Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
May 30 2009

On reading

For anyone who wants to read something that will make you perplexed, angry, and enlightened (mainly about education in the United States and how far from perfect it currently is)….

Anything by Jonathan Kozol, for example:
Savage Inequalities.
Ordinary Resurrections.
Amazing Grace.
Rachel and Her Children.

One Day All Children by Wendy Kopp.

36 Children by Herbert Kohl.

Relentless Pursuit by Donna Foote.

Interestingly enough, reading Unequal Childhoods by Helen Penn for a Psychology paper (a book about children’s lives in developing countries) turned my eyes more toward the States than it had ever been. The more that I read about, wrote about, and reflected upon the inequalities that nauseated me in other countries, the more sickened I grew at myself for being passive toward inequalities in my own country. I dare you to read Rachel and Her Children without physically feeling sick.

My heart breaks more every day for my friends in Ethiopia, and always will, but my heart is learning to break proactively here, too. I firmly believe that right behind the lack of food, water, and shelter for some children, the neglect of quality education is the next biggest travesty in the United States. If knowledge is power, then why shouldn’t we attempt to empower children’s futures with a great education?

Coming from a great school district, it can be hard to recognize the true problems through educational disparities in the US, that’s my story. But here is a concrete example: A sixth grade class from a great school I observed in Texas was reading the same book as a high school reading class I observed.

Think about it…..

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