Jennie Krebs Shame of the Nation Book Review 7/26/2015 The Shame of the Nation by Jonathan Kozol The Shame of the Nation written by Jonathan Kozol outlines, defines, and provides examples of the American school system still being segregated. Jonathan Kozol introduces this book by giving the reader background information about his direct experience with the school system. He states he became a fourth grade teacher in 1964, yet never intended to be a teacher. His story of how he changed his academic plans because of 3 civil rights activists being killed by law enforcement and the KKK. Kozol felt his studies abroad had left him sheltered somewhat as to what is really happening in America. He became a reading teacher to black children. Although the author is white, and had never been in a black neighborhood before, his love for the children and the fact that they were actually interested and trying hard to learn made him decide that he could be a real teacher. This is where the story really begins, Kozol’s years as a teacher seeing first-hand the struggle of black children in the school system. Kozol began visiting many schools and writing books. In order to properly prepare for writing this book he visited almost 60 public schools. Chapter 1: Dishonoring the Dead The chapter begins with a discussion between Kozol and “Pineapple”, a girl that he met 6 years earlier when he visited her kindergarten class. The history of Pineapple’s school experience is detailed and the fact that it seemed natural to her that all of her classmates were minorities. The statement “the way things are” seemed to make this a normalcy. Then the chapter goes in depth with information and statistics that prove that segregation amongst inner-city schools are worse today than they were in the late 60’s after the desegregation movement. It states that in spite of the enforcement of desegregation being minimal, that is not the reason for today’s desegregation. The standard-based reform and school choice ignores the issue of racial segregation. Basically this chapter sums it up that out of all of the civil rights activism and people fighting for equality and racial desegregation in the 60’s and winning is irony when today there is more segregation in the system than in the 60’s. To add more irony to the situation, the schools named for the civil rights activists who fought for
Jennie Krebs Shame of the Nation Book Review 7/26/2015 desegregation are the main schools that are segregated! The book notates that schools named after leaders in the integration struggle such as Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Thurgood Marshall, etc. are the most segregated. The schools are segregated by choice and give the explanation that because these schools serve the urban areas that predominantly are occupied by poor minorities. Also, the tactics used in these schools differ dramatically from the teaching practices of “white schools”. Inner city children are taught to chant things like “yes, I can” and “if it’s to be, it’s up to me” to start the day.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 11 pages?
- Spring '08