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.
For decades, as a public school teacher and author, Jonathan Kozol has documented inequities in the U.S. education system. He won the National Book Award for Death At An Early Age. His other books include Amazing Grace, Illiterate America and The Shame of the Nation.