Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

Savage Inequalities

My free art is thanks in large part to the wonderful art teacher at the local elementary school. Art and music curriculum are some of the first cuts made in a struggling inner city school.

K's wall

Leah's wall.That's her head in the reflection.

My kids beautiful artwork -combined with a news story about elaborate snowboarding obstacle course in a back yard- brought a childhood acquaintance to mind, Amy Riley.

The crazy snowboarding story reminded me of videos she posted last summer. The videos highlighted her friends and family riding an elaborate homemade water slide in someone’s back yard. The slide was mainly constructed of wood, covered in garbage bags, and fueled by garden hoses. It looked like the best day ever.

Savage Inequalities is one of the books she lists on her Facebook profile. It’s an amazing book in a horrible way.

A book review from the fall `95 issue of Walking Steel.

—For two years, Jonathan Kozol visited America’s public schools, especially those in its large cities. Savage Inequalities is a searing expose of the extremes of wealth and poverty in America’s public school system and the blighting effect it has on poor children.

What startled Kozol most was the remarkable degree of segregation he found nearly everywhere he went, and the fact that no public official, in any school district, questioned this.

Kozol found that if any questions regarding segregation were being raised today, they were far closer to the Supreme Court’s “separate but equal” ruling in Pleasy vs. Ferguson, almost 100 years ago, than to the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education decision in which the court found that segregated education was unconstitutional because it was inherently unequal.

If the degree of segregation is what surprised him the most, however, he is equally outraged by the grown inequality, in public education, between rich and poor. Poor children, and especially poor children of color, he finds, are being increasingly written off as expendable, and any attempts to educate them are being seen as doomed to failure.—–

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2 responses

  1. J Lo

    My innate feeling is to save them all….

    February 8, 2011 at 6:49 am

    • melissakoski

      save the children! (:

      February 8, 2011 at 7:19 am

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