Kozol Response

Raquel Sweeney
Writing 2

Kozol Response

In Kozol’s piece about the apartheid in the American education system he describes the unfair differences in education between the typical elite white class and the the more impoverished inner city schools. Though, we like to make the claim that we have succeeded racial discrimination we still live in a deeply segregated world. We live in a world where only a small percent of  elite schools are truly racially diverse. We live under the identity of equality for every and yet the educational system still confines those in the lower class to have a minimal opportunity to succeed compared to wealthier white citizens. It is observable all over California in the lack of resources for African American and Hispanic students in poorer areas. Even when these underrepresented minorities are integrated into suburban schools there is still a lack of resources and opportunity. In my own experience I lived in a mostly white suburban neighborhood and went to a predominately wealthy high school. There was a huge gap between the rich and the poorer students that was obvious. A student who has to ride the city bus every day could very likely be sitting next to a student who drives a Mercedes Benz and the very newest edition of the Iphone. I personally  know the struggle when it comes to lacking the resources to compete with the wealthier students. I knew people who could take three hundred dollar classes to prepare them for standardized tests or who had enough money to eat out every day when many students like myself could barely afford gas. The low percentage of Hispanic and African American students in my school was  startling. In my whole high school career there must have been no more than fifteen African American students that shared a class with me and less than forty Hispanic students. That is the span of four years of highschool with six different classes per year. In addition to the lack of diversity there had always been a rivalry between my high school and the less wealthy more predominantly African American and Latino high schools. Our school was known for having the highest exam scores, the most admittance into Ivy League schools, and collegiate sports. Mostly everyone in my senior class graduated from high school after endless assemblies and classes that prompted students to do well.  l I would always hear rumors or stories about schools with less money from friends that a good majority of students did not graduate high school or were pregnant. Our over glorified competition of who performed better on standardized tests were not uncommon. The principals and teachers would pump up our school’s ego and quite literally reward us for being better than other schools in our district, instilling an implicit discrimination against other schools and students. We claim to be advocates of equality and we prize education more than anything else but in our own hypocrisy we confine those who are minorities, those with low economic standing, and those of unconventional genders to a less fortuitous life because they are not given the same opportunity to succeed. I agree with Kozol that we need to start changing sou still segregated educational system to truly call ourselves the land of opportunity, equality, freedom and success.

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