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Analysis posted Sep 09 2009, 6:56 AM Category: Commentary Source: The Memory Hole Print

The Educational System Was Designed to Keep Us Uneducated and Docile

It's no secret that the US educational system doesn't do a very good job. Like clockwork, studies show that America's schoolkids lag behind their peers in pretty much every industrialized nation. We hear shocking statistics about the percentage of high-school seniors who can't find the US on an unmarked map of the world or who don't know who Abraham Lincoln was. Fingers are pointed at various aspects of the schooling system—overcrowded classrooms, lack of funding, teachers who can't pass competency exams in their fields, etc. But these are just secondary problems. Even if they were cleared up, schools would still suck. Why? Because they were designed to.

How can I make such a bold statement? How do I know why America's public school system was designed the way it was (age-segregated, six to eight 50-minute classes in a row announced by Pavlovian bells, emphasis on rote memorization, lorded over by unquestionable authority figures, etc.)? Because the men who designed, funded, and implemented America's formal educational system in the late 1800s and early 1900s wrote about what they were doing.

Almost all of these books, articles, and reports are out of print and hard to obtain. Luckily for us, John Taylor Gatto tracked them down. Gatto was voted the New York City Teacher of the Year three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. But he became disillusioned with schools—the way they enforce conformity, the way they kill the natural creativity, inquisitiveness, and love of learning that every little child has at the beginning. So he began to dig into terra incognita, the roots of America's educational system.

In 1888, the Senate Committee on Education was getting jittery about the localized, non-standardized, non-mandatory form of education that was actually teaching children to read at advanced levels, to comprehend history, and, egads, to think for themselves. The committee's report stated, "We believe that education is one of the principal causes of discontent of late years manifesting itself among the laboring classes."

By the turn of the century, America's new educrats were pushing a new form of schooling with a new mission (and it wasn't to teach). The famous philosopher and educator John Dewey wrote in 1897:
Every teacher should realize he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of the proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.
In his 1905 dissertation for Columbia Teachers College, Elwood Cubberly—the future Dean of Education at Stanford—wrote that schools should be factories "in which raw products, children, are to be shaped and formed into finished products...manufactured like nails, and the specifications for manufacturing will come from government and industry."

The next year, the Rockefeller Education Board—which funded the creation of numerous public schools—issued a statement which read in part:
In our dreams...people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our 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 learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple...we will organize children...and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.
At the same time, William Torrey Harris, US Commissioner of Education from 1889 to 1906, wrote:
Ninety-nine [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.
In that same book, The Philosophy of Education, Harris also revealed:
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.
Several years later, President Woodrow Wilson would echo these sentiments in a speech to businessmen:
We want one class to have a liberal education. We want another class, a very much larger class of necessity, to forego the privilege of a liberal education and fit themselves to perform specific difficult manual tasks.
Writes Gatto: "Another major architect of standardized testing, H.H. Goddard, said in his book Human Efficiency (1920) that government schooling was about 'the perfect organization of the hive.'"

While President of Harvard from 1933 to 1953, James Bryant Conant wrote that the change to a forced, rigid, potential-destroying educational system had been demanded by "certain industrialists and the innovative who were altering the nature of the industrial process."

In other words, the captains of industry and government explicitly wanted an educational system that would maintain social order by teaching us just enough to get by but not enough so that we could think for ourselves, question the sociopolitical order, or communicate articulately. We were to become good worker-drones, with a razor-thin slice of the population—mainly the children of the captains of industry and government—to rise to the level where they could continue running things.

This was the openly admitted blueprint for the public schooling system, a blueprint which remains unchanged to this day. Although the true reasons behind it aren't often publicly expressed, they're apparently still known within education circles. Clinical psychologist Bruce E. Levine wrote in 2001:
I once consulted with a teacher of an extremely bright eight-year-old boy labeled with oppositional defiant disorder. I suggested that perhaps the boy didn't have a disease, but was just bored. His teacher, a pleasant woman, agreed with me. However, she added, "They told us at the state conference that our job is to get them ready for the work world…that the children have to get used to not being stimulated all the time or they will lose their jobs in the real world."

John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education: An Intimate Investigation into the Problem of Modern Schooling (New York: Oxford Village Press, 2001), is the source for all of the above historical quotes. It is a profoundly important, unnerving book, which I recommend most highly. You can order it from Gatto's Website, which now contains the entire book online for free.

The final quote above is from page 74 of Bruce E. Levine's excellent book Commonsense Rebellion: Debunking Psychiatry, Confronting Society (New York: Continuum Publishing Group, 2001).

