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We Get Letters….

We Get Letters….

From Mike Siversten in response to my Monday Morning Memo® on education, which can be found archived on this blog:


Good afternoon Alan,


John Taylor Gatto was an education reformer and revolutionary who was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. His open resignation letter was printed in the WSJ in 1991. Have you heard of him? He wrote several influential books, recorded numerous podcasts and an Ultimate History Lesson weekend interview. The system cannot be reformed. It is producing exactly what it was designed to do.


Additional links on Gatto:




Final chapter from his online book “Underground History of American Education” on ‘what to do’ – good summary of his main points



Gatto quotes:


Quoting H.L. Mencken on the aim of American education: “The aim… is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”


Schools intend “to make children as alike as possible. People who conform are predictable, and this is of great use to those who wish to harness and manipulate a large labor force.”


“School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers. School trains children to obey reflexively; teach your own to think critically and independently. Well-schooled kids have a low threshold for boredom; help your own to develop an inner life so that they’ll never be bored.”




Mike Sivertsen



Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 2

  • Jennifer Beever

    January 10, 2014

    I love the quote by H.L. Mencken advising us to, “teach your [children] to be leaders and adventurers,… to think critically and independently,… to develop an inner life so that they’ll never be bored.”

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