“Plans are underway to replace community, family, and church with propaganda, education, and mass media….the State shakes loose from Church, reaches out to School … People are only little plastic lumps of human dough.”
Edward A. Ross, “Social Control,” 1901
“Each year the child is coming to belong more to the State and less and less to the parent.”
Ellwood Cubberley, “Conceptions of Education” 1909
Before 1852 American education consisted of one-room school houses, independent teachers, and students of all ages attending of their own free will. Curriculums and funding came directly from local communities without a federalized bureaucracy ruling over every facet like today. From 18521918 things changed as the government began pushing to enforce compulsory schooling laws all across America.
These were coupled with new “child labor laws” in an effort to take children off the farms from under their family’s tutelage and force them into indoctrination camps under the government’s tutelage. These laws were met with strenuous opposition at every turn by the US population and unless there was an incredibly well-backed agenda to make sure such laws passed, they would not have.
If it was simply a matter of what the people in individual states really wanted, child labor and compulsory schooling issues would have been dropped as soon as they were raised.
“At first the laws were optional … later the law was made statewide but the compulsory period was short (ten to twelve weeks) and the age limits low, nine to twelve years. After this, struggle came to extend the time, often little by little…to extend the age limits downward to eight and seven and upwards to fourteen, fifteen or sixteen; to make the law apply to children attending private and parochial schools, and to require cooperation from such schools for the proper handling of cases; to institute state supervision of local enforcement; to connect school attendance enforcement with the childlabor legislation of the State through a system of working permits.”
Ellwood Cubberley, “Public Education in the United States” 1919/34
Once federalized mandatory schooling was employed countrywide, the compulsory attendance of 912 year olds, 1012 weeks a year, was incrementally lengthened to the point that nowadays 4 year olds are entering preschools and 26 year old doctors are still being indoctrinated. Ironically the longer students remain in their respective institutions, the more respect they are generally given in their field.
Thus our “experts” in Medicine, Science, Technology, Philosophy, Economics, Politics etc. are generally those who have received the most government indoctrination.
“Since 1900, and due more to the activity of persons concerned with social legislation and those interested in improving the moral welfare of children than to educators themselves, there has been a general revision of the compulsory education laws of our States and the enactment of much new childwelfare … and antichildlabor legislation …
These laws have brought into the schools not only the truant and the incorrigible, who under former conditions either left early or were expelled, but also many children … who have no aptitude for book learning and many children of inferior mental qualities who do not profit by ordinary classroom procedures …Our schools have come to contain many children who … become a nuisance in the school and tend to demoralize school procedure.”
Ellwood Cubberley, “Public Education in the United States” 1919/34
At the turn of the 20th century Cubberley spoke of how children mechanically minded, without aptitude for book learning, or of inferior mental capacities, “become a nuisance in the school and tend to demoralize school procedure.”
At the turn of the 21st century, Bush continues pushing the idea of “No Child Left Behind,” the complete opposite, which expands specially at the expense of gifted and talented programs, promotes “outcomebased education” (an atrocious educational philosophy now being promoted), and furthers state control of your children.
If you believe in the myth of a benevolent nanny-state that looks out for your best interests from cradle to grave, “No Child Left Behind” might fit well into your philosophy, but for independent individuals, lovers of freedom, this is the final step in government mind-control.
“In 1909 a factory inspector did an informal survey of 500 working children in 20 factories. She found that 412 of them would rather work in the terrible conditions of the factories than return to school.”
Helen Todd, “Why Children Work,” McClure’s Magazine, April, 1913
“In one experiment in Milwaukee, for example, 8,000 youth …were asked if they would return fulltime to school if they were paid about the same wages as they earned at work; only 16 said they would.”
David Tyack, “Managers of Virtue,” 1982
California Education Administrator Ellwood Cubberley was the main antiestablishment voice speaking out against the standardizing and Germanizing of our schools. The leading establishment voice was (1889-1906) US Commissioner of Education William Torrey Harris.
Listen to Harris’ words from his 1906, “The Philosophy of Education”:
“Ninetynine [students] out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.”
Is this a sane “Philosophy of Education” by anyone’s standards?
