economic problem that has led to segregated schools. People by nature want to be in areas that will feel comfortable to them. That is based on type of ethnic group,color, economic/societal standing or a combination. Kozol solutions is nothing more than obnoxious social engineering that would be resisted by parents. Their primary concern is their children get the best education possible. They are not going to send their child to a bad school so we can get that happy multicult world he envisions.