In my last column, I reviewed Charlotte Iserbyt’s new book, “The
Deliberate Dumbing Down of America,” in which the author points out how
the educationists have advanced their agenda by creating education
crisis after crisis, all of which call for reform, but none of which
actually solves a genuine educational problem, such as the teaching of
reading. What all of these reforms do is continually advance American
education in the direction of a socialist new world order.
There was a time when the National Education Association openly
admitted that its goal was world government. In a January 1946 NEA
Journal editorial entitled, “The Teacher and World Government,” the
- In the struggle to establish an adequate world government, the
teacher has many parts to play. He must begin with his own attitude and
knowledge and purpose. He can do much to prepare the hearts and minds
of children for global understanding and cooperation. … At the very
top of all the agencies which will assure the coming of world government
must stand the school, the teacher, and the organized profession.
But since the American people have expressed no burning desire
for world government, the educationists have had to resort to the
dialectical technique to advance, stage by stage, from crisis to crisis,
to what the educationists ultimately want: a system totally controlled
by behavioral psychologists and social engineers molding children for a
The process was started by John Dewey whose 1898 essay, “The
Primary-Education Fetich,” outlined what had to be done if the schools
were to be used to bring about socialism. First, he said, we must
divest ourselves of the notion that high literacy is a desirable goal.
High literacy, he argued, produced selfish individuals with minds of
their own who couldn’t be efficiently collectivized. What was needed
was a system of education that promoted socialization.
“Change must come gradually,” he wrote. “To force it unduly would
compromise its final success by favoring a violent reaction.” And that
was how the dumbing down process was started. The scheme has been so
successful that in April 1983 the National Commission on Excellence in
Education issued its historic report, “A Nation at Risk,” in which it
- The educational foundations of our society are presently being
eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as
a nation and as a people. If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted
to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists
today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war.
But, of course, we were and still are at war. The Dewey
progressives had declared war on American capitalism and individualism
and were fighting this war to the death. That is why the dumbing down
process has advanced like a juggernaut, not stopping for Rudolf Flesch,
who sounded the alarm in 1955 with “Why Johnny Can’t Read,” not stopping
for parental demands for phonics, not stopping for the back-to-basics
movement, not stopping for anything in its tracks.
The “Nation at Risk” report sparked a new round of education reform,
which, of course, advanced the agenda of the educators, producing a new
crisis. The next reform was initiated by President Bush in 1989 after
the famous governors conference in Charlottesville, Va., in which six
National Education Goals to be achieved by the year 2000 were announced
with great fanfare: 1) All preschool children would start school ready
to learn. 2) High school graduation rate would be 90 percent or higher.
3) Pupils would leave grades 4, 8, and 12 having shown competence over
challenging subject matter. 5) U.S. students would be first in the world
in math and science. 6) Every American adult will be literate.
Both Governor Clinton of Arkansas and his brilliant wife, Hillary,
were active participants in that governors conference, and when Bill
Clinton became president, he added two more goals to the list: 7)
Schools will be free of drugs, guns, and violence. 8) Teachers will have
access to professional development.
It is now ten years later, and not a single goal has been reached.
Education Secretary Richard Riley tried to put a positive spin on the
1999 National Education Goals Report. He said, “Have we achieved all we
set out to do? No, of course not. Are we moving in the right
direction? Absolutely. The goals we have set are like a North Star.
They give us a sense of direction and they challenge us to keep moving
Forward to where? Hillary Clinton knows where. It was all outlined
by reform architect Marc Tucker in his 18-page letter to Hillary right
after Bill was elected president. Tucker, president of the National
Center on Education and the Economy, a think-tank based in Rochester,
N.Y., had recruited Hillary to be on his Board of Trustees while she was
still at the Rose Law Firm. He wrote,
- I still can’t believe you won. But utter delight that you did
pervades all the circles in which I move. I met Wednesday in David
Rockefeller’s office with him, John Scully, Dave Barram and David
Haselkorn. It was a great celebration. Both John and David R. were
more expansive than I have ever seen them — literally radiating
happiness. … The subject we were discussing was what you and Bill
should do now about education, training and labor market policy.
What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities
to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and
is the same system for everyone — young and old, poor and rich, worker
and full-time student. … Taken together, we think these ideas
constitute a consistent vision for a new human resources development
system for the United States. … Radical changes in attitudes, values
and beliefs are required to move any combination of these agendas.
At the narrowest level, the agenda cannot be moved unless there is
agreement among the governors, the President and the Congress. Bill’s
role at the Charlottesville summit leads naturally to a reconvening of
that group, perhaps with the addition of key members of Congress and
The Tucker plan fulfills Dewey’s dream of a dumbed-down worker
training system in which the government plans your life for you. If you
want to get the full story of this never ending fraud called education
reform, as well as the complete text of Tucker’s plan for a Human
Resources Development System, get hold of Charlotte Iserbyt’s book. You
can do so by calling 207-442-7899. It’s a book you must read. I wrote
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of eight books on education,
including “NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education” and “The Whole
Language/OBE Fraud,” published by The Paradigm Company, 208-322-4440.
His reading instruction program, “Alpha-Phonics,” is available by
writing The Tutoring Company, P.O. Box 540111, Waltham, MA