A Tale of Two Schools: How Poor Children Are Lost to the World
Jonathan Kozol wrote a book titled Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. A Tale of Two Schools: How Poor Children Are Lost to the World is an excerpt from the book. The excerpt tells the story of two high schools in the Chicago area.
The Chicago area has a variety of high schools. Du Sable High School in Chicago and New Trier High School in a Chicago suburb are at different ends of the spectrum when speaking of the overall quality of education. New Trier has seven gyms and an Olympic pool. Du Sable is crowded into one city block while New Trier takes up as much space as a small college.
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The outcome of the twenty five percent graduation rate is clear to all that live in the neighborhood. In his book, Kozol quotes a reporter asking a sixteen-year-old dropout about how much she would like to make in one year. Her response was, “About two thousand.”
Kozol does an excellent job of getting the reader thinking about the injustices of today’s school system. Questions float about the reader’s head after reading the story of two very different schools. Why should the quality of your education lie on if your neighborhood is poor or rich? Just because your community isn’t as affluent as the surrounding areas is no reason to have a low quality school district.
Kozol has taught classes in poor neighborhoods since 1964. For this reason, I believe that he has an expert’s opinion on this subject. Being a teacher at inner-city schools must be frustrating. One would think that education is key when rising from the slums and into a better way of living. So why would schools like Du Sable have so few college prep students?
This article is meant to move people into helping today’s impoverished schools. Back in my home county there was a recent controversy over a sales tax increase that would go to help run down schools. The proposal was that the sales tax be raised one penny from five percent to six percent, lasting for one decade. This small tax has helped many schools with crumbling walls and ceilings to give confidence to the youth that attend classes there. Although this doesn’t help the college bound students very much, it is a start to helping the students, like the ones at Du Sable, achieve success in a world where a college degree means a great deal to living a good life.