by Donna Jack – January 14, 2016
John Taylor Gatto’s book Weapons of Mass Instruction: A Schoolteacher’s Journey through the Dark World of Compulsory Schooling, gives extensive thought-provoking insight, which helps explain the shocking phenomenon of the rising numbers of highly “uneducated” adults and young people in the United States.
Mr. Gatto is a former New York teacher, who taught in some of the best and some of the worst public schools. During his 30 years of teaching, he was teacher of the year in his school district, and in 1991 he was teacher of the year in New York State. He resigned from teaching that year.
Like in the book Weapons of Mass Instruction, the two videos by James O’Keefe of Project Veritas that are linked below, demonstrate a lack of concern for the education and the well-being of students who are in compulsory schooling. The following links have both the videos and transcripts of the videos.
In Chapter 7 (“Weapons of Mass Instruction”) Gatto explains that one of the goals of compulsory education is to “convert human beings into human resources.”
In the beginning of Chapter 7 he has two quotes:
“Only 31 percent of college-educated Americans can fully comprehend a newspaper story, down from 40 percent a decade ago.” — National Commission on the Future of Higher Education, August 2006 [p. 99]
“35 percent of the young regret their university experience and don’t consider the time and money invested worth it; more than half said they learned nothing of use.” — Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2006 [p. 99]
p. 110 – Irrelevance
“Why has schooling acquired such a bad odor? Part of the answer lies in the political nature of mass schooling — a characteristic inherent in any bureaucracy. . . it’s the widespread understanding among the young that school isn’t about them (and their interests, curiosities and futures), but exclusively about the wishes of other people. School is built around the self-interest of others.” [p. 110]
“What of the political nature of schooling which allows any group in political control and all its important political rivals to edit out any teaching which might call its own privileges, practices, or beliefs into question? School has no choice but to limit free thought and speech to such a profound degree [that] a gulf is opened between the sanctimonious homilies of pedagogy (‘searching for truth’, ‘leveling the playing field’, etc.) and the ugly reality of its practices.” [p. 110]
Mr. Gatto’s book is well-worth purchasing, studying, and keeping handy in your library as a resource.