Nikole Hannah- "If you're surrounded by a bunch of kids who are all behind, you stay behind. But if you're in a classroom that has some kids behind and some kids advance, the kids who are behind tend to catch up. These kids in these classes in schools with concentrated poverty don't have that."
Nikole Hannah couldn't have possibly explained this problem better. Kozol talked about how the system keeps poverty in its place. He explained that the placement of lower class citizens into areas with poorly funded school and hospitals essentially makes it nearly impossible to succeed. In schools children are influenced by their peers, if they see their friends dropping out of school or doing poorly in school they are likely to follow suit. If families were able to choose which schools their children attend then we would have a much better blend of race and class in our nicer schools. Maybe there wouldn't be as many struggling schools and maybe the opportunity to leap from one social class to another may become easier.
"Under the law, while Normandy students can enroll in any nearby accredited district, Normandy has to provide transportation to just one. Normandy officials chose a district called Francis Howell. Francis Howell was 85% white. It's across a river in another county, roughly 30 miles away from Normandy"
The system is constantly working against the people below the poverty line. As if it wasn't bad enough that their school had closed and now the students had to be displaced, separated from their friends, and now had to find transportation to a new school, now the state is only providing free transportation to a school that is 30 minutes away. to add insult to injury, if the students wanted to attend another school they would have to pay tuition. Essentially what is going to happen to these students is they are going to drop out and only a few of them will actually end up transferring. I am sure that of the students who actually seized the opportunity, to go to the better school with the state provided transportation, only a few of those students actually finished their high school education. The system doesn't work in favor of the lower class and it continues to make things impossibly difficult.
"One mother asked why residents did not get to vote on letting in Normandy kids like they vote on public transportation."
"Years ago, when the MetroLink was being very popular, Saint Charles County put to a vote whether or not we wanted the MetroLink to come across into our community. And we said no. And the reason we said no is because we don't want the different areas-- I'm going to be very kind- coming across on our side of the bridge, bringing with it everything that we're fighting today against."
This quote showcases the typical mindset of the wealthy and privileged. These children don't have a school to go to any more and this wealthy school district is fighting to keep these children out. They don't want them coming across their bridge, they don't want their medical problems, criminal records or their race infecting their town. These people are so concerned with their own well being that they can't see the greater effect of their close mindedness. These kids need help, and yes they do come from a different background but who is to say that if any of those upper class people had started from the absolute bottom of society, would they have ever graduated from the lower class to anything more?