The main theme in this chapter would have to be that you shouldn't judge people on their appearances. Kozol writes about a kid named Benjamin and how he knew that he was special education and was slower than other. But it wasn't until he talked to him after everyone has left that he was able to see the side of Benjamin that liked to read poetry. A quote that he says is on page 123 "If I hadn't had this opportunity to talk with him alone, I don't know if I'd have gotten past my first impression of him..". This to me shows that no matter who you are we all judge people when we first see them and never really get to know who they are.
The second chapter talks about the disadvantages these kids. The kids try applying to out of city schools but most of them don't get accepted. When given the chance to apply again they lose hope and decide not to. The way the system is for some of the schools is really bad and with only 65 out of 1900 making it to 12 twelfth grade and receive a diploma, it can discourage from making a try.