This is the man who gave America scientifically age-graded classrooms to replace the long successful practice of mixed-age school houses.
In “The Philosophy of Education,” Harris wrote his vision of the perfect classroom:
“The great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly places … It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external world.”
The first federalized education board was the 1870 founded NEA (National Education Administration) which quickly announced that countrywide school science courses must be restructured to teach “evolution” as fact, not theory. Having gained a fair amount of pull in the NEA, in 1903, John. D. Rockefeller created the GEB (General Education Board) in an effort toward “this goal of social control.”
Later, in 1923 he would also create the International Education Board providing over $20 million to promote education abroad.
The Rockefeller, Carnegie and Ford groups have often funded (and thus steered) American education more so even than the government.
“Reading through the papers of the Rockefeller Foundation’s General Education Board an endowment rivaled in school policy influence in the first half of the twentieth century only by Andrew Carnegie’s various philanthropies seven curious elements force themselves on the careful reader:
1) There appears a clear intention to mold people through schooling.
2) There is a clear intention to eliminate tradition and scholarship.
3) The net effect of various projects is to create a strong class system verging on caste.
4) There is a clear intention to reduce mass critical intelligence while supporting infinite specialization.
5) There is clear intention to weaken parental influence.
6) There is clear intention to overthrow accepted custom.
7) There is striking congruency between the cumulative purposes of GEB projects and the utopian precepts of the oddball religious sect, once known as Perfectionism, a secular religion aimed at making the perfection of human nature, not salvation or happiness, the purpose of existence.
The agenda of philanthropy, which had so much to do with the schools we got, turns out to contain an intensely political component.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (201)
“One would assume that, since the Rockefellers are thought of as capitalists, they would have used their fortune to foster the philosophy of individual liberty. But, just the opposite is true. We have been unable to find a single project in the history of the Rockefeller foundations which promotes free enterprise … almost all of the Rockefeller grants have been used directly or indirectly to promote economic and social collectivism, i.e., Socialism Fascism.”
Gary Allen, “The Rockefeller File”
“Philanthropy is the essential element in the making of Rockefeller power. It gives the Rockefellers a priceless reputation as public benefactors which the public values so highly that power over public affairs is placed in the Rockefellers’ hands. Philanthropy generates more power than wealth alone can provide.”
Myer Kutz, “Rockefeller Power”
Rockefeller charity and philanthropy influences many sectors of society from education to politics to religion. Here’s an abridged list of Rockefeller funded organizations:
- American Assembly
- American Association for the United Nations
- American Friends Service Committee
- Atlantic Union
- Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science
- Center of Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
- Citizens Committee for International Development
- Committees on Foreign Relations
- Committee for Economic Development
- Council on Foreign Relations
- Federation of World Governments
- Foreign Policy Association
- Institute of International Education
- Institute for World Order
- National Planning Association US National Commission
- The Trilateral Commission World Affairs Council
- United World Federalists
Notice any trends?
Any doubt regarding the Rockefeller’s intent in starting the GEB should be clarified in John D’s own mission statement:
“In our dreams, people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present education conventions of intellectual and character education fade from their minds, and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people, or any of their children, into philosophers, or men of science.
We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for great artists, painters, musicians nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen – of whom we have an ample supply. The task is simple. We will organize children and teach them in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”
John D. Rockefeller, General Education Board (1906)
This is not a man looking out for the best interest of students. You can get a good sense of his demeanor from statements like “yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands” and talking about creating a “perfect system” of state education better than imperfect parental education.
Martin Luther King Jr., for one, disagrees with John. D. Rockefeller saying:
“The group consisting of mother, father and child is the main educational agency of mankind.”
Who do you agree with?
Prior to WWI, in a speech to American businessmen, President Woodrow Wilson admitted similar goals as the Rockefellers:
“We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forgo the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.”
In 1931, Paul Mantoux, in his foreword to “International Understanding” wrote,
“And the builder of this new world must be education…. Plainly, the first step in the case of each country is to train an elite to think, feel, and act internationally.”