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Comments 1 - 11 of 11 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Sep 09 2009, 8:16 PM

20314 Then do something about it. Parents stop blaming everybody else because you child is behind everyone else in the world. Teach them yourself. Send them to school for the basics, but when they are home, turn off the mind-numbing TV, get them to read a book, or give them some geography lessons.

Hell, take them outside to look at the birds, the flowers and the sky. A child's mind needs input, without anything forced into them (like TV) they will naturally start to ask... Mum why is that like that... Dad what are those dogs doing .... Grandpa who was president when you were a boy ....

And then you have the opportunity to tell them the truth that you have discovered. You can then say "Well at the time they told us ...... but later we found out that ...."

But instead you all rely on the government. The government will school our kids, so I don't have to. The government will sort out my health problems, so I can eat candy all day long.

America--- The land where it is always someone else fault.

Posted: Nov 13 2009, 10:54 AM

169204 I think you missed the point there:
The natural order of the world is such that all kids and people will filter out into our society where they fit. The issue with the education system in the United States is that we have lost track of what is truly important. Children do not go to this unique and powerful public education system just to compete against other children on a "who's smarter" scale. Most of the information delivered in pre-graduation classes will be usless in their lives outside of college or higher education degrees. Reality is, those with "smart" 4.0 gpa children need to deflate their egos. It means little and I agree with the author. It is these children, in my experience over the last decade as a teacher, with the least aptitude for genuine creativity and ingenuity. We have uneducated a small amount of their abillity to create their own future and almost create that future for them. They are future tax payers and not much more in the current system. The American Education system, regardless of the reasons for it's inception, is strong but is weakening as we continue to value worthless knowledge in advanced mathematics and science that does little to help children live happy and full adult lives. America needs to foster the concepts that has made it strong in the past which is innovation and creativity. That is not done through standardized education.
Parent involvement? A must-but no one can ever change the fact that the world has bad parents. We can change how we approach educating children to one that values their progress toward intellegence as well as their aptitude in being innovative and creative. It is easy for many of us that live good lives, were never abused, never went hungry, were never homeless as a child etc.. to pass arogant and most often ignorant judgement that trivializes all family problems as "lazy non-involved parent." I think there is a little more to it than that.

America-the land where privilage buys you an under-educated opinion on the less privilaged

Posted: Nov 13 2009, 7:53 PM

2468 Vichy teachers do not teach. They underhandedly alter existing thought patterns thru trickery and deciet. I grew up blasting guins and flying planes. Even openly bought and sold guns at school. Now kids shows even tell the children that the ailerons are what make the plane go up and down. Guns??? lLOLThe VICHY pea brain traitor knows little about Liberty. Thats a statue isn't it?
Jews haarp

Posted: Mar 17 2010, 9:12 AM

24160 The dumbing down of America: through drugs, "legal" : what do we see in PUBLIC PLACES and MEDIA--in all magazines, TV commericals, billboards, etc.: TRY THIS DRUG FOR YOUR OWN PERSONALIZED HEALTH PROBLEM And then they have the GALL TO tell Amercians DON'T DO DRUGS, SAY NO TO DRUGS on top of DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE, BUT allow BEER DRIVE-THRUS. and then LISTEN AS THEY RECITE--IN VERY FAST SPEECH OR TINY LETTERS-- all the side affects, NOT EXCLUDING DEATH ! ! ! ! AND THEY EXPECT PEOPLE TO BELIEVE THEM that it will help their physical or mental problem--but GUESS WHAT ? ! ! ! People DO BELIEVE them ! ! ! ! Then when it comes to MORALS, our government as well as many officials and authorities at each stage down to parents by their actions and words declare to our impressionable young: GOOD is (BAD)EVIL and EVIL (bad) is GOOD ! ! But, hey, THIS DAY WAS PREDICTED and Lo and BEHOLD, THAT DAY IS HERE. To do something about it must start with the INDIVIDUAL, each and every one of us that KNOW TO DO GOOD AND RIGHT, TO START DOING SO--WITH THE HELP OF THE ALMIGHTY POWER---GOD. If YOU individually are sick of all that's wrong, start with YOURSELF, confess it to the POWER that can do something about it in your self and begin TODAY to do the what is RIGHT, WITH HIS HELP. THEN you'll be in shape to help the rest of America.

