Air Force Leadership Studies I
Air Force Leadership Studies I AIRR 3010
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Date Created: 10/29/15
Name Student Fahad Alnahedh 0933923 TA Subject Angela Bruns SOC 292 Kozol s Re ection Paper Assignment In his book Savage Inequalities Ionathan Kozol plays the role of an awfully detailed analyst that brings to life the various shocking inequalities and horrific conditions many children in the American public society live in when receiving their education Reading this special book has not only educated me but as well as many others to the different educational atmospheres that American students nowadays live in Kozol provided analytical evidence ofvarious districts across the United States showing the conditions of students from California to New York After reading the book one might ask what can I grasp and interpret from this book Well I myself am trying to and answer one particular question Who is getting ahead in the American public education After reading this book I can safely say that in today s world the whites seem to be the majority of the students who are getting ahead in the United States public school system There are many reasons for why one might claim why whites seem to be the majority but in this essay I will focus on two main reasons The first reason is the differences in funding among schools districts it is a major driver in the issue Secondly different racial preferences and racist acts seem to be another reason that is fueling segregation and stilling the cycle Social problems in education should not be easily thought ofas simple math equations where an action equals a reaction One should keep in mind that many of the previous factors mentioned are interrelated and are concurrently happening one fueling and driving the other to happen Throughout the book Kozol studied the various problematic conditions of many students across various districts What he found out was that many of these problems observed in different districts were linked and were due to unequal school funding Now for those who do not know the way schools are funded one of the ways schools are funded is by residential property taxes that the residents of the districts pay regularly Wollschleger 1011 In the book Kozol talks about an incident that happened in San Antonio Texas specifically in a district called Edgewood Edgewood s residents very poor and 96 percent nonwhite pay one of the highest taX rates in the area raising 37 for each pupil and ending up with a total of231 per pupil compared to a 543 per pupil and a raise of 412 raise in a richer section of the city called Alamo Heights Kozol 214 This can be seen as a clear indicator of disparities in funding because the poor districts are not receiving the same amount money as the richer districts Why Its simple the property of the poorer districts are no were worth as much as the richer districts leading to less money in return when the property taxes are due This situation can seem to be double edged because if they ask more money to be funded in the school system they will inevitably end up increasing the property taxes on themselves Which might be the case in some rich suburbs where many rich white parents are willing to increase their property taxes to so that their children can get better educational funding Wollschleger 1011 Another incident mentioned in the book was in one of the districts in Chicago In a Chicago classroom quotreceived approximately 90000 less each year than would have been spent on them if they were pupils of a school such as New Trier High Kozol 54 One should take into consideration these statistics and using them as indicators and evidences that many suburban and white districts are better funded than urban and nonwhite districts because later on we will see that disparities in funding can be combined with other factors to create a cycle that drives the inequality in education Moreover another reason why we might claim that the whites are surpassing nonwhite students academically in public education can be due to the racial preferences of the whites and different racist acts implied upon nonwhite students studying in majorly white schools If at a given district the population of whites and blacks reached an equal percentage of 5050 75 of the whites would not move in 65 would be uncomfortable 53 would leave Wollshleger 111 The white ight or in another words the movement of the white population out ofa district that is equally divided re ects their racial preferences Given the previous statistic we can safely state that many of the whites are uncomfortable and are against an evenly divided district with the blacks This preference creates a segregation barrier that can be viewed as a factor that furthermore drives the inequalities in education because this preference played a vital role in allowing certain unequal acts in the past such as redlining Redlining is the practice in which a certain groups such as banks denying or increasing the cost of mortgages for example to residents in certain and often racially concentrated and determined district Wollshleger 111 What this basically does is that it indirectly concentrates certain racial groups in one specific segment ofa district in other words it is redlining is causing segregation This combined with the unequal funding can really cause devastating effects in education by making the suburban white districts richer and the black concentrated urban districts poorer and thus indirectly creating a gap in the academic achievement racially Kozol also spoke about racial preferences in his book in several situations but it was about the black preferences which were very different than the white preferences In East St Louis Luther who is a black kid was asked if racial segregation was no longer ofimportance and he answered by saying that quotGoing to a school with all the races is more important than a modern school Kozol 31 Moreover racism was evident in many situations in Kozol s book In the same area of East St Louis a 14yearold girl called Shalika said quotI have had to deal with this all of my life I started school in Fairview Heights My mother pushes me and she had wanted me to get a chance at better education Only one other student in my class was black I was in the fifth grade and at that age you don t understand the ugliness in people s hearts They wouldn t play with me I couldn t understand it During recess I would stand there beside the fence Then one day I got a note 39Go back to Africa Kozol 35 Or sometimes black students who strive to be the good academically can be called quotoreosquot or black outside and white academically smart inside Wollschleger 1119 These racist acts put the nonwhite students in so much psychological trauma that inevitably affects their academic performance causing them to regret the classrooms and schools as a whole Now when unequal funding racial preferences and racism combine a devastating interrelated and concurrent cycle appears that harnesses the inequalities in education at many public schools in America Kozol mentions the aftermath of this cycle in yet another incident that quotA history teacher at the Martin Luther King School has 110 students in four classes but only 26 books Some of the books are missing the first hundred pages Each year Solomon observes of East St Louis High 39there s one more toilet that doesn t ush one more drinking fountain that doesn t work one more classroom without texts Certain classrooms are so cold in winter that the students have to wear their coats to class while children in other classrooms swelter in a suffocating heat that cannot be turned down Kozol 37 These are some of the awful situations some students are livingin in some districts in the US if this is not an indicator of unequal education then what is Many sociologists have proposed various solutions to the crisis in public schooling that the United States is suffering from One approach that many are seeking upon modifying and replicating is the charter school system a school system that doesn t have a major racial inequality within A charter school is a public school that its funded is dictated by the state A charter school is free of the rules set by the school district within with the catch that they have to be performing really well It has been proposed that we should focus on the really good charter schools and use them as bookmark or an idol and replicate their system among different less performing charter schools and not just say that charter schools are bad on average so that we achieve a better outcome Allison Demera 121 My argument against that proposition is that it isn t as easy as stated we cant just replicate a certain charter school system on another charter school without knowing what that charter school student s are individually suffering from We should look at individual districts like human beings that have genetics These genetics are the educational problems that are affecting students who are lacking academically We should modify the proposition and say that we can use the ideal charter school system as a checklist applying those changes that might help the other school and leaving out others that don t apply For example some schools might have better athletes or students who excel in arts and music Maybe have the teachers and counselors interact with each other to harness that skill I personally believe it should be an obligation from the teachers to see what individual skills certain students have and ourish it One might also see the inequalities in education in another light Maybe it is not that they are academically behind maybe only focusing on math and composition biases the standardized tests These claims should be looked at more carefully and studied ifwe want to really get the best out of every kid and giving them all equal chances One way we can change this is by expanding the subjects or segments of our standardized tests Some students might be really good in sports and might have what it takes to be potential professional athletes in the future why not find a way to test and harness that Other students might be really good in music and arts that might have what it takes to be potential future artists and musicians why not ourish those skills in them By having biased standardized tests we are yet again fueling the cycle of educational inequalities within various public school districts in America All in all I believe that this book and this course as a whole educated me in various ways towards the many unusual ways our educational system is suffering from Having read Kozol s book and studied Mr Wollshleger s course I can safely say that it wasn t their goal to make us hate the public school systems it was to meant to simply enlighten us to know the truth so that we make a difference to create it Throughout the years education was seen as a powerful weapon even in battlefields All it takes is the voice ofa mere individual the voice that would create a spark to trigger a fire