Productivity Amidst Chaos? Essay

2053 words - 8 pages

Productivity Amidst Chaos?

The Tragedy of Urban Public Schools

Urban America has been deteriorating for decades. Plagued with poverty, crime, and unemployment, it is a wonder that educational institutions exist at all. The present state of urban public schools is quite disheartening. With issues to face such as inadequate facilities, widespread violence and rising drop out rates it is no longer a question of who will succeed, it is a question of who will survive. Urban schools have become institutions well skilled in the desensitizing of its students to the importance of the qualities that an education should embody: idealism, imagination and creativity. Author Jonathan Kozol suggests in Savage Inequalities that public schools promote nothing but inequalities among students. In actuality, finding the root of this problem is much more involved. The problems in urban public schools are as interconnected as a spider's intricate web. Every strand connects to another and so on, until the problem is not merely one segment of the web, but the web itself. Every problem facing urban public schools is intrinsically related to one another. In order to isolate the underlying issue it is necessary to define the one element broad enough to encompass the widest possible range of solutions. Kozol's analysis depicts inequality as the blanket that covers every single problem in urban schools. More realistically, inequality is merely a strand in the overall web of problems in which America has become entangled.

The most pressing issue in today's urban public school system is the decayed state of the environment in which students are forced to learn. The scenes are nightmarish, "One would not have thought that children in America would ever have to choose between a teacher or a playground or sufficient toilet paper" (Kozol 79). These schools are a disgrace to all involved: parents, teachers, administrators, taxpayers, the federal government itself.

The cause of this problem can be evaluated from three perspectives. First, there is an obvious lack of money circulating in the system. Secondly, there is no clearly defined role for students, parents, and teachers. Finally, there is an ever-present struggle with the issue of segregation in the schools themselves.

It is easy to assume that every problem can be immediately traced to a lack of funding. Society can not escape this reality. Money is indeed a necessary evil. It is because of the impoverished state of public schools, that everyone suffers.

"A chemistry teacher reports that he does not have beakers, water, Bunsen burners.
He uses a popcorn popper as a substitute for a Bunsen burner, and he cuts down
plastic soda bottles to make laboratory dishes" (Kozol 52).

Most schools lack supplies, however the situation is extreme. There are shortages of textbooks, hardly any lab materials and many bathrooms simply do not work; the building themselves are caving in.

Because there is no...

Find Another Essay On Productivity Amidst Chaos?

Sub-plots in Hamlet Essay

1118 words - 4 pages Sub-plots in Hamlet   There are many things that critics say make Hamlet a "Great Work," one of which is the way that Shakespeare masterfully incorporates so many sub-plots into the story, and ties them all into the main plot of Hamlet’s revenge of his father’s murder. By the end of Act I, not only is the main plot identified, but many other sub-plots are introduced. Among the sub-plots are trust in the Ghost of King Hamlet, Fortinbras, and

Hamlet as Victim and Hero Essay

1301 words - 5 pages Hamlet as Victim and Hero      Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, a Shakespearean tragedy, tells the story of Prince Hamlet, who gained the knowledge of a terrible incident that his kingdom had suffered. Claudius, the king of Denmark and Hamlet's uncle, had killed his own brother, the king, who was also the father of Hamlet, and married his brother's widow. Hamlet suffered these traumas to a severe degree, and his only relief was to defeat his

Essay on Light and Dark in Antigone

1188 words - 5 pages Use of Light and Dark in Antigone   The "Golden Age" of Greece is noted for its many contributions to the creative world, especially in its development of the play. These performances strived to emphasize Greek morals, and were produced principally for this purpose. Antigone, by Sophocles, is typical. The moral focused on in Antigone is the conflict between physis (nature) and nomos (law), with physis ultimately presiding over nomos

charant Creon as the Main Character of Antigone

1231 words - 5 pages Creon as the Main Character of Antigone   Throughout the Greek play Antigone by Sophocles, there exists a dispute as to who should receive the designation of main character. Antigone, the daughter of the cursed King Oedipus, as well as Creon, stately king of Thebes, both appear as the key figures in this historic play. I believe that Creon, king of Thebes, should be considered the main character in this work of Greek theater. Three

Free Macbeth Essays: Sleep and Sleeplessness

525 words - 2 pages The Sleep and Sleeplessness Motif in Macbeth We have consciences that function to tell us the difference between right and wrong. If we have clear consciences, we usually possess the ability to sleep. But when our consciences are full of guilt, we experience a state of sleeplessness. In Macbeth, Shakespeare uses the sleep and sleeplessness motif to represent Macbeth's and Lady Macbeth's consciences and the effect Macbeth's conscience has on

Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield

898 words - 4 pages Life Outside of Life in Hawthorne’s Wakefield   Efficacy lies at the heart of human desires for immortality. Characters throughout literature and art are depicted as wanting to step aside and see what their world would be like without their individual contributions. The literary classic A Christmas Carol and the more recent, but ageless, film It’s Wonderful Life both use outside influences (three ghosts and Clarence the Angel

Essay on Identity in Song of Solomon

2172 words - 9 pages Searching for Identity in Song of Solomon         Abstract: Whether Africans really fly or just escape a monumental burden, perhaps only through death, is a decision Toni Morrison has apparently left to her readers. Never the less, no matter what you believe, within Song of Solomon, the suggestion is, that in order to "fly" you must go back to the beginning, back to your roots. You must learn the "art" from the old messages.   O

The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine

904 words - 4 pages The Character of Oedipus in Oedipus and The Infernal Machine    The stories of Oedipus, as told through Seneca's Oedipus and Cocteau's The Infernal Machine, contain both similarites and differences. Both authors portray the character of Oedipus as being obstinate, ignorant, and inquisitive. Yet Seneca and Cocteau differ on their interpretation of the motives that propelled these characteristics of Oedipus. Seneca portrays Oedipus as a

Okonkwo's Tragic Flaws in Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart

3121 words - 12 pages        An increasing amount of contemporary literature traces its origins back to the early works of Greece. For ages, humans have fascinated themselves with the impossible notion of perfection. Unrealistic expectations placed on those who were thought to be the noblest or most honorable individuals have repeatedly led to disappointment and frustration, either on the part of those particular individuals or those they influence. Classic

Sophocles' Antigone - Antigone Must Challenge Creon

889 words - 4 pages Antigone Must Challenge Creon in Antigone   In his "Funeral Oration" Pericles, Athens's leader in their war with other city-states, rallies the patriotism of his people by reminding them of the things they value. He encourages a sense of duty to Athens even to the point of self-sacrifice. He glorifies the free and democratic Athenian way of life and extravagantly praises those willing to die for it. In Antigone, Creon, Thebes's leader in

The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad

796 words - 3 pages The Role of Women in Homer’s Iliad Homer’s Iliad is undoubtedly focused on its male characters: Achilles, primarily, but also Hector and Agamemnon. Nevertheless, it seems that the most crucial characters in the epic are female. Homer uses the characters of Thetis, Andromache, and Helen as a basis for comparison to the male characters. Homer wants his audience to see and understand the folly of his male characters in choosing war over peace

Similar Essays

Economics: Labor Productivity Essay

1195 words - 5 pages . Luckily for Americans and tourists alike, planners were wise enough to envision the park as it is, with all of the work that went into making, and keeping it the sea of calm it is amidst urban chaos. Any type of governmental intervention in market mechanisms is often viewed as planning by economists. Planning sometimes makes minor changes to the economic market by intervening, and other times it supersedes it entirely. By looking at both

The Pros And Cons Of Life In Communist East Germany In Goodbye, Lenin

2202 words - 9 pages to the reality he lives. This is some kind of privacy achieved for him, so contrary to what the state deems acceptable. Later, Alex makes his way through the streets of Berlin joining a mass protest against the government. There is no tolerance for this and Alex is beaten and arrested amidst a forceful assault on the protestors by the state police. It is here where Alex's mother, such a zealous supporter of the state, draped conspicuously in a

Burnout After Downsizing Essay

3199 words - 13 pages combination of early retirement and layoffs. The email that was sent out by our CEO was interpreted by the majority of employees to imply that if you were offered early retirement and chose not to take it, that you would most likely be laid off. In response, nearly everyone given the option of early retirement accepted the offer and left the company. Chaos ensued as the company scrambled to fill positions that they didn’t intend to vacate. Amidst the

Reality And Illusion In Shakespeare's Hamlet Reality, Appearance And Deception

896 words - 4 pages Reality and Illusion in Hamlet   Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet, begins with the appearance of a ghost, an apparition, possibly a hallucination. Thus, from the beginning, Shakespeare presents the air of uncertainty, of the unnatural, which drives the action of the play and develops in the protagonist as a struggle to clarify what only seems to be absolute and what is actually reality. Hamlet's mind, therefore, becomes the central force of the