Synopses & Reviews
Over the last 15 years, the state of inner-city public schools has been in a steep and continuing decline. Since the federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, segregation of black children has reverted to its highest level since 1968. In many inner-city schools, a stick-and-carrot method of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons is now used with students. Meanwhile, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.
Filled with the passionate voices of children, principals, and teachers, and some of the most revered leaders in the black community, The Shame of the Nation pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.
"A call for activism, The Shame of the Nation firmly grounds school-reform issues in the thorny context of race and concludes that the nation has failed to deliver the promise of Brown." Washington Post
"Segregation is back, and only a writer of Jonathan Kozol's wisdom and passion can assess its terrible price, one child at a time. It isn't easy, but before we can craft a solution, we have to feel the shame." Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed
"Shines a spotlight on poor, minority children, sabotaged and isolated by an educational system tilted to slight them....His outrage ought to infect us." Los Angeles Times
"A vividly written account from the frontlines of 'apartheid education.' It is impossible not to share Kozol's outrage." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Jonathan Kozol is the National Book Award-winning author of Death at an Early Age, Rachel and Her Children, Savage Inequalities, and Amazing Grace. He has been working with children in inner-city schools for more than 40 years.