How do you Brainwash a Nation
AUGUST 8, 1994
for Global Merger
For decades social sciences curricula in government schools
have been designed to reflect a socialist, globalist philosophy
Beginning in the 1950s, a succession of books highly critical of the direction in which American education was headed began to sketch a disturbing picture of pervasive subversion in our schools and colleges. The Turning of the Tides (1953) by Paul Shafer and John Howland Snow, The Diminished Mind: A Study of Planned Mediocrity in Our Public Schools (1954) by Mortimer Smith, Why Johnny Cant Read (1955) by Rudolph Flesch, Bending the Twig: The Revolution in Education and Its Effect on Our Children (1957) by Augustin G. Rudd, Collectivism on Campus (1955) and Brainwashing in the High Schools (11958) by E. Merrill Root, and other educational exposes touched off a heated national conflict over who will control the mind and soul of public education.
Question of Character Perhaps the most influential of the blasts at the educational establishment was Professor Root's Brain‑washing in the High Schools. He began his book with quotes from an interview with Major William E. Mayer, a United States Army psychiatrist and a leading expert on brainwashing. Mayer pointed out that in Korea, for the first time in American history, one‑third of all American soldiers made prisoner succumbed to brainwashing by the enemy. The problem, according to Major Mayer, was that "they became something called 'Progressives.' By the Communists' own definition, this meant that a man was either a Communist sympathizer or a collaborator ‑ or both during his stay in a prison camp."
Military weakness was not involved here. "No," Major Mayer said, "it is something, more than that. It goes deeper. The behavior of many Americans in Korean prison camps appears to raise serious questions about American character, and about the education of Americans " (emphasis added). When asked why, he answered: "Because, in my opinion, the behavior of too many of our soldiers in prison fell far short of the historical American standards of honor, character, loyalty, courage, and personal integrity." Having received little or no fundamental facts and no enduring principles from their "formal education," they were easy victims for the communist brainwashing experts.
Professor Root then proceeded to investigate how extensive this educational deficit had become by a meticulous examination of 11 of the most widely used high school history textbooks.
His revelations shocked ‑the nation. The texts systematically denigrated patriotism, American heroes, and the principles and institutions of the American system of government. Socialism and communism were presented favorably, while communist leaders were praised. American textbooks were filled with, anti-American, anti‑Christian, anti‑capitalist, pro‑communist propaganda.
Yet for all the furor that Root (and the many other authors who followed after him) created, and in spite of all the promises by the educationists to rectify the matter, very little was done to correct the outrageous slant of the nation's textbooks and other curricular materials. In the 1970s and '80s textbook reviewers Mel and Norma Gabler were still documenting an overwhelming bias in the texts. New York University Professor Paul C. Vitz, in his 1986 study of' 90 elementary and high school texts used in an estimated 70 to 87 percent of the public school classrooms, found an extraordinary degree of bias especially directed against Christianity and traditional morality. 'In the portion of the study dealing with elementary social studies texts, for instance, he found that "not one of the forty books totaling ten thousand pages had one text reference to a primary religious activity occurring in representative contemporary life."
Numerous studies have demonstrated the cumulative "dumbing down" effect of such deficient curricula. Ravitch and Finn, in their 1987 study What Do Our 17‑Year Olds Know?, stated:
student in five (20.8 percent), for example, does not know that George
Washington commanded the American army during .the Revolution‑, almost one in
three (32 percent) doesn't know that Lincoln wrote the Emancipation
Proclamation. Nearly a quarter (22.6 percent) fail to name Richard Nixon as the
president whose resignation resulted from Watergate.
An Evil Plan
The nagging question returns again and again: Why? Why have all efforts to restore a sane perspective, honest regard for objective facts, and a patriotic appreciation of American virtues and contributions of Christianity failed? Much of the answer to that question is to be found in the testimony of Norman Dodd, the staff director of the 1953 Congressional Special Committee to Investigate the Tax‑Exempt Foundations. The committee's investigation of the minutes of the Carnegie Foundation showed that the Foundation's trustees determined soon after World War I that they "must control education in the United States." Working together with the Rockefeller Foundation, they devised a plan to dominate, both domestic. and international education.
The Carnegie‑Rockefeller elitists determined they must build their own “stable of historians," said Dodd in an interview. So they approach the Guggenheim Foundation which specializes in fellowships and say, “When we find young men in the process of studying for doctorates in the field of American history and we feel that they are the right caliber, will you grant them fellowships on our say so?" And the answer is. "Yes.”
So, under the condition they assemble 20. And they take this 20 potential teachers of American History to London and there they are briefed into what is expected of them when, as, and if they secure appointments in, keeping with the doctorates they will have earned. And that group of 20 historians ultimately becomes the nucleus of the American Historical Association.
