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 Blinded! 
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Blinded, I guess is my only explanation. I can honestly say that I was surprised to read about how schools are still living in the pre-civil rights era. I did not realize the extreme segregation that still exists in today's schools through out many states. Yes, I've watched movies about inner city schools and I student taught at an inner city school in Greensboro, but I didn't add up the actual size of this issue until this book. I knew each city has a few schools that still demonstrate segregated populations, buWhat's worse, is if we the teaching population isn't aware of this, then I can't imagine that the general public outside of these major cities has any idea about the problem. I feel guilty that I was not aware of this major problem, and I blame the media and politicans for their of effort to educate the general public. We shouldn't have to pick up the NY Times to read about such pressing school issues that effect thousands of kids every day. I've definitely opened my eyes by reading this book, and I hope to open others' eyes too by telling them about this book.


Tue Jan 16, 2007 10:33 pm
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Alicia I would agree to being blinded. Both Catawba County and Lincoln County are the "land of plenty" in comparison to those places described by Kozol. We don't know what it is like to teach in places where safety is in question.

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Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:05 am
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A I was reading, I too, had a difficult time conceptualizing these schools and situations. I would guess that most of us in this class have little or no experience in the schools described in Kozol's book. All I can retrieve to connect to this is what I have viewed on movies, in books, or on the news.

We sometimes get so caught up in our own little worlds, that we fail to see the big picture. Also, to think of all the petty things that are asked for on capital outlay and building renovations, etc... we probably have the type of buildings/materials they (inner city schools) would dream of.

These little things really put things in perspective for me, realizing that we what we have is more than most inner city schools will ever see. Now look at that situation not as teacher or administrator-but as a parent or student? Depressing! Blinded is quite an appropriate term.

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Leigh Anne Frye


Wed Jan 17, 2007 10:07 am
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Yes, it is easy to see things from the perspectives of our own schools/lives. It is heartbreaking to hear of such severe discrepancies in education. The hole keeps getting deeper. Will we be able to dig our way out?

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Amy Hord


Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:16 pm
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Alicia, I also felt blinded. I have only taught in Catawba County. I also did my student teaching in Catawba County. I attended school in Catawba and Alexander counties, and I had no idea, except from movies and some articles I've read that such conditions truly existed. I thought it was bad that we had four lunch periods.

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Rebecca Secrest


Wed Jan 17, 2007 2:25 pm
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Sounds like this book has been a real eye opener to everyone!

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Amy Scronce


Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:44 pm
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Oprah keeps her audience aware of inequities. She showed us some frightful things. What if these schools are the ones to require that someone who cares.

I was talking to another professional about this book and how hopeless so much seems. She pointed out that it is one thing to feel the shame, but use the guilt to make better things happen. Move on and make in-roads to how things are supposed to be.


Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:06 pm
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At all of the schools, Kozal seemed to meant numerous teachers who truly care for the students. Theses teachers were the ones that made these awful schools run. These schools need money and the ability to retain those teachers who care.

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Tim Hoffman


Tue Jan 23, 2007 7:50 pm
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Excellent point Tim and just think about all the teachers that don't care at all... those that teach because they get summers and holidays off.

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Heath Belcher


Wed Jan 24, 2007 8:01 pm
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There is nothing more important than the faculty in our schools. It is because of the quality and dedication of these individuals that students succeed or fail. This makes me think of the book "What Great Teachers Do Differently". In this book Todd Whitaker talks repeatedly about the fact that quality education is about the people more than the programs. Which in Kozol's book it seems his experiences have portrayed a stronger importance on always looking for the best program for teachers to use rather than allowing teachers to decide on the most effective way to meet student's needs.

It is important to make teacher's aware of programs and resources available, but to allow them some room to make decisions concerning strategies that work for their students.

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Amy Hord


Thu Jan 25, 2007 9:38 am
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Heath, many of those teachers grow to "not care" because the system appears to "not care." Perhaps it is some kind of defense mechanism. You go into teaching for the rgiht reasons, love of content, love of children and all that, and then the system comes along and slowly pulls those altuistic motives out of you. You decide over time that the best thing about teaching is "having summers off." When an educational system truly cares about students, it will not allow students to attend classes in these conditions.

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Sun Jan 28, 2007 3:11 pm
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Kozol is on point!! Throughout America the haves and the have not continue to stay in place. Politics or should I say Politricks plays a big role. We need to be mindful of the people we elect in order to bring about real equality within all schools.

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Sun Jan 28, 2007 7:04 pm
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If you want another look at the truth about educational discrepancy, read Conroy's The Water is Wide. He tells the true story of a school off the coast of SC where exactly what Kozol describes was happening.

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Jackie Shaw


Mon Jan 29, 2007 7:58 pm
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Jackie that was one of my favorite books. The only sad thing about it was he was reaching those kids. They were learning. They were truly experiencing things that took them beyond the water boundaries of their island. But alas, as often happens today, THE SYSTEM did not like it. Conrack, as the teacher was called in the book dared to try to lead those kids out of their narrow existence. THE SYSTEM often hates that. I am a firm believer in public education, but one fault THE SYSTEM has that I detest is that pays lip service to innovation and experimentation, but IT really hates for any one to really do it. "Oh, you can innovate and experiment, but you have to do it MY WAY," says THE SYSTEM. The Water Is Wide shows what happens to you when you don't do things the way THE SYSTEM wants you to. The sadness of the situation is that in the schools Kozol describes, is that THE SYSTEM made them that way.

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Mon Jan 29, 2007 9:12 pm
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I caught the word..."blind."

The new system hadn't been set up with the intention of excluding Negroes. Its founders had in fact been more completely blind to the aspirations of women than to anybody else" (Test , 156).

It seems we blind ourelves to what we do to others unknowingly. How are we going to hold ourselves more accountable to doing what is right?

The oppressed become tyrannical leaders. How are we going to keep our ideals pure, kind and gentle?


Tue Jan 30, 2007 9:48 pm
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The more I think about it, I can see how this happens in alot of big cities. Parents are more inclined to use private schools verses public in the cities if they can afford it, so that would explain the extreme amouts of segregation. Its a shame that parents won't let thier children learn from those who are exactly like them.


Tue Feb 06, 2007 3:54 pm
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Learning from others who are different from ourselves, helps us to see the world from another person's perspective. I've shared this book with several teachers and you bet eyes were opened.

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Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:45 pm
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