Interview with Samuel Blumenfeld - Part 1 - EC361

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Professor: Rushdoony, Dr. R. J.
Title: Interview with Samuel Blumenfeld, Part 1
Course: Course - Easy Chair Series
Subject: Subject:Conversations and Sermons
Lesson#: 59
Length: 0:56:27
TapeCode: ec361
Audio: Chalcedon Archive
Transcript: .docx Format
Easy Chair Series.jpg

This transcript is unedited. It was:
Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library
Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules
Posted by with permission.

This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 361, April 30, 1996.

This evening we have one of our staff members with us from Massachusetts, Sam Blumenfeld. Sam is an authority, of course, on education and he has been termed by the National Education Association as public education’s enemy number one which is quite a compliment.

[Voice] Yes, indeed.

[Rushdoony] He has, indeed, hurt them badly. He is an authority on phonics, a tremendous promoter the world over of home schooling.

Sam, we are very happy to have you with us this evening.

[Blumenfeld] Well, I am very happy to be with you, Rush, particularly at this occasion of your 80th birthday which we celebrated last Saturday in San Jose and it was a very wonderful event. You made one... one error, however. You said that I was ... I don’t know if I am public enemy number one of public education. I think you are.

[Rushdoony] Well, they call you the number one enemy.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah.

[Rushdoony] Well, we also have with us tonight, I am happy to say, a long time friend and strong supporter of Chalcedon from its earliest days, Mrs. Billy Welsh who is hear from Prescott, Arizona and has a background in public education as well as being a strong supporter of Christian education. Of course, we have Douglas Murray, Andrew Sandlin and Mark Rushdoony here also.

We will start off, Sam, by letting you introduce whatever aspect...

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ... of education that you want us to discuss tonight.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Well, since I spoke with you last year on the Easy Chair tapes a lot has happened in so-called education reform in America and things that are really becoming very strange. For example, a very interesting letter fell into the hands of our people. It was a letter written by a gentleman by the name of Mark Tucker to Hillary Clinton back in November of 1992, an 18 page letter on the letterhead of the National Center on Education and the Economy. Excuse me. [00:03:04]

Mark Tucker, it turns out, is the architect, this...[edit]

Mark Tucker, it turns out, is the architect, this... this gentleman who is a left wing, far left Socialist out of the Carnegie Corporation is the architect of Goals 2000. All of these programs, education reform programs that are being promoted by Republicans. And that came as a shock to me to discover... because nobody knew where these programs had actually come from. And, you know, you hear of Goals 2000 and you assume that they are some group of academics or somebody is writing this particular program. And then it turns out that it comes from this National Center on Education and the Economy and its predecessors out of the Carnegie Corporation and that these people have created an entirely new form of education for America called a human resources development system. In other words, no human beings in America or children are to be considered human resources. And what that means is that children are like oil or gas or to be used by the economy. In other words, the purpose of education now is to take this human resource, mold it, shape and train it to be used to serve the economy rather than the other way around. In a free society the economy serves the individual. In this case here we are creating a new, entirely new education system in which the individual does serve the economy.

As a matter of fact, Rush I am sure you will remember the... when you and I were going back to school, going to school back in the old days, the schools felt that they had an obligation to teach us reading, writing and arithmetic, basic academic skills as well as to impart some significant knowledge in history and geography, et cetera. And then we were free to go out into the world and make our way.

In this new system of human resources development, the ... the state, the government will plan your life for you. They will decide what you are good for and they will track you. And all of this is going to be on this gigantic computer, all of this information about you. And you will be just treated as ... as anyone in a Communist country.

What we are getting here, what they have given us is a Soviet type of education, career tracking in which you are very early in your life they decide what you are good for. And there are three tracks. There is the ... there is the academic track for the elite, those people who will be running things, you know, like Hillary and Billary. They go to Yale, Harvard and that sort of thing. Then there is the professional track for people who want to become doctors and lawyers and artists and anchor persons. And then there is the third track which is for everybody else, you see. And you will be told what to do. You will be sent along certain paths that... that are... are outlined for you, because everybody will have an individual education plan. Everybody will have an individual health plan. So socialized medicine comes into the... into the United States through the back door of education. [00:06:28]

And that is what we are going to get and Mark Tuker...[edit]

And that is what we are going to get and Mark Tuker sums it up in his letter very nicely in a ... in a few lines and let me just read to you those... those two lines and you will see exactly what he means. He says, he says, “What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone, young and old, poor and rich, worker and full time student.” In other words, it is totally egalitarian. And they will ... they will care for you from cradle to grave.

