The Weekly Sam: What is Wrong with Government Education by Sam Blumenfeld


The enormous failure of our government school system was nicely
summed up by a Boston high school teacher in a recent issue of Education
Week (12/9/98). He said:
 “I have about 30 kids in my U.S. history class. They come from nine
different countries; most of them can’t read. Even if they can read the text,
they don’t know what it means. How am I supposed to teach U.S. history to
kids who can’t read? I could come in here every day for 20 years and still
not figure out how to do it.”
 Obviously, this particular teacher had no idea how these kids got into
high school without knowing how to read. He had no idea what goes on in
primary school that prevents these children from learning to read, and he
had no idea what to do with older students who are functionally illiterate.
Clearly, the teacher himself is part of the problem. His ignorance of how the
system functions prevents him from helping his students get through it in
one piece . In other words, the compartmentalization of teachers explains
why so many of them have no idea of how the total system works and why
the system can lurch from crisis to crisis without any effective change taking
 The real blame for the system’s dysfunction, however, must lie with the
professors of education, the state departments of education , and the
administrators who have all conspired to create the functional illiteracy that
plagues the public schools of America once considered the most literate
and advanced nation on earth. Deliberately induced illiteracy among
students is a vital part of the plan to dumb down Americans so that they will
be unable to resist the imposition of social and political control by an
arrogant universitarian elite determined to create a new world order based
on humanist-socialist values.

 This “education” plan is part of the utopian socialist agenda set down
by the progressives at the turn of the century. The progressives were
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 (matter in motion),
evolution explained the origin of life (organisms crawling out of the
primordial ooze), and psychology explained human nature and provided
the elite with the scientific means of controlling human behavior.
 These men were also socialists. Why? Because they had to deal with
the problem of evil. The Bible tells us that evil is the result of man’s innate
depravity, his innate sinful nature. But since the progressives did not
believe in the Bible, they decided that evil was caused by ignorance,
poverty, and social injustice. And what was the cause of social injustice?
Why, it was this horrible capitalist system with all of its inequities. Socialism,
it was believed, would remove these inequities and thereby solve the
problem of evil. By the way, the progressives did not get their model of
socialism from Karl Marx. They got it from an American by the name of
Edward Bellamy whose book, Looking Backward, published in 1888,
projected the fantasy of a socialist America in the year 2000.
 And so, the progressives, dedicated to their utopian ideal, decided to
do all in their power to change America from an individualistic, capitalist,
and religious society into a socialist, collectivist, humanist or atheist society.
How were they to accomplish that? Through the education system. They
would change the curriculum and teaching methods in the public schools so
that American children would emerge as young socialists willing to change
our way of life into a socialist one.
 The socialists realized that the transformation might take as much as a
hundred years to complete. In fact, John Dewey wrote in 1898: “Change
must come gradua.lly. To force it unduly would compromise its final success
by favoring a violent reaction .” Dewey then outlined the long-range strategy
which the progressives were to adopt:

 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.
Educators should also frankly face the fact that the New Education, as it exists today, is
a compromise and a transition: it employs new methods but its controlling ideals are
virtually of the Old Education. Wherever movements looking to a solution of the
problem are intelligently undertaken, they should receive encouragement, moral and
financial , from the intellectual leaders of the community. There are already in
existence a considerable number of educational “experiment 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 the 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.
 One hundred years later we can see how successful the Dewey plan
has been in transforming our educational system into one that serves the
needs of the atheist socialist state. Dewey was aided and abetted by a
cadre of reformers that included such luminaries as Edward L. Thorndike,
James McKeen Cattell, Elwood P. Cubberly, George D. Strayer, Charles
Judd, James R. Angell and a host of others. Thorndike, Cattell, and Strayer
ran educational mafia out of Teachers College (Columbia), Cubberly
reigned at Stanford, and Angell became president at Yale.
 Change in the curriculum of public education has happened so
gradually that most parents haven’t the faintest idea what is happening to
their children, four million of whom are being drugged daily with Ritalin so
that they can sit in their classroom seats and be socialized without
 What is truly amazing is the coherence and continuity of the
progressive agenda which is as much alive today at it was when Dewey and
company were pontificating. For example, The Whole Language Catalog, a
sort of bible of the whole-language movement published in 1991, has 15
entries for John Dewey in its index. After citing his debt to Dewey, Kenneth
Goodman, the leading guru of whole-language philosophy, writes:
 Whole language picks up where the progressives left off . [It] takes the
philosophy and positive, child-centered view of the progressive educators and adds
the knowledge of language, of learning, of child development, and of teaching, and
builds a strong scientific base under them . It is this combination of science and
humanistic educational and social philosophy that forms the foundation for whole
language curriculum . We use the psychological concepts of Piaget and Vygotsky to
underscore Dewey’s concept of learning as transaction: pupils making sense of their
world and being changed themselves in the transactions. (p. 281)

