Quote of the Day
Jonathan Kozol Quotes
- Page 4
I beg people not to accept the seasonal ritual of well-timed charity on Christmas Eve. It's blasphemy.
I have an enormous sense of having failed in life.
No human being who wants to read and own a book should ever have to go on a bended knee to get it.
When I was young, I was religious.
All of my education at Harvard, then Oxford, then Paris was in literature - even my thesis was on Shakespeare.
But when I went to Harvard, it kind of got washed out of me, partly because people made fun of you in college. If you said you believed in God, they would look at you clinically, you know, suggest that you needed a referral.
No Child Left Behind widens the gap between the races more than any piece of educational legislation I've seen in 40 years. It denies inner-city kids the critical-thinking skills to interrogate reality.
Now, I don't expect what I write to change things. I think I write now simply as a witness. This is how it is. This is what we have done. This is what we have permitted.
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.
At present, black children are more segregated in their public schools than at any time since 1968. In the inner-city schools I visit, minority children typically represent 95 percent to 99 percent of class enrollment.
The first ten, twelve or fifteen years of life are excavated of inherent moral worth in order to accommodate a regimen of basic training for the adult years that many of the poorest children may not even live to know.
As a matter of record, New York City spends a higher portion of its budget on instruction and associated costs within the schools themselves than any of the other 100 largest districts in the nation.
Consider what it is like to go into a new classroom and to see before you suddenly, and in a way you cannot avoid recognizing, the dreadful consequences of a year's wastage of so many lives.
I don't know if anything I write will endure, but I do try to write it as a narrative that will not only challenge but also entice the reader into the lives of children.
I wrote the first book, and I thought people would say: 'Separate and unequal schools in the City of Boston? I didn't know that. Let's go out and fix it.'
If we allow public funds to be used to support our relatively benign, morally grounded schools, we will have to allow those public funds to be used for any type of private school.
Public school was never in business to produce Thoreau. It is in business to produce a man like Richard Nixon and, even more, a population like the one which could elect him.
The last thing the theatre owners wanted was for people who spent $200 to see 'Les Miserables' to come out again and see the real miserable children of America, right there on the sidewalk.
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