About the Blog

I will post a new entry every few weeks. Some will be new writing and some will be past work that has relevance today. The writing will deal in some way with the themes that have been part of my teaching and writing life for decades:

•teaching and learning;
•educational opportunity;
•the importance of public education in a democracy;
•definitions of intelligence and the many manifestations of intelligence in school, work, and everyday life; and
•the creation of a robust and humane philosophy of education.

If I had to sum up the philosophical thread that runs through my work, it would be this: A deep belief in the ability of the common person, a commitment to educational, occupational, and cultural opportunity to develop that ability, and an affirmation of public institutions and the public sphere as vehicles for nurturing and expressing that ability.

My hope is that this blog will foster an online community that brings people together to continue the discussion.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

New Book on Inequality

            Journalist David Cay Johnston has been writing about economic inequality for some time, with a focus on the ways the very wealthy protect and advance their privilege. In 2001 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his work on the ways that advantage plays out in the U.S. tax code. He is the editor of a new book, Divided: The Perils of Our Growing Inequality that brings together close to 40 previously published articles and essays that cover a wide range of topics, all dealing in some way with economic injustice, and all in some way addressing the basic question Johnston poses at the end of the introduction: who benefits under the current system and who does not?

           Divided is a wonderful sourcebook, a readable introduction to the topic of inequality but also a kind of textual map for the more informed, providing in one book a sense of the many domains of our lives affected by growing inequality.

            I list below the authors and titles of some of the chapters to give a sense of the scope and sweep of the book. Full disclosure: Divided is published by my publisher, the New Press, and a section from Back to School is reprinted in it.

Partial Table of Contents

Inequality and Democracy
            President Barack Obama

The Vanishing Middle Class
            Elizabeth Warren

How Gains at the Top Injure the Middle Class
            Robert H. Frank

Inequality Is Holding Back the Recovery
            Joseph E. Stiglitz

Home Depot’s CEO-Size Tip
            Barbara Ehrenreich

Why Do So Many Jobs Pay So Badly?
            Christopher Jencks

Household Wealth Inequality
            Edward N. Wolff

Inequality Across Generations
            Jared Bernstein

No Rich Child Left Behind
            Sean F. Reardon

Educational Quality and Equality
            Linda Darling-Hammond

Health and Income Inequalities Are Linked
            Richard Wilkinson

Reducing Health Care Disparities
            Olveen Carrasquillo and Jaime Torres

Hunger in America
            Donald S. Shepard, Elizabeth Setren, and Donna Cooper

How Economics Is Biased Toward the Rich
            Moshe Adler

Social Security Reduces Inequality—Efficiently, Effectively, and Fairly
            Nancy Altman and Eric Kingson

Prison’s Dilemma
            Glenn C. Loury

Race, Gender, Family Structure, and Poverty
            Peter Edelman

Employed Parents Who Can’t Make a Living

            Lisa Dodson

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