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The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America (w VIDEO)MUST SEE
Mon Jan 19, 2009 04:46

The Deliberate Dumbing Down Of America (w VIDEO)
by Charlotte Iserbyt VIDEO

Charlotte Iserbyt is the consummate whistleblower! Iserbyt served as Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), U.S. Department of Education, during the first Reagan Administration, where she first blew the whistle on a major technology initiative which would control curriculum in America's classrooms. Iserbyt is a former school board director in Camden, Maine and was co-founder and research analyst of Guardians of Education for Maine (GEM) from 1978 to 2000. She has also served in the American Red Cross on Guam and Japan during the Korean War, and in the United States Foreign Service in Belgium and in the Republic of South Africa. Iserbyt is a speaker and writer, best known for her 1985 booklet Back to Basics Reform or OBE: Skinnerian International Curriculum and her 1989 pamphlet Soviets in the Classroom: America's Latest Education Fad which covered the details of the U.S.-Soviet and Carnegie-Soviet Education Agreements which remain in effect to this day. She is a freelance writer and has had articles published in Human Events, The Washington Times, The Bangor Daily News, and included in the record of Congressional hearings.

Download the entire book " The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America" here
Charlotte Iserbyt Archives

Are children deliberately 'dumbed down' in school?
Geoff Metcalf interviews former U.S. education adviser Charlotte Iserbyt

Editor's Note: Most parents want their children to receive a quality education. Yet, low test scores, drugs and violence on campus are increasingly prevalent in public schools and the disconnect between parents, educators and administrators is widening. Why is this situation occurring when so much time, money and attention are being directed toward improving education in the United States?

Today, WorldNetDaily staff writer and talk-show host Geoff Metcalf interviews someone who has some shocking answers, Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt. During the '80s, Iserbyt was a senior policy adviser in the U.S. Department of Education and has also written "The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America," a chronological history of the past 100 years of education reform. In this interview with Metcalf, she discusses the impact of the federal government, the United Nations and influential corporations on the American educational system and a little-known program called "School-To-Work."

By Geoff Metcalf
Š 2001

Question: The first thing I have to ask you -- I'm still not sure if this is a blessing or a curse -- but ever since I returned to talk radio ten years ago, I promised myself I wouldn't interview any author until I read their book. I was intimidated when yours arrived in the mail.

Answer: I don't blame you.

Q: It is a big puppy. 714 pages worth.

A: It is a big baby.

Q: What led you to this project? You were with the Department of Education in the '80s -- why the book?

A: I actually started collecting research in the early '70s. I was on a local school board after living outside the country for 18 years for the United States Department of State. When I came back, I was very upset with the changes I had seen in our school district -- which had happened to be a pilot-school district for change. The kids were rolling around on the floor -- they didn't have to learn grammar or anything -- and I was shocked. I started asking questions and, as the only parent who ever complained, I would go to school board meetings and ask very legitimate questions like, why don't they teach grammar?

Q: How dare you ask such a silly question?

A: And, finally, a retired teacher came to me and she said, "You are right on! I want you to go for some training to become a 'change agent.' We're going to find out what is going on." So, she paid for me to go to this training. The training came out of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and was funded by what was to become my office in the U.S. Department of Education. It was funded earlier in the '70s -- and it was still funded under Ronald Reagan, by the way. This particular project was called "Innovations in Education/Change Agents Guide."

Q: So what did you learn in the training?

A: I was taught how to identify the resisters in my community. Those people who -- good people -- good Americans who have seen and know clearly these programs in the schools were not there to help our children academically.

Q: Hold on. This sounds as if instead of any modification in curriculum, the objective was to go after the people who were complaining about changes in curriculum?

A: Complaining about "values clarification" and complaining about "sex ed" and complaining about all of these subjects that have education hanging off the end of them. You know, we didn't used to have "math education" and "reading education" -- that's not really education. When you have "education" hanging off of it, you know that they have another agenda (except for "Drivers Ed"). Anyway, these were the people in our communities in the '70s who were saying, "I don't like that sex education. I don't think it is up to schools to teach my children there's no right or wrong." And saying, "I don't like that drug education and what's that critical-thinking education?"

