The Origin Of Education And Mandatory Schooling

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Prior to the late 1800’s, education was a private practice that took place in private institutions or through home schooling. That all changed in 1902 when John D. Rockefeller created the general education board in conjunction with Frederick T. Gates. Frederick T. Gates was a close friend, business and personal advisor to Rockefeller. The general education board was responsible for funding the American public school system, and provided over one hundred million dollars in 1902 while continuing their support beyond 1902. If we follow the money, the general education board was responsible for the creation of the American public school system. Does education not play a large role in manipulating the consciousness of human beings? By consciousness manipulation I mean trying to influence the way that the human being perceives the environment around them. In order to implement this system, teachers need to teach, and somebody needs to teach the teachers, and somebody needs to teach them too. It’s time we start questioning the real purpose of education and who exactly is putting human beings through this system, and for what purpose?

“So who made all this up? What’s with all this structure? Do we need to play this structure? Are we limited? No” – Franco DeNicola

Early Age Schooling

From an early age, we are forced into a mandatory school system that requires and encourages youth to attend for a large portion of their human life, for six hours a day. Each child is required to learn the accepted version of reality in order to fit into the specific mold desired by the elite. Just like television, a large part of school is simply programming. It’s ironic how the same families behind the funding are responsible for many inhumane atrocities that took place throughout history. They are also behind big oil, big pharma, food and other industries that are becoming more transparent as of late. Kids who do not fit into the system and do not resonate with it are usually labelled and medicated. Essentially, the whole point of school is to shape the reality of the student. We are taken from a very early age and put into the institution, from there we are shown how the world works and what we need to do to survive in it. School literally paints the perception that we need to do well in order to have a job so we can make money and pay our bills. It has nothing to do with the type of growth the human being needs. The concept of grades and marks do not signify any level of intelligence. In school we are shown the idea of an authority figure, how the world works and what intelligence is.

“Never confuse education with intelligence.” – Albert Einstein

“I don’t want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers.” – John D Rockefeller

“In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science. We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.” – Frederick T Gates

The Power of Homeschooling

It seems homeschooling is much more likely to create a creative, adaptive, and forward thinking person who is less conditioned to think only within the small confines of a crumbling system. Does this mean it is for everyone and that one can’t turn out that way through standard education? No, simply the chances are far greater with homeschooling.

Check out Joe Martino’s TEDx talk about why education needs to change.

Also check out Logan LaPlante’s Hacking Education (Homeschooling) TEDx talk as well.

“The Origin Of Compulsory Schooling” By Foster Gamble

Pre 1840: Literacy Rates High, Schools Predominantly Private and Locally Controlled

Up until the 1840’s, the American school system was mainly private, decentralized, and home schooling was common. Americans were well educated and literacy rates were high.

1852: Massachusetts Passes First Mandatory Attendance Law

1902: John D. Rockefeller Creates the General Education Board

At the ultimate cost of $129 million, the General Education Board provided major funding for schools across the nation and was very influential in shaping the current school system.

1905: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching is Founded

1906: NEA Becomes a Federally Chartered Association

1913: Frederick T. Gates, Director of Charity for the Rockefeller Foundation, Writes “In our dream…the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand”

Frederick T. Gates wrote in The Country School of Tomorrow, Occasional Papers Number 1:

“In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand.  The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk.  We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science.  We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters.  We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians.  Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply.”

1914: National Education Association (NEA) Alarmed by the Activity of the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations

At an annual meeting in St. Paul Minnesota, a resolution was passed by the Normal School Section of the NEA. An excerpt stated:

“We view with alarm the activity of the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations—agencies not in any way responsible to the people—in their efforts to control the policies of our State educational institutions, to fashion after their conception and to standardize our courses of study, and to surround the institutions with conditions which menace true academic freedom and defeat the primary purpose of democracy as heretofore preserved inviolate in our common schools, normal schools, and universities.”

1917: NEA Reorganizes and Moves to Washington DC

The NEA is the largest labor union in the U.S., representing public school teachers and other school faculty and staff. It generally opposes merit pay, school vouchers, accountability reforms, and more.

1918: Every State Requires Students to Complete Elementary School

1932: “Eight Year Study” – Largely funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York and the General Education Board

This laid the groundwork for education reform and the schooling system we have today.

1946: Rockefeller Foundation grants the General Education Board $7.5 billion

1953: Reece Committee of the US House of Representatives Reveals Agenda of Carnegie Endowment and Rockefeller Foundation on Education

It seems incredible that the trustees of typically American fortune-created foundations should have permitted them to be used to finance ideas and practices incompatible with the fundamental concepts of our Constitution. Yet there seems evidence that this may have occurred.”