And then toward the end of the 1920s, the (Carnegie) endowment grants to the American Historical Association $400,000 for the study of our history in a manner which points to ‑ what can this country look forward to in the future.... And the essence of the last volume is the future of this country belongs to collectivism administered with characteristic American efficiency.
How did these plans progress? Very rapidly and effectively. Working hand in glove, with the foundations was the internationalist Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the organization widely recognized as America's shadow government. Indeed, most of the top officers and directors of the major foundations have been and are CFR members. In the Council's Survey of American Foreign Relations: 1928, CFR director of research Charles P. Howland reported:
University courses dealing with international affairs have trebled in number since the war; there has been an outpouring of books on foreign relations, diplomatic history, and international law; periodicals such as Foreign Affairs, Current History, and the American Journal of International Law, and the information service of the Foreign Policy Association are supplying materials for a sound background and associations and organizations devoted to an impartial discussion of international relations and the supplying of authentic information have sprung up in almost every great city. As yet, however. these agencies for furnishing adequate standards of judgement and accurate current information have not penetrated very far down in society.
In the CFR's globalist vernacular "sound impartial," "authentic” and "accurate" meant information and perspective that advanced the CFR's goals of submerging the United States in a socialist world government. The Special Committee to Investigate Tax‑Exempt Foundations reported in 1954 that the CFR's "'productions are not objective but are directed overwhelmingly at promoting the globalist concept." Moreover, the Council had become "in essence an agency of the United States Government ... carrying its international bias with it."
Concerning the problem of getting their propaganda to "'penetrate very far down in society," the CFR‑foundation elites also had ambitious schemes under way. Due to the vast sums they had lavished on educational institutions, they held enormous influence at Harvard, Columbia, the University of Chicago, and other prestigious universities where the nation's teachers were trained.
One of those who most effectively advanced the CFR‑foundation collectivist agenda was Fabian Socialist philosopher/educator John Dewey. Dewey left the University of Chicago in 1904, taking a professorship at Columbia and its affiliated Teachers College, where he remained until his death in 1952. Among the influential alumni of Teachers College were Elwood P. Cubberly, George D. Strayer, George H. Betts, Edward C. Elliott, Walter A. Jessup, William Heard Kilpatrick. Bruce R. Payne, David S. Snedden, and Lotus D. Coffman. In his important expose' of the National Education Association, NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education, Samuel Blumenfeld explained the significance of this “educational mafia".
Cubberly became dean of the School of Education at Stanford; Strayer, professor at Teachers College and president of the NEA in 1918‑19; Betts, professor of education at Northwestern; Elliott, president of Purdue; Jessup, president of the University of Iowa and president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; Kilpatrick, professor at Teachers College and a founder of Bennington College; Payne, president of George Peabody College in Nashville; Snedden, Massachusetts State Commissioner of Education: Coffman, dean of the College of Education at the University of Minnesota, and later the university's president.
In their revealing 1982 study, Managers of Virtue, David Tyack and Elizabeth Hansot note that this education cation mafia or network exercised incredible power throughout the education establishment:
it is one of the best known secrets in the fraternity of male administrators, a
frequent topic of. higher gossip at meetings though hardly ever discussed in
print, that there were "placement barons," usually professors of
educational administration in universities such as Teachers College, Harvard,
University of Chicago, or Stanford who had an inside track in placing their graduates in important positions.
According to Tyack and Hansot, the network "controlled importamt resources: money, the creation of reputations, the placement of students and friends, the training of subordinates and future leaders, the influences over professional association's and public and administrative bodies." Not surprisingly, then, "The network of obligations linked local superintendents more to their sponsors than to their local patrons and clients." Which is why those "local patrons and clients" (taxpayers and parents) have always come out on the short side of every education “reform.”
How extensive was the clout of these networkers? From A History of Teachers College, by Establishment historian Lawrence A. Cremin, we gain some apprecianon of the pervasive influence of Dewey and associates at Columbia alone. According to Cremin, writing in 1953, "the single most powerful education force in the world is at 120th Street and Broadway in New York City. Your children's teachers go there for advanced training.” "With one hundred thousand alumni,” continued Cremin. "Teachers College has managed to seat about one‑third of the presidents and deans now in office at accredited U.S. teacher training schools. Its graduates make up about twenty percent of all our public school teachers. Over a fourth of the superintendents of schools in the one hundred and sixty‑eight U.S. cities with at least fifty thousand population are Teachers College‑trained."
