The Greatest Threat to Our Children

Henry Giroux again, this time from America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth.  Read the book, damn it.

For now:

“The greatest threat to our children does not come from lowered educational standards, the absence of privatized choice schemes, or the lack of rigid testing measures. On the contrary, it comes from a society that refuses to view children as a social investment, one that consigns 16.3 million children to live in poverty, reduces critical learning to massive testing programs, promotes policies that eliminate most crucial health and public services, and defines masculinity through the degrading celebration of a gun culture, extreme sports, and the spectacles of violence that permeate corporate-controlled media industries.  Students are not at risk because of the absence of market incentives in the schools:  they are at risk because as a country the United States supports an iniquitous class-based system of funding public education and has more recently become intent on completely destroy it precisely because it is public.  Children and young adults are under siege in both public and higher education because far too many of these institutions have become breeding grounds for commercialism, racism, sexism and homophobia, and consumerism, spurred on by the right-wing discourse of the Republican Party, conservative pundits, religious fundamentalists, and a weak mainstream media. We live in a society in which a culture of punishment and intolerance has replaced a culture of responsibility and compassion.  Within such a climate of harsh discipline and contempt for our collective well-being, it is easier for states such as California to set aside more financial resources to build prisons than to support higher education.”

(pgs. 203-204)

Giroux

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