John Taylor Gatto, honored on several occasions as New York City and New York state teacher of the year, has made it the second part of his life’s work to determine why our government schools are so ineffective — why he always had to fight the bureaucracy above him in order to empower his young charges (many of them minority kids, given to him as “punishment” because the administrators thought them “hopeless”) to spread their wings and learn.
What Gatto discovered is enough to cause a massive paradigm shift for anyone who reads his books, whether you start with the slim “Dumbing Us Down” or his weightier master work, “The Underground History of American Education.”
America’s schools aren’t failing, Gatto discovered. They’re doing precisely what they were re-designed to do between the 1850s and the early 1900s, when America embarked on our current imperial/mercantilist adventure — that is, to churn out little soldiers and factory workers with mindless obedience drilled in and with the higher critical faculties burned out of them through the process of feeding them learning in small unrelated bits like pre-digested gruel, till they neither know how nor feel any inclination to discern higher patterns, which might lead them to challenge the “party line.”
Who dreamed up such a system?
Thus, if we want to see what our “reverse-engineered” copy of the German school system has in mind for us, it might pay to simply take a look at what’s happening with government-run schooling … in Germany.