Watch this 15 minute interview with Charlotte Iserbyt, former Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, whistleblower and author of “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”. Click here to download a free pdf copy of her e-Book.
Are our schools purposely trying to dumb down Americans? Labeling schools as “failures”, mis-educating children and dividing communities is a good way to begin a road to destruction. Click here to view the rest of the interview with Charlotte Iserbyt if you find it interesting. She’s a bit radical in thought at times, but I find her long life interesting and her knowledge of the destruction of education to have a loud ring of truth.
No Child Left Behind. “NCLB”. It’s a bill of goods. I’ve heard it referred to as No Child Left Alone. President Obama has returned to referring to it by its proper name, “ESEA”, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. What does that mean? ESEA/NCLB is wreaking havoc on our schools–labeling them ‘failing’ and doling out harsh consequences for ‘failure’ to make ‘Annual Yearly Progress’. Administrators, teachers, parents and students are scattering to the high ground of ‘passing’ schools in an effort to ‘escape’ the failure at their home schools, resulting in destruction of communities, vacant schools in the middle of neighborhoods and a panicked, competitive scramble of ‘each student for him/herself’. Could it be that the federal department of education is actually trying to create an “emergency” or at least a unnavigable state of confusion in order to take over our schools? Our children? Our free-thinking? Our future?
Of all children harmed in this national brainwashing effort described by Iserbyt, the first to go down (the guinea pigs if you will) are the poor, the minorities, the Title 1 students whose poor, under-educated, often single parents believe the Educrats in charge when they promise they are doing all they can to provide a quality education. But the opposite is happening. As the administration bloats with overpaid staff who do not have direct contact with students, class sizes explode while teachers and their classroom support staff are cut. Test scores drop and behavior problems are not addressed as students languish in an environment not conducive to teaching and learning. To appease those who complain, our school system has set up several small, ’boutique’, specialty, charter, magnet or theme schools as escape hatches out of the over-crowded neighborhood schools. In response, schools in these poor areas are losing their best students, losing enrollment, losing funding, losing access to quality instruction and losing ground, while leaving a vast underclass of poor children ‘behind’. Mis-education is very dangerous to individuals as well as society as a whole. As Herman Cain recently pointed out on his radio show, back in the days of slavery, it was against the law to teach a slave to read, as reading was a pathway to free thinking and slave owners would have none of that!
Are things vastly different for an underclass of poor black children in DeKalb county today? What are most of our ordinary students really getting from their DeKalb county public school education? Rote memorization for test results. Dumbing down of critical thinking abilities. Incomplete mathematical knowledge and decreased writing and comprehension abilities. Shallow learning via “word walls”, “group projects” “games” and “benchmark testing”. Students believe the promise that they have been “adequately” educated, and sent on their way only to find that many do not have the tools to rise out of the lower class. Eventually, these students will find that they have only been programmed to serve as workers in a Gulag economy or ghetto children freely flowing through the pipeline to prison.
And we are surely feeding a steady stream into that prison pipeline. Check out the daily admissions to the DeKalb county jail. It’s Jobs Program Part 2. We send a larger and larger group of undereducated, ill-parented feral former students from many of our ineffective public schools directly into the state’s penal system – one of the state’s largest employers.
The United States incarcerates more people per capita than any other place on earth — and Georgia incarcerates far more people per capita than almost all other states.
“One in 13 Georgians is behind bars, on probation or on parole, according to the Pew Center on the States. That’s the highest rate of correctional control in the nation and more than the double the national average: 1 in 31.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
It is one more cog in the inescapable machine of poverty ensuring that some stay forever under the thumb of others. But that is a topic for someone else’s doctoral thesis. Takers?
Harsh? True? Do you really want to take a chance that it’s not?
No Child Left Behind / The Elementary and Secondary Education Act / “Race to the Top” are collectively the biggest boondoggle of the last century. The federal government should not be meddling in the state’s business of education. This is not a political issue nor a race issue — it is a class issue, an issue of one group holding complete power over another.
Our urban schools are being decimated all over the country due to being labeled “failing” by federal standards. How is this accomplished? By using small sub-groups to deem an entire school a “failure” and then offering a transfer (viewed as a golden ticket) to a “passing” school to anyone in the “failing” school, not just members of that failing sub-group, which is often special education or English language learners.
Although it’s a good idea to test and identify sub-groups who are not getting the education they deserve, the decision to offer school-wide transfers is far too punitive a response. Who takes the transfers? The bright students of course! The students with parents who can navigate the system well enough to fill out the proper forms. The others are left in an inferior educational environment which can attract fewer and fewer prepared teachers and involved parents–thereby unleashing a vortex of destruction.
And the students who transfer do not fare much better. In fact, 300 high school students who elected to transfer to Druid Hills High School last year will never actually set foot in DHHS. They have been housed in the old section of the recently closed Avondale High School, now labeled the “annex” of DHHS. What kind of “solution” is that?!! That word ‘ghetto’ comes to mind again.
See this for what it is people. Take back your home schools – do not wait for the administration to right this ship. That is never going to happen from the top. Insist on returning to the basics with small classes and quality teachers who are valued by administrators. Insist on a deep traditional curriculum, AP and honors level courses and qualified instruction with a small teacher-student ratio (I’m thinking 1:12 or fewer) and the essential tools and materials necessary to do the work. And then insist that the administration get out of the way and let teachers teach!
Who cares if your school “makes AYP” if you know in your heart that your child is learning to think critically in a traditional method led by a highly qualified teacher with proper teaching tools and solid administrative support? We must have citizens capable of thinking for themselves and managing a happy family life by holding down rewarding work and making important contributions in order to retain this great society we all take for granted.
For more interesting videos on the subject, check out some of these dating back to 1992:
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 1
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 2
Public Education Dumbs Down Kids Part 3
Charlotte Iserbyt Speaking At The Zombie Country Conference
Download the free Ebook: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, by Charlotte Iserbyt
Raze Education Ghetto in South DeKalb
North vs Central vs South – what’s the deal?
partially reprinted from the original DSW blog