In 1932, continuing their effort to change the philosophical goals of American education, the Rockefeller/Carnegie dominated NEA created the EPC (Educational Policies Commission). Years later the EPC put together its book “Education for All American Youth” which outlined federal programs for health, education and welfare to be combined under one giant bureaucracy. It outlined preschool programs, sex education classes, and the removal of local control over educational issues “without seeming to do so.”
A 1934 NEA report advised,
“A dying laissez-faire must be completely destroyed and all of us, including the ‘owners’, must be subjected to a large degree of social control.”
So these education “experts” actually speak of themselves as “owners” and worry about falling under “a large degree of (the) social control” which they themselves implement.
“The thesis I venture to submit to you is as follows: That during the past forty or fifty years those who are responsible for education have progressively removed from the curriculum of studies the Western culture which produced the modern democratic state; That the schools and colleges have, therefore, been sending out into the world men who no longer understand the creative principle of the society in which they must live.
That deprived of their cultural tradition, the newly educated Western men no longer possess in the form and substance of their own minds and spirits and ideas, the premises, the rationale, the logic, the method, the values of the deposited wisdom which are the genius of the development of Western civilization; That the prevailing education is destined, if it continues, to destroy Western civilization and is in fact destroying it. I realize quite well that this thesis constitutes a sweeping indictment of modern education. But I believe the indictment is justified and here is a prima facie case for entering this indictment.”
Walter Lippmann, at the Association for the Advancement of Science, December 29th, 1940
In 1942, the Institute of Pacific Relations published “Post War Worlds.”
In it P.E. Corbett wrote,
“World government is the ultimate aim … It must be recognized that the law of nations takes precedence over national law …The process will have to be assisted by the deletion of the nationalistic material employed in educational textbooks and its replacement by material explaining the benefits of wiser association.”
In 1946, former editor of the NEA Journal, Joy Elmer, published, “The Teacher and World Government” saying things like,
“In the struggle to establish an adequate world government, the teacher… can do much to prepare the hearts and minds of children for global understanding and cooperation… At the very heart of all the agencies which will assure the coming of world government must stand the school, the teacher, and the organized profession.”
The next year in 1947 The American Education Fellowship, organized by establishment minion John Dewey (of the “Dewey decimal system”) called for the,
“establishment of a genuine world order, an order in which national sovereignty is subordinate to world authority.”
In October, 1947, NEA Associate Secretary William Carr wrote in the NEA Journal that teachers should,
“teach about the various proposals that have been made for the strengthening of the United Nations and the establishment of a world citizenship and world government.”
“It was natural businessmen should devote themselves to something besides business; that they should seek to influence the enactment and administration of laws, national and international, and that they should try to control education.”
Max Otto, “Science and the Moral Life,” 1949
Elitist Committee of 300 philosopher, Bertrand Russell, in his 1951 book “The Impact of Science on Society,” wrote,
“Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished…. Influences of the home are obstructive; and in order to condition students, verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective …
It is for a future scientist to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen.”
In 1953, Carroll Reece, Tennessee Congressman and Chairman of the RNC (Republican National Committee) along with research director Norman Dodd, and lawyer Rene Wormser, performed the first and only in-depth investigation into the activities of the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Ford foundations and their effect on American education.
Rene Wormser wrote that the Reece investigation,
“leads one to the conclusion that there was, indeed, something in the nature of an actual conspiracy among certain leading educators in the United States to bring about socialism through the use of our school systems.”
They discovered that the Rockefeller foundation was the primary culprit behind the NEA’s rapidly changing policies and the teaching of socialism in America’s schools/universities.
“A very powerful complex of foundations and allied organizations has developed over the years to exercise a high degree of control over education. Part of this complex, and ultimately responsible for it, are the Rockefeller and Carnegie groups.”
During a personal meeting, President Rowan Gaither of the Ford Foundation told Reece Committee research director Norman Dodd that,
“all of us here at the policy making level of the foundation have at one time or another served in the OSS [precursor to the CIA] or the European Economic Administration, operating under directives from the White House. We operate under those same directives … The substance under which we operate is that we shall use our grant making power to so alter life in the United States that we can be comfortably merged with the Soviet Union.”
As their meeting turned from civil to threatening, Gaither warned Dodd,
“If you proceed with the investigation as you have outlined, you will be killed.”