-Norman Dodd, Director of Research, Special Committee to Investigate Tax-Exempt Foundations, 1954 [2]

1968: Edith Roosevelt’s Article “The Foundation Machine” Indicts Carnegie Funded Textbooks

Carnegie funded “Programmed Textbooks” were distributed to “culturally deprived areas.” Edith Roosevelt stated that “these young children are being indoctrinated with a pattern of anti-social ideas that will completely and violently alienate them from the mainstream of American middle-class values.”

1979: US Department of Education Created

1986: Carnegie Teaching Panel Charts New Teacher Framework & Provides $900,000 in Grants for Reforms

2003: 14% of American Adults are Illiterate

The National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) administered tests which revealed 14% of US residents would have extreme difficulty with reading and written comprehension. In 2003, some 30 million American adults had Below Basic prose literacy, 27 million had Below Basic document literacy, and 46 million had Below Basic quantitative literacy.


Frederick T. Gates, “The Country School of Tomorrow,” Occasional Papers, no.1 (New York: General Education Board, 1913), p. 6.

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More From 'Alternative News'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Tasheika

    Although I find this article extremely intriguing I can’t say that public school is all bad. I had a rough childhood and school was an escape for me. It was in high school where I began to learn to think for myself and to question everything; mostly in part due to my teachers. If it wasn’t for them I’d be your run of the mill, brain washed, christian who believes that the world is only 6,000 years old. For the most part public education is bust, but I think its up to parents to teach their children the things that schools can’t or won’t. My girls are really young right now, too young for me to try and teach them the things that others won’t, but I’m excited for the day when I can begin.

    • The existing system of education devalued the process of parenting and made it possible for so many bad parents to arise; it’s sort of like walking with mandatory crutches – you’d never learn to walk naturally, you’d learn to use crutches instead. Learning occurs naturally from day #1 in your child’s life, they’re never “too young” to learn; talking, counting, reading, playing are natural activities which you and your girls can begin to share at any time. Best wishes! This article, sadly, de-emphasizes the very great role historically played by home education and auto-didacticism; they were not merely “common” but as normal and frequent as breast-feeding, prior to the introduction of sterilized bottles and formula.

    • unfortunately, our parents and their parents went through exactly the same system. public education is only one of the tools used against human beings to control us and make us dumb. rebel, it’s mor efun and you might actually learn something. peace & love.

  2. Summerdays

    Thank you for this article. I have a 31/2yr old who us meant to start school next year but in the last few weeks we have been leaning towards homeschool /unschooling. I haven’t read any books yet but the more info I read about it on the net the more it makes sense

    • get this book : Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

    • Lisa Gunton-Bunn

      Home education is a great way to encourage your children to become true learners and thinkers, but they also need to learn to give and take, share and understand. We homeschooled for 4 years, it was an education and an adventure for us all.

    • breid1215

      Summerdays: Do yourself a favor by getting in touch with, the leading advocacy and legal defense organization in the US for home educators. They can supply you with resources and links to home education associations in your area of the country. There is a vast support network of like-minded families and a great variety of curricula from which to choose. God Bless you in your journey with your child.

  3. Karena Allen

    I love this.. we need a share on FB button for these articles

    • Hit the like button and it will give you the opportunity to share it

    • Teal

      Just copy and paste the URL to a facebook status :)

  4. In D. dated

    Wow is this fucking stupid

    • ATOM

      Sounds like another successful product of the public school system.

    • Ant

      Why do you feel it necessary to swear? Maybe a comment on what part you think is stupid would have been more insightful? Then at least there can be a discussion.

    • jsquared


  5. DZachman

    Thank you, In D., for your thoughtfully articulated rebuttal.

    • ed ivanisko

      well spoken…I guess “D” is prime fodder for rockerfellernomics

  6. i would love to see the same gathering of informations for Canada school sytem
    see for another old kind of education where Wild nature is the teacher and community and elders do the mentoring. Nothing better than Nature to grow fully to a mature human being

  7. I loved school, although I was often both bored and bullied there. Still, there were books, and sometimes interesting things, my best friend, and no one knocked me down or dragged me by my hair, so there were definite advantages to being there, for me.

    My children, 11 and 8.5, have never attended school. We began with our son at the kitchen table, doing lessons – and soon found out that he strongly resists being taught at.

    Four years ago, we began to shift to unschooling.

    The difference in our children, our marriage, and our lives, is stunning. This is a peaceful home, filled with learning, filled with passion for discovery.

    This is a home where, from 3AM to 6AM this Monday school morning, we were cleaning, exploring myths and holidays, reading aloud to one another, discussing ways to make life smoother for all of us, telling jokes, putting the last bits of the fast-melting sledding hill in the freezer so they can be incorporated into the next sledding hill, remembered past events, discussed weather (January thaws, cold snaps, irrigation, winter in upstate NY as compared to Oregon), and playing with physics concepts…

    I’m sure I’m forgetting some things here.