The education mafia did not deal kindly with those who challenged its designs. Professor Charles Austin Beard is a case in point. Beard began his professorship at Columbia in 1904, the same year as Deway. A militant socialist, he quickly became the darling of the educational establishment and one of America's most famous historians. However, he was thoroughly opposed to the blatantly dishonest designs of the CFR New Deal‑FDR gang in the White House to drag America into World War II. His masterful expose’ of those machinations, President Roosevelt and the Coming the War, 1941 made him a persona non grata in academe and the object of vicious attacks in the major media and professional journals.
In 1947, Beard: blasted the CFR cabal in the Washington Evening Post, charging that the CFR and the Rockefeller Foundation "do not want journalists or any other persons to examine too closely and criticize too freely the official propaganda and official statements relative to 'our basic aims and activities' during World War II. In short, they hope that, among other things, the policies and measures of Franklin D. Roosevelt will escape in the coming years the critical analysis, evaluation and exposition that befell the policies and measures of Woodrow Wilson and the Entente Allies after World War I.”
Beard was not making accusations without substance. In its 1946 Annual Report, the Rockefeller Foundation frankly admitted to subsidizing a corps of court historians to frustrate the development of any debunking of the CFR Establishment's internationalist official historiography. And history has proven Dr. Beard right: The CFR‑Carnegie‑Rockefeller court historians have been given a virtual monopoly on research access and on the writing and teaching of history in the United States.
May 17, 1994 marked a major
milestone in the long campaign to nationalize American education: the 40th
anniversary of Brown v Topeka Board of Education On that date, the radical
Warren Supreme Court cited a book written by communists and socialists as
authority for its decision to put the federal government in charge of the
The book that launched the revolution was An American Dilemma, supposedly written by prominent Swedish socialist Gunnar Myrdal. Actually, it was written by a pack of revolutionaries from the Social Science Research Council, the Carnegie Corporation, and the Russell Sage Fountation; Myrdal merely saved as prestigious window dressing. How the book came about and how Myrdal came to be associated with it deserves a brief retelling, since it illustrates the pattern of deception employed by the foundation elitists.
In 1937, Myrdal was invited by Frederick Keppel (CFR). president of The Carnegie Corporation, to come to America to direct "a comprehensive study of' the Negro in the United States." "Upon his arrival in New York," records Zygmund Dobbs in The Great Deceit, "Myrdal was handed an outline of the broad aims of the forthcoming, study written by Donald Young, head of both the Social Science Research Council and the Russell Sage Foundation." In a confidential note to Keppel, Myrdal admitted his incompetence to the task, complaining that his background in economics had not prepared him for this planned foray into sociological experimentation. This "expert." who would be cited by the Supreme Court and presented to the world as the ultimate authority on U.S. race issues, told Keppel, “one reason for these initial difficulties is that the race problem as such is new to me." Moreover, he said, “I have, thus, to acquire a working knowledge of American history, geography, culture, politics and institutional set‑up before I can even place the Negro in the right position in the national scene.”
Not to worry, the Carnegie claque had everything planned. Socialist academics and activists like Arthur M. Schlesinger, Otto Klineberg, Gordon Allport, Franz Boaz, Ruth Benedict, Melville J. Herskovitz, M.F. Ashley‑Montagu, and Ralph Bunche would be brought on board to do most of the actual writing. Top communists would also have a hand. "Doxie Wilkerson, a member of the National Committee of the Communist Party and James E. Jackson, Jr., who later became president of the Communist Party, were paid with Carnegie funds to help fashion An American Dilemma," noted Zygmund Dobbs. Myrdal was handed a total of 15,000 typewritten pages of manuscript, which he and his staff condensed into 1500 pages for An American Dilemma."
In this celebrated tome, Myrdal and company attacked the U.S. Constitution and its limited governmental design as "a plot against the common people," and said it "'was dominated by property consciousness and designed as a defense against the democratic spirit let loose during the Revolution.”
Whole Word Hoax
Abandoning phonics for the whole‑word approach to teaching reading has brought disastrous results
It has been
nearly 40 years since Rudolf Flesch
descended on the American education scene with his blockbuster, Why Johnny
The book created a sensation in 1955,explaining to a nation of puzzled parents why their children were having such a difficult time learning to read. After all, the parents had all learned to read in the same schools without any great trouble. Flesch revealed how the professors of education changed the way reading is taught in American schools, throwing out the alphabetic phonics method – the proper, time‑tested way to teach children to read an alphabetic writing system ‑ and replacing it with a new whole‑word – or sight‑word method – which teaches children to read English as if it were an ideographic writing system like Chinese, Japanese, or ancient hieroglyphics.
What's the Difference?
