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In Freemont High School, written by Jonathan Kozol, undesirable conditions of the schools are discussed. Although, the school is located in beautiful Los Angeles, the school is less than favorable. Many students, during any given day, are unable to eat, use the restroom, or receive a worthy education. Such schooling situations are not only exclusive to his high school, however, many undergo the exact same situations. Issues of social, economic, and public allocate such issues in schooling units. Many teachers discussed in this article, do not deserve the titles given to them. Instead of helping prepare students for their future, and college, they advise them to take unsecure courses (Kozol, date).
Sometimes, I can directly relate with. The intended audiences of this selection would certainly be both parents, and students. However, this read could certainly extend to everyone, because concern from these issues is in the hearts of many. Because, whether we like to acknowledge it or not, our schools are failing us. On one spectrum of the argument, students have advantage in favorable conditions, and on the other side, not so much. Conditions, such as those described in this article hinder the educational process and future of these young students, all students should have equality in their schooling institutions.
One of the first points made by Kozol in this article claimed: “the average ninth grader reads at a fourth-grade level” (Kozol, p. 716, date). Generally, when students do not succeed, they are held back. However, in this school located in Los Angeles, students are just pushed through until graduation. How can anyone be expected to succeed in life, when they are nearly 5 years behind in expectancy? Kozol then goes on to explain how nearly one third of these ninth graders read at a level even lower, a third-grade level. It brings upon questions to audiences as to how this situation got to this point. While also showcasing the degree of neglect that is surrounding such a school system as this (Kozol,date).
Generally, Kozol stated, high school students are reluctant to reveal their inner thoughts and emotions. However, he stated this simply was not the case regarding the students at Freemont high. Students were told prior hand, that Kozol was indeed a writer, which prompted them the perfect opportunity to reveal the harsh circumstances of their school. Many asked for changes. One of which, was to be granted more bathrooms. It was stated, that Freemont High School has nearly 15 fewer bathrooms that required by law. But oh, does it get worse. Of all these working bathrooms, around one or two, are unlocked for girls to use. Attention arises to audiences when realizing that this information was obtained from court records. This indicates, that even though laws have been overridden, this school remains to be unchanged. Many students do not have convenient access to bathrooms because of this (Kozal,date). Such conditions are inhumane, and it appears that nothing is being done to fix such issues.
Next, the author goes on to discuss the extreme heat that many students face during hotter seasons. Since there are no AC units, students have no option but to sweat from the overheated classrooms. Many of these students, claims Kozol “because red-faced and unable to concentrate” (Kozol, p. 719, date). Although, one may claim these ideas to be somewhat exaggerated, they must have never experienced such. I personally have, and I can certainly stand with them on this claim. Overheat can cause many issues, not only red faces and loss of concentration, but also dehydration. I understand that school funding has significantly dropped, but fundraiser could be concluded in order to make changes in the school One of them being to include AC units in all classrooms at Fremont High School. Air conditioning is taken for granted, until temperatures rise, and nothing can be done to escape such heat (Kozol,date).
Another example of how this school is inevitably holding kids back from their potentials was examined with the example of taking ‘life skills’ class. Not, at first, this may appear to be a beneficial class that should be required for all students. However, after learning what the class was truly about, one may change their opinion on this. This class, doesn’t really teach life skills such as balancing a check book, learning measurements, or how to cook. This class basically taught student’s things they should have already learned several years back. This greatly limits students, because they are not learning anything new, or even how to do basic things upon graduation. School should not only teach the basics, but rather life skills that can benefit students later in life as well. Not to mention, that due to overcrowding, many classes that interest students, or even teachers are unable to be taken. Therefore, little freedom or choice is given to students regarding which classes they can take. Students are left stuck in classes they do not need or will ever use to aid their future plans (Kozol,date).
Many teachers also want to offer enrichment class, however, due to the amount of space, this also is impossible. Kozol claimed: “So instead of the enrichment that students might have gained from taking an elective course that had some academic substance, they were obliged to sit through classes in which they were not enrolled and from which they said that they learned virtually nothing” (Kozol, p.723 date). This quote indicated that my thesis is correct, students are not encouraged or even allowed to prosper. Educational institutions should allow students to go as far as they can, not hold them back. These intelligent students are severely hindered when they can not utilize their intelligence to the highest degree. Kozol, in this above quote, also used the rhetorical approach of emotion. Audiences feel saddened that this is the reality of education in modern times. A school that doesn’t encourage students to use their abilities that God gifted them with, rather place them in the same courses as everyone else. This technique makes audiences realize the severity of the situation at hand. Where students are left behind, when they should be pushed forward.
There are several possibilities as to why the author decided to write this article, the main, certainly being to increase the likelihood of improvements being implemented in educational institutions such as Fremont High School. Although, this school was the primary focus in this essay, there are several other schools located in America that go through the same exact things. Budget cuts are the primary reasoning for this, and it appears, that with each passing year, budgets are becoming smaller and smaller. Schools are left with very little money and expected to do so much. Teachers are being paid very little, and many are losing jobs. The government is basically showing that education is unimportant to them, because of this lack of funding. Kozol desperately wanted to place a glass window of these conditions for audiences to realize the severity of the problem at hand. Many individuals know that there are problems in schools, however, they are not fully aware of the situation. Kozol knew that by producing this article, he would gain the attention of many audiences, and hopefully provoke attention and advocacy on such topics. Through the use of both academic and casual language, Kozol was successful in grasping attention and interest of audience members. He uses court cases for proof in his claims, such as the amounts of bathrooms contained within the high school being lower than the law requires. This point is also considered to be the approach of logos. Logic is inserted to help show audiences his credibility. Court cases do not lie; therefore, these facts act as a persuasion technique.
Kozol was very successful in these attempts to awaken audience members to the truth. Prior to reading this article, I was unaware that America was facing such issues in their schooling systems. Also, when the location of this school is reveal initially, audiences were more shocked. California is thought to be such a beautiful and modernized area; therefore, one would expect the schools to reflect these ideas. However, this is certainly not the case. I feel audiences would expect schools in Pennsylvania to be in this condition more so than California. I feel the author uses this case for this exact reason. To show audiences that if this is happening in beautiful California, then it is most likely happening in other locations as well. I was very convinced by this article that priorities need to be reconsidered in America. Education should be on the top of the priority list.
As we can see, there are many reasons as to why Fremont school is hurting the future of its students. Whether it is the lack of essential tools, space, teachers, bathrooms, or classes. Education is essential because it teaches the future leaders of the country. Educational systems in America have been long overdue for changes to be implemented (Kozol, date). A lot of unnecessary budget cuts have been concluded for schools, while funding has been provided to areas that are not necessary such as funding this Trump wall, or other stupid expenses of similar nature. Although, little choice is given to citizens as to where tax money goes, it is time that the people stand up for such issues. Public schools are being jeopardized left and right, as we can see from this short article. If something is not done, America children will be unprepared and uneducated. Everyone deserves equal opportunity to learn and prosper. Schools are the number one place to do so, and they need to make dire improvements to conditions and curriculums. Students are the future, and the future needs to be tended to in the correct manner. If not, several consequences will conclude.
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