In the essay “Still Separate, Still Unequal,” the author Jonathan Kozol criticizes the educational system practiced in the urban areas of the United States and where he writes about his beliefs that minorities are being placed in poor conditions while the Caucasian majority is obtaining funding for the schools that the majority of them attend. He supports his personal viewpoints, with statistics which he himself gathered from different schools around the U.S.
Kozol starts out his essay with logic to prove that the school systems of today are separate and unequal by using demographics from public schools from the larger cities in the country; for example, “In Chicago, by the academic year 2002-2003, 87% of public school enrollment was black or Hispanic; less than 10% of children in the schools were white.
In Washington D.C., 94 % of children were black or Hispanic; less than 5% were white (220).” He emphasizes on these statistics to prove his point that schools are still segregated. Later in the essay the author then mentions in his essay that the word “diversity”, “cease to have real meaning; or, rather, they mean the opposite of what they say(223).”
Kozol mentions that when he “visited in the fall of 2004 in Kansas City, Missouri, for example, a document distributed to visitors reports that the school’s curriculum ‘addresses the needs of children from diverse backgrounds.’” He goes on explaining that when he went “from class to class, [he] did not encounter any children who were white or Asian—or Hispanic (223).”
He then makes the reader connect emotionally by writing comments that high school students and third graders from segregated neighborhoods and public schools made about their different situations in their school. For example, he quotes a letter that an eight-year-old girl wrote to him saying, “We do not have the things you have. You have Clean things. We do not have. You have a clean bathroom. We do not have that. You have Parks and we do not have Parks.
You have all the thing and we do not have all the thing. Can you help us (224)?” Kozol then presents facts about how physicians were removed from elementary schools. The author continues presenting conversations with people that he met. Jonathan Kozol’s essay shows how the school system today is in fact still divided and unequal according to somebody’s skin color or race even though the course of ‘Brown vs. Board of Education’ allegedly resolved this.
Courtney from Study Moose
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