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 1852 to 1918 things changed as the government began pushing to enforce compulsory schooling laws all across America.
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, the GENERAL EDUCATION BOARD (GEB) was incorporated by an act of the United States Congress in an effort toward “this goal of social control.” Approved January 12, 1902, the General Education Board was endowed by Mr. John D. Rockefeller, Sr., for the purpose of establishing an educational laboratory to experiment with early innovations in education.
The GEB was established the year after SOCIAL CONTROL (1901) was written by Edward Alsworth Ross (Father of American Sociology), and in this book, Ross revealed that social checks and stimuli “are managed by a rather small knot of persons…the Elite….Judgment may be moulded as well as the will and the feelings.”
The word, “moulded,” is instructive because in THE WORLD’S WORK (August 1912), one reads “The Country School of Tomorrow” by GEB chairman Frederick Gates, declaring:
“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 men of learning or philosophers, or men of science. We have not to raise up from them authors, educators, poets or men of letters, great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, statesmen, politicians, creatures of whom we have 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.
Not only was the GEB to be used for social control, but the Rockefeller Foundation as well.
In 1913, the Sixty-Second Congress created a commission to investigate the role of these newly created NGO foundations. The commission after a year of testimony concluded:
“The domination of men in whose hands the final control of a large part of American industry rests is not limited to their employees, but is being rapidly extended to control the education and social services of the nation. The giant foundation exercises enormous power through direct use of its funds, free of any statutory entanglements so they can be directed precisely to the levers of a situation; this power, however, is substantially increased by building collateral alliances which insulate it from criticism and scrutiny.”
On April 11, 1933, Rockefeller Foundation president, Max Mason, assured trustees that in their program, “the Social Sciences will concern themselves with the rationalization of social control… the control of human behavior.” And in July of the very next year (1934), Willard Givens (executive secretary of the National Education Association 1935-1952) declared: “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….An equitable distribution of income will be sought.”
In 1954, a special Congressional Committee investigated the interlocking web of tax-exempt foundations to see what impact their grants were having on the American people. The Reece Committee, as it became known, stumbled onto the fact that some of these foundations had embarked upon a gigantic project to rewrite American history and incorporate it into new school text books.
Norman Dodd, the Reece committee’s research director, found, in the archives of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the following remarkable statement of purpose:
“The only way to maintain control of the population was to obtain control of the education in the U.S. They realized this was a prodigious task so they approached the Rockefeller Foundation with the suggestion that they go in tandem so the portion of education which could be considered domestically oriented would be taken over by the Rockefeller Foundation, and the portion which was oriented to international matters be taken over by the Carnegie Endowment.”
Dodd proceeded to show that the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Carnegie Endowment were using funds excessively on projects at Columbia, Harvard, Chicago University and the University of California, in order to enable oligarchical collectivism.
Dodd further stated:
“The purported deterioration in scholarship and in the techniques of teaching which, lately, has attracted the attention of the American public, has apparently been caused primarily by a premature effort to reduce our meager knowledge of social phenomena to the level of an applied science.”
Mr. Dodd’s research staff had discovered that in 1933-1936, a change took place which was so drastic as to constitute a revolution.”
The Reece Commission also indicated conclusively that:
- The responsibility for the economic welfare of the American people had been transferred heavily to the Executive Branch of the Federal Government.
- That a corresponding change in education had taken place from an impetus outside the local community.
- That this “revolution” had occurred without violence and with the full consent of an overwhelming majority of the electorate.
Mr. Dodd stated that this revolution “could not have occurred peacefully or with the consent of the majority, unless education in the United States had been prepared in advance to endorse it.”
According to Mr. Dodd, grants given to these Foundations had been used for:
– Training individuals and servicing agencies to render advice to the Executive branch of the Federal Government.
– Directing education in the United States toward an international view-point and discrediting the traditions to which it (formerly) had been dedicated.
– Decreasing the dependency of education upon the resources of the local community and freeing it from many of the natural safeguards inherent in this American tradition.
– Changing both school and college curricula to the point where they sometimes denied the principles underlying the American way of life.
– Financing experiments designed to determine the most effective means by which education could be pressed into service of a political nature.”
Mr. Dodd cited a book called “The Turning of the Tides”, which documented the literature from various tax-exempt foundations and organizations like UNESCO, showing that they wished to install a centralized World Government.
The Reece Commission quickly ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from influential centers of American corporate life. Major national newspapers hurled scathing criticisms, which, together with pressure from other potent political adversaries, forced the committee to disband prematurely without action.
Additionally, in 1951, Hon. John T. Wood (Idaho), House of Representatives, added these remarks in the Congressional record on the Report to the American People on UNESCO (United Nations for Education, Science and Culture Organization). From the Congressional Record, Proceedings and Debates of the 82nd Congress, First Session on Thursday, October 18, 1951:
“UNESCO’s scheme to pervert public education appears in a series of nine volumes, titled ‘Toward Understanding’ which presume to instruct kindergarten and elementary grade teachers in the fine art of preparing our youngsters for the day when their first loyalty will be to a world government, of which the United States will form but an administrative part…
The program is quite specific. The teacher is to begin by eliminating any and all words, phrases, descriptions, pictures, maps, classroom material or teaching methods of a sort causing his pupils to feel or express a particular love for, or loyalty to, the United States of America. Children exhibiting such prejudice as a result of prior home influence – UNESCO calls it outgrowth of the narrow family spirit – are to be dealt an abundant measure of counter propaganda at the earliest possible age. Booklet V, on page 9, advises the teacher that:
‘The kindergarten or infant school has a significant part to play in the child’s education. Not only can it correct many of the errors of home training, but it can also prepare the child for membership, at about the age of seven, in a group of his own age and habits – the first of many such social identifications that he must achieve on his way to membership in the world society.’”
The advent of compulsory education in the United States originated out of Prussia, which was within the area of modern Germany today. The Prussian Monarchy divided the education system into three groups: those who were to make policy: those who would assist the policy makers, the engineers, doctors, lawyers and architects; and the rest would be the common laborers.
Using the basic philosophy prescribing the “duties of the state,” combined with John Locke’s view (1690) that “children are a blank slate” and lessons from Rousseau on how to “write on the slate,” Prussia established a three-tiered educational system that was considered “scientific” in nature. Work began in 1807 and the system was in place by 1819. An important component of the Prussian system was how it defined for the child what was to be learned, what was to be thought, how long to think about it and when a child was to be allowed to think of something else. (This is where the Pavlovian bell-ringing each hour of class time comes from in our current school system.)
In 1814, Edward Everett was the first American to go to Prussia for Doctorate in Philosophy or PhD. He eventually became governor of Massachusetts. During the next 30 years or so, a line of American dignitaries went to Germany to earn degrees (a German invention). Horace Mann, instrumental in the development of educational systems in America, was among them. Those who earned degrees in Germany came back to the United States and staffed all the major universities. In 1850, Massachusetts and New York utilized the Prussian system, as well as promoted the concept that “the state is the father of children.”
Horace Mann’s sister, Elizabeth Peabody (Peabody Foundation) saw to it that, after the Civil War, the Prussian system (taught in the Northern states) was integrated into the conquered South between 1865 and 1918. Most of the “compulsory schooling” laws designed to implement the system were passed by 1900. By 1900, all the PhD’s in the United States were trained in Prussia. This project also meant that one-room schoolhouses had to go, for it fostered independence. They were eventually wiped out.
In 1890, Carnegie wrote a series of essays called “The Gospel of Wrath”, in which he claimed that the capitalistic free-enterprise system was dead in the United States by the Carnegie, Rockefeller and Morgans. It was about 1917 that the great “Red Scare” was instituted in the U.S. in part to set up a reactionary movement intended to get the public to accept the idea of compulsory schooling – Prussian compulsory schooling!
The implementation of the German educational nightmare in the United States met some initial resistance. In Carnegie’s home town of Gary, Indiana, the system was implemented between 1910 and 1916, mostly through the efforts of William Wirt, the school superintendent. It involved no academic endeavor whatsoever. It worked so well in supplying willing workers for the steel mills that it was decided by Carnegie to bring the system to New York City. In 1917, they initiated a program in New York in 12 schools, with the objective of enlarging the program to encompass 100 schools and eventually all the schools in New York. William Wirt came to supervise the transition.
Unfortunately for Carnegie, the population of the 12 schools was predominantly composed of Jewish immigrants, who innately recognized what was being done and the nature of the new “educational system.” Three weeks of riots followed, and editorials in the New York Times were very critical of the plan. Over 200 Jewish school children were thrown in jail. The whole political structure of New York that had tried this scheme were then thrown out of office during the next election. A book describing this scenario, “The Great School Wars,” was written by Diane Ravitch. Curiously, William Wirt was committed to an insane asylum around 1930, after making public speeches about his part in a large conspiracy to bring about a controlled state in the hands of certain people. He died two years later.
“We view with alarm the activity of the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations—agencies not in any way responsible to the people—in their efforts to control the policies of our State educational institutions, to fashion after their conception and to standardize our courses of study, and to surround the institutions with conditions which menace true academic freedom and defeat the primary purpose of democracy as heretofore preserved inviolate in our common schools, normal schools, and universities.” National Education Association meeting, 1913
Another great influence on how public education would be directed was John Dewey (1859-1952), known as the “Father of the progressive education movement” and a great influence with the powerful National Education Association (NEA). Mr. Dewey’s progressive model of active learning or pragmatism promoted a revolt against abstract learning and attempted to make education an effective tool for integrating culture and vocation. Dewey was responsible for developing a philosophical approach to education called “experimentalism” which saw education as the basis for democracy. His goal was to turn public schools into indoctrination centers to develop a socialized population that could adapt to an egalitarian state operated by the intellectual elite.
Thinking for Dewey was a collective phenomenon. Disavowing the role of the individual mind in achieving technological and social progress, Dewey promoted the group, rather than the teacher, as the main source of social control in the schools. Denying the ideas of universal principles, natural law, and natural rights, Dewey emphasized social values and taught that life adjustment is more important than academic skills.
In his book, The Great Technology (1933), Harold Rugg elucidated the grand vision:
“A new public mind is to be created. How? Only by creating tens of millions of individual minds and welding them into a new social mind. Old stereotypes must be broken up and ‘new climates of opinion’ formed in the neighborhoods of America.
Through the schools of the world we shall disseminate a new conception of government—one that will embrace all the activities of men, one that will postulate the need of scientific control… in the interest of all people.”
The Rockefeller-endowed Lincoln Experimental School at Columbia Teachers College was the testing ground for Harold Rugg’s series of textbooks, which moved 5 million copies by 1940 and millions more after that. In these books Mr. Rugg advanced this theory:
“Education must be used to condition the people to accept social change… The chief function of schools is to plan the future of society.” Like many of his activities over three vital decades on the school front, the notions he had put forth in The Great Technology (1933), were eventually translated into practice in urban centers. He advocated that the major task of schools be seen as “indoctrinating” youth, using social “science” as the “core of the school curriculum” to bring about the desired climate of public opinion. Some attitudes Rugg advocated teaching were reconstruction of the national economic system to provide for central controls and an implantation of the attitude that educators as a group were “vastly superior to a priesthood” and to “create swiftly a compact body of minority opinion for the scientific reconstruction of our social order”.
Money for Rugg’s six textbooks came from Rockefeller Foundation grants to the Lincoln School. He was paid two salaries by the foundation, one as an educational psychologist for Lincoln, the other as a professor of education at Teachers College, in addition to salaries for secretarial and research services. The General Education Board provided funds (equivalent to $500,000 in year 2000 purchasing power) to produce three books, which were then distributed by the National Education Association.
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