The Marc Steiner Show

08/27/08 Jonathan Kozol

I stand in awe of teachers.  I really do.  Especially city teachers, or any teacher in a low-income neighborhood.  Especially any teacher in a low-income neighborhood that is teaching at a public school and thus has the spectre of No Child Left Behind hanging above her/his head all the time! 

I mean honestly, how do you deal with that?  Well, Jonathan Kozol has some advice.  He is of course the educational activist most famous for his book Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools.  That book looked at race and class based economic disparities in American schools.  His new book is quite a bit more personal.  It’s a series of letters he wrote to a young teacher during her first year in a Boston Public School.  It’s his advice to a young teacher about how to succeed not only winning the attention of the students–but also how to maintain a sense of whim and imagination in a world obsessed with test results.  It’s called Letters to a Young Teacher.

What do you think?

Poll: Do you think No Child Left Behind has been good or bad for our schools?

Poll: What do you think of Kozol’s advice that teachers subvert NCLB in any way possible?

Enjoy the hour. 


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. I was introduced to Jonathan Kozol’s work for the first time in 2000 as a AAAS Congressional Fellow, when Sen. Paul Wellstone quoted from his book on the Senate floor. I had never had heard of him before then, but since Paul clearly respected him so much, I made it my business to read “Savage Inequalities”. I wanted to know if Mr. Kozol has advice to higher education faculty on how to participate in K-12 education…I teach on a college campus, but want to know how to help younger kids.

  2. Great show! I forgot the website Mr. Kozol mentioned at the end of the show and google isn’t helping.

  3. Catherine,
    the website that was mentioned was I just started looking at it. There is alot there great looking site.

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