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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Kozol Talking Points (Quotes Format)

After reading this article I am choosing to pick three quotes from this text that literally almost made me cry right on the spot as I read Kozols writings. The first quote I would like to post is as follows, "Dear Mr. Kozol...We do not have the things you have. You have clean things. We do not have. You have a clean bathroom. We do not. You have parks and we do not have parks."...Spoken words of innocence from an eight year old girl from the Bronx this quote I will remember for the rest of my life. This is something that will stay with me and hopefully everybody who reads it forever. I think this hits close so close to home for me because I have a sister around the age of this young author. I know I want the very best for my sister, and I would be upset if she does not get everything she deserves out of life. Thinking of this young child as my sister it makes me sick that she notices and has these worries at such a young age. Taken for granted, not from a selfish way, but from a naive mind state my sister would never even have to think if her bathrooms were clean, or her things in her school were dirty, because frankly that's just the way they are all of the time. Unfortunately Aliyah** does not get this and it makes me sick. This goes along with the whole theme Kozol is basically trying to express throughout this piece, that inequality between segregated schools is very apparent. It is a sad fact that these students of color who come from typically lower incomes families must suffer in such a way that they cannot even go to a school where they feel safe, and and ultimately free to focus on their learning.

Another quote I have picked as a strong piece from this article is, ..." But the fact that fact of economic ups and downs from year to year, or from one decade from the next, could not convincingly explain the permanent short changing, of the cities students ( NY), which took place routinely in good economic times or bad. " Here, Kozol is explaining the constant sugar coating ( as Delpit would call it), that government officials, and those in the high powered privileged class tend to blame the imbalance of the school systems on. They blame it on reasons such as budget crisis, or economic standings, yet why are white children's schools not effected nearly as much? Yes, one can argue that education no matter where the school is located, or its population of its students nationalities, always takes a hard blow from government budget cuts, but it is never as much as the disturbing factors that Kozol points out throughout this article. These children are left with an $8,000 third grade education compared to their white counterparts which is a $13,000 education. They are left with ceilings falling in, in their classrooms when they have asthma ( which is probably caused from the state of their schools), and no doctors to even assist them if their bodies go into attack. One can go on endlessly and this happens no matter if there is a fiscal crisis or not and this is absolutely unnecessary.

The third quote I would like to post is " Very few people who are not involved in inner city schools have any real idea of the extremes to which the mercantile distortion of which the purposes and characters of education have been taken or how unbashedly proponents of these practices are willing to defend them. " This quote is so true!!! I myself grew up in a predominately white schooling system, and like my younger sister who I spoke about earlier in this post, had no idea and still to this day have no idea of the massiveness of this issue. This is severity to the Max. This is something that needs to be stopped, and not forgotten. This is something that everybody no matter who you are or where you are from you should be aware. Children are children, no matter what ethnicity social class, or income level they come from they should all have the same opportunities as Kozol is trying to express in this article. We are living in a time of change, and I know this may sound a little cheesy but I am dead serious, I am so motivated form this article that I am making a copy and sending it around my entire office. This is something that I as the "powerful" class can no longer speak about, but I feel it is my job to help these children ...My new " little sisters and brothers" who deserve the best no matter what!

Background History on Kozol

***If anybody is more interested on Kozol's entire book, I have located it here on amazon. KozolsBook

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