Savage Inequalities Book Review

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Jonathan Kozol explains how the education system fails to provide equal education to children who attend inner city schools in his book Savage Inequalities. For two years (1988-1990) Kozol traveled to many inner city schools, including East St. Louis, Chicago, Camden, NJ, New York City, San Antonio, and Washington D.C. to observe the problems the children are facing and attempts to let their voices be heard. Kozol describes the city conditions and the problems in schools. His findings about inner city schools are devastating. He argues that children who are living in these cities need the most help, racism is the cause of the in equality in schools, and more funding could be extremely beneficial to the students, schools, and communities but the media and politicians will not allow it. His discoveries are shocking but true. The first city Kozol tells the reader about is East St. Louis. The inner city is filthy and lies on a flood plain. Major companies built factories here and drain their waste into the city causing the children who live here to be at risk for many illnesses. The drainage problem is so bad the toxins and sewage washes into the schools. The students here lack certain amenities that “white schools” have. They are in need to books, chalk, and even hand soap and toilet paper. When Kozol travels to North Lawndale and sits in on a kindergarten class, the statistics are sad. Of the 23 students in the class, only 14 will make it to their junior year of high school; only 4 of the will attend college; and only one may graduate. Sadly, “three of the 12 boys in the kindergarten will already have spent time in prison”. Inner City New York living conditions are disgusting. The shocking thing about New York is the difference in the money spent in the inner city and the suburbs- more than double is spent in the suburbs. The student drop out rate is unaccounted for

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