The Underground History of American Education

_A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation Into The Problem Of Modern Schooling._

bq.. John Taylor Gatto is a former New York City school teacher. During his 30-year career, he has taught at 5 different public schools, has had his teaching license suspended twice for insubordination, and was once covertly terminated while on medical leave. He has also won the New York City Teacher of the Year award three times and the New York State Teacher of the Year award once during the final year of his career. The whole time he has been an outspoken critic of the school system. Nine years after leaving his career, he published The Underground History of American Education (‘full text available here’:, in which he puts forth his insider’s vision of what is wrong with American schooling. His verdict is not what you’d expect: the school system cannot be fixed, Gatto asserts, because it has been designed not to educate.

…The true purpose of schooling, according to Gatto, is to produce an easily manageable workforce to serve employers in a mass-production economy. Actual education is a secondary and even counterproductive result since educated people tend to be more difficult to control.

…The real function of the school system is not to empower people by giving them knowledge, but to crush this instinct toward self-improvement before it makes the workers too independent and troublesome.

>> ‘Slashdot’:

p. Well the Pakistan public educational system doesn’t even pretend to -teach- educate any longer… but it’s hard to imagine a first world country letting it’s educational standards slip so low. The book makes very interesting reading. Read it ‘online’: or print it.

1 thought on “The Underground History of American Education”

  1. hi ko, the book is an eye opener indeed. dearth of funding and creative ideas is effecting the educational standards in many countries. in pakistan whatever hope there was, commercialism has sounded a death knell for the private schools. as a parent, i witness this stifling of the human spirit every day and only hope that I as a parent play a greater role in inculcating basic values that empower my children to think freely rather than turning into a machine

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