Category: Commentary

Agents of Change: Disrupting School-to-Prison Pipeline Score 0%

Agents of Change: Disrupting School-to-Prison Pipeline

Prevention We know many of the risk factors that require early intervention, such as mental illness, chronic absenteeism, and abuse. Failure to address these factors early on increases the probability of incarceration later. We need to make sure the children with the greatest need get the best teachers and we need to make sure we are meeting their learning needs.  Districts need mentoring programs, social and emotional curriculum, restorative justice polices, professional development strategies to build teacher and student efficacy, and aggressive efforts to promote academic success. We can’t just ignore it when kids are behind, and we can’t just suspend, expel, or refer kids away.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

…it’s becoming more and more difficult to hold to the sentiment’s true meaning while noticing the shadows hanging over issues and concerns tied to a whole slew of concerns. Just as examples: How are people making their choices? How are individual and societal responsibilities playing out? How are principles like justice, fairness and equality being interpreted?  How are the ever-increasing influences of the market/$ impacting our civic behavior?  How are gender and racial similarities and differences being translated? …

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Commentary/Henry A. Giroux

What cannot be exaggerated or easily dismissed is that Trump is the end result of a longstanding series of attacks on democracy and that his presence in the American political landscape has put democracy on trial. This is a challenge that artists, educators, and others must address. While mass civil demonstrations have and continue to erupt over Trump’s election, what is more crucial to understand is that something more serious needs to be addressed. We have to acknowledge that at this particular moment in American history the real issue is not simply about resisting Donald Trump’s insidious values and anti-democratic policies but whether a political system can be reclaimed in which democracy is not on trial but is deepened, strengthened and sustained.

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Education/Henry A. Giroux

Any viable attempt at developing a democratic politics must begin to address the role of education and civic literacy as central to politics itself. Education is also vital to the creation of individuals capable of becoming critical social agents willing to struggle against injustices and develop the institutions that are crucial to the functioning of a substantive democracy. One way to begin such a project is to address the meaning and role of higher education (and education in general) as part of the broader struggle for freedom.

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Henry Giroux: Trump vs. Comey

Artists, educators, young people, and others need to make the virtue of truth-telling visible again. We need to connect democracy with a notion of truth-telling and consciousness that is on the side of economic and political justice, and democracy itself. If we are going to fight for and with the powerless, we have to understand their needs, speak to and with them in a language mutually understandable, and create narratives in which they can both identify themselves and the conditions through which power and oppression bear down on their lives. This is not an easy task, but nothing less than justice, democracy, and the planet itself are at risk.

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Henry A. Giroux: Trump’s War…

Trump’s unapologetic authoritarianism has prompted Democratic Party members and the liberal elite to position themselves as the only model of organized resistance in such dark times. It is difficult not to see such moral outrage and faux pas resistance as both comedic and hypocritical in light of these centrist liberals have played in the last forty years–subverting democracy and throwing minorities of class and color under the bus. As Jeffrey St. Clair observes, “Trump’s nominal opponents,” the Democrats Party are “encased in the fatal amber of their neoliberalism”[xi] and they are part of the problem and not the solution. Rather than face up to their sordid history of ignoring the needs of workers, young people, and minorities of class and color, the Democratic Party acts as if their embrace of a variety of neoliberal political and economic policies along with their support of a perpetual war machine had nothing to do with paving the way for the election of Donald Trump. Trump represents the transformation of politics into a Reality TV show and the belief that the worth of a candidate can only by judged in terms of a blend of value as an entertainer and an advertisement for casino capitalism.[xii] Chris Hedges gets it right in revealing such hypocrisy for what it is worth – a carnival act.

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