Original Proposal

Our next meeting will be Wed evening June 3 at our traditional time of 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm MDT.

We anticipate that participation will be solely on-line via Zoom (the Salt Lake Library, our host for 14.5 years, has cancelled all meeting reservations through Aug 31).

If you RSVP, there is nothing further you need to do such as any special training. We will send all RSVP’s a few days in advance a URL and meeting name/password.

[4/10/2020 update]
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Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Original Proposal

Post by johnkarls »

Originally posted by johnkarls » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:56 am - 58 views before being transplanted here

---------------------------- Original Message -----------------------------
Subject: Making Our Inner-City Children Eligible for “The American Dream”
From: ReadingLiberally-SaltLake@johnkarls.com
Date: To be sent pre-dawn Sat, March 21, 2020
To: To Each of Our 174 Members One-By-One

To Each of Our 174 Members One-By-One – for reasons explained in the 4 postings in Sec. 2 of www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org

Dear Friends,

The date of our next meeting will have to await events.

However, the date will accommodate everyone who RSVP’s that s/he is reading our new focus book.


Last Saturday’s weekly e-mail invited everyone to vote on our next focus book from among those posted in Sec. 3 of www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org and BOTH a majority of our 11 RSVP’s for our 3/18/2020 meeting (the face-to-face aspect of which had to be cancelled in favor of an e-mail modus vivendi) AND a majority of our remaining 174 members who responded, were for --

“The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” by Jonathan Kozol (Crown Publishing 9/13/2005 – 416 pages – 2006 paperback version available from Amazon.com for $14.56 + shipping or $11.99 Kindle).


The conditions described in “Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America” were followed 2 years after its publication by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Parents v. Seattle School District No. 1 (2007) which effectively barred voluntary desegregation and enforced segregated schooling based on segregated housing patterns.

In other words, our inner-city children were condemned to attend inner-city schools and, since K-12 schooling in America is financed primarily by property taxes and inner-cities have abysmal property values to support proper school financing, America has turned its back on inner-city children for whom “The American Dream” has become a forlorn hope.

I would like to examine whether America could restore “The American Dream” for these children by providing free public-college tuition (or free vocational school training).

After all, for most inner-city children this would be their first opportunity to integrate with children from other backgrounds.

And their first opportunity to obtain quality education/training.

If America can finance free K-12 education without any strain on the economy, it ought to be able to finance an additional 4 years of quality education/training to “open the door” for our poorest citizens to “The American Dream.”


Jonathan Kozol graduated 1958 from Harvard summa cum laude in English Literature and won a Rhodes Scholarship. Upon returning to the U.S. he taught in inner-city schools and then began a 50-year career as an author of award-winning best-selling books on inner-city education including --

Death at an Early Age (1967)
The Night is Dark and I am Far From Home (1975)
Illiterate America (1986)
Rachel and Her Children: Homeless Families in America (1988)
Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools (1991)
Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995)
Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope (2000)
The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005)
Letters to a Young Teacher (2007)
Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America (2012)


The nation needs to be confronted with the crime that we're committing and the promises we are betraying. This is a book about betrayal of the young, who have no power to defend themselves. It is not intended to make readers comfortable.

Over the past several years, Jonathan Kozol has visited nearly 60 public schools. Virtually everywhere, he finds that conditions have grown worse for inner-city children in the 15 years since federal courts began dismantling the landmark ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. First, a state of nearly absolute apartheid now prevails in thousands of our schools. The segregation of black children has reverted to a level that the nation has not seen since 1968. Few of the students in these schools know white children any longer.

Second, a protomilitary form of discipline has now emerged, modeled on stick-and-carrot methods of behavioral control traditionally used in prisons but targeted exclusively at black and Hispanic children. And third, as high-stakes testing takes on pathological and punitive dimensions, liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.

