Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Shame of the Nation

Earlier today, I pointed out that Jonathan Kozol has a new book out. I've just found a review that pretty well sums up the book, and, I think, the problem with American education:

Whereas affluent parents are given to putting their children into preschools at the age of two or three, most children in poor urban neighborhoods have no such experience; the principal of one of the poor schools on which Kozol focuses estimates that fewer than five percent of its students has had the two years of pre-kindergarten instruction that are the norm among the well-to-do. The inequalities continue: Throughout a poor child's school career, fewer amenities are available, whether desks or books or heaters or computers. And, Kozol maintains, things are getting worse, yielding a de facto system of educational apartheid across the country,...

We hear relentlessly from the Bush Administration about an "achievement gap." And it is a reality. But we never hear about what causes it: I call it "the funding gap." Kozol documents it. It, too, is a reality.


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