I was trained because they didn't know who I was.

Q: Who were you?

A: I was a resister. I was actually being trained to identify myself. And I didn't like it. The other part of it was, I was trained to go to the highly-respected people in our community ...

Q: Wait a minute. So, once you identified these so-called resisters, these people who were critical of people who defend the indefensible, then what do you do?

A: That's a very good question. No other talk-show host has ever asked me that. It's a good question. What do you do? You identify them and then the superintendent will try to get them onto a task force and make them have "ownership" and ...

Q: Ahhh -- a re-education program?

A: Yeah -- you got it! That's a very good question -- really, truly -- I've never had a talk-show guy ask me that question.

Q: It seems like an obvious question.

A: It is a very obvious one, and that's why it took me a while to come up with an answer. But that's exactly what the reason was. And, then, the other thing I was going to do was to identify the important people in the community -- good people, good Americans who have really been used with the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, Garden Club -- go to them and convince them that these programs are vital to the survival of this country, of the world: The world is changing we have to have these programs.

I was really shocked. I was absolutely appalled. You have to remember: I had been out of the country 18 years and I had left a country that was red, white and blue, mom and apple pie, and all that.

Q: You were a dinosaur.

A: Well, yeah! I was a dinosaur. I had lived in socialist countries and I had traveled in communist countries and I had seen a lot. And, I thought to myself: "What the [blank] is going on in my own country?"

Q: Charlotte, what about teachers? There are some good teachers who are genuinely dedicated ...

A: Many. Many, many more than most people think -- and they have to keep quiet.

Q: Yeah but what is their reaction when they are presented with these controversial, non-academic methodologies that don't have anything to do with teaching anyone anything?

A: They are very unhappy, and they try to continue to do something that does have something to do with teaching and learning. I just recently heard the state of Oregon has passed legislation to get rid of tenure. I was always opposed to tenure. Now I'm in favor of tenure because what they are going to do now ...

Q: ... now, see, I'm opposed to tenure. Why do you support it now?

A: Because of the way they are going to use it. Now, they can get rid of the good teachers without any problem. It used to be getting rid of the bad ones right? Now, they are going to get rid of the academic teachers. The teachers who do not agree with George Bush's education agenda -- you know the outcome-based, direct education, teach-to-the-test. These poor teachers -- these poor children -- and they do not agree in the changing of the definition of quality teaching.

Q: Charlotte, I'd like you to explain to our readers at what point did it become more important to manufacture this concept of self esteem -- and the fact that if you can "feel good" about the process, it doesn't matter what the results are. When did that happen?

A: Well, you know, it all started in 1934 when the Carnegie Foundation set the agenda for the next hundred years and that was to change our country from a free, individualistic economy to a planned economy -- and to do it through the schools. And the way they would do it, would be to change the social studies so nobody would know what our form of government is -- and how precious it is -- and to not teach the Constitution. This is the Carnegie Corporation plan -- to implement a planned economy through the schools. And it is going in right now.

Q: OK, that's the background and foundation. But at what point, recently, did they effect the significant change in direction, content and product?

A: At what point did all the touchy-feeling stuff happen? Carnegie happened in 1934, the United Nations in 1945 ...

Q: The only touchy-feeling stuff I encountered in school was if you didn't do what you were supposed to do -- when you were supposed to do it, the way you were instructed to do it -- Brother Benilde would smack you up side the head with a book.

A: Well, that's right, but they don't want people to be educated, and this is a very important point. I know there are people out there who think: "Goodness, I thought the whole purpose of the corporations forming partnerships with the public sector (which actually is corporate fascism) was so that the schools would give our children better academic skills?" That's not true. According to David Hornbeck -- Mr. Carnegie and the big honcho for "School To Work," he said in his book, "Human Capital," which he wrote with Lester Solomon, that the corporations do not want educated people.

Q: Why?

A: Because educated people are very difficult -- they ask too many questions, they quit their jobs, etc.

Q: Actually, the way it has developed now, (and I think the primary reason they want to maintain the Department of Education) the corporations will identify what vacancies and needs they have and "train" workers. Charlotte, I want you to explain "School To Work" because I get so angry and seething when I think about it -- and try to talk about it -- that I sometimes butcher it.