Now it is interesting that in back of this plan, not only do you have the Republican party which is sort of, you know, it is shocking to believe that the so-called conservatives are backing this plan, but we have this coalition of big business, big government, big education and big labor who are in back of this plan which they want to impose on the American people which will drastically change our way of life. And I call that system Fascism.

Now, Rush, you are very good at defining words, am I correct? Am I...

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] How would you define Fascism in this case?

[Rushdoony] Fascism is disguised Communism or Socialism. Mussolini was the founder of Fascism and he was a Marxist, but being more... of more than average intelligence. Mussolini early on realized that the people would never buy Marxism, that they wanted not a socialized state, but one in which they could have private property, own their own home or their own farm. So he thought the way to do it was to bring in Marxism under the pretence of a free society. Private ownership, but so taxed that really you were paying rent on the property to the state. So controlled that you could make no decision. A bureaucrat or a regulatory agency made all the decisions. And so on and on, precisely what we have today in the United States and in every country in the world. Fascism is disguised Marxism. [00:09:10]

Well, Fascism, of course, extends its control to education...[edit]

Well, Fascism, of course, extends its control to education, to the family, to every area of life and thought.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Well in this case here the key to the control of the individual in ... in this new education system will be this centralized data gathering system with the computer in Washington, DC. And I... and I was able to get the two hand books that outline the kind of information that they will be gathering on every individual. And that includes, you know, religion, for example. You know, when you and I were going to school they didn’t even want to know what our religion was. I don’t recall when I entered public school... all they wanted to know was my name and address and my parents name and address and my birthdate. I don’t recall their ever asking for any more information. But now they not only ... they want to know your religious background. And here are the categories in this particular computer. They... Amish, Assembly of God, Baptist, Buddhist, Calvinist, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Episcopal, Friends, Greek Orthodox, Hindu, Islamic, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jewish, Latter Day Saints, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Pentecostal, Presbyterian, other Christian denomination, Seventh Day Adventist, Tao, none and other. Do you notice their universally... Unitarian Universalists are not listed. I suppose they are none or other. But why this interest in knowing specifically what denomination you are? Because if you are a Calvinist they will know that you have a particular world view or if you are a Seventh Day Adventist, they will know that you have a particular world view.

So that is the kind of private information they are going to acquire in this huge computer system. Also they want... they will have... the data on studnts will also include extensive assessment information and under assessment type these are the assessments that they list: achievement test, advance placement test, aptitude test, attitudinal test. This is how they describe the attitudinal test. “An assessment to measure the mental and emotional set or... or... or patterns of likes and dislikes or opinions held by a student o a group of students. This is often used in relation to considerations such as controversial issues or personal adjustments,” unquote. This is from their data handbook. [00:11:55]

Then they have a whole area on ...[edit]

Then they have a whole area on ... on health. And... which indicates that every one is going to get an ... a... a... an individual health plan. And they are particularly interested in your teeth for some strange reason. Let me give you an idea of the information that they have listed under their codes about your oral health: number of teeth, number of permanent teeth lost, number of teeth decayed, number of teeth restored, occlusion condition which subcatogories, normal occlusion, mild malocclusion, moderate malocclusion, severe malocclusion; gingival condition with subcategories normal, mild deviation, moderate deviation, severe deviation, oral soft tissue condition with subcategories normal, mild deviation, moderate deviation, severe deviation, dental prosthetics and orthodontic appliances.

[Rushdoony] That is more any of us know about ourselves, let alone our children.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Well, why does the government want to get into your mouth? What is the purpose of this, you see?

Yeah, I... I thought of this. I thought, well, why do they want to know so much about your teeth? And then I thought, well, the only way that they could identify David Koresh after the... the burning at... in Waco was through his teeth. And obviously they want to make sure that they get the people they want. I mean, that is the only... that is the only rationale I can possibly come to in why they want all of this information on... on teeth.

You know, and... and you read this and... and... and if you... you say something about it they will say, “Well, you are paranoid.”

Well, let me ask you. Were the Jews in German in 1933, were they paranoid? Were the anti Communists in Russia in 1917, were they paranoid? You know, it is too bad that Czar Nicholas wasn’t paranoid enough, because then he and his family would have escaped the... the horrible fate that befell them.

What I am saying is this is what is being legislated by our Republican congress.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And Nancy Kassebaum is a sponsor of it and Goodling and other conservatives are sponsors of this thing. How do you explain that, Rush? Can you explain it to me?

