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How Gov't Took Control Over Education...and 3 (Shocking) Goals of Public Education

Original post made by Carol on May 31, 2009

It is a rarely known but true fact that the quality of education and academic performance in the US was very high before the 1850s. So why did we let State governments take control of education? What happened?

In the 1840s, American intellectuals and education theorists such as Horace Mann adopted the German educational theory that children belong to the government, not their parents. In 1717, King Frederick William I of Prussia (today's Germany) set up Europe's first national, gov't-controlled school system. Mann and a small group of influential American education activists visited Prussia to examine their schools and came home to the US praising them. They admired how the Prussian system gave their education bureaucrats complete control over the children's minds and education and molded children into obedient citizens. The Prussian school philosophy was expounded in 1917 by Franz de Hovre:

" The prine funciton of German ecuation is that it is based on a national principle...A fundamental feature of German education: eduation to the State, education for the State, education by the State. The State is the supreme end in view."

One of the key contributors to the Prissian school system (Johann Fichte) said that "schools must fashion the person, and fashion him in such a way that he simply cannot will otherwise than what you wish him to will."

It is no coincidence that the Nazis gained power in Germany.

Mann and his colleagues studied the Prussian schools and then pushed to impose the same system here. They vigorously lobbied state legislatures to create govt-controlled public schools. State politicians of the day listened to these arguments and created the 1st state-run school system in Massachusetts in 1852. Over the next 50 years, with much political fighting, all states in the union created similar public-school systems. Mann pushed for and received mandatory schooling which forced parents to send their children to these schools.

Mann and others imported three main ideas from the authoritarian Prussian schools

1. The purpose of state schooling was NOT intellectual training but the conditioning of children to obedience, subordination and collective life. Thus memorization outranked thinking.

2. Whole ideas were broken down into fragmented subjects and school days were divided into fixed periods, so that self-motivation to learn would be muted by ceaseless interruptions.

3. The State was essentially the "true parent" of the children. Schools were to usurp parents' job of raising and educating their children and teaching them moral values.

---------
Now that you better understand the origins and goals of public schooling...and also know that there is NEVER enough money to satisfy educational bureaucrats...

I hope you will VOTE NO on Tuesday for more of your hard-earned dollars to pour into our government-run schools



Comments (8)

Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 31, 2009 at 2:54 pm

Parents BEWARE: RE: above article....the universities and colleges here are no different re: their intent. They are just more open and honest about their indoctrination then they are @ the k-12 level. And you pay hard earned dollars yet again for this!

All of my kids are out of college, two of 3 w/ advance degrees, All 3 of my kids (UCLA, UCSD and Cal Poly) learned real quick to "spit" back what the TA(who taught the classes, not the Professor) wanted them to say vs critically analyze the content and come up w/ their own opinion. You dared not disagree in writing or verbally in class discussion. I can't tell you how many times my kids wanted to get up and walk out of a history, woman studies,or some social engineering class based on the lecturer's hatred for this country WE got lucky though. That served only to make my kids resist even more their indoctrination. They, by the way, are all voting NO on G.


Posted by Freaks, a resident of Avignon
on May 31, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Who are you people? Do you come out in the daytime?


Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 31, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Freaks: Not that I think you deserve an answer to your question or that you really want one. I think your intent was to insult for whatever reason.

Believe it or not, I just had a 4 way bypass surgery on 5/22, @ Summit. Had my morning walk and thought I'd catch up on news from the net since I have not felt up to it till now. I am a reader, rarely a poster on this site.

Now what's your excuse for not coming out in the daytime?


Posted by Russell, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 31, 2009 at 7:26 pm

In engineering and physics, there wasn't a whole lot of indoctrination. The private and public programs were about the same.


Posted by fact checker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 31, 2009 at 7:54 pm

One of the things that has made this country great is the evolving notion that we all belong.

Prior to 1850 education belonged to rich white men. Carol would, more than likely, not had the opportunity or the skill to write the above article. If she had the opportunity, chances are she was part of the white privilege of the North. Yes, some women learned to read and write and some became well known and accomplished but MOST PEOPLE did not have the opportunity.

All children deserve the best education we can give them.

Vote YES on G.


Posted by paul, a resident of Castlewood
on May 31, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Dear Fact Checker...
You are right that all children deserve the best education possible. Ask the children in DC Charter schools who have been performing dramatically better than when they were in DC public schools. Yet Obama nearly pulled the plug on them to force them back into public DC schools..before public outcry was too loud and he balked.

Your argument, Fact Checker, doesn't address the 3 main goals of public education that Carol so accurately outlines..

Mann and others imported three main ideas from the authoritarian Prussian schools

1. The purpose of state schooling was NOT intellectual training but the conditioning of children to obedience, subordination and collective life. Thus memorization outranked thinking.

2. Whole ideas were broken down into fragmented subjects and school days were divided into fixed periods, so that self-motivation to learn would be muted by ceaseless interruptions.

3. The State was essentially the "true parent" of the children. Schools were to usurp parents' job of raising and educating their children and teaching them moral values.


Public schools are black holes where no amount of money is enough. Oh...speaking of DC schools, the per capital amount spent on students there is among the highest in the Country...while their performance is among the lowest. So there is very little or no positive correlation between the amount spent and student performance.

You can bet on the fact that I'll be voting a BIG NO this coming Tuesday. (And if I were part of Obama's ACORN organization...I'd vote as many many times as I could.)


Posted by Just so you know, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 31, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Russell: you said "In engineering and physics, there wasn't a whole lot of indoctrination" My son went to UCSD (graduated 2002) and is a chem engineer. His engineering classes were not I grant you that. But a lot of his general requirements were taught by professors who genuinely attempted to indoctrinate. At least that was his experience.


Posted by fact checker, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 1, 2009 at 11:29 am

We don't live in Germany and that has not been the thrust of public education despite what Carol might think Horace Mann promoted.

There were many other promoters of public education, including some trancendentalists, a lot of Women and oh yes, Thomas Jefferson. In fact, Jefferson thought founding the University of Virginia more important than being President. He had founding UVA as one of his accomplishments, along with the Declaration of Independences and the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom put on his tombstone. History needs to be looked at in its entirety and over time, not with a selective microscope.


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