Posted: Mar 17 2010, 9:29 AM

24160 And YES it is a good idea for parents to teach their young correct history, natures's lessons, and about their role in this life. If they don't know how to use the earth to propogate life--ALL OF IT--they will cause their own demise. Takes living, growing things TO EAT to STAY ALIVE--someone somwhere has to grow the food that's presented to us to eat--city residents who don't garden sure aren't--and many country folk do not grow their own food either. That's another thought: Food Gatherers: School teaches that they are low on the "totem pole," the poor beginnings of civilization. BALONEY! WITHOUT THEM, everyone is DEAD, even in this so-called modern age ! MANKIND STARTED OUT INTELLIGENT ENOUGH AND ARE STILL INTELLIGENT ENOUGH TO LIVE ON EARTH AND MAKE RIGHT DECISIONS FOR THEIR SELVES, THEIR FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITY WHEN COUPLED WITH THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THE ALMIGHTY DAILY

Posted: Mar 17 2010, 9:33 AM

IF Pebbles

Posted: Mar 25 2010, 5:23 PM

7693 Send a letter to your child's school demanding that they stop making your child take the pledge of allegiance. I am a 71 year old activist, substitute teacher, shocked to see the religious prayer said to a piece of cloth, with hand over heart and rapt attention from pre- kindergarten on. We must stop this worship. It's just a small part of the brain scrubbing that leads to Americanism, a genocidal religion.

Posted: Oct 22 2010, 9:41 AM

128163 Wow. It is clear that some of you should have paid more attention in English class, instead of daydreaming about false conspiracy theories. Our educational system has major flaws, it's true, but are any of you presenting valid solutions to the problem? It will never be easy and programs will never be individualized when teaching 30+ children in a room, and when there is one person in charge, a respect for authority needs to be established. For Heaven's sake, the kids are shooting each other! If there is no structure or respect for authority then what would happen? To encourage creativity from within, we need to keep the arts in our schools. To remain competitive with China and other quickly advancing countries, we need to keep the math and sciences in our schools. It is worrisome that more than half of the graduate students in my program are not from our country. Is this a reflection of the prestige of my program, or of the falling ability of our youth to compete in math and sciences? A little of both maybe, but it is hard to deny that we are producing fewer and fewer of our future's leaders in engineering and healthcare. As for classes in school that we will never remember or use again- sure, I have taken many. The point of grade school and high school is not for the student to learn miscellaneous information and remember it, later to measure the success of the educational program on one's ability to recall the information. Rather, the point is to teach the student how to be a student; weather it be a student of additional schooling after graduation, or a student of life (we are, after all, learning everyday about life aren't we?). The point of school is to let the student find his or her strengths, interests, and passions. The point of school is to teach the student how to interact with other people and how to forge relationships on a professional level and a personal level. The point of school is to (oh yes I did!) teach the student what it means to be part of a larger group, how to work with that group, where to best fit in that group to grow to the fullest and to contribute to the group. There is nothing wrong with a little bit of structure within a group. Just look at nature: birds, elk, fish, even ants have groups. Every member of the group has a job, an important role. Without the success of the group as a whole, every member would die of starvation, exposure, or be hunted. The group offers more than safety, it offers companionship and meaning. The point of school is to educate the student about what it means to be a productive member of a group in a manner in which the student grows individually, while remaining compassionate towards others in the groups. Don't get hung up on weather or not your 8th grade foreign language course has a role in your life today. Look at the bigger picture. Encourage individualism, self expression, and new ideas (this is how we evolve), but also encourage intelligence and respect. Everybody knows that total anarchy leads nowhere but to fear, repression, and violence. If you don't believe me, go to Africa and see for yourself. And parents, you are your child’s more important teacher. Remember Liberals, extremism on both ends of the spectrum is equally unhealthy, counterproductive, and narrow minded.

Posted: Oct 23 2010, 9:59 AM

216228 I guess genius Albert Einstein also daydreamed about "false conspiracy theories........"The ruling class has the schools and press under its thumb. This enables it to sway the emotions of the masses." Albert Einstein
And, Oh my! These FAMOUS HISTORICAL men were also "tin foil hat conspiracy nuts"....................“Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.” Friedrich Nietzsche

"The few who could understand the system will either be so interested in its profits, or so dependent on its favours, that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of the people mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests." Senator John Sherman

"[The New World Order] cannot happen without U.S. participation, as we are the most significant single component. Yes, there will be a New World Order, and it will force the United States to change it's perceptions." -- Henry Kissenger, World Affairs Council Press Conference, Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel , April 19th 1994

“Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives…. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends … and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.” John Lennon, Interview BBC-TV (June 22, 1968)

"The idea was that those who direct the overall conspiracy could use the differences in those two so-called ideologies [marxism/fascism/socialism v. democracy/capitalism] to enable them [the Illuminati] to divide larger and larger portions of the human race into opposing camps so that they could be armed and then brainwashed into fighting and destroying each other."- Myron Fagan

“If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered.” –Thomas Jefferson

“Only the small secrets need to be protected. The big ones are kept secret by public incredulity.” – Marshall McCluhan

"The Trilateral Commission is intended to be the vehicle for multinational consolidation of the commercial and banking interests by seizing control of the political government of the United States. The Trilateral Commission represents a skillful, coordinated effort to seize control and consolidate the four centers of power--Political, Monetary, Intellectual, and Ecclesiastical."--U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater from his 1964 book "No Apologies"

"The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists." J. Edgar Hoover

"The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson." FDR

“What luck for the rulers that men do not think.” Adolph Hitler

"The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the [public] is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society[via newspapers and TV] constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.' Edward Bernays (Father of modern media and nephew of Sigmund Freud).

