Reviewed by Michael V. Wilson
Dr. Samuel L Blumenfeld, with Alex Newman, has written an intriguing new book, Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government to Destroy America’s Children. The thesis of the book is quite simple; the education establishment – teachers, administrators, professionals, businesses, universities, government bureaucrats and globalists – are using the pretext of education to dumb down education in America so subtly it will go unnoticed by parents until it’s too late to do anything about it, and in the process, committing literal child abuse against their children.
The most important part, to my way of thinking, is found on the second page of the introduction when Blumenfeld references an 1898 essay by John Dewey entitled “The Primary-Education Fetich” (Dewey uses an old-fashioned spelling of ‘fetish’) which Blumenfeld reproduces in full in Appendix B. Being something of a contrarian I turned to the appendix and read the essay before going any further. To say I was shocked would be an understatement of massive proportions. Dewey outlined – 117 years ago! – policies and procedures being used today to destroy our children’s education. The language he used to justify it was so familiar it could have been taken from yesterday’s headlines. It was eerie. It was also infuriating; Dewey was quite open about his desire to control children’s minds and futures, as well as the need to implement his changes slowly so as not to provoke what he called “a violent reaction.” He got that part right; my reaction on reading it was to wish for a time machine so I could go back and wring his neck. In terms of an eye-opening revelation, the essay alone is worth the price of the book.
Blumenfeld carefully builds his case step-by-step, over 298 pages, stuffed with statistical as well as anecdotal evidence, quotes from government documents, first-hand evidence from eye witnesses and press reports containing “Kinsley gaffes,” so named after Michael Kinsley who once said, “A gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth.”
He also documents how Dewey was heavily influenced by a strange work of fiction, Edward Bellamy’s 1888 novel, Looking Backward, which told the story of a future America in the year 2000 where private property had been outlawed and communism reigned supreme. Along with many of his contemporaries, who were either tutored in a new behaviorist psychology by Professor Wilhelm Wundt at the University of Leipzig, Germany, or by his protégés, Dewey proceeded to lay out a slow plan to take over the schools in America in order to extinguish individualism and turn children into socialized creatures more akin to robots than people. The key was to strip them of their ability to read and write, to turn them into functional illiterates.
The conspiracy, for that’s what it was, was so successful so quickly that in 1955, Rudolf Flesch wrote, Why Johnny Can’t Read, to address parent’s concerns about their children’s education. Intensive, systematic instruction in phonics had been replaced with the whole-language or look-say method of teaching. Flesch told an incredulous public teachers had to learn their craft, and obtain their credentials, at colleges and universities that were now under the sway of Dewey and his band of subversives. There was nowhere else for them to go. By the time they graduated and became teachers, they had been, knowingly or unknowingly, turned into a co-conspirator with Dewey’s clique. Becoming a teacher outside of that network was virtually impossible. The public was justifiably outraged of course, and demanded changes, immediate reforms. But the experts the politicians called in to help them craft the new reforms all came from Dewey’s friends and colleagues; it was exactly like putting the fox in charge of the security for the hen house. They simply filed off the old names off their methodologies and slapped new ones on top of them, all to the tune of millions in tax dollars pumped into their institutions and departments to help ‘study’ the problem and create “solutions” for it. Blumenfeld covers the whole tangled network of groups in a fair amount of detail. I wish he’d put in a flowchart so we could see the whole thing. Although on second thought it’s probably a good thing he didn’t; it would have wound up looking like the famously messy flowchart for Obamacare:
The whole-language method essentially treats written English words as if they were Chinese pictograms. Instead of teaching children the letters and sounds that go with them, they’re taught to see each word as a picture made up of random, squiggly lines. Blumenfeld even mentions how children become so adept in this perverse method they can “read” words upside-down, the same way they can identify a picture of a car when it’s upside-down, and for the same reason: they’re not reading words and letters, they’re recognizing a picture. This makes it impossible for them to identify new words or understand their meaning without someone to tell them what they are. They become dependent on an outside source for the information. They develop “learned helplessness.”
The problems Flesch identified in 1955 haven’t gone away; they’ve stayed and become worse. American literacy has dropped continuously since Dewey and his compatriots put their plan into action over a century ago. If you went to school anytime since the 1940’s, if you have difficulty sounding out a word to determine its spelling, you were probably taught some variant of the whole-language method. You may have been lucky enough to have been taught some phonics by a renegade teacher (and renegade is the correct term) or had parents who helped you learn to read and write properly, or simply bulled your way through on nothing except grit and determination, but you undoubtedly do not, and cannot, read and write as well as you should.
Toward the end of the book, Blumenfeld launches into a discussion, now over a year old, concerning Common Core. His predictions of growing parental revolt have been born out since he wrote about it. Common Core, launched by a coterie of moneyed globalists, including Microsoft’s Bill Gates, is merely the next step in their continuing efforts to take over America’s children. Common Core is intended to nationalize education in America, in express defiance of the Constitution and the law by using a backdoor system of federal money, either given or withheld depending on the compliance and obedience of the States. In other words, bribes.
Naturally private schools and home schools are under attack at the same time. The growing education monopoly cannot abide any competition, especially that which outperforms it, which private and home schools do on a consistent basis. Again, Blumenfeld provides statistics and evidence to back it up.
Blumenfeld also spends an entire chapter, and the better part of several others, discussing Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). He traces their causes directly to the whole-language method of teaching. He painstakingly traces the steps from a frustrating teaching method which makes children feel stupid, through their avoidance techniques, to all out rebellion, culminating in ADD/ADHD. In Appendix A, he includes a lengthy, firsthand account from a teacher, Paul Lukawski, who discovered that as little as fifteen minutes of phonetic instruction a day not only helps children learn to read and write with surprising speed, it also captures their attention and “cures” their so-called disorder by presenting them with an interesting challenge they can master instead of an impossible cliff they can never scale. Blumenfeld spends other, related chapters, on dyslexia and how whole-language methods confuses the child’s brain by interchanging left-brain and right-brain tasks. Backed up with statistical data he demonstrates that dyslexia is a learned response to illogical teaching methods.
I found his denunciations of brightly colored children’s reading primers particularly interesting. They use the same look-say, whole-language approach as the books the education establishment is pushing in the elementary schools. He shows how children who “learn” to read with these books seemingly do well in first and second grade, but then begin to crash and burn (my phrase, not his) in third grade and beyond. In this litany he includes an unsettling story, directly from Doctor Seuss, about one of my favorite childhood books, The Cat in the Hat. You’ll have to buy Blumenfeld’s book to learn the details, but it forever destroyed my enjoyment of The Cat in the Hat. I’m not even sure I want my grandchildren reading it anymore.
Crimes of the Educators is a fascinating, stomach turning read. You can hear the ring of truth in every word because it matches so well with what we see in our children’s schools, in the grades they bring home, even in our own experience when we were in school. It answers questions about why we’ve seen such an unbelievable increase in dyslexia and ADD/ADHD compared to previous generations. It explains the source of many of the problems we hear about on the evening news. But most of all it provokes a visceral reaction in you to rush out, grab your kids and hold them close to protect them from the ravages of an unaccountable system that wants to crush the humanity out of them.
Published by WND Books, Crimes of the Educators is the book you have to read if you love your children.