The growing poverty and inequity in America should create a sense of urgency in researchers to leverage what we know for the public good—to intervene more productively and vigorously in an ever more fragile public educational system and to address the increasing vulnerability of far too many youth in the United States. The current worldwide recession, complicated if not bolstered by antiwelfare, antigovernment, antitax, and anti-immigrant ideologies and sentiments, and a dramatic retrenchment of the civil rights agenda, has become a fertile ground for powerful market-based approaches to solve economic, educational, and social problems. In this context, Mike Rose is a powerful voice in articulating a practical theory of how to organize an educational system that works for all students, as he argues for an approach to human learning that takes seriously the real conditions of labor, in which human intelligence always plays a central role. Mike demands that we think about the hard issues confronting us as a nation, as a common humanity: How do we re-mediate current activity and organize new forms of education that befit a democracy? How do we design for possible futures characterized by expansive forms of learning for low-income students and youth from nondominant communities in the current economic and social climate?
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