[Rushdoony] All I can say is neither party is conservative. Neither party wants any connection with Christian faith and culture. They may occasionally pay lip service to what we represent, but both are hostile.

[Blumenfeld] I mean, is... is Nancy Kassebaum a Fascist? I mean, apparently if this is what she wants and if this is what she is backing. I mean, doesn’t she know what she is doing, the daughter of Alf Landon. [00:15:09]

[Rushdoony] I think they don’t want to know in too...[edit]

[Rushdoony] I think they don’t want to know in too many cases, I am afraid.

[Blumenfeld] But this... but this is just horrible, you see. And so we have been fighting this and it is... it is like three voices in the wind because the... the two bills that are presently before Congress that are in committee, actually in committee, were passed overwhelming by conservatives last fall. They have been sitting now in... in committee waiting for this reconciliation, you know, when they have their... the House and the Senate get together to create one bill. And all of the sudden they find that there is opposition, because we have gotten hold of copies of the bills. We have read them. We see how horrible they are. And now there is a battle going on among the Republicans between those who have suddenly found out what is going on. As a matter of fact, Henry Hyde, Representative Henry Hyde who became aware of the Mark Tucker letter to Hillary Clinton... And, incidentally, Hillary Clinton who was on Mark Tucker’s board of directors before Clinton became President, Mark Tucker paid Hillary Clinton 100,000 dollars to promote this education program. And this is the program that is being promoted by so-called conservatives in Congress.

So something very strange is happening. Something is being put over on us.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And that... they are trying to do it as quickly as possible, because that is why they had this meeting in Palisades, New York, whereby IBM, the president of IBM {?} got together with the governors and said, “We have got to get this through.” In fact, the new law will give all power to the governors. They are going to circumvent the legislatures. They are going to circumvent school boards. And everything will be done through from the federal government to the governors directly to the schools. And this is a coup de tat. This is a virtual overthow of the American form of government and the system. And that is why at this point the only thing that you could say about public education is that we have got to get rid of it.

[Voice] That is right.

[Blumenfeld] You know, we have got to get the government out of the education business.

[Voice] That is right.

[Voice] This is an example not of education, but of social engineering.

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Voice] And I think a lot of people don’t recognize that fact that the schools today are not primarily in the education business, they are in the social engineering business.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah. And Mark Tucker is a social engineer and his staff, all of these people who are in the universities and the so-called education labs who are putting this thing together, as a matter of fact in the state of Washington, they... they have already outlined a means of getting home schoolers into the system, because they are concerned that the home schoolers are outside the system. They want everybody in the system. It is for the school to work ... work force plan. The lady in charge of it in Washington is... is somebody by the name of J. D. Hoy and she was asked about his business of how it inclusive it is and she said, “All means all.” [00:18:29]

You see? Then also they are exploring the means of...[edit]

You see? Then also they are exploring the means of using bar coding to track children. So we are headed for the George Orwell’s world.

[Rushdoony] Are they going to tattoo the bar codes on us?

[Blumenfeld] God knows. Maybe they will, but... but they are going to use bar coding and, in fact, there is a company in the Washington... in Washington in the Seattle area called diploma technologies which is working on a bar coding system whereby they will track children through this. And, incidentally, through the education system. Incidentally this data gathering system is already being used in some states. For example, the other day in the airport I picked up a newspaper from Jackson, Mississippi. And on the front page is this story, “Schools to put student records online.” And it is all about the efforts of the department of education of Mississippi to do exactly what is in that... those guide books, those data handbooks. So it is being done all over the country by stealth and... and they are telling parents, oh, no, it is wonderful, you know, don’t worry about it. The information will never get into the wrong hands. Where have you heard that before?

I mean, the government is going to have all this information on every single individual in their gigantic computer in Washington, who is going to own that information? Is it public information? They say, ‘Well, oh, access to it will be, you know, carefully guarded.” And then when you read the people who have access to it, you find out that just about anybody who wants to will have access to it. And that is true anyway. Even... even people nowadays know how to get into computers.

[Voice] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] You know, regardless of... of code words or passwords or that sort of thing. So this is what we are looking forward to. This is... this is the kind of thing that we are being given by our so-called conservatives in Congres...A... A... a system of education that is Fascistic, Socialistic and is going to change America at the same time into a highly controlled, centralized state via the use of this information gathering system in the comptur, because that is how they are going to control everybody. They are going to have all of this information on this computer. They will know everything about you there is to know. And what freedom will you have?

[Rushdoony] Any questions, now? Billy, do you want to start or comments?

