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Class Dismissed: Why We Cannot Teach or Learn Our Way Out of Inequalityby John Marsh
Synopses & Reviews
In Class Dismissed, John Marsh debunks a myth cherished by journalists, politicians, and economists: that growing poverty and inequality in the United States can be solved through education. Using sophisticated analysis combined with personal experience in the classroom, Marsh not only shows that education has little impact on poverty and inequality, but that our mistaken beliefs actively shape the way we structure our schools and what we teach in them.
Rather than focus attention on the hierarchy of jobs and power—where most jobs require relatively little education, and the poor enjoy very little political power—money is funneled into educational endeavors that ultimately do nothing to challenge established social structures, and in fact reinforce them. And when educational programs prove ineffective at reducing inequality, the ones whom these programs were intended to help end up blaming themselves. Marshs struggle to grasp the connection between education, poverty, and inequality is both powerful and poignant.
Book News Annotation:
Many of us living in the first world have been led to believe that education is the most important step toward financial stability. While this may have been true for past generations, our current state of financial inequality is a problem which, on a case by case basis, often cannot be remedied via education. Marsh (English, Penn State U.) tackles the true nature of inequality and the illusion of education. While many political leaders on both sides of the political spectrum claim that higher education is the answer, Marsh claims that the true answer is the abolition of inequality. This book is intended for those considering the pursuit of higher education. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
About the Author
John Marsh is assistant professor of English at Penn State University. In addition to many articles and reviews, he is the author of You Work Tomorrow: An Anthology of American Labor Poetry, 1929-1941, which won the Tillie Olsen Award for Creative Writing.
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