“This was the situation in the 1950s when the Reece Committee briefly investigated. The RockefellerCarnegie groups have continued basically unopposed for the next 40 years in controlling education. One of the educational book producers is Grolier, Inc. Avery Rockefeller, Jr. sits on Grolier, Inc. board meetings. Another interesting board member is Theodore WaIler who is the director of Grolier, Inc. He was a member of the International Book Committee of UNESCO.”
–Fritz Springmeier, “Bloodlines of the Illuminati”
In the mid-sixties the Education Department produced a document called “Designing Education” which advised each state to “lose its independent identity as well as its authority,” in order to “form a partnership with the federal government.”
Another important document at the time was Benjamin Bloom’s “Taxonomy of Educational Objectives” which was used as “a tool to classify the ways individuals are to act, think, or feel as the result of some unit of instruction.”
Using B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning and other new behavioral psychology models, American education shifted focus toward emotional/outcome based learning, so-called “values clarification” and “sensitivity training.”
As noted by Ph.D. Superintendent of South St. Paul, Minnesota schools, Ray I. Powell, in 1975,
“It’s all brainwashing!”
In 1981, the NEA published the Special Committee on Instructional Technology Report, which as usual, addressed the public/children as lumps of clay to be molded to suit their will:
“In its coming involvement with a technology of instruction, the profession will be faced again with the challenge of leadership – by example and by effective communication – the challenge of convincing the public that education is much more than treating students like so many Pavlovian dogs, to be conditioned and programmed into docile acceptance of a do-it-yourself blueprint of the Good Life.”
Through “outcomebased” learning and other sophisticated standardized mind control methods which continue being refined to present day, our government schools are perpetually preparing a new workforce for job specialization.
“Outcomebased education, because it concentrates on the ‘end product’ of its process, can be said to restrict the student’s mental functioning … Success in an outcome-based environment is restricted to performing prescribed tasks to the point of automaticity. The functions of memory and creativity are not used, nor are they considered necessary to succeed in an OBE program or any program that uses Skinnerian mastery learning or direct instruction.
Predictability is the bottom line for OBE, limiting the student to only those responses which are prescribed. When trained by OBE methodology, the student cannot fail unless he employs creativity and produces an unpredicted response. In an OBE environment, he can believe only that which is acceptable. The most predictable outcome, over time, is frustration and ultimately, low achievement and behavior problems.”
Charlotte Iserbyt, “Deliberate Dumbing Down of America” (322)
“Schools at present are the occupation of children; children have become employees, pensioners of the government at an early age. But government jobs are frequently not really jobs at all—that certainly is the case in the matter of being a schoolchild.
There is nothing or very little to do in school, but one thing is demanded—that children must attend, condemned to hours of desperation, pretending to do a job that doesn’t exist. At the end of the day, tired, fed up, full of aggression, their families feel the accumulated tedium of their pinched lives. Government jobs for children have broken the spirit of our people.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (298)
During the Reagan administration, US Department of Education Senior Policy Advisor was Camden, Maine school board director Charlotte Iserbyt.
Iserbyt has long been an appreciated voice of opposition to outcome based education and Skinnerian methodology.
She recently compiled a mammoth, informative expose on the devolution of American education called “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.”
She explains how,
“An alien collectivist (socialist) philosophy, much of which came from Europe, crashed onto the shores of our nation, bringing with it radical changes in economics, politics, and education, funded surprisingly enough by several wealthy American families and their tax-exempt foundations. The goal of these wealthy families and their foundations a seamless noncompetitive global system for commerce and trade when stripped of flowery expressions of concern for minorities, the less fortunate, etc., represented the initial stage of what this author now refers to as the deliberate dumbing down of America.
Seventy years later, the carefully laid plans to change America from a sovereign, constitutional republic with a free enterprise economic base to just one of many nations in an international socialist (collectivist) system (New World Order) are apparent. Only a dumbed down population, with no memory of America’s roots as a prideful nation, could be expected to willingly succumb to the global workforce training planned by the Carnegie Corporation and the John D. Rockefellers, I and II.” (7)
John Taylor Gatto, author of “The Underground History of American Education,” was New York “Teacher of the Year” for the 3rd time in 1991 when he quit his 30 year teaching career saying that he was “no longer willing to hurt children.”