[Voice] Oh, I will mak one comment and Prescott and the surrounding area they have about three or 350 to 400 home schoolers. And so one of the ways that the state is going to take control of these home schoolers is through what they call a charter school system.

[Rushdoony] Yes. [00:21:34]

[Voice] And it just came online just this last year...[edit]

[Voice] And it just came online just this last year. And I don’t know all of the details of it, but I had heard from people that this is one of the ways of going to get the home schoolers sucked into this charter school thing so that they can get money and then they can get tabs on how many and what they are doing and as I see it right now, this is another means of controlling the home schoolers.

[Rushdoony] Within the past year Gene Neumann wrote an article in the Chalcedon Report on these charter schools, the threat they pose.


[Murray] Well, if this method of controlling education didn’t work for the Soviet Union and it broke them and it is breaking us, I fail to see how much further it can go before it falls on its own weight. And my graduate looks dire in the near term, but, you know, how much can this country can afford? They just approved an increase in the debt ceiling to five and a half trillion dollars and rising and there is obviously no political will to reduce spending and historically there has been a change in the government of every country in history that has ever tried to tax its people more than 50 percent and we are at around 48 and a half now.

I... I really don’t see how they are going to be able to afford to implpement all of this, because no Socialist country, no Communist country, no Fascist country has ever stood this kind of control for very long without falling of its own weight. It is... it is simply not affordable.

[Blumenfeld] Well, you know, you are absolutely right. They tried Communism in the Soviet Union for 75 years. It didn't’ work. But an awful lot of people were killed in the process. An awful lot of damage was done, an awful lot of casualties. It is the same thing here. I don’t believe that this system will ever really work. I believe that it will finally fall on its face, because the American people will rebel against it and... but at the same time a lot of children are going to be ruined. A lot of money is going to be spent on needless things. [00:24:02]

You see, what has happened is this...[edit]

You see, what has happened is this. We have all these graduate schools of education that create all these graduates who need jobs. And so the government sets up these labs. You know, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 set up this system of educational labs, regional labs all over the country. You have got one in northwest... in Seattle called Norel. And then you have got one in the Denver area called Macrel, that is the mid continent. And all these people do is work on these plans, you see. So they have a vested interest in simply keep on planning and planning and planning. Eventually you get to the point where you have got to start implementing your plans.

Now Mark Tucker has been very clever. He wrote that letter to Hillary Clinton in order to get Clinton to start implementing this, to get the legislature to pass laws. And, of course, they have had problems. Republicans have objected to Goals 2000. But at the same time they have... they don't seem to know what they are doing. They have tried to repeal other parts of this. They have tried to defund it, but, nevertheless, this is the plan. In Mississippi they are already putting in the computer thing. In... in the state of Washington, excuse me, they are way ahead. So in the long run I don’t believe that it will succeed, but nevertheless, an enormous amount of damage and waste will have taken place.

[Voice] And what they will... when something doesn’t work, they just decide they want to replace it with something else. There is already starting to be a tension on the failures of whole language. But they don’t know what they want to go back to or what they want to go forward to. So they will just change gears.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Voice] And these so-called reforms are coming with... with more rapidity. Each time one is ... it is apparent that one isn’t going to work they say, “Well, let’s shift gears. Let’s do something else.”

[Murray] But that is... that is a sign that they are losing control and we don’t know when you can’t admit defeat, when they can’t go back to what works, to me that is a sign that, you know, we are close to the end of the cycle, that it will collapse of its own weight.

People... the average guy in the street looks around, the person in the street looks around and doesn’t see results. They see... I mean, people at the bottom of the socio economic scale have seen their own kids coming out of school with a worhtles piece of paper called a diploma just for holding down a chair for four years in high school and they are beginning to figure it out. I mean, when the people at the bottom of the ladder start figuring it out, it can’t be too long before the system caves in.

[Blumenfeld] Well let’s hope that that is what happens. You know, take, for example, California where your own department of education admitted, confessed that whole language has been a disaster. They admit it. So now they have... what have they got on their hands? They ... the put whole language in and I think it was 1987. So you have got nine years of kids from first grade now in the ninth grade, all of whom have been miseducated. Do they have any plans to remedaite these kids? How are they doing to remediate them? What are they going to substitute whole language with? [00:27:37]

You... we just don’t know.

[Murray] They are... they are not going to do anything. They are going write them off, Sam, because the mindset of these people, as you have pointed out, I have heard educators, myself, refer to a high school as a plant.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yes.

[Murray] I was touring their facility or teaching facility. They refer to it as a plant. So these kids are going to be written off as manufacturing defects. You know, they have got ...

