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Education: Separate and Unequal + Education: The Shame of the Nation

Program #JONB001-KOZJ003.

First Program: Brian Jones - Education: Separate and Unequal

Efforts to privatize all things public in the United States rely on a relentless refrain: “Nobody does it better than the private sector.” Yet evidence to the contrary appears in the news daily, be it about the privatization of prisons, elections, highways, or wars. The privatization of public education system is seen as a potential bonanza for corporations. Not surprisingly, we hear: if only government, teachers, and their unions would get out of the way, test scores would go up and the U.S. would not be 23rd in science and 17th in literacy. Accompanying the ideological assault are the budget cuts. Public schools are being starved for funds. Teachers are laid off. Those still with jobs are asked to teach more classes with more students. Meanwhile does anyone know the cost of the 505 now abandoned bases the Pentagon built in Iraq?

Second Program: Jonathan Kozol - Education: The Shame of the Nation

Almost four years ago, and with much fanfare, President Bush signed the "No Child Left Behind" law. It placed sweeping new requirements on schools, teachers and students for greater accountability and improved performance on standardized tests. But the new mandates did not come with enough new money. And the narrow focus on testing for a few basic skills is squeezing out other school subjects deemed non-essential and too expensive. Against that back drop, inner city schools continue to struggle with crowded classrooms full of lower-income students of color. The white students are often in schools with more money and better facilities. For many school districts, it's a segregated and unequal system.


Brian Jones

Brian Jones is a public school teacher in New York. He is also an actor and activist. He co-narrated the film, The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman and contributed to the book, Education and Capitalism: Struggles for Learning and Liberation. For more than a decade he has been performing to great acclaim Howard Zinn's one-man play Marx in Soho.


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