In students into the roles that they will

In Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol describes the surroundings of numerous public schools in America.

Between the years of 1988 and1990, he visited schools in roughly 30 different neighborhoods and found that there was a wide gap in the circumstances between the poorest inner-city school communities and schools in the wealthier suburban communities. How are there such huge differences within public school systems of a country that claims to provide equal opportunity for all? It becomes evident to John that many underprivileged children begin their young lives with an education that is far poorer, then to those children who grow up in communities that are wealthier. They are not given an equal chance from the beginning. Although all children are required to attend school until age 16, there are major differences in schools in which they appear to be drawn along lines of race as well as social class. Kozol studies how the unequal financial support of schools correlates to social class divisions. He also studies institutional and environmental racism, isolation, alienation of students, staff that are in poor schools, physical rotting away of buildings, and even the health conditions of the students.Johnathan Kozol's main point of this book is to observe urban school districts, that are strictly segregated by race and class. The nonwhites are very poor, which contrasts penetratingly with the wealthy tremendously white suburban schools, right next to them none the less.

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He notes that even while schools have a "diverse" student population, separation occurs inside the school through special education programs or career tracking.The main problems that affect these schools are a capitalist system that require the reproduction of the divisions of labor (Bowles). Schools provide the training to meet this requirement through the tracking of students into the roles that they will fulfill in our economic system. The ruling class attempts to make sure that there are an appropriate number of people to fit these jobs. Capitalists (i.e., business owners) not only want an obedient workforce, but a surplus of workers at each level so that they can pay the lowest wage possible (Spring, p.

24). They will seek out and encourage programs that train people for such jobs. Who should be assigned each role? Kozol does point out that wealthy white people want to make sure their children get the "good" jobs and live in the "good" (less polluted) areas. They benefit from the divisions of labor and will use their influence to maintain government policies that ensure their positions.

When Kozol discussed funding inequities among school districts with a group of affluent students in Rye, New York, one student exhibited these beliefs when she said she had no reason to care about fixing the problems of school funding because she failed to see how it could benefit her (p. 126). She indeed recognized how the class divisions were to her advantage. Why would she want to change that?It is this unequal funding of public schools that is Kozol's main emphasis in Savage Inequalities. Funding based upon property taxes and property values discriminates against lower social classes, and this unequal funding leads to inferior schools and creates a wide disparity between schools in the poorest and wealthiest communities.

Isolation of students, staff, and the community is a direct result of the inequities in funding. People who have poor schooling are funneled into jobs which are poorly paid and so the people not only have less knowledge, but have less money and influence with which to change the system. Because they don't know how, nor have the tools necessary to break the cycle of poverty, they continue to reproduce the class divisions and schooling that supports it. This in turn allows their children.

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