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An American Affidavit

Thursday, December 24, 2015

35. Occasional Letter Number One: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

Occasional Letter Number One 

Between 1896 and 1920, a small group of industrialists and financiers, together with their 
private charitable foundations, subsidized university chairs, university researchers, and 
school administrators, spent more money on forced schooling than the government itself 
did. Carnegie and Rockefeller, as late as 1915, were spending more themselves. In this 
laissez-faire fashion a system of modern schooling was constructed without public 
participation. The motives for this are undoubtedly mixed, but it will be useful for you to 
hear a few excerpts from the first mission statement of Rockefeller's General Education 
Board as they occur in a document called Occasional Letter Number One (1906): 

In our dreams. ..people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. The 
present educational conventions [intellectual and character education] fade from our 
minds, and unhampered by tradition we work our own good will upon a grateful and 
responsive folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into 
philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among 
them authors, educators, poets or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great 
artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of 
whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple. ..we will 
organize children... and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and 
mothers are doing in an imperfect way. 

This mission statement will reward multiple rereadings. 

Change Agents Infiltrate 

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