Friday, September 23, 2005

Shame of a nation...

Check Here for an interesting interview of Author Jonathan Kozol, the author a new book Shame of a Nation in which he postulates that America is an Apartheid state where the segregation of schools is so deeply ingrained across the country that it is a part of life.  If any of you have read this book, let me know about it.  Coming from the other side, as a parent of a small child gearing up for school in a couple years, I look at the absolutely miserable state our (St. Louis) city public schools are in compared with the county and I want to weep.  The question to ask me is, 'Are you going to send Cammy to a public school?'  My immediate answer is, pardon the french, 'FUCK NAW!'  Then you follow up, and rightly so, with the question, 'But how will the schools get any better if all the best and brightest opt out of the system and go private?'  To which I heatedly and sadly reply, 'I understand the problem but my Daughter will NOT BE SACRIFICED ON THE ALTAR OF PUBLIC SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT!'  So I short-change my daughter's future for an ideal??  How many other parents with the means face this question and decide how I do?  How many more parents arent even given the choice.
What about the schools?  Education is the biggest ticket there is for working class poor to rise to a higher level of prosperity and wealth.  Ive even heard arguments from some black thinkers that official Segregation was better in a way simply because we had to rely on ourselves and we were able to allocate the resources we had to improve our schools and our neighborhoods and what not.  Im not conversant enough in that idea to even discuss my opinions on it fully but it is interesting none the less.  What do YOU think?  Comment and let me know.  It is such a necessary conversation to have, not only for parents and teachers, but for communities, both white and black and latino.

1 comment:

CousinSarah said...

It is older now, but one of his books helped to give some info in one of my pieces...the book is called Savage Inequalitites. It was in there I read about East St. schools having playgrounds sumberged in feces and the kids couldnt play--this was several years ago, but much of the inequities still exsist. Kozol is good about going for the guts of the truth...he is hard to read but it's even harder to ignore. his book Amazing Grace was pretty soul hitting too.