Free Schools – Jonathan Kozol (1972)

1960s: Days of Rage


Free Schools is a pragmatic and polemical sequel to Jonathan Kozol’s National Book Award‐winning Death at an Early Age. In the latter, Kozol described his brief career as an innovative teacher in the Boston Public Schools and his confrontations with its administrators, In the present book, he describes (and recommends) the far more wide‐ranging confrontations necessary to the founding of a Free School, such as the one he and a small group have successfully run for six years in the black ghetto of Roxbury, Mass. Set up in the ghetto by teachers and parents who can no longer tolerate public schools, supported by their mutual efforts and dedicated to the education of children in all the conventional skills, this kind of Free School isn’t to be confused with an operation like Ocean Hill‐Brownsville or other public‐school‐affiliated ventures that, however admirable, represent for Kozol merely an alternative within the…

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