A child cannot learn to read English well using a holistic formula, because in such an effort he typically will develop a holistic reflex which creates a block against his seeing words phonetically. Since an alphabet system is by nature a phonetic (sound‑symbol) system, a block against seeing the printed word phonetically produces what is termed "dyslexia." To become a proficient reader, a child must develop a phonetic reflex, not a holistic one.
Unfortunately, the battle between phonics and the whole‑word approach is not merely over reading instruction methods. It is a battle over worldviews and political agendas. A defining point of this conflict was John Dewey's attack on the traditional primary school curriculum in his essay, "The Primary Education Fetich." Dewey wrote:
There is ... a false educational god whose idolators are legion, and whose cult influences the entire educational system. This is language study ‑ the study not of foreign language, but of English; not in higher, but in primary education. It is almost an unquestioned assumption, of educational theory and practice both, that the first three years of a child's school life shall be mainly taken up with learning to read and write his own language. If we add to this the learning of a certain amount of numerical combinations, we have the pivot about which primary education swings....
It does not follow, however,
that because this course was once wise it is so any longer.... My proposition
is, that conditions ‑ social, industrial, and intellectual ‑ have undergone
such a radical change, that the time has come for a thoroughgoing examination
of the emphasis put upon linguistic work in elementary instruction....
The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life because of the great importance attaching to literature seems to me a perversion.
Dewey argued that it is important for the child to experience life through classroom activities, projects, and social interaction before learning to read about them. This kind of education would prepare the child for a socialist society, for the aim of Dewey and his colleagues was to change America from a capitalist, individualistic society into a socialist, collectivist one.
Dewey the master strategist then set forth what must be done:
must come gradually. To force it unduly would compromise its final success by
favoring a violent reaction. What is needed in the first place is that there
should be a full and frank statement of conviction with regard to the matter
from physiologists and psychologists and from those school administrators who
are conscious of the evils of the present regime.... There are already in
existence a considerable number of education "experimental stations,"
which represent the outposts of educational progress. If these schools can be
adequately supported for a number of years they will perform a great vicarious
service. After such schools have worked out‑carefully and definitely the
subject‑matter of a new curriculum, ‑ finding, ‑ the right place for language
–studies and placing them in their right perspective, ‑ the problem of the
more general educational reform will be immensely simplified and facilitated.
Here was, indeed, a master plan, involving the entire progressive education community, to create a new socialist curriculum for the schools of America, a plan, based on the new psychology, that was indeed carried out and implemented. For example, the first "authoritative" book on the new way to teach reading, The Psychology and Pedagogy of Reading, was written by psychologist Edmund Burke Huey and published in 1908. In it Huey wrote:
is not indeed necessary that the child should be able to pronounce correctly or
pronounce at all, at first, the new words that appear in his reading, any more
than that he should spell or write all the new words that he hears spoken. If
he grasps, approximately, the total meaning of the sentence in which the new
word stands, he has read the sentence. Usually this total meaning will suggest
what to call the new word, and the word's current articulation will usually
have been teamed in conversation, if the proper amount of oral practice shall
have preceded reading. And even if the child substitutes words of his own for
some that are on the page, provided that these express the meaning, it is an
encouraging sign that the reading has been real, and recognition of details
will come as it is needed. The shock that such a statement will give to many a
practical teacher of reading is but an accurate measure of the hold that a
false ideal has taken of us, viz.. that to read is to say just what is upon the
page, instead of to think, each in his own way, the meaning that the page
... Until the insidious thought of reading as word‑pronouncing is well worked out of our heads, it is well to place the emphasis strongly where it belongs, on reading as thought‑getting independently of expression.
So there you have the genesis of the look‑say method. Indeed, many look-say primers were published and used experimentally in both private and public schools. But it wasn't until the publication of the "Dick and Jane" reading program in 1930 that entire school systems began to adopt the methodology. Of course, many of the older teachers continued to teach phonics in conjunction with "Dick and Jane," but eventually they were replaced by younger teachers not sullied by phonics methodology.
The educators who engineered all of this knew, of course, that the Dewey‑inspired method of teaching reading would in time lower the literacy skills of the nation. If they didn't know it from the reading difficulties children were having in America, they certainly knew it in 1932 when the Communist Party of the Soviet Union threw out the Dewey methods, which had been in use in Soviet schools since the revolution, and went back to an intensive phonics method of teaching reading.
Label, Same Disaster
Today in America look‑say is now called whole language, and is supposedly based on a new theory of what reading is. Here is how several whole-language professors, writing in Whole Language: What's the Difference? (Heinemann, 1991), describe what they mean by the "new" approach:
From a whole language perspective, reading (and language use in general) is a process of generating hypotheses in a meaning-making transaction in a sociohistorical context. As a transactional process ... reading is not a matter of “getting the meaning” from text, as if that meaning were in the text waiting to be decoded by the reader. Rather, reading is a matter of readers using the cues print provide and the knowledge they bring with them ... to construct a unique interpretation. Moreover, that interpretation is situated: readers' creations (not retrievals) of meaning with the text vary, depending on their purposes for reading and the expectations of others in the reading event. This view of reading implies that there is no single "correct" meaning for a given text, only plausible meanings.
