ABSTRACT

This chapter looks deeply at the connections between pushout and the competing purposes of schooling. It grapples with a fi nal, yet primary, humiliating irony: school as disrespectful lifeline. I’ll engage in interview, slambook, and focus group and survey data from both the Gateways and Get-aways Project and the Youth Researchers for a New Education System Project to understand how youth theorize schools as toxic, while at the same time, hold education as vital to their now and future selves (see also Tuck, 2008 ). I will explore youths’ differentiations of schooling and education as another element of youths’ dangerous dignities. As in the slambook excerpt above, our youth participants disagreed that passing the Regents should be the only goal for student learning in New York City public school curricula. Further, they contested views of youth as apathetic and hopeless. Rather, we found that youth envision a diversity of futures, and do so critically, in critical relation to their current situations.