When I look at today's current educational practices through the lens of Freire's discussion about 'banking', I feel very sad. The push for increased and higher-stakes standardized testing methods encourage us to use the banking method of education (dropping "facts" into the students' brains, and calling that "education"). Reading Pedagogy of the Oppressed is an important step in illuminating how harmful these practices are to the children we want to help become active members of society.
The concept of a ruling class and an oppressed class may be controversial, but is very, very true in the current stratified society of the USA, both within the area of public education, and within other portions of society.
Freire may have written this book 30 years ago, but it is just as relevant to the USA today as it was to Brazil in the 1970s.