[Discuss-sudbury-model] A Brief Message from John Taylor Gatto

From: Gail Lightfoot <gogailgo_at_earthlink.net>
Date: Mon Dec 9 04:59:01 2002
Date:    December 7, 2002
To:      SVS discussion posters.

A brief message from John Taylor Gatto:

I support Gail Lightfoot's program, which she explains below.
I reach hundreds of people with a speech and
tens of thousands through my books.

That's good.
Gail's plan would reach millions with my message.
That is much better.
The more people who learn the true cause of America's public school disaster,
the louder our voice for effective change will be.
I encourage you to read and support Gail's plan.
                      — John Taylor Gatto

        And a longer message from Gail Lightfoot

Dear Concerned American,

   You may have heard of John Taylor Gatto, the 1991 New York State Teacher of the year, who quit in disgust after 30 years of teaching because it was impossible for him to teach and for his students to learn.

(Read the full text at http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/underground/prologue3.htm )

You may have read his books,
Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling and
The Underground History of American Education.

   If you have you know what millions of Californians need to know, but don't:

The secret of American schooling is that it doesn't teach the way children learn
and it isn't supposed to.
School was engineered to serve a concealed command
economy and an increasingly layered social order...

Growth and mastery come only to those who vigorously self-direct.
Initiating, creating, doing, reflecting...these are precisely what
the structures of schooling are set up to prevent, on one pretext or another.
                Underground History of American Education p 43.
(Read the page at http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/8p.htm )

    In the few words above, Mr. Gatto summarizes why our public schools fail their students.
As he proves in
The Underground History of American Education, the system is not broken,
it is working as they
intend it to. For John Taylor Gatto's own introduction to them, follow
this link: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/historytour/history1.htm

    I will tell you how I plan to get John Taylor Gatto’s message to millions of Californians,
but first

        Who is Gail Lightfoot?

    I am the Libertarian Candidate for US Senate in California for 2004.
More about me a little later. First —

    Why has John Taylor Gatto endorsed my campaign?

    Because I am going to use this campaign to advance the cause of educational freedom
just as he does, through  issue advocacy:
Rather than a typical “I'm for freedom, vote for me” campaign, I will make the truth
about public schools the main thrust of  my efforts. For a start,

I will run newspaper ads

to increase public awareness of the true cause of our public school problem.

    I expect the ads to bring in donations which will help fund a series of ads as part
of a sustained campaign to inform millions of Californians in depth just as
John Taylor Gatto has done in his books. Later in this letter I describe what I plan
to do to build on the effect of the ads,  but first —

A little more about me and why I care about education.

For nearly forty years I worked as a nurse:
    Emergency Room nurse, working with paramedics;
    ICU nurse (I taught Intensive Care nursing );
    Cardiac Care nurse (I was in the first ever class of CC nursing);
    Clinical nurse.
I also worked as a drug rehabilitation evaluation nurse, public health nurse
(I taught that too), and did utilization review for insurance companies.

    As a child, I received an excellent academic education.

    When I had my 3 children in the 1960’s. I had to send my two older children to public schools, and they did poorly in them. I sent my younger daughter to Montessori schools, 
because they allowed her to learn at her own pace and to develop initiative and self-confidence. She became a Montessori teacher herself and has her children in the same school where she teaches. The rest of my grandchildren have to go to public schools, which use materials so watered down and biased, I cannot stand to read them.

    I have been a Libertarian Party activist for well over a decade. I have twice been Chair of the California Libertarian Party and have run statewide 3 times before.

    I usually run for a statewide office because nobody else wants to: it is a lot of work with little help, negligible campaign contributions, and plenty of criticism from people that don't lift a finger to help, but want to tell me everything I do wrong.
Still I run because someone has to and it is our best way to spread a message of freedom to large numbers of people.

