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Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom

A Community of Students, Teachers, Researchers, and Activists


Edited By Nancye E. McCrary and E. Wayne Ross

What were once distinct professions for serving others and building knowledge are now communities of workers struggling against a tide of increasingly unregulated capitalism that is being fed by human greed. Teachers have become education workers, joining a working class that is rapidly falling behind and that is increasingly being silenced by the power elite who control nearly all the wealth that once supported a thriving middle class. Working for Social Justice Inside and Outside the Classroom delivers critical counter-narratives aimed at resisting the insatiable greed of a few and supporting a common good for most. The book is dedicated to hopeful communities working against perpetual war, the destruction of our natural environment, increasing poverty, and social inequalities as they fight to preserve democratic ideals in a just and sustainable world. Written by some of the most influential thinkers of our time, this collection is a tapestry of social justice issues woven in and out of formal and informal education.
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Chapter One: The Last Teacher


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The Last Teacher

Nancye McCrary

Public education in the United States is rapidly disappearing, especially since the world economy took a dive. Increasingly louder neoliberal demands for smaller government [shrinking public sector] and deregulation [wider corporate privilege] coincide with seemingly unrelated demands for re-forming public education. As the calls to liberate private enterprise become louder, a bizarre contradiction has unfolded in the context of global climate change and increasing poverty in the United States. This push to corporatize nearly everything, while further deregulating corporate practices, seems almost ghostly, a reflection of Ayn Rand’s rational self-interest at just the wrong time, were there ever a right time for such objectivism. As we watch the ice melt and conclude, through nearly all scientific evidence, that human enterprise is causing earth’s demise; those who stand to amass even more capital are calling for maximizing corporate rights to ravage whatever is left. The toll this is taking on the vast majority is enormous, primarily because privileging a few never actually trickles down to those who produce the goods and services. In fact, those on the front lines of production are often blamed when profits from their work decline. Such injustice results in decreasing wages, busted unions, and increasing poverty for the majority.

In this context, there is a growing assault on public education in the United States like none we have seen since Sputnik (1957). In complicit ignorance of...

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