The state oversight of private and parochial education is likely to increase slowly, especially along the lines of uniformity in statistics and records, sanitary inspection, common standards of work, and the enforcement of the attendance laws. In particular, the attitude toward the control of the child is likely to change. Each year the child is coming to belong more and more to the state, and less and less to the parent. - Ellwood P. Cubberley 1909
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
How Did We Get Here?
If you read Charlotte Iserbyt The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America or John Gotto The Underground History of American Education, you already know the history. From B.F. Skinner to outcome based education, we have been working to make the American citizen one who is trained to respond to certain stimuli in a predictable way. Then those in power who want us to approve what they are doing merely need to invoke the appropriate stimuli. If you do it right, that stimuli can be reduced to a 30 second sound bite.
We decided that Prussian military training was an appropriate model for the classroom. Follow your leader without question. The collective is what's important. Uniformity equals efficiency which is the most desirable state.
We taught generations to idolize Edward Bernays who felt that manipulation of society was necessary, because we suffer from the 'herd instinct' which he said was irrational and dangerous. We decided not to teach that Joseph Goebbels agreed with Bernays and gave the world Nazis.
We allowed progressives to take away the role of the family in raising the child and instead make the public school the source of all wisdom and knowledge. Today we call this education equity, where even the inequity of parentage is removed by placing the child, at the earliest possible age, in the uniform environment of school. And when some tried to take education back into their own hands, those in control created whole language and fuzzy math to make parents feel dumb and unnecessary. You needed an expert to teach your child, they said, and academia was working hard to churn out these experts.
Parents felt shut out of the class and stopped paying attention to what was being taught in the classroom. This made the transition from teaching history to "social studies" so much easier. It allowed the public school system to introduce the concepts of: American Imperialism, the destruction of indigenous peoples by white European invaders, moral relativity and non-judgementalism of other cultures, anti-capitalism, anthropogenic global warming, wealthy white slave-owning deist founders and social justice, to the public school student with the parents even realizing it.
The public school system flipped our understanding of the federal government on its head. Instead of it being the least powerful or restrictive form of coalition among a group of independent states who wished to unite primarily for the purpose of defense, it became the top down dictator of public policy in all those states. Protecting the states became protecting the people, and the list of things they needed to be protected from grew and grew. Even locally, government's protective role was expanded to the point, where in a city like New York, the public needed to be protected from their freedom of choice in beverages and fats.
We taught, after World War II, that America's goal was to "spread democracy around the world," which became, "America is a great democracy." Democracies are to be idolized. We stopped teaching Alexander Fraser Tytler's progression of civilization in which he predicted that, "A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."
So it should be of little surprise that we have at least half our population voting for those who can promise them the most from the public coffers, who equate Democrat with democracy and think that both are good, who only have the attention span of a 30 second commercial to inform themselves prior to voting for the persons who will have total control of their lives for the next 2-6 years.
And they said our education system was failing. I would say that yesterday's election is proof positive that our public education system is a remarkable success.