Sunday, June 5, 2011

Kozol: "Still Seperate, Still Unequal": America's Educational Apartheid

Quotes: Jonathan Kozol
     When I reflect on Kozol's article I have a better understanding of the achievement gap that exists in today's educational  system. Kozol argues that racial segregation is an evident problem in education. He states that  unequal learning opportunities, major differences in teaching methods, differences in curriculum and finances create  a separation between races which causes the achievement gap to widen which directly effects the intelligibility of people within our society.
 "Even these statistics, as stark as they are, cannot begin to convey how deeply isolated children in the poorest and most segregated sections of these cities have become."
     Kozol explains that even in areas where Caucasian students are the minority, children of color or different raises are not given the same opportunities in their schools like white children are.  When Kozol talks about these areas where whites are a minority and black children and other raises populate the area yet, they are still not being challenged or given the same educational opportunities I can't help but think of Lisa Delpit and her description of the culture of power.
" There is something deeply hypocritical about a society that holds an eight-year-old inner-city child "accountable" for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our own government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years earlier."
     In this quote, Kozal discusses the unequal opportunities between families from urban areas and middle/upper class areas. Families who are financially able, can pay for their children to attend early education programs which gives then an advantage once enrolled in Kindergarten and when standardized tests are presented which in many systems determines whether or not students can or cannot be promoted.  Kozal argues that children in urban neighborhoods come into kindergarten with none or very limited skills where children who were in what he calls, "Baby Ivies Programs" have had two to three years of learning with well trained instructors prior to entering school.  How can we compare the knowledge and skills of students with very different experiences prior to Kindergarten? Children who sat at home essential non stimulated lack prenumeracy skills and are far behind their  peers day one of school.  This raises the question of universal preschool.  If all students are required to take the same standardized tests, should all students be allowed the same opportunities? As an early childhood educator, I see the importance of an early education and I think this would be a great place to spend our tax dollars. The idea of universal preschool will alleviate the financial challenges and the discrepancies in skills among areas and races when it comes to standardized test results. 
 "Whether the issue is equity alone or deepening resegregation or the labyrinthine intertwining of the two, it is well past the time for us to start the work that it will take to change this".
Regardless of why resegregation is dominating certain areas and is evident between races it exists, and this issue needs too be addressed.  Eldridge Cleaver says, "those to blame are everyone from the president on down to individual citizens who allow these actions and polices to pass without challenge". Cleaver also says, "You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem." Kozal opened my eyes to yet another problem in our educational system today.  I think to truly correct this problem many changes must be made.  However, one solution could be this idea of Universal Preschool that is being discussed in the early childhood world currently.  When this topic comes up, I now feel as though I have a better understanding of the big picture and why this idea of universal preschool should become a reality.

1 comment:

  1. Paragraph two.....should be races not raises!! Sorry!