[Blumenfeld] That is right.

[Murray] ... it is quality control time. They are going to...

[Rushdoony] When we look at the achievements of men of note, we find very often that some of them were failures in their schooling. If there had been this type of thing in Churchill’s day, he would have been put down as retarded or of limited intelligence because he did so badly in his school years. There are many cases like that.

Now on the other hand, with this type of system in the Soviet Union it did produce a weeding out so that you had those who have a high order of intelligence. However, about 20 years ago I talked to an American, to a ... a Soviet school teacher on the high school level. This woman was appalled by the caliber of American teaching. She felt that much that was on the university level, say, in the sciences, which was her field at Stanford, was high school stuff at ... at its best in the Soviet Union. They were so advanced and they had weeded out all but that best. However, what we do know is that the weeding out process weeded out a lot of initiative. It weeded out rebellious students who fell to the bottom so that this type of tracking, while it supposedly is going to produce the best and separate them for particular purpose, it will produce those who can meet the grade as far as the system is concerned, but they will be the cooperative, compliant, submissive persons, not the entrepreneurial type, not the rebellious type. [00:30:26]

[Voice] That is right...[edit]

[Voice] That is right.

[Rushdoony] So there is a great danger to a society in this sort of thing. It will work to produce a Soviet type of leadership.

[Blumenfeld] Which is what it is meant to do.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] ...becuase they don’t want truly educated people. What they want are manageable, trainable people who can be trained to do specific jobs for the economy or to serve the state’s needs.

[Rushdoony] In the Soviet Union it produced the nomen clatura.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] The bureaucracy. And increasingly our country is being burearcratized so that we are producing the faceless, anonymous person who does what he is told, pushes the right button and pushes us around.

[Blumenfeld] Yes.

[Rushdoony] ...becuase he has power. [00:31:21]

[Voice] I remember reading somewhere about tracking...[edit]

[Voice] I remember reading somewhere about tracking of geniuses over a period... about 20 year period. And these people who are... had... who were certifiable geniuses actually had quite mediocre, I guess you could say, track records. Many of them held rather menial jobs, because there was... they always felt that they were cut above everything and everything was beneath the and for various reasons they didn’t rise to the top. The people who rise to the top in Capitalism and in free economy are the people who have... that have initiative, that people who... who see a need....

[Voice] {?}

[Voice] ...and they want to rise a little higher on... on the ladder. And they work to do it.

A sister... a system that manages people to try to find a niche is going to institutionalize this idea that you can’t rise any higher. This is where you belong. This is what is best suited for you. The whole idea of... of career counseling to push someone into a career, doesn’t take into account what they really want and what...

[Voice] Yes.

[Voice] ... and what ... what you are good at isn’t necessarily what you want to do and what you put your heart into.

[Murray] When you... when you mentioned Gerstner’s name from IBM they are not exactly a paragon of performance. They have... they almost lost their company.

[Blumenfeld] That is true. And... and, in fact, what Mark Tucker was going to use as his model was Germany. And, of course, Germany now has a horrendous unemployment problem with all of their apprenticeships, with all of their tracking. They have got a horrible problem now and... and they are going to possibly be in decline. [00:33:10]

[Murray] Well, hasn’t Japan done some of the same thing...[edit]

[Murray] Well, hasn’t Japan done some of the same thing? They have the same in Japan. The nail that sticks up gets hammered down.

[Blumenfeld] Yeah.

[Murray] So they.... thy dissuade the risk takers, the entrepreneurial types. And they have no Nobel prize winners. They are innovators, but not inventors of new technology.

[Blumenfeld] But that is a social thing with them. That is part of their culture, rather than something that is imposed. For when they want to impose this on America, you see.

[Murray] Yeah, but why... I... I wonder why would they accept, why would the Japanese after World War II accept... accept Deming’s revolutionary... to them which was a revolutionary concept in industrialization and management and not accept a change in their educational system?

[Blumenfeld] It is very interesting you mentioned Deming, because we have total quality management now in the schools. And if you apply Deming’s rules, you ... you have, first the... the producer, the ... the product and then the... and then the buyer or the consumer. And when it is... you apply it to the school, the producer is the school is the plant. The product is the student. The customer is the corporation that is going to hire the student. You see, the parent as a consumer is out of the picture completely, because the individual is being treated like a product, human resources development system, you see. So it works perfectly applying Deming’s plan to the school though I am sure that Deming wouldn’t... would not have approved of that, because of... you don’t apply it to human beings. You apply it to products.

But our... our educationalists want to apply it to human beings.

