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At 76, Jonathan Kozol Is More Outraged Over Inequality in Education Than Ever

Education activist Jonathan Kozol is letting loose on child poverty, racism, and educational inequity these days.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to get so angry," author and education activist Jonathan Kozol told a crowd of mostly educators in Los Angeles on Monday night. The teachers, many toting dog-eared copies of Savage Inequalities, Kozol's groundbreaking 1991 text which exposed in heartbreaking detail the education disparities between wealthier, whiter students and poor, minority kids, didn't need the apology. Instead they applauded Kozol, who is on a nationwide lecture tour promoting his 13th tome, Fire in the Ashes, for sustaining his moral outrage over child poverty, racism, and educational inequity for the past 40 years.

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Do We Need a 'Bar Exam' For Teachers?

Union head Randi Weingarten believes making it tougher to be a teacher will boost the profession's prestige.

Teachers unions ensure teachers have the resources and support they need to educate kids, but given the perception that they primarily protect bad teachers, there’s plenty of pressure on Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, to come up with ideas that’ll prove her union isn’t just about maintaining the status quo. In a conversation with Walter Isaacson at the Aspen Ideas Festival, Weingarten did just that, suggesting that making all prospective teachers take a bar exam will improve the quality and status of America's teachers.

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How Do We Break the Pattern of Poor Teaching for Poor Children?

Teaching that encourages creativity and critical thinking is increasingly reserved for affluent children.

Almost every proposal for "school reform" is top-down: divert public money to quasi-private charter schools, pit states against one another in a race for cash, offer rewards when test scores go up, fire the teachers or close the schools when they don't.

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