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Fluoride is a poison. Fluoride was poison yesterday. Fluoride is poison today. Fluoride will be poison tomorrow. When in doubt, get it out.


AnAmerAffidavit

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

2.I Quit, I Think: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org

I Quit, I Think 

In the first year of the last decade of the twentieth century 
during my thirtieth year as a school teacher in Community 
School District 3, Manhattan, after teaching in all five 
secondary schools in the district, crossing swords with one 
professional administration after another as they strove to 
rid themselves of me, after having my license suspended 
twice for insubordination and terminated covertly once 
while I was on medical leave of absence, after the City 
University of New York borrowed me for a five-year stint 
as a lecturer in the Education Department (and the faculty 
rating handbook published by the Student Council gave 
me the highest ratings in the department my last three years), after planning and bringing 
about the most successful permanent school fund-raiser in New York City history, after 
placing a single eighth-grade class into 30,000 hours of volunteer community service, 
after organizing and financing a student-run food cooperative, after securing over a 
thousand apprenticeships, directing the collection of tens of thousands of books for the 
construction of private student libraries, after producing four talking job dictionaries for 
the blind, writing two original student musicals, and launching an armada of other 
initiatives to reintegrate students within a larger human reality, I quit. 




I was New York State Teacher of the Year when it happened. An accumulation of disgust 
and frustration which grew too heavy to be borne finally did me in. To test my resolve I 
sent a short essay to The Wall Street Journal titled "I Quit, I Think." In it I explained my 
reasons for deciding to wrap it up, even though I had no savings and not the slightest idea 
what else I might do in my mid-fifties to pay the rent. In its entirety it read like this: 



Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It 
kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood and 
by teaching disrespect for home and parents. The whole blueprint 
of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows 



from the theological idea that human value is a scarce thing, 
represented symbolically by the narrow peak of a pyramid. 

That idea passed into American history through the Puritans. It 
found its "scientific" presentation in the bell curve, along which 
talent supposedly apportions itself by some Iron Law of Biology. 
It's a religious notion, School is its church. I offer rituals to keep 
heresy at bay. I provide documentation to justify the heavenly 
pyramid. 

Socrates foresaw if teaching became a formal profession, 
something like this would happen. Professional interest is served 
by making what is easy to do seem hard; by subordinating the 
laity to the priesthood. School is too vital a jobs-project, contract 
giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be "re- 
formed." It has political allies to guard its marches, that's why 
reforms come and go without changing much. Even reformers 
can't imagine school much different. 

David learns to read at age four; Rachel, at age nine: In normal 
development, when both are 13, you can't tell which one learned 
first — the five-year spread means nothing at all. But in school I 
label Rachel "learning disabled" and slow David down a bit, too. 
For a paycheck, I adjust David to depend on me to tell him when 
to go and stop. He won't outgrow that dependency. I identify 
Rachel as discount merchandise, "special education" fodder. 
She'll be locked in her place forever. 

In 30 years of teaching kids rich and poor I almost never met a 
learning disabled child; hardly ever met a gifted and talented one 
either. Like all school categories, these are sacred myths, created 
by human imagination. They derive from questionable values we 
never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling. 

That's the secret behind short-answer tests, bells, uniform time 
blocks, age grading, standardization, and all the rest of the school 
religion punishing our nation. There isn't a right way to become 
educated; there are as many ways as fingerprints. We don't need 
state-certified teachers to make education happen — that probably 
guarantees it won't. 

How much more evidence is necessary? Good schools don't need 
more money or a longer year; they need real free-market choices, 
variety that speaks to every need and runs risks. We don't need a 
national curriculum or national testing either. Both initiatives 
arise from ignorance of how people learn or deliberate 



indifference to it. I can't teach this way any longer. If you hear of 
a job where I don't have to hurt kids to make a living, let me 
know. Come fall I'll be looking for work. 



The New Individualism 


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