September 11, 2022

The principal of my junior high school in 1940s New York was conspicuously a modern woman. She went through the hallways and presided at assemblies with stylish dresses and a smile that had to compete for attention with the sparkling sequins on her collar. She was so pleased to be in charge of administering melting-pot Americanism and Progressive Education to a bunch of Brooklyn adolescents.

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Most of the teachers took a dim view of a theory of education that dismisses tradition, authority, and religion, and so they allowed this program of behavioral scientists to slide out the windows, just as it came in through the door. Math, science, English, history, shop, music and other subjects were taught and learned as transmissions of knowledge, not platforms of indoctrination disrupting the progress of education toward a better life for all. And this called for attentiveness and discipline in the classroom, a place to learn, not to be “pleased.”

The emphasis of Progressive Education placed on “fun,” as though learning per se is not fun, detracted from the seriousness of learning. And the dismissal of discipline in education promoted an attitude of irresponsibility. Bright students able to rise above distractions and obstacles would, of course, be the exception in a system that allows the majority to miss learning anything of value, even as they enjoy the trip. Was there not fun enough during lunch, gym, outdoor games, assembly entertainment, field trips, and extra-curricular projects?

In typing class, discipline drilled mind and fingers to become virtual extensions of the keyboard, much like making legs and bicycle wheels become one with each other. The brusque, no-nonsense science teacher was as rigorous as she was friendly, with a heart as large as her mind. The art teacher was a gentle woman with an aura that hinted of a mystical region where soul and heaven touch. I had drawn a tree and filled the branches with hasty squiggles. When she stopped at my desk she showed me how to depict foliage with discrete shapes instead of scribbles. This “intrusion” on my work immediately opened my eyes to a wider view of things.

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Seeing clearly and being specific trained the mind to accuracy of perception and adequacy of conception – features inconsistent with an aspect of Progressive Education known as dumbing down. Disciplined thinking in youth forms essential neural connections not otherwise obtained. The mushy language and fuzzy logic prevalent in today’s America would, in former school days, be considered evidence of poor education or sign of impaired ability to learn.

This peek at public education before 1960 is a hint at what going to school was about and has to continue to be about: expanding the mind of a child and imparting basic skills for living in a complex world. School teachers must remain focused on stimulating young minds toward their best potential, not only for effective living in a multifaceted world but to be of real value to one another in society.

Common sense reminds us that growing the mind is smarter than stunting it, the way of “progressive educators” to prepare kids for living in a world of compliance to global rule makers. Never mind that many such rulers throughout history have caused death and suffering to millions, a fact ignored by the latest wannabe global masters who by their words and actions show that they are as mindless and heartless as any of the dictators that came before them.

How does such outlandish foolhardiness persist among today’s “smart” crop of leaders? Is it possible that the progressive blunting of minds aimed at bringing about a new (totalitarian) world has, over six or so generations of dumbing down, been so successful as to have also dulled the minds of leaders obsessed with transforming the world?

What is certain about messing with a child’s mind in public school is that it did not start with a “miscalculation” in the early planning of Progressive educators. It was deliberate and calculating.

The corruption in public education has triggered alarms for many years, with thundering silence from establishment media about it. Despite the massive censorship of truth regarding America’s education establishment, a rapidly growing number of Americans are at last alert to the role of public schooling in pushing for an end to this country as we know it. The evil objective to hand America over to global dictators is no longer hidden. It’s in our face almost daily and it’s no longer smart to “go along to get along.” A survivor of dictatorship warns that “you can’t comply your way out of tyranny.”