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Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools.

Jonathan Kozol's book, Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools, underscores a national obsession: the miseducation of our children. From President Bush's "America 2000" goals to local calls for reform, the need to amend public education grows stronger every day.

Kozol shows real disparties in educational expenditures between suburban and urban schools. And he shows how this matter affects children who go to schools that have few or no books and supplies and are located in rapidly deteriorating neighborhoods.

The inequality is typified when specific inner-city public schools and suburban counterparts are compared and the dynamics of race and class in the delivery of a quality education are analyzed. In fact, he suggests that the system acts as if money is better spent in suburban districts where the opportunities for educational advancement are thought to be more secure. For Kozol, the solution is clear: "Funding and resources should be equal to the needs that children face," he writes. "The children of Detroit have greater needs than the children in Ann Arbor (a suburb). They should get more than children in Ann Arbor."

Kozol misses only a few issues, such as not addressing the need to reverse the idea that poor children, especially African-American and Hispanic children, cannot learn. And he underestimates that poor education affects all poor children, no matter their race.

But he does start with the right question: What can we give our children?
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Author:Branch, Eleanor
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 1992
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