[Murray] I see an ominous thing on the horizon, jokingly, better living through chemistry. You know, they have announced on television this fat pill in the last couple of days which switches off the craving for food. And some scientist got on there and was glowing about the idea of behavior modification through chemistry.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, yeah.

[Murray] And I can see their... the milk and graham crackers of the grammar school kids now in the public education institutions being laced with all sorts of chemicals to ...

[Blumenfeld] Sure.

[Murray] ... {?} and control their behavior.

[Rushdoony] Well, we have had first steps towards this kind of tracking input into education. Under Johnson we had a recession that particularly hit aerospace and various other related industries. And immediately on college campuses, the students were being told what fields, beginning with enginnering to stay out of, because we are seriously overcrowded in this field. [00:36:24]

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes...[edit]

[Blumenfeld] Yes, yes.

[Rushdoony] And countless students were really pushed out of their natural areas of interest. What they didn’t realize is that there were unknown technological developments that were going to create a greater need for engineers in a short time than existed at the time. So all those engineers who were laid off, were quickly absorbed. But meanwhile, students were deflected to other fields and it was too late for them to jump back into their natural inclination.

[Blumenfeld] Yes. Well that is this person that is trying to manage the economy which all of this is about. But it is also part of this natural, I think, tendency on the part of human beings, elitists, to create a pure middle type of society.

[Voice] That is right.

[Blumenfeld] In which you have an elite at the very top that rules. And... and we know who they are. They are sitting in Washington today, all the Rhodes scholars and, excuse me, their friends. The second level, beneath them are the professionals who like the nomen clatura that deem power and prestige from the top and then, you know, all the sychophants. And then below them you have everybody else. That is the pyramidal society. That is what we are headed toward as we depart from the American system of doing things. As I explained earlier, when I was going to school and when Rush was going to school back in the 30s they only wanted to know our name and address and our... and the, you know, and your parents names and address and our birth date. That was about it. And they weren’t interested in ... in reorganizing our minds or our attitudes or our religions or anything like that. They wanted to add to what we already brought to school with, you see.

And so we were very grateful to our teachers, because they gave us something. They added to our lives. They didn’t take something away from us. They didn’t take precious values away from us and try to remold us into the kind of robots what they are trying to do with today’s kids. Through all of this behavior modification, et cetera. And... but even then you could see that the progressives were beginning to have their input.

For example, when I was in junior high school, we had a room... a corner room in the school building which was called the open air classroom. And that is where the windows were not the guillotine type, but the kind that, you know, that you could open and flap out. The theory in those days was that if you were ... something was wrong with you, that a lot of fresh air would cure you. And so I was a little under weight and so they suggested to my mother that I ought to be put into this open air classroom. So I was put into this open air classroom and I was miserable and I was there with a bunch of misfits. And somehow the idea that if all the windows were open that was one of these crazy ideas that the progressives had. [00:39:39]

And I know Rush was explaining to us earlier how that...[edit]

And I know Rush was explaining to us earlier how that gave him a test.

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And then put him in a special class. Could you tell us that horrendous story?

[Rushdoony] Oh, yes. Well, it is well known than in IQ tests if you are foreign born you will not do as well. If you are rural in your background you will not do as well, because the test is urban in its orientation.

Well, here I was of a foreign background and a country boy in a city that put me at a handicap. I was, I think in the fifth grade when I was given a test and I was the best student in the classroom and I cam out as the dunce, the stupid one. And I was immediately put into a class with a lot of retarded students or supposedly retarded. And I found that as I raised my hand to answer the question the other kids would get angry and they would say, “We are supposed to be stupid. Keep your mouth shut and your hand down.”

And I was, oh, after about for or five days in the hallway and the teacher spotted me and she got a hold of me and pulled me to the side of the hall away from the other students and said, “How are you doing in that classroom?” And I told her I was miserable. I wasn’t learning anything. I hated it. I was very intense about it. So she said, “Come with me.” And she grabbed me by the arm and put me to the principal’s office, an older, very severe woman. And she told the woman. This is the best student on my class and those stupid tests have led to him being reclassified and put in the class with the supposedly or actually retarded students. And she said, “This is an injustice to him. It is an injustice to me, because I was enjoying him in my class.” [00:42:11]

The principal was very, very huffy and indignant...[edit]

The principal was very, very huffy and indignant. And she made remarks, frankly, about what I had to be no matter what the teacher said that deeply hurt my feelings. She acted as though I had no feelings because I was too stupid to know what she was saying. So the teacher exploded, ticked off the principal and said, “I am taking this boy back to my class. If you want to make an issue of it, I am going to fight you on this, but if not, you change whatever needs to be changed in your office, because he is from no on in my class.”