"History records that the money changers have used every form of abuse, intrigue, deceit, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance." James Madison

“Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear–kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor–with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it …”– General Douglas MacArthur, 1957

Elizabeth, it's just startling how many "conspiracy nuts" have molded and shaped America and how many of our famous historical figures were also "conspiracy dreamers." Oh, my!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Aren't you glad you are one of the few "sane" people in America? You should proud of your superior intelligence.................


Posted: Oct 23 2010, 10:08 AM

216228 And here are a few more of those doggone conspiracy "nuts".........

"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic." -- Dresden James

"The dollar represents a one dollar debt to the Federal Reserve System. The Federal Reserve Banks create money out of thin air to buy Government Bonds from the U.S. Treasury...and has created out of nothing a ... debt which the American people are obliged to pay with interest." Wright Patman

"The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight."JFK

“From now on, depressions will be scientifically created.” — Congressman Charles A. Lindbergh Sr. , 1913 (The same year the Federal Reserve took control).

"The task is to covertly lower the standard of living, the whole social structure, of America so that we can be merged with all other nations." Rowan Gaither

“The CIA owns every one of any significance in the major media.” —William Colby Former Director of the CIA—Murdered/Assassinated.

"Whenever there is trouble in Europe, wherever rumours of war circulate and men’s minds are distraught with fear of change and calamity you may be sure that …Rothschild is at his games somewhere near the region of the disturbance.” British Labour Leader- 1891

“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce…& when you realise that the entire system is very easily controlled…by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”2 weeks after making that statement, President James A. Garfield was killed.

“No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is far worse than you imagine.” William Blum


"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison

"All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." David Rockefeller Sept. 23, 1994

"We have restricted credit, we have restricted opportunity, we have controlled development, and we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world--no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men." Woodrow Wilson

"The suppression of truth has long been among the highest priorities for the upper echelons of power and authority. For a minority elite that clings to power by the manipulation of the masses using an omnipresent cocktail of lies, deception, mass-produced ignorance and ingrained propaganda, the destruction of truth is an essential method of control. It is a formula that has worked to unmitigated success for the elite throughout history, whether the shadows of power stretch from ancient pyramids, marble temples, castles, mansions or halls of governance." Manuel Valenzuela, social critic, commentator, essayist

"The invisible Money Power is working to control and enslave mankind. It financed Communism, Fascism, Marxism, Zionism, Socialism. All of these are directed to making the United States a member of a World Government ..." -- AMERICAN MERCURY MAGAZINE, December 1957, pg. 92.

"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.."-- Bill Clinton USA Today--3-11-93, page 2a

"If the American people knew what we have done, they would chase us down in the streets and lynch us to the light posts." George H.W. Bush

"The [U.S.] Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper." George Bush, Jr.


Posted: Oct 23 2010, 10:13 AM

216228 And here are a few more remarks made by some of these "tin foil hat conspiracy dreamers"........

"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic." -- Dresden James

The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American's freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizen of this plight. JFK

The task is to covertly lower the standard of living, the whole social structure, of America so that we can be merged with all other nations. Rowan Gaither

“Whoever controls the volume of money in our country is absolute master of all industry and commerce…& when you realise that the entire system is very easily controlled…by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”2 weeks after making that statement, President James A. Garfield was killed.

“No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is far worse than you imagine.” William Blum

"The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." James Madison

All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." David Rockefeller Sept. 23, 1994

“If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” ~Thomas Jefferson

"We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.."-- Bill Clinton USA Today--3-11-93, page 2a
"If the American people knew what we have done, they would chase us down in the streets and lynch us to the light posts." George H.W. Bush
"The [U.S.] Constitution is just a goddamn piece of paper." George Bush, Jr.

I believe that if the people of this nation fully understood what Congress has done to them over the last 49 years, they would move on Washington; they would not wait for an election....It adds up to a preconceived plan to destroy the economic and social independence of the United States!" --George W. Malone, U.S. Senator (Nevada), speaking before Congress in 1957.

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