Summary Of Fire In The Ashes

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In preparation for this paper I chose to read Fire in the ashes: twenty five years among the poorest children in America by Jonathan Kozol. In this book Kozol has followed these children and their family’s lives for the past twenty five years. In his writing Kozol portrays a point of view most from his background and standing would not be capable of having. He portrays what life is like for those who have been let down by the system that was meant to protect them. Kozols writing style can be very blunt at times, not for shock value, but for the sake of portraying these children’s realities, and not sugarcoating the inequalities that they are faced with. There was a lot of balance within this book. In the book there are two parts: part one…show more content…
Kozol’s writing style leaves a great deal of interpretation to the reader. With that said I noticed a trend throughout the book. Kozol mentioned at least one or two of the three main factors for each child. The two main factors or policies that shaped these children’s lives were: housing, and education. In regards to education I see that these policies were more selective for these children. That is not how education is supposed to be implemented. I also see education as both a residual as well as institutional for the children in this community. To really understand this we have to define residual welfare. Residual welfare is only put in place purely for the poorer in society, it essentially provides a safety net for those otherwise unable to cope financially. One of the residual programs that the community created was an after school program at St. Ann’s in the Bronx. Kozol quoted St. Ann’s to be “it ran an excellent and innovative afterschool program” (Kozol 2012). St. Ann’s was a safe haven for most of these children. This program was created in part because of all the drug trafficking and violence within the community and was a safe place were kids could go to after school. This program was also created because of the failings of the local schools. The children would go to St. Ann’s to get tutored so they could essentially catch up. The reason why I believe that education is more selective is because if the child wanted to get into a better secondary school rather than the failing local ones they had to be accepted into a prestigious school out of town. This opportunity was not offered to all of the children in this community. Out of all the children in this book there are only two examples of this happening. Another example on how this policy was selective was there were two local public schools within this area PS 30 and PS 65. From what I read your future success really depended
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