Filled with the passionate voices of children and their teachers and some of the most revered and trusted leaders in the black community, "The Shame of the Nation is a triumph of firsthand reporting that pays tribute to those undefeated educators who persist against the odds, but directly challenges the chilling practices now being forced upon our urban systems by the Bush administration. In their place, Kozol offers a humane, dramatic challenge to our nation to fulfill at last the promise made some 50 years ago to all our youngest citizens.


“A call for activism, The Shame of the Nation firmly grounds school-reform issues in the thorny context of race and concludes that the nation has failed to deliver the promise of Brown.” —
Washington Post

“A vividly written account from the frontlines of ‘apartheid education.’ It is impossible not to share Kozol’s outrage.” —
Chicago Tribune

“Segregation is back, and only a writer of Jonathan Kozol’s wisdom and passion can assess its terrible price, one child at a time. It isn’t easy, but before we can craft a solution, we have to feel the shame.” —
Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“Shines a spotlight on poor, minority children, sabotaged and isolated by an educational system tilted to slight them . . . His outrage ought to infect us.” —
Los Angeles Times

“The Shame of the Nation is a national wake-up call about what is happening to our children on our watch in schools across the country. It should be required reading.” –
Marian Wright Edelman, CEO and Founder, Children’s Defense Fund

“A powerful, morally enraged polemic in which [Kozol] argues that we have failed to deliver the promise of Brown v. Board of Education…We know that more funding and more integration would help poor African-American children, and we are not doing anything about it. That is indeed shameful. It is inspiring that after all these decades, Kozol is still angry about these inequalities, and eloquently so. His book will make you fighting mad, and it should.” –

“The Shame of the Nation urges national action, including major funding increases and access to preschool. It’s hard to imagine anyone better qualified than Kozol to press the case. Still, that Kozol has to tell the story of educational segregation and resegregation again and again, that he so often seems alone in doing so, and that so little progress is made—that is truly a shame of our nation.” –
Columbia Journalism Review

“Alive with the compelling voices of students and educators Kozol has come to know in countless visits to inner-city schools—voices many of us otherwise would not hear…His glimpses inside America’s second-class schools tell the story that numbers can’t.” –
The Christian Science Monitor

“Jonathan Kozol has been a voice in the wilderness for poor children in the United States. Now, in his most powerful book, he returns to the nation’s dirty little secret of resegregation of the public schools and the erosion of Brown v. Board of Education. He is our nation’s conscience on issues of race, poverty, and children.” –
Theodore M. Shaw, director-counsel and President, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

“A real cry from the heart. Everybody who cares about children, about democracy, about citizenship, and about America’s future must read this book.” –
Roger Wilkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and professor, George Mason University

“A gripping narrative of children’s lives within our nation’s rapidly resegregating schools…A prophetic work that sears our conscience for the high ideals of racial justice we have all too willingly betrayed.” –
Rabbi David Saperstein, director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism

“The Shame of the Nation reveals the disparity in our schools as dramatically as Hurricane Katrina revealed the disparity in our society.” –
Howard Gardiner, Professor of Education and Cognition, Harvard Graduate School of Education, and author of Multiple Intelligences

“This book will make your blood boil. I found myself reading whole pages aloud to anyone I could.” –
O, the Oprah Magazine

“Shame on all of us to let this happen to our children and praise to Jonathan Kozol for telling us yet again of our gross failure to provide for our children the education they deserve.” –
John Hope Franklin, James B. Duke Professor of History Emeritus, Duke University


As mentioned at the beginning of this e-mail, the date of our meeting will have to await events but the date will accommodate everyone who RSVP’s that s/he is reading our new focus book -- including by Skype if necessary.

Please press your reply button and type RSVP if you plan to participate.

I was very sorry that we were not able to meet face-to-face this past Wednesday evening.

But am looking forward to seeing/hearing each of you again soon.

Your friend,

John K.

PS -- To un-subscribe, please press "reply" and type "deletion requested."

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