The ESEA Power Grab

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Charlotte Thomson IserbytThe death of local control

We should nev­er per­mit the Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion­al system
to become the vehi­cle for experimentation
by edu­ca­tion­al ideologues.
A care­ful analy­sis of the writ­ings and statements
of vocal and influ­en­tial spokesmen
in the gov­ern­men­tal and edu­ca­tion­al fields
indi­cates a desire on the part of some of these individuals
to uti­lize the edu­ca­tion­al system
as a means of trans­form­ing the economic
and social out­look of the Unit­ed States.”*

picket sign blankBelow is some his­to­ry rel­e­vant to Lamar Alexan­der’s Reau­tho­riza­tion of the Ele­men­tary and Sec­ondary Edu­ca­tion Act. The grab for pow­er is not new!

In 1961 the Late Con­gress­man John M Ash­brook of Ohio under­stood what a bill like Czar Lamar’s would do to destroy Amer­i­ca. And Ash­brook under­stood this agen­da very well 54 years ago!

On July 18, 1961, Con­gress­man Ash­brook deliv­ered a speech before Con­gress, “The Myth of Fed­er­al Aid to Edu­ca­tion with­out Con­trol,” (Con­gres­sion­al Record: pp. 11868–11880). His very impor­tant speech doc­u­ment­ed and exposed the plans for the inter­na­tion­al­iza­tion and trans­for­ma­tion of Amer­i­can edu­ca­tion. He said, in part:

AshbrookThat there was any doubt of the Fed­er­al bureau­crats’ inten­tions in this mat­ter was laid to rest with the dis­cov­ery of a Health, Edu­ca­tion, and Wel­fare pub­li­ca­tion, A Fed­er­al Edu­ca­tion Agency for the Future, which is a report of the Office of Edu­ca­tion, dat­ed April 1961.… I feel that its pro­nounce­ments are a blue­print for com­plete dom­i­na­tion and direc­tion of our schools from Wash­ing­ton. The pub­li­ca­tion was not pop­u­lar­ly dis­trib­uted and there was some dif­fi­cul­ty in obtain­ing a copy.

Fifty-six pages of find­ings con­tain rec­om­men­da­tions which call for more and more Fed­er­al par­tic­i­pa­tion and con­trol and repeat­ed­ly stress the need for Fed­er­al activ­i­ty in for­mu­lat­ing edu­ca­tion­al poli­cies. It rec­om­mends a review of teacher prepa­ra­tion, cur­ricu­lum and text­books. It calls for an imple­men­ta­tion of inter­na­tion­al edu­ca­tion projects in coop­er­a­tion with UNESCO in the Unit­ed Nations, and min­istries of edu­ca­tion abroad. Of course, it rec­om­mends an enlarged office of edu­ca­tion and the use of social sci­en­tists as key advis­ers.…

It places stress on “imple­ment­ing inter­na­tion­al edu­ca­tion­al projects in the Unit­ed States and bring­ing max­i­mum effec­tive­ness to the total inter­na­tion­al edu­ca­tion­al effort.” Would not the Com­mu­nists, with their footholds and infil­tra­tions in these orga­ni­za­tions, love this? No detail has been overlooked—“curriculum will have to under­go con­tin­u­al reshap­ing and upgrad­ing; and new tech­niques and tools of instruc­tion will have to be devel­oped” and “teacher prepa­ra­tion, text­books, and the cur­ricu­lum in these sub­ject fields must be improved in the decade ahead.” In the report… we find the vehi­cle for Fed­er­al dom­i­na­tion of our schools.

…The bat­tle lines are now drawn between those who seek con­trol and uni­for­mi­ty of our local schools and those who oppose this fur­ther bureau­crat­ic cen­tral­iza­tion in Washington.

It is my sin­cere hope that the Con­gress will respond to this chal­lenge and defeat the aid to edu­ca­tion bills which will imple­ment the goals incor­po­rat­ed in A Fed­er­al Edu­ca­tion Agency for the Future. [all emphases added]

cute childAsh­brook con­tin­ued to quote from Agency for the Future which he said “laid bare the real neme­sis of the Fed­er­al bureaucrats—the tra­di­tion of local con­trol.” The report stat­ed, “The tra­di­tion of local con­trol should no longer be per­mit­ted to inhib­it Office of Edu­ca­tion leadership.”

