John Taylor Gatto Coached the Natural Individualism and Independence of His Students
On July 25, 1991, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Poetic Justice Warrior John Taylor Gatto. It was a letter for his former employer, the New York City Public Schools – I Quit, I Think. In his resignation, Gatto teaches,
Government schooling is the most radical adventure in history. It kills the family by monopolizing the best times of childhood, by teaching disrespect.
Since Poetic Justice rewards virtue and punishes vice, Gatto’s form of resigning was the latter. Gatto shoved the disrespect endemic to government schools right back in their faces. He was 1991’s State Of New York Teacher of the Year.
Disrespect comes in various forms. One is to reward mediocrity. Another withholds recognition for what is good. These combine when mediocrities (envious people whose self-esteem belongs to their tribe) start making demands, and their victims kneel. Gatto continues,
An exaggeration? Hardly. Parents aren’t meant to participate in schooling, rhetoric to the contrary. My orders are to make children fit an animal training system, not to help each find his or her personal path.
If the personal path is thwarted by compulsory schools, that leaves the path of collectivism wide open, which is the point. Its fundamental lesson is that individual lives have little value, except “public service.” Because critical thinking requires context, Gatto offers some,
The blueprint of school procedure is Egyptian, not Greek or Roman. It grows from faith that human value is a scarce thing, represented symbolically by the peak of a pyramid.
To preserve the illusion that schooling is education, we got the failed Common Core standards, and now STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Here, Gatto anticipated the defensive, science-denier rhetoric to be used against anyone who challenges the premises of government climate and economic conformity,
That idea passed into American history through the Puritans. It found “scientific” presentation in the bell curve. Talent apportions itself by some Iron Law of biology.
Gatto also anticipated the rants we’ve seen on the protest signs of “peaceful protesters:” No Justice, No Peace! What does this mean? The beatings will continue until morale improves? There will be no justice – and there will be no peace? Gatto explains their demand: Kneel!
It’s a religious idea and school is its church. New York City hires me to be a priest. I offer rituals to keep heresy at bay. I provide documentation to justify the heavenly pyramid.
Do people schooled as fish understand the moral concept of justice? Are protest marches and blocking traffic merely a ritual for Mediocrity Worship? I Quit, I Think tells us, “Socrates foresaw that if teaching became a formal profession something like this would happen,”
Professional interest is best served by making what is easy seem hard. School has become a vital jobs project, contract-giver and protector of the social order to allow itself to be “re-formed.” It has political allies to guard its marches.
How did anti-conceptual slogans become proof of intellect? Why does joining a mob pass for courageous self-expression? When did the threat of violence and mass looting of innocent lives become justice for the sadistic murder of George Floyd, but not David Dorn’s? To solve contradictions, Gatto identifies false premises,
I almost never met a “learning disabled” child or “gifted and talented” one, either. These are sacred myths. They derive from questionable values we never examine because they preserve the temple of schooling.
Poetic Justice teachers Maria Montessori and Marva Collins disproved and reformed the government myth of “learning disabled” decades ago, and Gatto’s resignation letter attests that the object of compulsory government schooling is human mediocrity. Its premise is incompetence, and their means is conformity.
That’s the secret behind short-answer tests, bells, uniform time blocks, age grading, standardization, and school religion punishing our nation. We don’t need state-certified teachers to make education happen. That guarantees it won’t.
Over the last two weeks, Gatto’s proof is plastered throughout TV news broadcasts, and this group think is celebrated by TV news personalities. Yet there is no rational justification for these mass demonstrations in a civilized society. That is the last step before armed insurrection against an oppressive dictatorship, but America is the most free, open, and prosperous society the world has ever known.
Today’s short-answer question – America is defined by, a. White privilege b. Capitalist greed c. Systemic racism d. Inequality e. Police brutality. Yet this is old as dirt, and straight out of terror group Weather Underground’s 1974 playbook titled Prairie Fire.
Around the same time, comedy troupe Second City had a hit musical titled Lemmings. In the role of stage announcer was John Belushi, who blasted, “If you’re not a black, homosexual, working class woman, your an oppressor, pig. And you deserve to die!” Fifty years later, slave traders Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, and Al Sharpton are coaxing their Lemmings over the Brooklyn Bridge while posing as cutting edge human rights oracles.
In a 2011 interview titled, The Ultimate History Lesson, A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto, he tells his audience that nature is diametrically opposed to group ritual.
Individualism and independence are human nature. Throughout history, management has failed to manage independent units. Do not assume what anyone says is truth, especially from upper levels of authority structure.
To deny nature is to avoid reality. To disrespect independence and individualism is to manufacture cowards and fools. Because of Gatto’s ability for developing critical thinking skills, his classes were frequently audited by adults. Here, state certified teachers witnessed Gatto at work,
I challenged my students to ask, why are we doing this? The teacher must prove why they believe what they are teaching. I asked myself first, then I asked my classes to ask me.
But did these teachers learn anything? Since Gatto’s resignation, another generation has been schooled by progressive public education, and group think has never been stronger. Gatto warned in the interview,
Schools prevent students from making neural connections. Short answer tests are easier, they don’t require connectivity, only memorization of someone else’s connections.
When our culture teaches that reality is not knowable, and morality is subjective, all answers are correct. To mold cowards and fools, the choices to the question above are the only answers allowed. Memorize that! By design, they are random concepts without context. Context, as explained by Poetic Justice teacher Lisa VanDamme, is essential. Ten years ago, Gatto painted a stark picture,
The nation is schooled to the point of extinction. George Bush and John Kerry are Yale fraternity brothers – Skull and Bones! How could that happen unless Chutzpah, unless this feeling of contempt for ordinary people was very dramatic.
As social justice would have it, the 2018 death of John Taylor Gatto coincided with the introduction of a new curriculum. The 1619 Project, proctored by the Compassionate Communists at the New York Times, demands that you answer a, b, c, d and e to their question, kneel, accept guilt for your white privilege, and you will be absolved. So you think.
However, the latest attacks on police are really a 50-year-old attack on personal liberty. The attackers know the intended goal of police is to protect individual rights. In his book Dumbing Us Down, Poetic Justice Warrior John Taylor Gatto explains,
Education should make you a unique individual, not a conformist. It should allow you to find values which will be your road map through life. It should make you spiritually rich. It should teach you what is important.
Do not apologize for what is important – happiness, ability, and achievement. The looters in government and city streets demand our acceptance of guilt because its all they have. Gatto challenged us to think, not kneel. Stand for the Declaration of Independence, it is the only antidote to racism.