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Stanley 1 Elliot Stanley Professor Jan Rieman English 1101x December 8, 2009 The Hidden Agenda Fails in America Former New York State and New York City Teacher, John Taylor Gatto, is the author of a seemingly scathing essay that attempts to dismantle the entire system of education in the United States. In his essay entitled Against School: How public education cripples our kids, and why , Gatto alleges that the public school system in the United States operates with a hidden agenda. He proposes that this agenda continues to have a very detrimental effect on our citizens in an intended way. Gatto insists that the very principles that “mass schooling” functions under were centered on the goal to produce mindless, drone-like citizens who are willing to overlook the implications of their actions due to a predisposition towards total civil obedience set in place by public primary and secondary schools in the United States. The idea that implementing such education practices promotes civil obedience was an idea adopted from Prussian culture. It’s our alterations to the Prussian model that have made our education system one different from that of Prussia’s. Americans view our nation as a free nation where everyone has the opportunity to determine their own success. In America we are free to say what we want, evident from Gatto’s publication of this essay, so we are free to speak out against an education system that traps us. Gatto first explains the cause and origin of his distaste in public schooling by describing a first-hand experience in which he felt victimized by the system as a teacher in a New York state
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Stanley 2 public school. He claims “I once returned from a medical leave to discover that all evidence of my having been granted the leave had been purposely destroyed, that my job had been terminated, and that I no longer possessed even a teaching license”(34). This represents the turning point in Mr. Gatto’s focus on the problem he believe has fundamentally existed in modern public education. Originally he felt that the problem was the result of a good idea going bad. That is, that the public school system in the United State was designed upon a fundamentally sound premise. After his predicament he vowed to do research in the “provenance” of the modern public school system in the United States. Gatto’s research found that the concept of compulsory education in the United States was
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This note was uploaded on 01/18/2011 for the course COMM 123 taught by Professor Fksuifb during the Spring '10 term at American InterContinental University Los Angeles.

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