    Third party candidates like me are unlikely to win, that is why I want to put my heart,
time and energy into getting
Californians to take control of their children's education.
If I can fan the flames of public discontent to make possible a future where our children
are not herded into government schools
, I will count that a great victory.
The road to victory starts by telling the truth to the millions that need to know it.
That takes advertising.

What kind of ads would I run?  Here are a few examples —

Why do historians write such poor history textbooks? 

Because one of the richest men in the world paid them to: 

    The textbook authors have written such poor history textbooks because
Andrew Carnegie, the great steel magnate,  paid them to and the book publishers still do.

...in 1918 Carnegie endowed a meeting in London of the
American Historical Association where an agreement was made

to rewrite American history in the interests of social efficiency.

            The Underground History of American Education
                  by John Taylor Gatto, p 353

    As a 1954 Congressional Committee determined, Carnegie recruited young scholars
amenable to his direction, paid for a trip to London for the entire group
(the American Historical Association), and made them an offer they were happy to accept:
Carnegie, through his foundation, would arrange 
publishing contracts and
well paid positions in universities for them if they would write history texts to his design.

The July 4, 1919,  issue of 
The London Times carried a long account reporting favorably on the propaganda hydra being built by agents of Carnegie in the United States. According to the paper, men “trained in the arts of swaying public opinion” were broadcasting Carnegie’s agenda, an agenda which aimed first at mobilizing world public opinion and then controlling it.

The end of all this effort was already determined, said the Times —
world government.
As the newspaper set down the specifics in 1919, propaganda was the fuel
to drive societies away from their past:

Propaganda to mobilize the press, the church,
the stage and cinema, the whole educational system,
the universities, public and high schools, primary schools.
Histories and textbooks will be revised.
New books will be added, particularly in the primary school.
            The Underground History of American Education
            by John Taylor Gatto, p 353

    Carnegie used his vast fortune to gain influence over  the writers of history texts
to advance his private agenda, which still continues. You won't read that in your child's history textbook.
Now you know why.

  •      Poor moral values taught in public schools —

     In 1948 G. Brock Chisholm, a British  psychiatrist influential in introducing psychology
into running post WW2 schools,  had this to say:
The training of children is making a thousand neurotics for every one psychiatrists
can hope to help with psychotherapy.

The only lowest common denominator of all civilizations and
the only psychological force capable of producing all these perversions is morality,
the concept of right and wrong.

We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents,
our Sunday and day school teachers, our priests...
The results... are frustration, inferiority, neurosis and inability to enjoy living...
If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil,
it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.
                Underground History pp. 282–283.

        Due to his influence, textbooks were purged of all moral examples and
classrooms became value neutral or worse.

  •     The attack on the family —

Arthur Calhoun’s 1919 Social History of the Family...declared that the fondest wish
of utopian writers
was coming true,
the child was passing from its family ‘into the custody of community experts.’

He offered a significant forecast, that in time we could expect to see public education
‘designed to check the mating of the unfit.’
                Underground History  p. 39

(read the page http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/2b.htm )


The famous sociologist Edward A. Ross wrote in his well known 1906 book Social Control:

Plans are underway to replace community, family, and church with
propaganda, education, and mass media...
the State shakes loose from Church, reaches out to School...
People are only little plastic lumps of human dough.

        Underground History pp. 58–59

Here is the full page. http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/3f.htm

  • lack of critical thinking ability  —

as Mr. Gatto describes it:

John Childs, a friend of John Dewey and author of a Columbia Teacher College text written in 1931,
said the unavowed aim of Dewey’s version of Behaviorism was

to abolish thinking, at least for the many; for if thinking were possible,
the few could do it for the rest.”

            Underground History p 276

One final subject from me.
  •  The Federal Government should get out and stay out of education —       

    The Federal Government has no constitutional power to be involved in our children's education. Federal aid and regulations usurp parental, local, and state power and control. Local and state school officials are eager to do the US Department of Education's bidding to get Federal funds, since they take our property and state taxes for granted.

