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Jonathan Kozol: Fire in the Ashes

Monday, 08 October, 2012

Free for all

Social Equality

"Throughout time, social class has played a role in virtually every society. This system of social order designs and dictates what is expected of the various social groups that inhabit the society. However, this system also tends to place the concerns and needs of those who find themselves lost at the bottom out of sight, thus dismissing the presence of any issue and neglectfully contributing to the social corrosion. Even in a land, such as the United States, where parity and equal opportunity are professed to be the backbone of society, only the notion of these ideals can be substantiated. Such social downfalls like the profound existence of homelessness in even the most affluent societies, suggests the notion that no ideal can become reality."

Educational Advocacy

"Education is taken for granted in modern American society. If a child cannot afford to attend a private or parochial school, which are generally seen as better than the alternative, then they go to public school. The assumption is made, because of compulsory attendance laws, and the societal emphasis on childhood learning, no matter what, a child is getting an education. Unfortunately, attendance is not a prerequisite for education. A child in a classroom faces many obstacles that should not be faced at such an early age. Instead of the next spelling test that pupil must deal with issues from discrimination to shoddy facilities to a lack of funding per pupil. In some communities children are bussed forty miles to their schools. The difference between the spending of suburban communities per student and urban communities per student is quite enormous. How can our society expect to survive when under-privileged urban children are not even being given the chance to compete on an equal footing with their suburban counterparts? Children should be allowed to be children. No child should ever bear the burden of adult concerns until they are ready. For the past thirty-five years, Jonathon Kozol has been an advocate for children. He points out the discrepancies that make our educational system so blatantly hypocritical. He is not the only advocate of the forgotten pupil, yet he has been among the most vocal and active."

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