Politicians Are Poody Heads

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Jan Resseger: Testing “Grit” as a Way of Blaming the Poor

on March 6, 2016

I think Resseger is right. It allows the “reformers” to blame the victim, and gives the government an excuse not to do much of anything to reduce poverty.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Jan Resseger, a social justice activist in Ohio, writes on her blog about the hidden agenda behind the debate about “grit.” 

She believes it is a way of blaming the poor for their poverty (obviously, they are poor because they lack grit) and at the same time, doing nothing to reduce poverty or to address the structural causes of poverty and inequality. In reality, it is a profoundly  reactionary way of shifting responsibility from government to those who are at the bottom of the ladder.

She begins:

Our preoccupation in American education with character formation defined as “grit” is integral to our culture’s rock-solid belief in the myth of the American Dream. It doesn’t matter that economists today are documenting rigidifying inequality with the rise of incomes at the top, wage stagnation for families in the middle, and deepening poverty and segregation among those at the very bottom. It doesn’t…

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