The Unknown Truth about Government (Public) Education in America
by Denise M. DiPasquale

Catacomb of bones, the foundation of many grand institutions...

This overview on education in America. is written by Denise M. DiPasquale. A concerned citizen, educator, and teacher for the El Camino Community College District, in Torrance, California. She's passionate about uncovering the truth.

Many grand and impressive institutions like the Fed (central bank) and government education seem honorable and credible from the outside, but they often hide many skeletons in the closet.

For over a century, the stewardship and management of public education has been stripped away from parents and local communities and concentrated into the tight fists of fewer and fewer power brokers.

The Common Core is just the latest manifestation of this ongoing scheme.

Let's take a quick walk through the catacombs and discover some of the skeletons in government education in America.

Take it away Denise...


Early Education in America

The first formal education in America began in the 1700’s when the colonists established a school in Massachusetts – the Boston Latin School in 1635, which taught its students literacy and math – subjects originally taught to them at home by their parents.

An emphasis on education followed the American Revolution, particularly in the northern states which began to establish public schools in small towns and villages.

Long time New York City schoolteacher John Taylor Gatto in his book The Underground History of American Education describes the “one room school house:  'Fifty children of different ages are teaching each other while the schoolmaster hears lessons at his desk from older students.  An air of quiet activity fills the room.'”  Underpinning early education “was a society rich with concepts like duty, hard work, responsibility, and self-reliance.”

Download Your Free Copy of
Gatto's - Underground History of American Education



According to the Census of 1840, 55% of the 3.68 million children, age five to 15 attended primary schools and academies.

Data taken from the contracts of German immigrant children, who were indentured servants, revealed that from 1773 to 1804 the ratio of school education versus home education rose more than 75%. By 1870, all the states had "free" [tax funded] elementary schools.

The Prussian Connection

In 1837, Horace Mann became the Secretary of Education for the State of Massachusetts. He was enamored with the Prussian Model of Common Schools created by King Frederick William I for the purpose of consolidating imperial power. 

Prussia was a totalitarian and militaristic society that prided itself on the total control it demanded from its subjects.

According to author Yehudi Meshchaninov, in The Prussian-Industrial History of Schooling, “…the Prussian to a large measure is enslaved through the medium of his school…” 

This educational model was highly regarded by the early American education central planners, with Mann also adopting the Prussian concept of “age-grading” where children were assigned to different grades according to their age and progressed through them, ignoring differences in aptitude.

Children herded around to line up to go to lunch and tightly controlled by having to ask permission to utilize the bathroom also come to mind.

The age grading system was also the beginning of children being treated as passive recipients of education, rather than as active participants.

It was a complete departure from the original American concept of the “one room school house” where children of various ages and abilities were taught together, and the older or more able students, helped the younger ones learn.

By the beginning of the 1900’s more than half of the states had compulsory schooling laws which mandated that all children attend school at least until the age of 14.

Progressive Movement and John Dewey

From the 1890’s through the 1930’s, America embraced the Progressive Movement and with it, the progressive era in education. Prominent during the time was John Dewey, a leading educational theorist who taught at the University of Chicago.

Although Dewey promoted the central role of democracy in education, the Progressive movement in education evolved into a form of collectivism, which has taken away the power and stewardship from parents and local communities, and placed it into the hands of the few and powerful.  

This centralizing of power is the root cause of many of today's education problems such as No Child Left Behind, the Common Core, and the federal government using tax dollars to reward or punish local school districts -- strings attached (if you want money, do as I say). And with so much money sloshing around, cronyism, graft, and corruption are rampant.

Education for all is a noble and democratic concept, but in practice the solutions are, and have been, destructive and completely misguided.

For instance, the new idea to provide “free” community college for everyone is obviously not free, and instead, would further indebt the public for decades.

Deliberate Dumbing Down of America?

In the beginning of the 20th Century, some wealthy crony capitalists were not in favor of the early rugged American individualism that created the country, and instead used their influence, through the use of tax-exempt foundations, to dictate how America’s youth would be educated and exactly what they were permitted to learn.

An article entitled “Tax Exempt Foundations and Think Tanks: The Process of Invisible Power”  by Daniel Taylor in Old Thinker News stated, “the hidden influence of tax-exempt foundations and think tanks in the halls of power has dramatically impacted our society, and in turn the world. The Rockefeller dynasty in 20th Century America…heavily influenced the education system.” 

What they wanted, according to Charlotte Iserbyt, who served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement during the tenure of Ronald Reagan, in her book The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, was “a seamless, non-competitive global system for commerce and trade.” 