The whole language advocates have gone well beyond Edmund Burke Huey, seeing reading as "creating meaning," not decoding accurately the message of the writer. This is the definition of reading now used in Kentucky's outcome-based education program: constructing meaning. One might say that this "new" view of reading is a product of the deconstructionist view of text. Webster's New World Dictionary (1988) defines deconstruction as "a method of literary analysis ... based on a theory that, by the very nature of language and usage, no text can have a fixed, coherent meaning." And, as the advocates of whole language argue, "In a transactional model, words do not have static meanings. Rather they have meaning potentials and the capacity to communicate multiple meanings."
This is what children are up against in American primary schools today: whole‑language theories about reading. Doesn't it make more sense to teach the children to read by time‑tested methods based on over 2,000 years of experience than to subject them to experiments which produce disabled readers?
What the public doesn't realize is that this is more of a war over ideologies than one over teaching methods. It is a war by the educational elite to impose its rule over the American people. Destroying resistance to their collectivist plans by dumbing down Americans is an essential part of their strategy. To do this, they must convince the American people that "traditional literacy" is no longer desirable. In fact, Professor Anthony Oettinger of Harvard University told an audience of corporate executives in 1988:
The present "traditional" concept of literacy has to do with the ability to read and write. But the real question that confronts us today is: How do we help citizens function well in their society'!
... Do we, for example really want to teach people to do a lot of sums or write in “a fine round hand" when they have a five‑dollar hand‑held calculator or a word processor to work with? Or do we really have to have everybody literate - writing and reading in the traditional sense ‑ when we have the means through our technology to achieve a new flowering of oral communication?
The traditional concept of literacy means teaching children to read by intensive, systematic phonics so that they can read with accuracy and fluency. It is easier and less costly to teach than whole language, so that even from a practical standpoint it makes more sense to teach reading using phonics than to use faulty methods that permanently deprive millions of children of the ability to master the written word.
SAMUEL L. BLUMENFELD
the Slippery Slope
PERSPECTIVE on the PAST
Dewey's Godless ideology set stage for present‑day education establishment
story of how American education has become the awful mess it is today is a long
one, with many important characters implementing crucial changes in pedagogical
theory ideologies, and worldviews. But if one wanted to reduce the story to a
simple summation, one could say that the history of American education is
really the history of a war between those who believe in traditional biblically
based values, and those who don't.
Faith to Faithlessness
This ongoing war, which is being more intensely waged today than ever before, can be divided into three periods. The first‑ from America's colonial times to the 1840s ‑ saw the dominance of the biblical worldview as seen through a Calvinist perspective: God's sovereignty was the central reality of man's existence, and the purpose of' man's life was to glorify God. Biblical literacy was considered the overriding spiritual and moral function of education, for man was considered sinful and in need of God's law as the guide to a long, healthful and productive life. Latin, Greek and Hebrew were studied because they were the original languages of the Bible and of theological literature. This period was characterized by a high standard of literacy. It was also the period which birthed our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.
The second period, lasting from the 1840s until about World War I, was dominated by the statist‑idealist philosophy of Germany's G.F. Hegel, a philosophy which spread throughout the Western world like a malignant spiritual disease, undermining Calvinist foundations, It was largely brought to this country by the Unitarian professors at Harvard who had studied in Germany and admired this new worldview. In Hegel's pantheistic scheme the purpose of life was to glorify man, and the instrument through which man's collective power could be exercised was the state. Hegel wrote, "The State is the divine idea as it exists on earth." To this the Unitarians who predominated at Harvard added their own ideas about the perfectible nature of man.
This was the period of Horace Mann, the consolidation of the public school movement, the centralization of control by a state education bureaucracy, the institution of compulsory school attendance, and the founding of the National Education Association in 1857. In the aftermath of the War Between the States, the interpretation of the Constitution shifted to reflect the new power of the federal government over the states.
During this Unitarian‑ Hegelian period in America, the state replaced God as sovereign over the people and the schools became increasingly secularized. But since Hegel considered man's mind to be the highest manifestation of God on earth, discipline, high academic standards, and achievement were the hallmarks of the public schools.
The third period, which began around World War I and has continued to the present, saw the rise of the progressives, members of the Protestant academic elite who no longer believed in the religion of their fathers. They put their new faith in science, evolution, and psychology. Science explained the material world, evolution explained the origin of living matter, and psychology offered the scientific means to study man's nature and to control his behavior.
