Lydia, thanks for adding to my reading list! I am
excited to see Kozol's latest. For most of my career
I have taught in schools with majority minority
populations. I have also taught in two mostly white
schools. The difference in facilities, maintenance,
"goodies", resources, expectations, and perception by
the community at large has been staggering. No one
can believe it until they see it themselves. I am now
teaching at a school that is a traditional "minority"
neighborhood school with several magnet programs,
including IB. My classes are very diverse (what I
consider to be balanced) and I love it. I think most
of our students are very happy with the "mix", too.
When I taught at the mostly-white hs I knew so many
kids who were loners, who had no one to hang out with
and were really sad. Where I am now I rarely see a
kid all alone. To me it has always felt creepy to
live in a place with a large minority population but
to spend most of my day in a "white bread" setting.
Why schools are allowed to be segregated is one of the
great unsolved mysteries. Our leaders wonder why
minority kids are sometimes not academically
successful. Duh! It'd be great if the playing field
started to be evened out.