Another viewpoint “Is it true reform?
by Charlotte T. Iserbyt

“As long as citizens are in the dark as to the purpose of education, they will fall for the John Goodlads of the world.”

Why is it that the very educationists and social scientists responsible for the disaster in American education are now being called on to reform education?

Reform of American education is the subject at all levels of government (BDN, Dec. 1, article regarding John Goodlad). After 15 years of declining standards and declining test scores, the educationists have decided something must be done.

Why did they wait until 1983 to do something? Why didn’t they heed the call of millions of parents, a smaller number of school board members, and a handful of educators who have been urging a return to traditional education for years? Why did they turn a deaf ear to these concerned Americans and shout them down at the same time they labelled them as enemies of education?

For those readers who have never heard of Professor John Goodlad, let me give some background. Secretary of Education Terrel Bell invited Dr. Goodlad to be the keynote speaker at the first meeting of Bell’s Commission on Excellence in Education, which issued the report, “A Nation At Risk.” Goodlad, more than anyone else, is responsible for the open classroom, global education and values clarification courses, “feel good” education and the unbelievable retraining of our nation’s teachers until they didn’t have the faintest idea how to teach in the traditional sense of the word.

Goodlad has received through his Institute for the Development of Educationist Activities, Inc. millions of dollars from federal grants and grants from left-wing (one-world government) foundations, two of which (Rockefeller and Kettering) originally funded the Trilateral Commission, which is up to its ears in plans for United States participation in a world government. Goodlad’s new book, “A Place Called School,” was also funded by these foundations and by the U.S. Office of Education (National Institute of Education).

Recommendations made in his book are applauded by Maine’s new commissioner of education, Dr. Robert Boose, who admits to being a fan of Goodlad’s. Not only is John Goodlad a member of the Board of Directors of Global Perspectives in Education, Inc., based in New York, which advocates the United States giving up its sovereignty, he also said in the Report of the President’s Commission on School Finance, 1970, that “the use of conventional wisdom as a basis for decision-making is a major impediment to educational improvement,” and complained that “The majority of our youth still hold the same values as their parents, and if we don’t resocialize our system will decay.”

In “Schooling for a Global Age,” by James Becker, John Goodlad says in the Preface that “Parents and the general public must be reached also (taught a global perspective). Otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.”

Ready for re-education, parents of America?

What kind of personal or professional explosion will jolt the average American out of his starry-eyed existence in which he regards the antics of the internationalist educationists through rose-colored glasses? Does not the average American citizen find it strange that reform of American education will be carried out by the same educationists responsible for the deplorable condition of education and the tragic mis-education of their own kin? Would they return for medical care to a doctor who was responsible for the death of a loved one?

Of course, as long as citizens are in the dark as to the true purpose of education, they will fall for the Goodlads of the world. When citizens open their eyes and ears and believe the words of John Goodlad’s closest associate, Dr. Benjamin Bloom, the father of mastery learning and author of “The Taxonomy of Educational Objectives”, they will be in a position to really affect changes in education.

Dr. Bloom says in his recent book, “All Our Children Learning,” “The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.” That’s a far cry from the traditional definition of education: “to impart knowledge and to develop the intellect.”

Parents should remember Goodlad’s and Bloom’s words as their children pass through the government schools victims of the educational change agents who see the American public school system as the vehicle to change our entire system of government and way of life.

End note: Above was written and published thirty-seven years ago! The few Americans who read and understood my article are most likely now dead.