These elites were also socialists. Why? Because they had to deal with the problem of evil. They had to answer the question of why men do the horrible things they do. Why do they rob, rape, and murdered? They rejected the biblical view of man as innately depraved and sinful, deciding instead that the causes of evil were ignorance, poverty and social injustice. And what was the chief cause of social injustice? It was this horrible capitalistic system with its selfish individualism and superstitious religion. Their solution: get rid of capitalism, individualism, and religion and replace them with socialism, collectivism and humanism. Socialism had to be brought about if they were to prove that they were right and traditional biblical values were wrong. For if it turned out that the Bible was right and they were wrong, they knew where they'd spend the rest of eternity. Therefore, they were quite confident that socialism was the answer.
But how was this socialism to be brought about'? The only way was by the slow permeation method adopted by the Fabians in Britain and by a gradual takeover of the education system, through which children would be educated to become socialists.
It was during the first two decades of this century that the progressive education establishment took shape. John Dewey emerged as the progressives' chief ideologue, with Charles Judd of the University of Chicago engineering "a detailed reorganization of the materials of instruction in schools of all grades." Judd's protégé, William Scott Gray, produced the "Dick and Jane" reading program, and organized the International Reading Association to control the teachers of reading.
Several occurrences in the early days of the progressive movement helped to establish the direction of American education: 1) educational research and pedagogy were co‑opted by behavioral psychologists; 2) graduate schools of education were established for the indoctrination of teachers and the creation of doctors of education; 3) the National Education Association was transformed into a teacher membership organization for the purpose of controlling the classroom teacher and organizing teacher political activity; and 4) large philanthropic foundations such as Rockefeller and Carnegie were taken over by progressives, who proceeded to fund progressive education programs.
The 1920s and '30s were devoted to a transformation of the public school curriculum. Charles Judd told a meeting of the American Political Science Association in 1931 that the entire organized profession was now engaged in the process of promoting "a movement to bring to full realization the project of socializing the whole body of instructional material in schools and colleges."
The work, in fact, was being done so vigorously that a reporter attending the 1932 meeting of the NEA's school superintendents department ‑ held in Washington, DC and attended by John Dewey, Charles Judd, and other progressives ‑ wrote: "Here, in the very citadel of capitalism ... this group of outstanding spokesmen of American education talked a remarkably strong brand of socialism."
Even the American Historical Association got into the act of preparing America for socialism. In 1934, financed by the Carnegie Foundation, its Commission on the Social Studies reported:
... two social philosophies are now struggling for supremacy: individualism, with its attending capitalism and classism, and collectivism, with planned economy and mass rights. Believing that present trends indicate the victory of the latter the Commission on the Social Studies offers a comprehensive blueprint by which education may prepare to meet the demands of a collectivist social order without submerging the individual as a helpless victim of bureaucratic control.
During the 1930s many refugees from Hitler's Germany came to America. One of them was social psychologist Kurt Lewin, whose work was to have a profound effect on American education. Lewin founded the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (it later moved to the University of Michigan). Lewin is credited with inventing sensitivity training, which became the inspiration for the encounter movement. Shortly before his death in 1947, Lewin established the National Training Laboratory at Bethel, Maine, under the sponsorship of the National Education Association.
Lewin's work in group dynamics spurred the development of Third Force psychology by humanists Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Sidney Simon, and others who attempted to interject an emotional and spiritual component in behavioral psychology. Since the goal of education had now been reidentified as " self-actualization," the emphasis was now on the development of the affective domain through such programs as values clarification, sensitivity training, situational ethics, multiculturalism, pluralism, and human sexuality.
Another theme promoted in public education since the end of World War II has been that of world government. In December 1942, NEA Journal editor Joy Elmer Morgan wrote an editorial entitled "The United Peoples of the World," announcing the NEA's support for world government:
World organization may well have four branches which in practice have proved indispensable: The legislature, the judicial, the executive, and the educational. In addition to the framework of government the world needs certain tools of cooperation: A world system of money and credit, a uniform system of weights and measures; a revised calendar; and a basic language.
Morgan also called for a world police force and a world board of education (which came in 1945 as UNESCO). For the NEA, the United Nations became the hope of the world. In January 1946, Morgan wrote in the NEA Journal:
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.
Of course, as anyone can see, there is no place for traditional biblical faith in such an educational scheme. In fact, the war against God in the public schools still rages for one very unforeseen reason: the resurgence of Judeo‑Christian faith in millions of Americans. And therefore the new enemy of the NEA is the "religious right." Hardly an issue of NEA Today is published without an article about the war against "religious extremism." And every day more and more Christians are removing their children from the public schools and educating them at home or enrolling them in private schools.
