[SUPPLEMENTAL] #386: The Unfortunate Consequences of Well-Intentioned Social Engineering


This installment is a re-post of my recent appearance on the Free Your Mind Podcast. I recommend this conversation for those of you who are newer to our work and interested in the history of public schooling.

"The Dark Side Of Nationwide School Tests"

Covered In This Discussion:
-What are "Travelers' Reports"
-School is a tool of governance
-What was the rationalization for establishing social controls through schooling? Immigration, changing economic needs
-rugged individualism and "Yankee entrepreurialism" seen as "menace of overproduction"
-production needed to be controlled, channeled into serving the needs of the managerial classes
-1934 Ellwood P Cubberley - Public Education in the United States
During his career, he maintained a view of education as an instrument of social engineering, a view that created some controversy.

An Excerpt From Cubberley's Public Education in the United States:
...the school has been called to take
upon itself the task of giving training in those industrial experiences
and social activities which once formed so important a part of the
education of American youths. With the breakdown of the old
home and village industries, 1 the passing of the old "chores," and
the coming of the factory system and city-life conditions, it has come
to be desirable that children should not engage in productive labor.
On the contrary, all recent thinking and legislation have been op-
posed to their doing so. Both the interests of organized labor and
the interests of the Nation have set against child-labor. Even from
an economic point of view, all studies which have been made as to
the money-value of an education have shown the importance of
children remaining in school as long as they are able to use with
advantage the educational opportunities provided. It has at last
come to be a generally accepted prirciple that it is better for chil-
dren and for society that they should remain in school until they are
at least sixteen years of age. As a result, child life everywhere has
recently experienced a new lengthening of the period of dependence
and training, and all national interests now indicate that the period
devoted to preparing for life's work should, for most children, be
further lengthened rather than shortened (R. 260).

Everywhere the right of the State to compel communities to
maintain not only the old common school, but special types of schools
and advanced training, has been asserted and sustained by the courts.
Conversely, the corollary to this assertion of authority, the right
of the State to compel children to partake of the educational ad-
vantages provided, has also been asserted and sustained by the

New social and national problems. As our social life has become
broader and more complex, a longer period of guidance has become
necessary to prepare for proper participation in it. As our indus-
trial life has become more diversified, its parts narrower, and its
processes more concealed..."

-WWI and WWII drove social engineering efforts underground
Follow-ups to the progressive vision were teacher training and measurement

Designing Education for the Future, by Education Department
-education is a means to achieve economic and social goals of a national character
-lose independence in order to form a partnership with the federal govt
-state departments were enforcers for the federal govt

Behavior Science Teacher Education Project
-tracking people by numbers
-"few will be able to maintain control over their opinions"
-"chemical experimentation"
-Gatto: your peers are insane and you need control; school terror is good advertising; mass demonstration of human inadequacy (paraphrase)
-Schools will very much become laboratories

Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives
-"a tool to classify the ways that individuals are to act , think or feel
as the result of some unit of instruction"
-remediation towards "proper thoughts"
-Outcomes-based education

-testing was essential for remediation; these initiatives led to OBE, school-to-work, NCLB, Common Core

Look Closer:
Gatto And Goldberg Saved My Sanity, By Linda Schrock Taylor - https://www.lewrockwell.com/2003/08/linda-schrock-taylor/how-i-wised-up/

Full text of "Public Education In The United States" by Ellwood P. Cubberley - https://archive.org/stream/publiceducationi032029mbp/publiceducationi032029mbp_djvu.txt

The Dark Side Of
Nationwide School Tests
- http://www.rense.com/general12/thedarkside.htm

School Sucks Podcast #152: Behaviorism In Disguise - Outcomes-Based Education - http://schoolsucksproject.com/152-behaviorism-in-disguise-outcome-based-education/

Full Book: Walking Targets: How Our Psychologized Classrooms Are Producing a Nation of Sitting Ducks, B. K. Eakman

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