Well, for whatever reason the principal, although she was very angry and huffy did nothing about it. And I went back there.

But that is what comes of this type of tracking.

[Blumenfeld] Well, those were the days of the early progressive experiments in the schools with intelligence tests and IQs that came out of teacher’s colleges.

[Rushdoony] {?} Yes.

[Blumenfeld] You know, that came out of the teacher’s college in New York, Thorndike was involved in all of that testing. And... and that is a result of the take over of American education by psychologists, by behavior psychologists which began early in this century with James {?}, Thorndike, J. D. Watson and others that... whom you write about very eloquently in your book The Messianic Character of American Education. But there was this wholesale takeover of this system by the psychologists. And it has never been the same since then. They have literally ruined education and turned it into a form of therapy, behavior modification, brain washing, anything but academic education.

[Murray] Well, they also created a whole new aveneue of jobs for themselves.

[Blumenfeld] Oh, sure.

[Murray] In those days there was no school psychologist. I mean, if you had a school nurse you were in pretty good shape. Nowadays they have got a whole battery of people that are standing by, grief counselors, psychologists, mentally, you know, supposedly they have classes for mentally gifted minors. Well, that is to level them off, to get them down to the same level as everybody else. They don’t get any special attention.

[Rushdoony] Well, all the way through school, every time they had an IQ test I cringed. I resented them so. Little by little I came up as I was longer in the school systems and in my senior high school year, early in the year I tested out as 118 and Mrs. Vanneman, the chemistry teacher who gave the test was disappointed. She said, “You did not do well.” And I said, “I never do well on these tests and I hate it.” [00:45:33]

But it is the same kind of thing...[edit]

But it is the same kind of thing. It isn’t performance that counts. It is their testing. And the tests are supposed to be virtually infallible.

[Voice] There is an arrogance involved all ... all of ... all of this, all social planning involves an arrogance that they never seem to want to own up to. And it is true in many fields. When an evolutionist... they throw out one evolutionary theory, because it has proved to be ridiculous, they will come up with another one to explain the same thing. When medicine decides that they have been wrong for 20 years and they belong to a different idea they never say, “We may be wrong still. Let’s be careful.” It is, no, ... now we found out why we were wrong. And it is this way across the board. In education I know a lot of ... I ... I have run into a lot of people of my generation who went to school, let’s say, in the 60s and their teachers told their parents that your child isn’t extremely retarded, but he is just mildly retarded. That is why he does not do well in school.

Later it was dyslexia. Everyone who couldn’t learn was dyslexic.

[Voice] Right.

[Voice] Then... then ADD came in.

[Voice] Oh, yes.

[Voice] And it is the... the latest fashionable problem explanation of why a child is having problems. Now they are going to try to plan the whole child’s life. And when that doesn't work, they figure, well, we will move on to something else. And this whole language, this, that, let’s just keep changing the program. Let’s never admit that we are incompetent and that this is probably not going to work either. We are the experts and yet when we change we are still the experts. And when we change our minds again, we are still the experts.

[Voice] Yeah, hopefully.

[Murray] Well, if they admit defeat they are out of a job.

[Blumenfeld] Well, you are absolutely right, Mark, because that is how they manage to maintain the funding for the system is to... because the American people are very short memory. They can’t remember why this particular reform was put in place and when it fails they are told... they are told, well, you just haven’t given us enough... enough money, you see. It was poorly financed and it was poorly implemented. As a matter of fact, the other day I was listening to John Kenneth Galbraith who was being interviewed on radio in the Boston area and he said, he said, “There is no problem that money can’t solve.”

I mean, that is the forced shibboleth that has been handed down by the liberals, you know?

[Rushdoony] Yes.

[Blumenfeld] And so that is their... their land is just give us more money. And the American people, suckers as they are, buy it because they don’t want to really delve into these things and they say, “Ok, a little more money, if that will shut them up, you know. Give them more money.”

But ... but who knows? Maybe we are reaching that 50 percent.

[Rushdoony] Billy, have you found in your past experience a problem with administrators trying to push teachers in the direction they want them to go?

