Readings: (The Norton Reader) Lynda Barry, “The Sanctuary of School” (Ch.8, p.415); Jonathan Kozol, “Fremont High School” (Ch.8, p.423); Mike Rose, “Blue-Collar Brilliance” (Ch.8, 450).
Directions: Complete the below questions after finishing the above readings. Number all answers in the order presented below in one document (must be MLA formatted).
Linda Barry’s “The Sanctuary of School”
1. How does Lynda Barry’s school experience contrast with her home life? What specifically makes school a “sanctuary”?
2. In paragraphs 19–21, Barry calls for better funding for public schools. Imagine that Barry has received an unrestricted $1,000,000 grant to improve her elementary school. How do you think she would spend it?
3. Compare Barry’s view of school to Kozol’s. What aspects of school does each author emphasize? Where do they agree? Where might they disagree?
4. Drawing on your own experience, write an argument about how we might improve our schools.
Jonathan Kozol’s “Fremont High School”
1. Jonathan Kozol draws on various sorts of evidence in his portrait of Fremont High School: numerical data, court documents, comparisons to other schools, and testimony from teachers and students. How does he arrange his evidence? Which sort of evidence does he emphasize? Why?
2. Kozol adopts a journalistic style, but he also puts himself into the story. How does Kozol use the first person (“I”)?
3. Kozol identifies many problems with Fremont High School, but he does not offer any solutions explicitly. Why? Of the problems he identifies, which are the most significant? What solutions do you think Kozol would support?
Mike Rose, “Blue-Collar Brilliance”
1. In his closing paragraph, Mike Rose asserts that the expanded understanding of intelligence for which he is arguing suggests “a model of the mind that is worthy of a democratic society.” What are the social or political implications of this connection between mind and democracy?
2. Rose’s essay was originally subtitled “Questioning assumptions about intelligence, work, and social class.” What assumptions is Rose questioning, either directly or indirectly? How does the revised title, “Blue-Collar Brilliance,” compare?
3. Rose introduces his general argument with detailed accounts of the work-lives of two family members: his mother and his uncle. Why do you think he makes this choice?
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