    Reaching a mass audience with such messages is a good start,

but we have to do a lot more to actually change the system. Along with the series of ads,
I would give speeches and interviews to newspapers, TV, and radio as would Mr. Gatto
and other freedom of education activists when they were  available.

    My campaign should attract volunteers since Christians, libertarians, homeschoolers,
constitutionalists, and many others will be supportive of our goals.

    The more ads we run, the more speeches and interviews we give, the more volunteers
 we could recruit, and the bigger grassroots effort we can mount to inform, persuade,
and motivate thousands more to take control of their children's education back from government.

    How many people could we reach?  And how much would it cost?

    The LA Daily News covers the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Their political ad rate
for a full page Sunday ad is $16,429.14 to reach 600,995 adult readers, or  2.73 cents per reader.

    For $1 we reach 36.58 readers.

    How about all of California?

    With a statewide political rate we can put a full page ad in all the major papers statewide:
Los Angeles Times; Orange County Register; San Francisco Chronicle;
San Jose Mercury News; Contra Costa Times;  Sacramento Bee; Modesto Bee;
Fresno  Bee; San Diego Press Enterprise,

which have a combined Sunday circulation of  3,822,508 and adult readership of 10,031,525.
It costs $249,643 or only 2.488 cents per reader.

For one dollar  we can reach 40.18 readers.

    10,031,525 readers only starts the message rolling. Many nationally syndicated radio talk shows are based in California, Dr. Laura, Michael Reagan, Dennis Prager, and Larry Elder to start. These hosts would read it and
discuss it on their shows. So would newspaper columnists. So would Internet sites.
With the one ad we could have national impact as our message 
ripples out to reach many millions more.

    Some readers will  donate to our campaign so we can keep sending our message:

    If only 165 readers of the Sunday LA Daily News donate $100, we would have enough
to pay for another ad. That is 165 of 600,995 adult readers.

    If only 2,496 readers of the statewide papers donate $100, we can pay for another
statewide ad. That is 2,496 of the 10,031,525 readers in California each Sunday.

    Many readers will became interested in reading Mr. Gatto’s book and I want as many
to read it as possible, since most who read it will become our allies in calling for change.
My campaign could offer it as a premium for a $50 or greater donation.
I estimate $30 net contribution after the cost of the book, shipping and handling,
which offers these possibilities:

    If only one tenth of one percent  (601) of the 600,995 adult readers of the Sunday
LA Daily News contribute $50 for this premium, we would  net $18,030.
If one half of one percent  (3005) of these readers did so, we would net $90,150.

    If only one tenth of one percent  (10,032) of the 10,031,525 adult readers of
the Sunday statewide papers contribute $50 for this book, we would  net $300,960.
If one half of one percent  (50,158) of these readers did so the campaign would net $1,504,740.

    And even a modest measure of success would make our conventional fundraising efforts much more effective.

    If you will help prime the pump for just one ad, the resulting support should keep it going... and going.... and going. throughout the entire campaign.

    My goal is to arm millions of California parents with the knowledge they need to protect
their children's minds, bodies, values, and spirits from the harm inflicted upon them by the public schools.

With your help, I can reach that goal.

    $1,000    will send our message to    40,180 adult readers.
    $500       will send our message to    20,090.
    $250       will send our message to    10,045.
    $100       will send our message to    4,018.

Even $25 would pay for getting the message to 1,004 readers. Every dollar helps.
Please help us get John Taylor Gatto’s message to the millions of Californians
who need to know it, by sending the maximum contribution you can afford.

Print out the form below and put it, along with your check,
in the mail to Gail, today.

                    Gail Lightfoot
                    Candidate for US Senate
                    Libertarian Party of California

PS. Please give others who support our goals the chance to help our efforts.
You  may know a number of people who are concerned about our children's poor
public school education. Please share this opportunity with them.
You could help us immeasurably if you sent this to everyone you know who might be interested.

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Received on Mon Dec 09 2002 - 04:58:19 EST

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