[Voice] Well, in the Prescott area now they are so top heavy in administration that they feel so much money is spent on this that there is an upheaval in the whole community. They just turned down a bond issue here just a few weeks ago and the teachers wanted another million dollars or something and they were going to be able to keep some extra counselors and this teacher and that teacher and most of them were just... they were just superfluous to the whole system. I mean, the... things that you don’t need. It is not reading, writing and arithmetic anymore. It is the counselors and ... and they have a maternity lab for the girls that are pregnant that are coming to school. There are so many different programs and the administration, they are all for this. I mean, they are trying to add as many people as they possibly can, but there is... in my community there is a total rebellion against all this excess money being spent and also the unnecessary teachers and counselors and consultants. There is consultants on every level. I mean, the poor teachers if they would just like to teach. I think my biggest gripe was instead of teaching they... you... we had a period that we were supposed to prepare our assignment for the next day and when I left teaching they had... the counselors were calling all the teachers in for say one teacher had a problem child and instead of just that teacher and the problem child and the administrator, they would have everybody come in and they would get all this input and... and by the time the week was over you had no time for preparation at all, because you were spending all your time either before school or after school with all these problem children. And the administration, they go along with it. [00:50:59]

[Voice] Talk... talk about being top heavy. A few years ago there was a... an initiative on the {?} ballot to ... to create... what did they call it? Vouchers which for various other reasons I wasn’t in favor of it, but the idea was that a private school would be able to get vouchers from the state and that the... the ... for each student enrolled you would get a voucher equal to what... a portion of what the public schools got per student.

And in the course of the debate it was revealed that for each student who enrolled in the public school the state gave about... spent about 5000 or 5400 dollars. And they are complaining about costs from overcrowding. Now if the state spends 5000 dollars a year on a student and they are complaining about crowded classrooms with 30 children in a classroom, if 150,000 dollars going to those children in that one classroom, there should not only be enough to pay the teacher an excellent salary, it should be enough to... to provide for improvements in upgrading of the... the school facilities themselves and the buildings.

Instead, you have this huge county board of education, all these other various programs they are required to spend money on. And they can’t.... they can’t manage who they are... they are obviously quite top heavy there and they should be... they should be... they are rolling in the dough. It is not getting into the classroom in many instances.

[Voice] No.

[Voice] That is... that is... that is ... that is true. And that is an administrative problem that needs to be resolved.

[Murray] Well, the... the numbers in California are a little strange, but the people don’t get a chance to put it together. Tonight on television they announced that California is tenth from the bottom and the amount of money spent per pupil, but we also spend half of the total budget of the state on education. So who is getting the money?

[Voice] Exactly.

[Voice] Well, it is the bureaucrats...

[Murray] Certainly.

[Voice] ... the... the top heavy administration. The money is all going there. It is... it is not going for the direct education. And then there really is no true education going on today’s schools. I venture to say that they really are not learning anything. They are being brainwashed and so ... and it is all phony. For example, when they talk of... of literacy, they have no intention of teaching intensive, systematic phonics.

Let me just go down, for example, the Goals 2000. Billy, you wanted to know what they... what these goals were. Well, the first goal was by the year 2000 all children in America will start school ready to learn. Well, what does that mean? I mean, we were ready to learn when I was going to school back in the 1930s. You didn’t need a special program for that. By the year 2000 the high school graduation rate will increase to at least 90 percent. Well, what is that supposed to mean? I mean there are no more drop outs or then we keep the dropouts in school until they graduate? We will just give them a paper. You know, that is graduation. You give them a sheet of paper. It says you graduated. [00:54:17]

The third goal. By the year 2000 American students will have demonstrate competency over challenging subject matter and will be prepared for responsible citizenship, further learning and productive employment. What that means is that they will know all about the environment. They will know all about ecology. They will know all about what is politically correct, you see. And be able to be put into productive employment because they will be trained to do so.

The fourth goal is this. U. S. students will be the first in the world in math and science by the year 2000. That is four years from now they will accomplish that. Is that a realistic goal?

[Voice] They have a messianic complex.

[Voice] Yes. Fifth goal. By the year 2000 every adult American will be literate and ready to compete in the... in a global economy.

Well, the department of education told us that there are 90 million Americans with substandard reading skills, 40 million of whom are functionally illiterate. And you men in four years they are going to bring everybody up to literacy?

You can see how phony all of this is. And number six, by the year 2000 every school in America will be free of drugs and violence. What a ... you know, what a dream that is. I mean, that is impossible. Drugs are increasing in use. And as long as you have public schools, you will have drugs. That is the market place. I mean the {?} cartel does not go to your Rexall drug chain to sell drugs. They go to the schools.

[Rushdoony] Well, our time is up now. Thank you all for listening and thank you, Sam, for so toying an analysis.

[Blumenfeld] Thank you, Rush.