University of Rochester

Jonathan Kozol Speaks on 'Educational Apartheid' in U.S. Public Schools

March 9, 2006

Jonathan Kozol, an award-winning author and nationally-known public education advocate, will speak on the topic of high-stakes testing and the federal No Child Left Behind Act at 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, at East High School, 1801 E. Main St. His talk, titled "The Shame of the Nation: Educational Apartheid, High-Stakes Testing, and No Child Left Behind," is free and open to the public.

His visit is hosted by the Rochester-based Coalition for Common Sense in Education and co-sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Education, the School Without Walls Community Board, Nazareth College of Rochester, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, and the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development at the University of Rochester.

Kozol, who has devoted four decades to issues of education and social justice, is the author of several books, including Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools (1967); Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools (1992); and Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation (1995). His books have been honored with a National Book Award in Science, Philosophy, and Religion; a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award; a Conscience in Media Award of the American Society of Journalists and Authors; and a New England Book Award.

His most recent work, The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America (2005), documents his visits over the last five years to nearly 60 public schools in 11 states. He finds that inner-city children are more isolated racially than they have been at any time since the landmark ruling of Brown v. Board of Education in 1954.

"They live an apartheid existence and attend apartheid schools. Few of them know white children any longer," says Kozol. "No matter how complex the reasons that have brought us to the point at which we stand, we have, it seems, been traveling a long way to a place of ultimate surrender that does not look very different from the place where some of us began. If we have agreed to give up on the dream for which so many gave their lives, perhaps at least we ought to have the honesty to say so."

For more information, contact the School Without Walls at (585) 546-6732 ext. 0.