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MovingThe Shame of the Nation: A Summary, and Analysis

November 10, 2018by was73100

Jonathan Kosol’s interest for teaching profession and activism was triggered after the killing of three young civil rights activists in Mississippi in June of 1964 while he was working as a grade four public school intern teacher in Boston, Massachusetts. His experience as a teacher in one of Boston’s urban segregated schools gave him an insight to the plight of children of minorities, which motivated him to address the issue of segregation, and inequities that exist in public schools that has continued to plague the nation till the present day.

School Segregation

According to him, he visited approximately 60 schools in 30 districts in 11 different states. Most of his visits were in the South Bronx of New York City, Los Angeles – California, Chicago, Detroit – Michigan, Ohio, Seattle – Washington, Boston – Massachusetts and Milwaukee. In the schools he visited, he observes that the conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. He notes that the number of white students in urban public schools have increasingly declined with the shifting pattern of white middle class families from urban to suburban communities since the 1960’s (white flight). He talks of the irony of school population in relation to the leaders of integration, which the schools bear their names, like Thurgood Marshal Elementary School in Seattle Washington with 95% minority students. According to him, the overwhelming majority of students in urban public schools in the United States are students of color. In Detroit for example, 95% of students in public school are either black or Hispanic. In Chicago, the figure is 87%, Washington is 94% while New York is 75%. He pointed out the cynicism in the “The small school initiative” like the Center School in Seattle that was perceived as a “tie-breaker” of school segregation that “attracted 83% white and 6% black enrollment when it opened in 2001, in a city where whites are only 40% of high school students district-wide”. (p 277). In comparing the Center School with African/American Academy in another section of the city where black students make up 93% and whites make up 3% of the enrolment, the location of the center school and its curriculum offers many opportunities to students. “The Center school which is sited in a cultural complex known as the Seattle Center, offers an impressive academic program to prepare its graduates for college while also provides a wide array of opportunities for…


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Source by Catherine Ohanele

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