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Conflict Perspective in Education

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Unit 2: Conflict Perspective in Education

Task 2: Savage Inequalities presents the reader with an in depth view of the hierarchy in school

systems across the nation. The main purpose of the piece is to expose the truth that communities

with a more stable economy can hinder or progress their schools’ potential success. Kozol finds

that teachers are not able to teach properly because they are unmotivated, classrooms are

understaffed, science labs are outdated, and many more detrimental issues. He shows us exactly

why and how certain schools are failing and what people can do to help out these neglected inner

1.) Kozol believes that children from poor families are cheated out of a successful future due

to the vastly under equipped, understaffed, and underfunded schools that exist in the

poorer areas of the country.

2.) The schools in the poor areas often lack the most basic needs, such as heat, textbooks and

supplies, running water, and functioning sewer facilities. Public schools in affluent

neighborhoods do not have these problems. It is because of the huge gap in funding

between rich and poor schools that poor schools are faced with these issues. Kozol argues

that in order to give poor minority children an equal chance at education, we must close

the gap between rich and poor school districts in the amount of tax money spent on

3.) Kozol discovers that black and hispanic schoolchildren are isolated from white

schoolchildren and are treated unfairly educationally. Kozol concludes that real

integration has declined significantly and education for minorities and poor students has

moved backwards rather than forwards. He notices segregation and bias in poorer

neighborhoods as well as drastic funding differences between schools in poor

neighborhoods versus more affluent neighborhoods.

1.) An elderly man from East St. Louis shares that the foul odors of the backed up sewer

system “has become one of the scents of spring.” This illustrates the second point

addressed because the interviewee has already become accustomed to the smells of a

backed up sewer system which can be detrimental to a child's well being. Kids in more

affluent neighborhoods never have to experience that kind of “disgust.”

2.) Dr. Lillian Parks, the superintendent of the city's schools says, "Gifted children are

everywhere in East St. Louis, but their gifts are lost to poverty and turmoil and the

damage done by knowing they are written off by their society. Many of these children

have no sense of something they belong to. They have no feeling of belonging to

America.” This statement relates back to points three because Parks is reiterating the fact

that students’ potential for success is being jipped because they are not being given as

many privileges as kids in wealthier areas.

3.) Page 264 goes



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