At present, public education is in its final stage of eliminating every vestige of traditional education from its system. With outcome-based education using Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives as its guide, the public schools have become for all practical purposes Unitarian parochial schools. And with the widespread use of whole language in the primary schools, the process of dumbing down Americans now has the complete backing of the federal and state governments.
If the United States is to survive as a free country, under a Constitution that guarantees the protection of the citizens' unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the American people must recognize the threat that government-controlled education poses to their future as a free, independent people. Americans must wake up and recognize the progressive-socialist agenda for what it is, and reject it entirely. As long as America's education is controlled by the present psycho socialist mafia, there is no possibility that it can be reformed to resemble anything that sane Americans consider acceptable.
SAMUEL L. BLUMENFELD
Mr. Blumenfeld is a contributor to THE New AMERICAN and author of NEA: Trojan Horse in American Education. Is Public Education Necessary?, and many other books. He publishes the monthly Blumenfeld Education Letter, and lectures on education to audiences nationwide.
NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
largest, most politicized union in the country has once more shown its
priorities. The National Education Association (NEA) placed learning on the
back burner as its convention's managers voted in July to boycott Florida
orange juice if that state's Citrus Commission chooses to renew an advertising
contract with conservative talk show personality Rush Limbaugh. Meanwhile, by
most measures, the charges of the unionized teachers ‑ that is, the pupils ‑
continue to show deteriorating performances.
But, then, it has been a long time since teaching students was paramount to the NEA leaders, with its largely captive membership of 2.2 million. Though its roots are long (the NEA was founded in 1857), it took a while for the organization to gather its clout. Regardless of its size, however, the guiding goals of the NEA have included statism and socialism.
Consider the 1934 report of the NEA by its executive secretary, Willard Givens, which grounded the achievement of the union's goals on "many drastic changes." In particular: "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."
Social control is exactly what was in mind. The man credited with coining the phrase "New Deal," Stuart Chase, was the economist who appeared often in the pages of the NEA Journal during the '30s and '40s. In the March 1936 issue of the Journal, Chase described the "minimum program" necessary for U.S. social and economic planning, proposing "the nationalization of banking and credit; the use of the income tax to redistribute income and purchasing power, so that savings will be spent; the use of government credit to create vast new industries in the sector of public works and services; the progressive control by government of natural monopolies; the collective control of agriculture; wage and hour controls; consumer protection; and the extension of social security."
World government also became a favorite hobbyhorse for the NEA to ride. Such a government would include, in the words of the NEA Journal, "world agencies of administration such as: A police force; a board of education; a board of health...” The pro‑United Nations propaganda emanating from the public schools even to this day is not an accident. It is part of a long‑term campaign in which NEA leadership has played a major role.
Aid, Then Control
Those with an agenda to run the world must, of course, be patient. It took a while even to get federal aid for education in the U.S. But in LBJ's Great Society days, the NEA personnel and consultants were right in the midst of the battle, not only lobbying Congress, but also preparing speeches for congressmen to use, and even helping to write the legislation itself. The result of this effort was the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965.
When passage of the bill was imminent, LBJ boasted: "We are going to get it started, but we are never going to get her stopped." The NEA Journal for September 1965 reiterated: "We've got it started. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is only the beginning.... NEA hopes that President Johnson was correct in his estimation that, once started, federal aid to education will never be stopped."
Controls followed into the tent as surely as did the rest of the proverbial camel's body. In the current Congress, reauthorization of the ESEA includes provisions that predicate receipt of federal monies for Chapter I funding (ostensibly for the disadvantaged) on the acceptance of federal mandates and far-reaching liberal programs found in President Clinton's Goals 2000.
Some 80 percent of ESEA funding, reports Human Events, "is used to fulfill the Chapter I requirement and fully 90% of all the nation's school districts are dependent on ESEA grants to keep their Chapter I programs afloat." What is in the wings, as a result, is the prospect of a national curriculum and federal dictates on local schools ‑ to the point of Washington's directing how children should be taught and tested. This direction would come, under the Goals 2000 National Educational Standards and Improvement Council, from a board of 19 members appointed by the President. The council would be composed of "professional educators" and "members of teachers unions," as well as five members from "advocacy, civil rights and disability groups."
It becomes immediately clear what kind of "progressive" nonsense these groups favor. Indeed, the language in the Senate bill contends that it is a "disproven theory that children must first learn basic skills before engaging in more complex tasks"; eschewed should be "repetitive drill practice" in favor of what is dubbed "context rich instruction."
