The Shame of the Nation (1000-1500 words)


The Encyclopedia Britannica , explains that during apartheid in South Africa, which did not officially end until 1994:

…more than 80 percent of South Africa’s land [was reserved] for the white minority…[and] other laws forbade most social contacts between the races, authorized segregated public facilities, established separate educational standards, restricted each race to certain types of jobs, curtailed nonwhite labour unions, and denied nonwhite participation (through white representatives) in the national government. (“Apartheid”)

Jonathan Kozol chooses to refer to America’s educational system today as “apartheid schooling.” His use of this phrase can be interpreted as truthful, accurate, offensive, or inflammatory, depending on your perspective. The United States, after all, is founded on the idea that “all men were created equal” and apartheid enforces and perpetuates inequality. It seems contradictory to think of “American apartheid.” However, as our class research has already shown, whether or not we want to use the term “apartheid,” segregated schooling is a reality today.

For this argumentative mini-research essay, I’d like you to establish and analyze the problem of segregated schooling and critically evaluate the best 1-2 of the possible solutions offered by Kozol.
What evidence proves that our educational system is segregated?
What are the consequences of this segregation? How are problems inside schools related to the racial segregation of our school system? Why?
What are the benefits of integrated education? How can integrating schools begin to solve the problems present in our school system? Why?
Critically Evaluate 1-2 potential SOLUTIONS:
What is the most promising solution that Kozol presents? (You may pick 2)
How could this solution work to integrate schools?
What evidence suggests that these solutions might work?

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