|Kozol in the center, speaking with SOS attendees.|
Acclaimed author Jonathan Kozol giving the introductory remarks at the SOS conference today. Jonathan Kozol’s race analysis of public education is compelling! First, it’s just great to hear a thoughtful approach on race in education. Too often we simply ignore the elephant in the clearly racially stratified room. But moreover, Kozol’s argument strikes at the heart of a major problem; our schools are more separate and unequal today than at any time since the 1960’s. Kozol recounted visiting school after school; each filled with black and brown students, and abysmally under-resourced. The numbers he gave are still startling. Per pupil spending for an inner city child is around $6,000-$7,000, while the wealthiest school are spending up to $30,000. He lamented how time and again we refuse to discuss persistent racial segregation. Whatever happened to Brown v. Board of Ed? His argument is old school but a picture of public education today can make you feel like we live in an Eyes on the Prize rerun. The re-segregation of public education is happening around the country, in the South in particular. As a society we seem quite willing to quietly surrender the idea of integration. It was just too hard. And Kozol rightly points out, that this administration has been mum on the subject.