Education and the Crisis in Public Values — excerpt from a book by Henry Giroux

[In May, Truthout published Henry Giroux’s three-part extensive indictment of our educational system and its drive toward privatization.  It’s useful for us to understand that no one person should be seen as a villain in this process.  There is plenty of blame to spread around.  Nor is it the fault of Republicans alone: Richard Daley, after all, has led the assault here in Democratic Chicago.  No one should be allowed to become a scapegoat for a system not so much gone awry as no longer needed to accomplish the goals that were once necessary for corporate capital.  The first step in claiming education on behalf of our children, our whole society, is to make education actually national and public — no more kow-towing to Texas Board of Education standards for textbooks;  no more genuflecting to the demands of the testing industry; no more excuses for cutting back valuable resources in disposable schools.  World class education in every neighborhood.  — Lew Rosenbaum]

Dumbing Down Teachers: Attacking Colleges of Education in the Name of Reform (Part I)

Tuesday 25 May 2010

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Feature

(Illustration: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)

This article is the first of a three-part series taken from a forthcoming book, Education and the Crisis of Public Values to be published by Peter Lang Publishing Group.

Also See: In Defense of Public School Teachers in a Time of Crisis

Part II | Teachers Without Jobs and Education Without Hope: Beyond Bailouts and the Fetish of the Measurement Trap

Part III | Chartering Disaster: Why Duncan’s Corporate-Based Schools Can’t Deliver an Education That Matters

As the Obama administration’s educational reform movement increasingly adopts the interests and values of a “free-market” culture, many students graduate public schooling and higher education with an impoverished political imagination, unable to recognize injustice and unfairness. They often find themselves invested in a notion of unattached individualism that severs them from any sense of moral and social responsibility to others or to a larger notion of the common good. At the same time, those students who jeopardize the achievement of the quantifiable measures and instrumental values now used to define school success are often subjected to harsh disciplinary procedures, pushed out of schools, subjected to medical interventions or, even worse, pushed into the criminal justice system.[1] Most of these students are poor whites and minorities of color and, increasingly, students with special needs.

To be sure, the empirical emphasis of conservative school policy has been in place for decades. In keeping with this trend, the Obama administration’s educational policy under the leadership of Arne Duncan lacks a democratic vision and sense of moral direction. Consequently, it reproduces rather than diminishes many of these problems.  [Read the rest of this article, and find links to the other articles by clicking here.]