 In the early days, the progressives were mainly supported by the major
philanthropic foundations. Today, the reforms are being underwritten by
federal and state governments. Three recent federal programs are funding
the massive restructuring of American education in accordance with the
progressives’ plans: Goals 2000 (enacted 3/31/94), School-to-Work
Opportunities Act (enacted 5/4/94), and the Improving America’s Schools
Act, a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of
1965 (enacted 10/20/94) . Thus, the Congress of the United States has
become an accomplice in the progressive plan to restructure American

education in the socialist mold.
 Apart from needing the funds to carry out their plan, the progressives
also realized that coherence and continuity of their agenda over a hundred
years was vitally necessary if the plan was to be successful. Thus, in 1901
they created the National Society for the Study of Education, wherein the
progressive leaders would be able to formulate their programs of reform,
debate their effectiveness and pass on the baton to their loyal disciples. By
studying their yearbooks, the first of which was published in 1902, one can
follow the inexorable progress of the socialist takeover of American
 All of this was accomplished by tenured professors of education and
behavioral psychologists, working within a maze of well funded professional
organizations, publishing journals, writing textbooks, holding hundreds of
conferences, seminars, and conventions each year. None of this has been
visible to the average parent who puts a child in a public school. Parents
assume that their schools are run by local school boards, superintendents,
principals, and teachers. What they don’t see is the invisible hand behind
this constant pressure for reform that keeps recreating the curriculum .
The average teacher may feel that there is some kind of invisible hand
at work, but teachers would rather blame failure on cultural trends,
excessive television viewing, dysfunctional parents, and such student
disabilities as attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.

 Obviously, this is a system of education that cannot be supported by
any Christian. Local control no longer exists. It was inevitable that a
government education system would become a federal system controlled
by those who have been leading us toward totalitarian socialism. Do I
exaggerate? To be convinced that the end goal is a totalitarian system, all
one has to do is read the Student Data Handbook for Early Childhood,
Elementary, and Secondary Education (NCES 94-303). This is the official
guidebook for the computerized data-gathering system dreamed up by our
totalitarian bureaucrats. The data will include massive information on
health, family, religion, attitudes, psychological assessments, etc. For
example, the attitudinal test is described as: “An assessment to measure
the mental and emotional set or patterns of likes and dislikes or opinions
held by a student or a group of students. This is often used in relation to
considerations such as controversial issues or personal adjustments .”
All of this sensitive, personal data will be housed in a central computer
in Washington making it easy for “educators” to control just about everyone.

 But the question is simply this: does the government of a free people have
the right to collect this kind of information on all of its citizens for its own
political or social purposes? Should the government of a free people record
the attitudes and opinions of its citizens so that it can engineer their r
personal adjustment?
 The time has come for Christians to realize what has become of the
“land of the free and the home of the brave.” If Christians want to restore
the full measure of our freedoms, they will have to do what they are
reluctant to do: remove their children en masse from the public schools.
What is needed now is not accomodation to the plans of the American
Pharoah but a full-fledged exodus of Christian children. That’s the easiest
and most peaceful way to put an end to the socialist agenda and return
America to its basic constitutional principles. Will Christians have the
courage to do what must be done? That test will be upon us sooner than
anyone anticipated.
(The above article was written by Sam Blumenfeld back in the late 1990s.  Sam predicted that government schools would get worse and he was right.  Please visit and sign up for the Sam Blumenfeld Archives-a free on-line resource hosted by Camp Constitution: