Summary Of Savage Inequalities

Powerful Essays
Savage Inequalities Book Review Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol is an in-depth analysis of America’s public school system and the problems that encompass it. Kozol’s book examines some of the poorest public schools in the United States and attempts to explain how the school or school district plummeted so far into the depths of poverty. Kozol believes that the biggest problem public school faces is segregation, which is still very real in many parts of the United States. Racism and a lackadaisical attitude toward the education of minority groups in America are the roots of the problems that public schools face. In his book, Jonathan Kozol visits a multitude of schools across the country, from poverty-stricken schools to affluent schools.…show more content…
Louis that Kozol visits is East St. Louis Senior High School. Not quite two years prior to Kozol’s visit, the school experienced an evacuation due to a sewage flood in the kitchen, but the school was re-opened the following morning for classes. It was stated that the flood was caused by “fumes and backed-up toilets” (Kozol 23). Several days later, the same flood occurred again, this time extending to the parking lot and the playing fields. Later during the same week, the school district called for the layoff of “280 teachers, 166 cooks and cafeteria workers, 25 teacher aids, 16 custodians and 18 painters electricians, engineers and plumbers” (2). This cut caused the classroom size to reach at least 30-35 students for each teacher in the building. The teachers began to have paychecks arrive up to two weeks late and one coach stated that the paychecks are sometimes missing altogether. Meanwhile, the teachers that did not get laid off were short on supplies, often running out of essential teaching tools such as books, chalk, and even paper. Kozol discusses the premise of a class called “Introductory Home Ec.” (27), and the teacher explains that the class trains students for the work force. When asked for what type of jobs this class trains, the teacher replies, “fast food places- Burger King, McDonald’s” (27). The conditions of the building itself are also described by the teachers as treacherous. One teacher states that the heating system has…show more content…
These schools are provided with school books, proper equipment, and sanitary conditions. The children of East St. Louis Senior High School, as well as other high schools in East St. Louis, are well aware of the existence of these schools and are obviously upset by the deplorable conditions of their own school. The next school that Kozol visits is Clark Junior High School. Kozol explains that the conditions of these schools are managed by state funding, and the governor of Missouri does not want to keep “dumping money” into the school district and believes that he cannot help a school district that will not help themselves. The children of these schools, however, realize that the money that funds their schools and the money that funds other schools in the state is very different. The taxes that come from East St. Louis are not enough to sustain the amount of schools that are in the district, and therefore account for the conditions of the schools. However, just across the bridge live more affluent and educated adults who pay more into taxes to assure that their children have a safe, healthy, and stimulating environment in which to attend school each day. The children comment on how unfair this system has become for the children of East St. Louis. One girl states that the government of the state
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