“I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free …I don’t mean to be inflammatory, but it’s as if government schooling made people dumber, not brighter; made families weaker, not stronger … The training field for these grotesque human qualities is the classroom. Schools train individuals to respond as a mass.
Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, and generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, family-less, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between Cheers and Seinfeld is a subject worth arguing about.
An executive director of the National Education Association announced that his organization expected ‘to accomplish by education what dictators in Europe are seeking to do by compulsion and force.’ You can’t get much clearer than that. WWII drove the project underground, but hardly retarded its momentum. Following cessation of global hostilities, school became a major domestic battleground for the scientific rationalization of social affairs through compulsory indoctrination.”
It is very important for both governments and corporations that schools constantly churn out unquestioning, uninformed sheeple crushed of creativity and individuality, who are emotionally needy, respond in groupthink patterns, and find their only reprieve in materialism/advertising. As Gerald Bracey, leading promoter of government schooling wrote in his 1991 annual report to business clients, “we must continue to produce an uneducated social class.”
Lifetime Learning Systems, a new corporation helping advertisers infiltrate our schools, said to its clients,
“School is the ideal time to influence attitudes, build long-term loyalties, introduce new products, test market, promote sampling and trial usage – and above all – to generate immediate sales.”
Suzanne Cornforth of Paschall and Associates public relations consultants was quoted in the New York Times on July 15th, 1998 saying,
“Today’s corporate sponsors want to see their money used in ways to line up with business objectives …This is a young generation of corporate sponsors and they have discovered the advantages of building long-term relationships with educational institutions.”
“The secret of American schooling is that it doesn’t teach the way children learn, and it isn’t supposed to; school was engineered to serve a concealed command economy and a deliberately re-stratified social order. It wasn’t made for the benefit of kids and families as those individuals and institutions would define their own needs. School is the first impression children get of organized society; like most first impressions, it is the lasting one.
Life according to school is dull and stupid, only consumption promises relief: Coke, Big Macs, fashion jeans, that’s where real meaning is found, that is the classroom’s lesson, however indirectly delivered … Advertising, public relations, and stronger forms of quasi-religious propaganda are so pervasive in our schools, even in ‘alternative’ schools, that independent judgment is suffocated in mass-produced secondary experiences and market tested initiatives.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education”
Scientifically subjecting young children to factory style seating, standardized testing, and government textbooks bring “order out of chaos,” and make for manageable populations. Modern schools create uniformity, while suppressing skepticism and creativity.
They overdevelop competitive spirit while undermining compassion and curiosity. They promote cliques, gangs, small group mentalities, and “smallpicture” thinkers. Grading and testing procedures hinder “bigpicture” understanding of any subject and force students to focus on more simple, gradable aspects. True education and mastery of the subjects at hand are not encouraged or even feasible.
Students are merely required to memorize trivial information like names, dates, places, events etc. just long enough to regurgitate for standardized multiple-choice tests.
Then after examination, the trivial info stored in their short-term memory disappears along with their superficial understandings of each subject.
“We are students of words; we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“That erroneous assumption is to the effect that the aim of public education is to fill the young of the species with knowledge and awaken their intelligence, and so make them fit to discharge the duties of citizenship in an enlightened and independent manner. Nothing could be further from the truth. The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all, it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever the pretensions of politicians, pedagogues and other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else.”
“A general state education is a mere contrivance for molding people to be exactly like one another; and as the mold in which it casts them is that which pleases the predominant power in the government…it establishes a despotism over the mind”
John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty”
“The Brotherhood has also structured the ‘education’ system and the media to lock people in what I call the left brain prison. The left brain is the area which deals with the physical world view, ‘rational’ thought and all that can be seen, touched, heard and smelled. The right brain is our intuition and our connection with higher dimensions. This is where you find the artist and creativity, inspired by our uniqueness of thought and expression. The education system and its offshoots, like the media and science, are designed to speak to the left brain and to switch off right brain thinking. This is why spending on the arts in schools is being cut back all over the world and rigid, left brain programs imposed. ‘Education’ fills the left brain with information, much of which is untrue and inaccurate, and it demands that this is stored and then regurgitated on the exam paper. If you do this like a robot you pass. If, however, you filter the information through the right brain and say ‘Hey, this is piece of shit’, you won’t pass even though you will be telling the truth. Isn’t education just wonderful?”