This "federalization," said Allyson Tucker, manager of the Center for Education Policy at the Heritage Foundation, is going, to be "disastrous." Rather than real standards or improvements, she pointed out, this is "a way to impose a utopian and idealistic view of education on the curriculum. On the whole, [the ESEA and Goals 2000 proposals] will serve to do much more harm to our schools than good.
Over the years, the resolutions backed by delegates to the NEA's convention have proven that more recent concerns have certainly kept up with the radicalism and class warfare of earlier days. To get a sense of the direction NEA leadership leans, one need merely look at a representative sampling of resolutions the organization has passed of late. (We do stress NEA "leadership," because many NEA teachers are as aghast at the direction of their union as are parents.)
In 1989, for example, the NEA opposed home-schooling ‑ which they argued should be permitted only by "persons who are licensed by the appropriate state education licensure agency" and who use a "curriculum approved by the state department of education." There should be sex education in public schools, the union resolved, including instruction on birth control, "diversity of sexual orientation," and incest. Also, the NEA came out against testing school personnel for narcotics, alcohol, or AIDS ‑ further demanding that any personnel with AIDS "shall not be fired, nonrenewed, suspended, transferred, or subjected to any other adverse employment action."
At its 1991 annual meeting, the NEA rubber-stamped left‑wing positions on nuclear weapons, immigration, environmentalism, and "development of renewable energy resources." These matters do find their way into the classroom, as Professor Thomas Sowell has noted in Inside American Education, with children being assigned to write to govemment leaders promoting "a certain policy on nuclear weapons, or to demand that state legislators appropriate more money for education."
The 1992 NEA convention ‑ which endorsed Bill Clinton by a margin of 88 percent to 12 percent ‑ floated a similar raft of radicalism. The union came out for "unrestricted, universal access" to health care for all, including illegal aliens: it supported abortion rights while opposing, parental notification if their minor children wanted an abortion; and it endorsed a convention that would, in essence, attack Western Civilization on the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' historic discovery. The NEA, with its Gay and Lesbian Caucus, resolved to "develop a training program for local elected leaders to improve their awareness and sensitivity to the issues and concerns of Gay and lesbian education employees."
Last year's conclave had more of the same. Delegates approved such proposals as multicultural/global education", “comprehensive school‑based clinics", and "early childhood education programs in the public schools for children from birth through age eight.” They were predictable on South Africa, the ozone layer, and a nuclear freeze. However, not everything was approved: The convention wouldn't encourage pupils to restrict sexual intercourse to a heterosexual marriage.
In return for the NEA's support, candidate Bill Clinton endorsed virtually all of its agenda. That has become a Democrat tradition in a party where in 1992 about one in eight Democratic convention members belonged to the NEA. "If I become President, you'll be my partners. I won't forget who brought me to the White House," Mr. Clinton said to the NEA's candidate screening panel in 1991. Similarly, Jimmy Carter traded an NEA endorsement for his creation of a federal Department of Education.
Overshadowed by the anti‑Limbaugh move at this year's New Orleans convention was the NEA's unabashed stance against standardized testing, which might be used to measure how well teachers and students are actually doing. So‑called "highstakes" testing was dubbed "wrong" and should be "eliminated," said the subcommittee chairman responsible for the resolution opposing such exams, a move adopted without debate on the convention floor. Such tests, explained the Washington Times' Carol Innerst, have "consequences, such as promotion to the next grade, qualifying for a high‑school diploma, getting into a gifted‑and‑talented program, or getting into college. Some schools use test scores as a measure of a teacher's ability and to make determinations about programs and resources."
There have been ongoing discussions of a merger between the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), which falls under the AFL‑CIO umbrella. The 800,000member AFT, which seems moderate only in comparison with the NEA, does have some policy differences, although the two groups did merge their international affiliates last year in Stockholm. The result, Education International, forms an agglomeration with 240 unions and over 20 million members.
However, the possible consummation of domestic centralization between the AFT and NEA has been put off for at least another year, according to NEA President Keith Geiger. One sticking point is a difference between the NEA and AFT on "high‑ stakes." Without these, says AFT President Albert Shanker, "you can throw out Goals 2000 standards." Don't misunderstand these disputes; they're reminiscent of the pact and falling out between Hitler and Stalin. The unions, you see, disagree on the way education should be nationalized and who gets to be the power brokers.
Will an outright merger between the AFT and NEA be achieved? In a way, the point is moot. Their current status did not prevent the two groups from sharing a telephone bank in a mutual effort to get Bill Clinton elected. With a war chest estimated at $750 million a year, the NEA has proven fully capable of creating more than enough havoc on its own.
WILLIAM P. HOAR
THE NEW AMERICAN/ AUGUST 8, 1994