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The fraud of education reform

By Dr. Samuel L. Blumenfeld

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 editor wrote,

    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 collectivist society.

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 said,

    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."

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 others.

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 the foreword

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