Friday, June 30, 2006

Kozol Is Still Drinking the Kool-Aid

Chester Finn has a great post about Jonathon Kozol, who's still convinced that the reason there's an achievement gap in our country is because of racism.

Do you hear that, teachers? Your racism keeps brown and black-skinned kids from learning.

And who's going to rush to Kozol's flag, since he's now set the No Child Left Behind Act in his sights? Why, those same racist teachers, of course!

He notified his mailing list that Education Action is now headquartered in a house that "we've purchased for this purpose" (but which also seems to be Kozol's home address) in a lovely, leafy neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts, just off high-rent Brattle Street and a few short blocks from Harvard Square. The perfect place from which to crusade for equality.

"We are already in contact," he wrote, "with our close friends at Rethinking Schools, with dozens of local action groups like Teachers for Social Justice in San Francisco, with dynamic African-American religious groups that share our goals, with activist white denominations [whatever that may mean], and with some of the NEA and AFT affiliates, in particular the activist caucuses within both unions such as those in Oakland, Miami, and Los Angeles. But we want to extend these contacts rapidly in order to create what one of our friends who is the leader of a major union local calls a massive wave of noncompliance."

Have you heard of Rethinking Schools before? You have if you've read this blog enough. They're not--how shall I say it--my kind of people. Read here, here, and here to learn why.

1 comment:

EllenK said...

I have to admit that as a college student I read Kozol. He is good at creating sympathetic characters and manipulating the reader to his views. I was always a bit skeptical of some of the situations, wondering if perhaps this wasn't tweaked just a bit. I know there are some bad schools and some bad teachers. I also know that racism exists, BUT I do think it's a two way street. When I get called a "Honky----" by an African American student its every bit as offensive to me as if I used the N word to a student. In addition, I don't care how much the hiphop artists claim the derogatory N-word as an endearment, it is negative, it incites violence and I dont' allow it or any other such word to be used in class. Yet, I have been called racist for writing kids up for using the word. I don't think Kozol will ever change his mind, and that's okay. But it worries me that another generation of teachers will read his books and take them to heart believing every word to be true.