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America's Education Deficit and the War on Youth reviewed on Critical-Theory.com

America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth

Henry Giroux’s “America’s Education: Deficit and the War on Youth,” Reviewed

June 5th, 2013 | by Eugene. Published in Books

Henry Giroux has spent most of his academic career making one poignant point: the world is doomed as long as neoliberalism continues to encroach on our education system. His latest book “America’s Education: Deficit and the War on Youth,” makes no exception. In a series of essays, Giroux tackles the militarization/neoliberalization of our school system and the culture of ignorance and cruelty it breeds.

Giroux centers education in the battle against a society that promotes rampant individualism and the dissolution of community bonds in the face of historic inequality, poverty and incarceration.

The education system is increasingly focused on the production of complacent consumers and workers. The banning of “critical thinking” in Texas schools is but a microcosm in the overall erosion of America’s education system. Our intellectual culture is dominated by corporate sponsored thinkers like Malcolm Gladwell, who Giroux argues, have become a (quoting Yasha Levine) “one-man branding and distribution pipeline for valuable corporate messages, constructed on the public’s gullibility.”

So what do we do when our intellectual culture is dominated by comic-book homages to that guy who wore turtlenecks and sold us trendy gadgets built in factories where people routinely kill themselves?

For one, we could end the fusion of the prison industrial complex with our school system that Giroux noted is increasingly concerned with charging kids with misdemeanors than actual education. And in Texas, the zero point of American fascism, police gave 300,000 “Class C misdemeanor” tickets to children as young as 6 according to Giroux. This school-to-prison pipeline is heavily racialized, with increased police presence in urban schools making it easier for people of color to be labeled as criminals before even graduating high school…

Read the entire review on Critical-Theory.com

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