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.
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APAJonathan Kozol Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=if-you-grow-up-in-south-bronx-today-in-southcentral-los-angeles-pittsburgh-philadelphia-you-quickly-come-to-understand-that-you-have-been-set-jonathan-kozol
ChicagoJonathan Kozol Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=if-you-grow-up-in-south-bronx-today-in-southcentral-los-angeles-pittsburgh-philadelphia-you-quickly-come-to-understand-that-you-have-been-set-jonathan-kozol, accessed .
MLA"Jonathan Kozol Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=if-you-grow-up-in-south-bronx-today-in-southcentral-los-angeles-pittsburgh-philadelphia-you-quickly-come-to-understand-that-you-have-been-set-jonathan-kozol
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Competitive skills are desperately needed by poor children in America, and realistic recognition of the economic roles that they may someday have an opportunity to fill is obviously important, too. But there is more to life, and there ought to be much more to childhood, than readiness for economic functions.
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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.
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Placing the burden on the individual to break down doors in finding better education for a child is attractive to conservatives because it reaffirms their faith in individual ambition and autonomy. But to ask an individual to break down doors that we have chained and bolted in advance of his arrival is unfair.
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There is a belief advanced today, and in some cases by conservative black authors, that poor children and particularly black children should not be allowed to hear too much about these matters. If they learn how much less they are getting than rich children, we are told, this knowledge may induce them to regard themselves as "victims, " and such "victim-thinking, " it is argued, may then undermine their capacity to profit from whatever opportunities may actually exist. But this is a matter of psychology-or strategy-and not reality. The matter, in any case, is academic since most adolescents in the poorest neighborhoods learn very soon that they are getting less than children in the wealthier school districts. They see suburban schools on television and they see them when they travel for athletic competitions. It is a waste of time to worry whether we should tell them something they could tell to us. About injustice, most poor children in American cannot be fooled.
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Many suburban legislators representing affluent school districts use terms such as "sinkhole" when opposing funding for Chicago's children. "We can't keep throwing money, " said Governor Thompson in 1988, "into a black hole." The Chicago Tribune notes that, when this phrase is used, people hasten to explain that it is not intended as a slur against the race of many of Chicago's children. "But race, " says the Tribune, "never is far from the surface...
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There is something deeply hypocritical in a society that holds an inner-city child only eight years old "accountable" for her performance on a high-stakes standardized exam but does not hold the high officials of our government accountable for robbing her of what they gave their own kids six or seven years before.
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Let's concede that we have decided to let our children grow up in two separate nations, and lead two separate kinds of lives. If, on the other hand, we have the courage to rise to this challenge to name what's happening within our inner-city schools, then we also need the courage to be activist and go out and fight like hell to change it.
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