Jonathan Kozol on His Book Fire in the Ashes

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jonathan Kozol discusses the inequalities inflicted upon poor children. Kozol has persistently crossed the lines of class and race, first as a teacher, then as an author of books about the children he has called “the outcasts of our nation’s ingenuity.” His new book, Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-five Years Among the Poorest Children in America, is about a group of inner-city children he has known for many years, young men and women who have come of age in one of the most destitute communities of the United States.


Jonathan Kozol

Comments [11]

@ Mak from New Jersey, interesting that you picked up on that. Is he playing Devil's advocate ? I OFTEN get the feeling he is anti-union from his tone and questioning,this is not the first time. I am glad however that they finally interviewed someone who actually tells the truth about what really goes on in our schools. I feel like this station constantly panders to the "reformers" if that's what you want to call them. There is a great podcast from 2007 with Kozol. You all should go back and listen.

Sep. 09 2012 11:35 AM
Mak from New Jersey

It was brutally painful listening to Lenard play the part of the devil's advocate. Jonathan Kozol is no fool and he rips apart the false arguments that the conservative movement have spun. Too bad Jonathan Kozol didn't get to argue against Lenard's closing statement. It would've been good to hear Kozol dispel the myth that Unions are protecting bad teachers.

Lenard, give Kozol more time if he comes back to the show.

Sep. 02 2012 05:02 AM

With all due respect, Mr. Lopate, let Mr. Kozol speak. It is as if you are anticipating some sort of punitive backlash for comments made by Mr. Kozol.

Aug. 30 2012 05:32 PM

I've known quite a few teachers (under the age of 50)... and only 1 of them wanted to teach in the schools the guest is talking about. A few of them even tried... but get fed up because of the lack of discipline. It's the reality.

Aug. 30 2012 01:59 PM
Jackie from Brooklyn

It is not the case that suburban schools all enjoy manageable class sizes. My parents taught high school in suburban Sacramento, California, in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, and class sizes of 30 to 36 were the norm. This was also true when I briefly taught high school in Portland and Eugene, Oregon, during the 1970s. Class size has been a preeminent issue with teachers for decades. City schools are not the only ones to suffer in this respect. And now, even in a wealthy county like Marin, in Northern California, parents must raise money for some of the basic school supplies, as they also do here in Brooklyn.

Aug. 30 2012 01:57 PM
Mary from Sunnyside

While putting more $$ into schools is part of the solution, it makes no sense as long as there are patronage based principals, and corrupt, uncaring administrators.

Aug. 30 2012 01:56 PM
Judah from Upper West Side

Extravagantly funded public education...yup, Kozol is right. That will solve all of our problems.

Aug. 30 2012 01:54 PM

Uh, John from Brooklyn, what do you mean by our seemingly cryptic comment? Or is it some kind of snark?

Please explain!

Aug. 30 2012 01:49 PM

This is riveting, but I had to take a call so many have missed somethings.

Will there be time to ask Mr. Kozoll what he sees happening in the near term? How the upcoming elections may affect what's happening?

I fear a return of the days of children outside Les Mis, hoping for some pittance.

Aug. 30 2012 01:47 PM
John from Brooklyn

It would be unfair to say that every word spoken by Mr. Kozol is a lie.

Aug. 30 2012 01:45 PM
Jim B

I'm very interested in Mr. Kozol's reaction to the trend toward privatization of education, and in particular Michelle Rhee's Students First organization, which takes an aggressively authoritarian approach to the education of poor children.

Aug. 30 2012 01:29 PM

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