A: So do I. I think the best way -- and I really recommend Congress do this, because it would be cheaper than going to Europe -- I would like all of them to go down and spend six months in Cuba. Is that a good answer?

Q: If they don't come back, it would be great.

A: Well, go down to Cuba and you will see the same system implemented there that they are implementing in Oregon, in California and in Maine and everywhere. Where the children are identified at a very early age, psychologically profiled -- fourth grade in some cases. In fact, the whole idea of work is started in kindergarten.

Q: Hold on a moment, Charlotte, because we have to stress something here.

A: What?

Q: This is not fiction. This is not something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie. This is something that is going on right now!

A: That's right. It is in. It is not vocational either -- which is something I have always supported. I'd like to share with your readers the story I sent you about the 12-year-old youngster in Minnesota. He understood what I was talking about and he said to his mom, "I want to choose my own future!" And he went to a big rally they held in Minneapolis at 12-years old. Isn't it interesting that this 12-year-old understands what "School To Work" is.

Q: And, beyond that, what about the people who don't "find" themselves until they are 40?

A: You're not kidding. I'm a bit older than that and sometimes I wonder if I've found myself ... I'm still looking for myself.

Q: I often joke when people ask, "What are you going to do when you grow up?" Duh? It presupposes I will grow up and that I will know. I'm still working at it.

A: We all have a lot of talents we don't know about until later on when something happens. You are absolutely correct. The thing is that is the German dual-track system of education and work-force training. It is the Soviet system -- people don't like to use that word. It is the Cuban system.

Q: What people need to recognize is they are trying to identify kids at an early age for what their aptitudes are. Not based on what the kids talents and abilities are, but what the corporation need is.

A: That's right. Actually everything is focused on the good of the state now. It is the state that is important -- not the individual's upward mobility, the individual's future life. That's the way education used to be. You asked me earlier when the change took place.

Q: Are you going to answer it now?

A: Yes. It really took place in 1965 under Lyndon Johnson. And that followed the agreements that Eisenhower signed with the Soviet Union in 1958. I feel they very strongly influenced our agenda in education.

Q: I just dodged the bullet. I graduated in 1966.

A: You were lucky. In 1965, they couldn't get American educators to implement this agenda that the Carnegie Corporation wanted. Also, an incredible psychologist -- Brock Chisholm -- at the United Nations recommended getting rid of the conscience to the World Health Organization. And he recommended doing that through the schools by training the teachers to be little psychiatrists.

None of this was accepted by any American educator until 1965. I don't think even at that time they really accepted it but it did pass. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was a major, major shift. It moved our marvelous system of education -- which, up until 1960, was the best in the world -- from academics, what you know in your head, to a performance-based system which we're screaming about: outcome-based education, mastery learning and Skinner (who said "I can make a pigeon a high achiever by reinforcing it on a proper schedule"). I think your readers can understand the difference between knowledge based in your head and performance based. Performance is how you perform on the job -- that is not the role of the public school system or any education system that I can see.

Q: And it changed in 1965?

A: That changed in '65. From that time on, all these incredibly horrible values-destroying programs were developed: values clarification, survival games, critical thinking. Geoff, I have a manual published in 1967 that is three inches thick of values-destroying programs. And people say, "Why Columbine?"

Q: Let me ask you this -- because I've spent a fair amount of time talking and writing about it -- the connection between the epidemic prescribing of psychotropic drugs to kids as a means of controlling them?

A: Absolutely. There's a very interesting appendix in my book about a Hawaii Master Plan in 1968. A pilot project for the whole country that was carried out in Hawaii and federally funded and it included just about everything that is taking place right now. But there was a recommendation in there to use these psychiatric drugs on our children. This has been planned for a long time. They don't want independent little active monsters running around in the classroom.

Q: There is an interesting sidebar to this. There is a woman in the San Francisco Bay area who has home schooled all her kids. Her daughter just went in the Army. The recruiters were surprised and elated that she scored remarkably high in just about every test. They gave her something like an $18,000 bonus for enlisting. They couldn't understand why she was so far superior to all the other recruits. Obviou

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