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Jonathan Kozol Quotes (32 Quotes)


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  • So long as these kinds of inequalities persist, all of us who are given expensive educations have to live with the knowledge that our victories are contaminated because the game has been rigged to our advantage.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • I am opposed to the use of public funds for private education.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • Nationally, overwhelmingly non-white schools receive $1,000 less per pupil than overwhelmingly white schools.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • When I was teaching in the 1960s in Boston, there was a great deal of hope in the air. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive, Malcolm X was alive; great, great leaders were emerging from the southern freedom movement.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • I write books to change the world. Perhaps I can only change one little piece of that world. But if I can empower teachers and good citizens to give these children, who are the poorest of the poor, the same opportunity we give our own kids, then I'll feel my life has been worth it.
    (Jonathan Kozol)


  • He came from a family like mine, with sort of decent liberal parents who were progressive in their views about racial justice. I realized, gee, that could have been me. And I just felt I couldn't go on with my plan.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • In the book, I write about children in first grade who were taught to read by reading want ads. They learned to write by writing job applications. Imagine what would happen if anyone tried to do that to children in a predominantly white suburban school.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • Children are not simply commodities to be herded into line and trained for the jobs that white people who live in segregated neighborhoods have available.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • What I tell these young people is, the world is not as dangerous as the older generation would like you to believe. Anyone I know who has ever taken a risk and lost a job has ended up getting a better one two years later.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • I'd love to go back and teach primary school. I used to teach fourth grade and fifth grade. I'd love to spend several years teaching kindergarten or maybe third grade.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • At that time, I had recently finished a book called Amazing Grace, which many people tell me is a very painful book to read. Well, if it was painful to read, it was also painful to write. I had pains in my chest for two years while I was writing that book.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • More mony is put into prisons than into schools. That, in itself, is the description of a nation bent on suicide. I mean, what is more precious to us than our own children We are going to build alot more prisons if we do not deal with the schools and their inequalities.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • These are children whom this nation does not truly value and of whom, despite our president's rhetoric of 'high expectations,' we in fact expect so little that we will not let them go to the same schools our white children attend. The kind of schooling that we give to children is the most important determinant of their future options in life.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • The primary victims of Katrina, those who were given the least help by the government, those rescued last or not at all, were overwhelmingly people of color largely hidden from the mainstream of society.
    (Jonathan Kozol)

  • But for the children of the poorest people we're stripping the curriculum, removing the arts and music, and drilling the children into useful labor. We're not valuing a child for the time in which she actually is a child.
    (Jonathan Kozol)


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