*The quote at the top of this post comes from the Nation­al Defense Edu­ca­tion Act (NDEA) Amend­ment of 1961—Additional Views. This doc­u­ment includ­ed very impor­tant tes­ti­mo­ny regard­ing the dan­gers of the NDEA and the rec­om­men­da­tions made in the above Agency for the Future report. A sum­ma­ry indi­cat­ed that a major pow­er grab was immi­nent over the lives of Amer­i­can children:

Any­one who doubts that the Fed­er­al aid to edu­ca­tion bills now before Con­gress would mean even­tu­al Fed­er­al con­trol of edu­ca­tion, should care­ful­ly read and ana­lyze for him­self what the Office of Edu­ca­tion is plan­ning for tomorrow’s schools. They open­ly pre­dict their “need” for new pow­ers on the pas­sage of the mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar aid leg­is­la­tion now before us. They rec­om­mend that their Office of Edu­ca­tion be ele­vat­ed to the sta­tus of U.S. Edu­ca­tion Agency, “to reflect the more active role of this unit of Gov­ern­ment.” They envi­sion the new Agency’s mis­sion as one of “lead­er­ship” (p. 42), “nation­al pol­i­cy­mak­ing” (p. 43), “nation­al plan­ning” (p. 47), “to pre­pare stu­dents to under­stand the world of tomor­row” (p. 40). The Office of Edu­ca­tion writ­ers fur­ther say “along with these respon­si­bil­i­ties should be includ­ed that of stim­u­lat­ing and par­tic­i­pat­ing in the process of for­mu­la­tion, exam­i­na­tion, and refor­mu­la­tion of the goals of our soci­ety in the terms of edu­ca­tion­al objec­tives” (p. 43). [emphases added] 

crying childA care­ful warn­ing was sound­ed through Nation­al Defense Edu­ca­tion Act Amend­ment of 1961—Additional Views when the Con­gress­men said, “We reject that there can exist Fed­er­al aid to any degree with­out Fed­er­al con­trol. We fur­ther hold that there should not be Fed­er­al aid with­out Fed­er­al con­trol.” This applies as well to all of the vouch­er and tax cred­it pro­pos­als before us today fly­ing under the ban­ner of “choice.”

The 1961 Mis­sion State­ment of the Office of Edu­ca­tion clear­ly called for the estab­lish­ment of the Nation­al Cen­ter for Edu­ca­tion Sta­tis­tics, the Nation­al Assess­ment of Edu­ca­tion­al Progress (NAEP), and the “wholis­tic” approach to edu­ca­tion through the inclu­sion of social sci­en­tists in the edu­ca­tion process—a clear depar­ture from aca­d­e­m­i­cal­ly ori­ent­ed edu­ca­tion­al pur­suits into intru­sive areas total­ly unre­lat­ed to education.

Even tak­ing into account the col­lec­tivist direc­tion tak­en by rad­i­cal edu­ca­tors in the first half of this cen­tu­ry, this move­ment could not have borne fruit had it not been for Pres­i­dent Dwight Eisenhower’s Com­mis­sion on Nation­al Goals which pro­duced Goals for Amer­i­cans in 1960. These goals, along with the imple­men­ta­tion of PPBS and Bloom’s Tax­on­o­my of Edu­ca­tion­al Objec­tives, seem to have pro­vid­ed the cat­a­lyst for the “planned econ­o­my” being imple­ment­ed in the Unit­ed States.…
NO ChoiceTo read more about this, see pages 62–65 of my book the delib­er­ate dumb­ing down of amer­i­ca. My book is ded­i­cat­ed to Con­gress­man Ashbrook.

Relat­ed blog posts:
What Does Oba­maCare Have to Do With the ESEA Reauthorization?
Com­mu­nism is ALIVE & WELL!
What Diane Rav­itch isn’t telling you
Beware ESEA Re-authorization!