Is Nashville any different?

Having just moved from the Chicago area, I still like to keep up on the news there. This article seemed to sober me to the fact that not all that much has changed in the years since the book, Savage Inequalities
(Jonathan Kozol’s look at the public education system), came out about ten years ago.

Sadly, the situation seems to be the same across our country and has been this way for a hundred plus years, we do NOT have equal education. For a country that so prides ourselves on everyone receiving a quality education, the figures in the article are disturbing. I worked in the Atlanta public schools and the situation was the same. Just because a child is born into a poorer family in a lower income neighborhood, they will more then likely receive a poorer education.

So, here I am in Nashville TN, another city in this big country.

Is Nashville any different?

12 thoughts on “Is Nashville any different?”

  1. I don’t know if Nashville is any different, but your post alone is distrubing.

    “prides” does not require an apostrophe. Sadly, students from rich and poor families alike don’t always retain what they should from school. I don’t necessarily fault the tax bracket. I fault teachers who are overworked and students who are more interested in the outside world.

  2. Katherine, I would be interested to know what you are basing that on. I have both been a high school teacher and read Kozol’s book. I agree with you some on the overworked teachers, though that do does have to do with tax brackets (i.e regional taxes paying for regional school systems).

    I agree with Ariah.

  3. I think it is good that you are even asking that question! I mean, there are many who would prefer just not to think about inequality in terms of education because they want to believe that it is just fair. In terms of my personal experience I know that education (in general) is NOT equal. I don’t know about Nashville, but I’ll let you know what I find out.

    I agree with you too Ariah, and Jackson.

  4. Katherine, I share your concern. Perhaps the author is angry at the disadvantage he has suffered under, leading to his dwarfed ability to comply with the most basic rules of English syntax?

  5. Can’t we overlook a typo enough to pay attention to the author’s point? Stephen, you made some pretty big assumptions based on his “dwarfed ability to comply with the most basic rules of English syntax,” but seemed to agree wholeheartedly Katherine’s concern about the “distrubing” post. Everyone that has posted seems to be pretty intelligent; rather than using that to pick apart grammar, maybe we could focus on finding a solution instead. Ariah, thanks for persisting in asking questions that provoke thought and encourage action.

  6. Oh come on, can’t you just feel the irony oozing out from the pores of that post? Complaining about educational standards and then using incorrect grammar? Talk about proving the point!

    I’m not certain where in the United States Constitution it says that all public schools have to be equal. Once we establish that, I’m more than willing to have a discussion about how to fix it.

    Could you please point me though to the section of the Constitution that mandates government-funded education?

  7. I will agree with the irony of the post. And as far as a discussion goes, I won’t pretend to know much about the subject (Ariah would know a lot more, having worked in the public school system), or to know offhand much of the US Constitution except what I remember from highschool US History. But don’t you think it is important that children, poor and wealthy alike, are provided fair opportunities to education? Without government funding, the education that many parents could provide would be inadequate by society’s standards. A system that is responsible for preparing children for adulthood yet fails to offer a fair opportunity of success is unjust, in my opinion. And our nation, according to the Preamble of the Constitution, is built upon establishing justice and promoting general welfare, if I recall. But even if the Constitution doesn’t technically mandate government funded education, don’t you think that the gross inequalities within our educational system is still a problem big enough to merit a discussion?

  8. I’ve fixed my grammar problem thanks to the correction of Stephen and Katherine.

    I’m glad this has created some discussion. More to come on this topic later.

  9. It sure is petty to pick out someone else’s syntactical and grammatical errors when they are CLEARLY addressing a very pertainant and important issue. What some may consider Christian “truth” or “love” other’s very much consider petty and down-right rude!

    Melissa, I agree with your statments about the clarity of our nation’s fortifying documents in declaring equality to all peoples. Further, it is more and more clear that we as a nation are suplementing the education of the most wealthy children (in most “public” systems) by funding schools mainly with property taxes of specifically designed zones in district lines. It is very tragic! This is clearly not extending “equality.”

  10. It’s spelled pertinent.

    People with high property taxes put more money into the system than people with lower property taxes. That seems relatively simple. Our founding documents declare that all people are equal before God with certain rights – life, liberty, to pursue happiness. They say nothing about using taxation to establish “equal” ends in education.

    Sometimes I laugh because you all don’t know how to frame the debate at all. You allowed “Stephen” to frame it in terms of the Constitution and the Founding Fathers, instead of saying something like, “Look, we’re an advanced industrial nation. There’s no reason that our literacy rates should be so low; there’s no reason that our kids shouldn’t excel. We’re wealthy and industrious, and it’s a crime that any child should languish with inadequate preparation for the industrial 21st century!”. Instead you try to come to the debate on unequal footing and let people like Stephen and me run circles around you on our own terms in debates that you started!

  11. So at this point no one is going to see this comment, since it has been a while, and Ariah has posted a bunch since then. But I just wanted to say, just in case–IT’S NOT A DEBATE! Ariah asked a simple question, “Is Nashville any different?” That was the whole point. Not so that we could debate about it, but so that maybe someone would step up and make a difference. It’s not about destroying someone in an argument and degrading them by sounding smarter than them. That accomplishes absolutely nothing except for making one person feel smart. I answered Stephen on his terms not because I was trying to debate with him, but because that is what he claimed to require to understand the issue. It’s not about a debate, Anonymous, and that’s what you are consistently missing as you read these posts.

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