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The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)

av Jonathan Kozol

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
7221122,988 (4.12)22
"This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable." Visiting nearly 60 public schools, Kozol finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, the segregation of black children is at a level not seen since 1968. Few of these students know any white children. Second, discipline modeled on methods traditionally used in prisons is targeted at black and Hispanic children. And third, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction. Kozol pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, and offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.--From publisher description.… (mer)
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I usually like Kozol's works, but this one I had to drop after a while and scan. Kozol as always brings to life the situation of neglected schools and children in this country. And as he is also good at conveying a sense of outrage at how this nation simply chooses to abandon a large group of their own children. However, this particular book is extremely depressing. As an educator, I just found myself wondering if there was any hope at all. I mean, we can document the atrocity of separating children and then neglecting them. But somehow I just don't see any changes or hope that things will change. And once you reach that conclusion, the book just spirals down into a depressing and grim scenario. It's a heavy read overall, and yet, one that many educators and parents as well as those interested in education should read. I give it only two stars because the book basically left me drained. Kozol simply piles up the facts and evidence along with the children's stories. It is hard not to be outraged, and harder to keep some hope. I wish I could be more optimistic, but I don't think I can be. People have to choose change, and I get the feeling simply burying the problem is easier for them, even as we need to educate all our children if we are to have a good future.

I will likely read Kozol's other books, if he writes something new. After all, I have read most of his other books (which I have enjoyed, even if they left me outraged at times), and I even met him once. But this one was a bit too heavy for me. For teachers, I would recommend Savage Inequalities and his Letters book.
( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
This is an AMAZING book regarding education in the US. Although written in 2005, I can't say that I have hope that all of the problems he shines light on has suddenly disappeared.

This book challenges the notion that schools are integrated, even though Brown vs Board of Education was....over 60 years ago. In fact, as Kozol finds, if you go to a school named for one of the civil rights leaders that fought for integration and desegregation (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr)...you'll likely find irony in that most of the students in that school are students of color, and most likely in a school that is on the short end of funding and resources. In effect: our schools are still very much separate, but not anywhere near equal.

My TFA folks--think about the schools where you taught, is it true? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
This is an AMAZING book regarding education in the US. Although written in 2005, I can't say that I have hope that all of the problems he shines light on has suddenly disappeared.

This book challenges the notion that schools are integrated, even though Brown vs Board of Education was....over 60 years ago. In fact, as Kozol finds, if you go to a school named for one of the civil rights leaders that fought for integration and desegregation (Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr)...you'll likely find irony in that most of the students in that school are students of color, and most likely in a school that is on the short end of funding and resources. In effect: our schools are still very much separate, but not anywhere near equal.

My TFA folks--think about the schools where you taught, is it true? ( )
  csweder | Jul 8, 2014 |
Although it isn’t that recent, this non-fiction book portrays the truth in about our replaced education system; from liberal education to culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction. Through the voices of teachers, children, and principals, this book acknowledges and applauds those teachers that are fighting against these new ways of education, but specifically attacks the practices that are forced upon the urban setting schools. Could be used in a senior or AP senior English class; book club/literature circles connecting to similar topics; text-to-self connections as a student/teacher; writing prompts etc. ( )
  Backus2 | Nov 20, 2013 |
Essential reading. Describes the process of de facto segregation in schooling, based on population, demographics, and funding. This problem goes back decades, and is self-perpetuating, feeding into itself due to the effects of poverty and crime and prejudice and how they all feed into each other.

How could all this happen, even after the de jure ban on segregation passed by Brown v. Board of Education?

-The schools are underfunded due to the system which is dependent upon property taxes, which also are derived from poorer neighborhoods. (See also, [b:Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools|25078|Savage Inequalities Children in America's Schools|Jonathan Kozol|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348278848s/25078.jpg|25833])

-This underfunding leads to a poor quality materials, decaying buildings, lack of cafeteria food or desks, etc.

-Misguided and overly strict education programs, which try and force all types of students into a standardized mold instead of allowing some variation for different career tracks

-A 'corporate' approach to education, making students think like 'managers', 'team-players', and being subservient to a larger authority or group

-A heavy and misguided focus on standardized testing, forcing students to prepare for the test above all. This is also related to the problem of underfunding, as the 'No Child Left Behind' debacle left students with bad scores without funding. Thus the problem is compounded and made worse.

And so forth. All of this leads to the segregation of schools by race and class, and a major cause of socioeconomic stratification in America. In other words, apartheid - not directly by law, but indirectly.

Would integration alone resolve this problem? Hardly. There are so many compounding factors that relying upon only one method would be woefully inadequate. But attacking the funding deficit would be a start. Or removing the over-regimented program of standardized testing. Or...

Not too long ago, I worked in my state senate, and talked to a Republican senator who was an advocate in doubling state funding for preschool programs. He was almost alone in his party in advocating this program, and he'd had almost no success in pushing it through over the past six years - arguably due to a climate of 'fiscal austerity' and unsubtle racist code phrases against any educational reform. When I asked him about why he pushed it and very few others did, he looked at me with a sigh of resignation and said "Preschoolers don't have lobbyists." ( )
  HadriantheBlind | Mar 30, 2013 |
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"This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable." Visiting nearly 60 public schools, Kozol finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, the segregation of black children is at a level not seen since 1968. Few of these students know any white children. Second, discipline modeled on methods traditionally used in prisons is targeted at black and Hispanic children. And third, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction. Kozol pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, and offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.--From publisher description.

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