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Jonathan Kozol – 21 Quotes

 

21 Quotes by Jonathan Kozol

 

At that time, I had recently finished a book called Amazing Grace, which many people tell me is a very painful book to read. Well, if it was painful to read, it was also painful to write. I had pains in my chest for two years while I was writing that book.

– Jonathan Kozol


I beg people not to accept the seasonal ritual of well-timed charity on Christmas Eve. It’s blasphemy.

– Jonathan Kozol


We are now operating a school system in America that’s more segregated than at any time since the death of Martin Luther King.

– Jonathan Kozol


Apartheid education, rarely mentioned in the press or openly confronted even among once-progressive educators, is alive and well and rapidly increasing now in the United States.

– Jonathan Kozol


During the decades after Brown v. Board of Education there was terrific progress. Tens of thousands of public schools were integrated racially. During that time the gap between black and white achievement narrowed.

– Jonathan Kozol


I am opposed to the use of public funds for private education.

– Jonathan Kozol


I believe we need a national amendment which will guarantee every child in America the promise of not just an equal education but a high-quality equal education.

– Jonathan Kozol


Many of those who argue for vouchers say that they simply want to use competition to improve public education. I don’t think it works that way, and I’ve been watching this for a longtime.

– Jonathan Kozol


Racial segregation has come back to public education with a vengeance.

– Jonathan Kozol


A great deal has been written in recent years about the purported lack of motivation in the children of the Negro ghettos. Little in my experience supports this, yet the phrase has been repeated endlessly, and the blame in almost all cases is placed somewhere outside the classroom.

– Jonathan Kozol


By far the most important factor in the success or failure of any school, far more important than tests or standards or business-model methods of accountability, is simply attracting the best-educated, most exciting young people into urban schools and keeping them there.

– Jonathan Kozol


I feel, in the end, as if everything I’ve done has been a failure.

– Jonathan Kozol


When I was teaching in the 1960s in Boston, there was a great deal of hope in the air. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, Malcolm X was alive great, great leaders were emerging from the southern freedom movement.

– Jonathan Kozol


Instead of seeing these children for the blessings that they are, we are measuring them only by the standard of whether they will be future deficits or assets for our nation’s competitive needs.

– Jonathan Kozol


The primary victims of Katrina, those who were given the least help by the government, those rescued last or not at all, were overwhelmingly people of color largely hidden from the mainstream of society.

– Jonathan Kozol


The contrasts between what is spent today to educate a child in the poorest New York City neighborhoods, where teacher salaries are often even lower than the city averages, and spending levels in the wealthiest suburban areas are daunting challenges to any hope New Yorkers might retain that even semblances of fairness still prevail.

– Jonathan Kozol


So long as these kinds of inequalities persist, all of us who are given expensive educations have to live with the knowledge that our victories are contaminated because the game has been rigged to our advantage.

– Jonathan Kozol


No Child Left Behind’s fourth-grade gains aren’t learning gains, they’re testing gains. That’s why they don’t last. The law is a distraction from things that really count.

– Jonathan Kozol


The inequalities are greater now than in ’92. Some states have equalized per-pupil spending but they set the ‘equal level’ very low, so that wealthy districts simply raise extra money privately.

– Jonathan Kozol


But for the children of the poorest people we’re stripping the curriculum, removing the arts and music, and drilling the children into useful labor. We’re not valuing a child for the time in which she actually is a child.

– Jonathan Kozol


If you grow up in the South Bronx today or in south-central Los Angeles or Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, you quickly come to understand that you have been set apart and that there’s no will in this society to bring you back into the mainstream.

– Jonathan Kozol


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