David Icke, “The Biggest Secret” (4812)
It has been demonstrated if you read the brainwaves of a typical American, left-brain neurons are constantly more active than right.
And with the constant suppression of creativity and right brained sympathies, we crank out a population of students who want to be musicians, actors, artists, painters, and poets, but are forced into the “real world” jobs of accounting, business, economics, advertising etc.
“What’s the difference between a bright, inquisitive five-year-old, and a dull, stupid nineteen-year-old? Fourteen years of the British educational system.”
“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”
”Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.”
“Schools have not necessarily much to do with education. They are mainly institutions of control, where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.”
“A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.”
Every day all over the world, millions of bright young minds are spending the best years of their lives being herded around by governments like cattle, responding to bells, whistles and other Pavlovian/Skinnerian conditioning.
Millions of children are locked into this program Monday to Friday from 95 performing boring/arduous tasks against their will because society has deemed it necessary. Just like the workplace, only unquestioning compliance is rewarded and your only reprieves are snack breaks and lunch time, which are withheld from you like salivating dogs until the bell rings.
Meanwhile you anxiously sit in rigid rows all facing the big boss and the blackboard, focused on fantasy objectives, conditioned to view other students as competitors and hindrances.
“By bells and other concentration destroying technology, schools teach that nothing is worth finishing because some arbitrary power intervenes both periodically and aperiodically … Love of learning can’t survive this steady drill. Students are taught to work for little favors and ceremonial grades which correlate poorly with their actual ability. By addicting children to outside approval and nonsense rewards, schools make them indifferent to the real power and potential that inheres in self-discovery reveals. Schools alienate the winners as well as the losers … By stars, checks, smiles, frowns, prizes, honors, and disgraces, schools condition children to lifelong emotional dependency. It’s like training a dog.
The reward/punishment cycle, known to animal trainers from antiquity, is the heart of a human psychology distilled in late nineteenth century Leipzig and incorporated thoroughly into the scientific management revolution of the early twentieth century in America. Half a century later, by 1968, it had infected every school system in the United States … Each day, schools reinforce how absolute and arbitrary power really is by granting and denying access to fundamental needs for toilets, water, privacy, and movement. In this way, basic human rights which usually require only individual volition, are transformed into privileges not to be taken for granted … [school] teaches how hopeless it is to resist because you are always watched.
There is no place to hide. Nor should you want to. Your avoidance behavior is actually a signal you should be watched even more closely than the others. Privacy is a thought crime. School sees to it that there is no private time, no private space, no minute uncommanded, no desk free from search, no bruise not inspected by medical policing or the counseling arm of thought patrols.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (2456)
“It seems to me that much of what we call education is really socialization. Consider what we do to our kids. Is it really a good idea to send your 6yearold into a room full of 6yearolds, and then, the next year, to put your 7yearold in with 7yearolds, and so on? A simple recursive argument suggests this exposes them to a real danger of all growing up with the minds of 6yearolds. And, so far as I can see, that’s exactly what happens. Our present culture may be largely shaped by this strange idea of isolating children’s thought from adult thought. Perhaps the way our culture educates its children better explains why most of us come out as dumb as they do, than it explains how some of us come out as smart as they do.”
“There has never in the history of the civilized world been a cohort of kids that is so little affected by adult guidance and so attuned to a peer world. We have removed grownup wisdom and allowed them to drift into a self constructed, highly relativistic world of friendship and peers.”
–William Damon, Stanford University Center on Adolescence
“Don’t let a world of funny animals, dancing alphabet letters, pastel colors, and preachy music suffocate your little boy or girl’s consciousness at exactly the moment when big questions about the world beckon. Funny animals were invented by North German social engineers; they knew something important about fantasy and social engineering that you should teach yourself.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (2989)
Does all this age-graded, childish “edutainment,” serve to make education more fun, or more trivial and superficial? As cute as they may be, are Disney, Barney, Sesame Street and others what are best for our children?