In other words, they wanted obedient, non-questioning, non-threatening American robots to do as they were told, as they labored to further enrich their masters.

Iserbyt documents that the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations, planned the deliberate demise of traditional academic education in 1918. “Rockefeller’s focus would be national education; Carnegie would be in charge of international education,” she noted

Important note: Often, these foundations, founded by hardworking, innovative, free market entrepreneurs are commandeered by the foundation's executive staff or the founders' family who do not honor the founder's intent.

Former The Freeman book review editor and John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy research director  George C. Leef wrote, "...funding for the various organizations that promote the expansion of government is between three and four times as great as the funding for the organizations that seek to protect freedom, private property, and limited government. The principal reason for this lamentable situation is that several huge foundations that were built on the fortunes of men who were staunch laissez-faire advocates have been turned into cash cows for statist advocacy, among them the Ford, Rockefeller, and MacArthur foundations."

Therefore, it's important to distinguish the difference between the donors who funded these foundations and the people who run the foundations but disregard or brazenly violate the donor's original charitable intentions. They are not one and the same.

Discover more about this sad and unfortunate issue in the book: The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of "Donor Intent" by Martin Morse Wooster. 

-- DaddyEd

She also reveals in her book that changes gradually brought into the American public education system, “have worked to eliminate the influences of a child's parents, and mold the child into a member of the low earning working class, in preparation for a socialist-collectivist world of the future.”

“The true purpose of schooling,” according to Gatto, in The Underground History of American Education 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 end result of forced public schooling is an ignorant electorate, a servile workforce, and millions of mindless consumers who consume more than they need. 

Through deliberate design as well as a desire to “do good,” the American education system has created an environment that allows individuals to remain children for far too long, with  
no sense of responsibility and a fear of independent thinking, who navigate on the trivial emotions of greed, fear, envy, and jealously, who worship celebrities, and who are only interested in themselves.    

According to Gatto, maturity has been banished from nearly every aspect of our lives. “Easy divorce laws have removed the need to work at relationships; easy credit has removed the need for fiscal self-control; easy entertainment has removed the need to learn to entertain oneself; easy answers have removed the need to ask questions.  We have become a nation of children, happy to surrender our judgments and our wills to political exhortations and commercial marketing.”

Public schools in the Unites States have become laboratories where young minds are experimented upon, and where the habits and attitudes that corporate society demands are drilled into them. Mandatory education serves children only incidentally; its real purpose is to turn them into servants.

Download Your Free Copy of
Gatto's - Underground History of American Education



The One Remaining Bright Spot...

If there is a bright spot in this dismal landscape, it’s that parents who home school their children have an opportunity to instill in them real values – hard work, discipline, and responsibility for themselves and others. 

Schools train children to be employees and consumers. Parents who home school their children can teach them to become leaders, thinkers, and adventurers.  

Schools train children to obey reflexively. Home schooling gives parents the chance to teach their children to think critically and independently.

Gatto knows that traditional education bores children to tears and suggests that you help your children develop an inner life so that they'll never be bored. He said, “urge children to take on serious material, the grown-up material, in history, literature, philosophy, music, art, economics, theology - all the stuff schoolteachers know well enough to avoid.”

He also advises parents to “challenge your kids with plenty of solitude so that they can learn to enjoy their own company, to conduct inner dialogues. Well-schooled people are conditioned to dread being alone, and they seek constant companionship through the TV, the computer, the cell phone, and through shallow friendships quickly acquired and quickly abandoned. Your children should have a more meaningful life, and they can.”

Well educated children, on the other hand, appreciate being alone, can entertain themselves for hours at a time, are seldom bored and can form and maintain meaningful relationships with a variety of individuals.

The real plus in home schooling is the opportunity parents have to help their children become intelligent, thoughtful adults with a strong desire to meaningfully shape their own lives as well as to participate in the civic and social life of the United States of America. 


Thank you Denise for this overview on education in America; a topic that is far-reaching and usually full of twists and turns.

For a more in-depth look at the skeletons found in American education, I recommend Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education, along with his many other books.

If you're not familiar with him, he was New York State Teacher of the Year and three (3) time New York City Teacher of the Year. He quit teaching because he was "no longer willing to hurt children." Find out more about his tips, books, and resources in the Additional Research section below.

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Additional Research:

PDF: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto

Books: John Taylor Gatto Bookstore on Amazon

PDF: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, by Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt

PDF: The Prussian-Industrial History of Public Schooling by Yehudi Meshchaninov

Book: The Great Philanthropists and the Problem of Donor Intent by Martin Morse Wooster