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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Jonathan Kozol at SPL on Saturday

Jonathan Kozol, a well-known author of books critical of public education in our country, is speaking Saturday at the Central Library downtown.

From the SPL website:
Kozol raises a number of the controversial issues he has addressed in recent years: the mania of high-stakes testing that turns many classrooms into test-prep factories where spontaneity and critical intelligence are no longer valued, the invasion of public schools by predatory private corporations, and the inequalities of urban schools that are once again almost as segregated as they were a century ago.
The event is free. No tickets or reservations required. See the SPL Event page for more details.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kozol is particularly critical of Seattle Public Schools. Most of his criticisms are right on target. He did particularly "slam" the Center school and I didn't really understand why. He referred to it as part of an exclusionary "boutique" movment. I think he didn't really understand the need for 1) at least 1 hs in the Magnolia/QA neighborhoods and 2) the need for some alternatives to the large, comprehensive high schools that most kids attend.

Anonymous said...

He slammed Center School because he saw it as a way for primarily white, upper-middle class families to avoid attending schools with diverse socio-economic and ethnic populations. It's in his book.

Anonymous said...

I read his book. He didn't attend the school. Anyone who has had kids attend the school knows that it is full of very diverse ideas. Diversity is more than skin color.
He just gets a lot of attention when screaming "Racism" at the top of his lungs.

Anonymous said...

He has quite a cottage industry going - has he written another book and he's on the promotion tour?

I've read a few of them and have to agree with 6:14 - I found him long on outrage and criticism, short on details and solutions. It wears a little thin after a while. Just me.

12:33, am interested to hear thoughts on which of his criticisms are on target in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

I think the racism comments are largely on target. Just not particularly true for the Center school. He could have made the point better if had a better understanding both of the district and of the Center school.

Anonymous said...

Called Hale to double check. The greenhouse was flooded and is not in use, but the horticulture program is still happening.

Dan Dempsey said...

Check the School board testimony for the SPS board meeting of 10-3-2007 the last three speakers were from the Center School. Two Students and one teacher all three blasted the school board for not having the center school classified as an alternative school rather than a comprehensive high school. They said with an enrollment of 280 they had much more in common with Nova than any comprehensive high school in Seattle. They were founded as an alternative school. The statement was that they are not classified as an alternative school for if the center school was an alternative school then distance location would not be a tie breaker. That would then change their population from 75% white to something closer to the district average of 40% white.

They asked the board to make this change. Also mentioned that nationally schools are becoming more racially segregated.

Dan