Are textbooks with bright color pictures helpful or distracting?
“Men had better be without education than be educated by their rulers.”
–Thomas Hodgskin, 1823
“Take at hazard one hundred children of several educated generations and one hundred uneducated children of the people and compare them in anything you please; in strength, in agility, in mind, in the ability to acquire knowledge, even in morality and in all respects you are startled by the vast superiority on the side of the children of the uneducated.”
Count Leo Tolstoy, “Education and Children,” 1862
“My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.”
–George Bernard Shaw
“Samuel Johnson entered a note into his diary several hundred years ago about the powerful effect reading Hamlet was having upon him. He was nine at the time. Abraham Cowley wrote of his infinite delight’ with Spenser’s Faerie Queen—an epic poem that treats moral values allegorically in nineline stanzas that never existed before Spenser (and hardly since). He spoke of his pleasure with its ‘Stories of Knights and Giants and Monsters and Brave Houses.’ Cowley was twelve at the time. It couldn’t have been an easy read in 1630 for anyone, and it’s beyond the reach of many elite college graduates today. What happened? The answer is that Dick and Jane happened. ‘Frank had a dog. His name was Spot.’ That happened …There are many ways to burn books without a match. You can order the reading of childish books to be substituted for serious ones, as we have done. You can simplify the language you allow in school books to the point that students become disgusted with reading because it demeans them, being thinner gruel than their spoken speech. We have done that, too. One subtle and very effective strategy is to fill books with pictures and lively graphics so they trivialize words in the same fashion the worst tabloid newspapers do forcing pictures and graphs into space where readers should be building pictures of their own, preempting space into which personal intellect should be expanding. In this we are the world’s master.”
John Taylor Gatto, “The Underground History of American Education” (252)
George Washington attended only 2 years of formal schooling in his life.
Abraham Lincoln had only 50 weeks of schooling and even that was seen as a waste of time by his relatives. In 1840 the rate of complex literacy in the US was incredibly high, between 93 and 100 percent. The Connecticut census showed only 1 of every 579 people was illiterate. Over a century and a half later in 1993, the National Adult Literacy Survey reported that 1 in every 5 Americans was illiterate!
The 1993 survey represented 190 million US adults over age 16 with an average school attendance of 12.4 years.
42 million were completely illiterate, 50 million read at a 4th – 5th grade level, 5560 million read at a 6th – 8th grade level, 30 million at a 9th – 10th grade level, and less than 10 million at a University level.
“All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.”
–Sir Walter Scott
“In 1882, fifth graders read these authors in their Appleton School Reader: William Shakespeare, Henry Thoreau, George Washington, Sir Walter Scott, Mark Twain, Benjamin Franklin, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John Bunyan, Daniel Webster, Samuel Johnson, Lewis Carroll, Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and others like them. In 1995, a student teacher of fifth graders in Minneapolis wrote to the local newspaper, ‘I was told children are not to be expected to spell the following words correctly: back, big, call, came, can, day, did, dog, down, get, good, have, he, home, if, in, is, it, like, little, man, morning, mother, my, night, off, out, over, people, play, ran, said, saw, she, some, soon, their, them, there, time, two, too, up, us, very, water, we, went, where, when, will, would, etc. Is this nuts?’”
John Taylor Gatto, “The History of American Education”
Dr. Seuss, the children’s author, wrote many bestsellers admittedly using a controlled “scientific” vocabulary supplied by his publisher. He said in a 1981 interview that,
“I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to the Dewey revolt in the twenties, in which they threw out phonics reading and went to a word recognition as if you’re reading a Chinese pictograph instead of blending sounds or different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the country. Anyway they had it all worked out that a healthy child at the age of four can only learn so many words in a week. So there were two hundred and twenty-three words to use in this book. I read the list three times and I almost went out of my head. I said, ‘ I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme, that’ll be the title of my book.’ I found ‘cat’ and ‘hat’ and said, the title of my book will be The Cat in the Hat.”
“Far from failing in its intended task, our educational system is in fact succeeding magnificently, because its aim is to keep the American people thoughtless enough to go on supporting the system.”
–Richard Mitchell, “The Underground Grammarian”