    My nocturnal children are likely to sleep the school day away, and wake when they are rested, and get right back to the joys of living and learning.

    No school could ever touch this life for richness and wonder and the competent management of one’s own life.

    • ageniusnameddaniel

      lmfao!! you dumb ass! I wonder why your kids were awake at 3 AM!! and nocturnal children?? WTF?!?! You do realize that a schedule for sleep, play, nap, eating, etc. is a HUGE part in raising a child. It may not be easy to implement, but you my dear are basically describing a friendship with your children, when you should be attempting to parent and educate them!

      • Melanie

        Please explain to me why your thinking is better than hers? And also please explain why friendship with your child is a heinous crime when parenting and education are involved? I’m curious. The way I see it, a happy, respectfully run family full of real life world view education is a blessing no matter what their time schedule is or how it correlates to what you “perceive” it should be. Oh my, I guess I missed that parenting book that told me what my child was suppose to be doing at such and such time. I guess I was too busy raising 6 of my own and learning my children so that in turn I can teach them to be their own individuals instead of a massed produce piece of propaganda. Have you ever considered the reason that everything you mentioned is not “Easy” to implement is more because it is “NOT Natural”. Forcing your children into a cookie cutter mold of what society expects (considering our current generation is a wonderful example of instant gratification and entitlement thinking) ISN”T Natural at all. Apparently you believed them when they told you it was, otherwise you wouldn’t spout that kind of rubbish. Keep following the herd. It’s the most wonderful way to not have to think for yourself and to let people dictate to you what your life SHOULD be like.

      • John Bender

        Looks like you’re the dumbass as apparently you have no reading comprehension. Her kids are 11 and 8.5. Which means they’re WAAAYY past the age of needing naps. Did you get naps in public school when you were 11? Besides, their daily schedules are shanjeniah’s business. I don’t see where your opinion matters in how she raises her kids.

        • Ant

          Well said John! People are quick to judge re things they have no knowledge of.

  8. Selvie Roos

    This is so sad. How does a single parent who has to go to work home school her child? Solutions please.

    • Some single parents do manage to home school, so it must be possible. One method is to divide the question of “who watches the kids while I work?” from “who teaches my children.” Answers to the first question might include neighbors, relatives, fellow home-schoolers in a sort of co-op or exchange. (They might watch your kids from hours X to Y; you might watch theirs from Y to Z – and they might teach history while you teach math, etc). In some cases, older kids can come to the office, help with small tasks – which are learning activities in themselves – and do independent lessons. It’s not easy, but many people do manage. Best wishes!

    • ageniusnameddaniel

      keep your legs closed and don’t be a single parent!!! Go ahead, give me a million excuses. I have rebut for them all! Widow? Children of widowed families can receive supplemental govt income, you can take fewer hours at work and still make the same amount. or you can hire a private tutor. Baby’s daddy disappeared? Don’t have kids with the scum of society!!! we’d probably have a lot more Einsteins if all the dumb asses quit breeding! all that does is lower the standard of a public education and doesn’t properly challenge the minds of children who can handle it. Separated/Divorced? Again, keep your legs closed!!! Too many people get married on a whim! Try making a life with someone work before you start introducing new aspects (ie, children).

      • Alphabet Soup

        What wonderful advice! Your parents should have been given the same advice before having you. ‘Keep your legs closed’ indeed.

      • Tyler

        Yeah, and I’m sure you’ve never done anything in life you regret and had unintended consequences. Dwelling on what happened is the most useless ideology in existence. Learning from it and dealing with the situation at hand is a bit more useful. Don’t you think she’s heard all this shit before? Your need to point it out is rather juvenile and unbefitting of a self-described genius. If you knew her and realized she’s still making the same mistakes, then maybe you’d have a place to say these things.

      • Lauren Andover

        you forgot raped and kept the baby…. hopefully you didn’t breed :)

        • evelyn

          LOL! Yes, he does seem to have all the answers, doesn’t he? Thankfully, he’s not in the majority (and yes, hopefully, he never breeds).

          • Melanie

            No kidding. I actually feel sorry for this person….. I think ;-/ I thought about it and NO, this person isn’t worthy to be felt sorry for……. as I tell my kids, Stupid is as Stupid does, so if your gonna be Stupid, you better be tough.

    • Victoria will help you with ALL your needs to teach you how to do this and work for you :) Good Luck!

    • Thank you, thank your for all that you guys share. My son attended first grade for only 2 months. When he was able to read and count numbers, he said enough. The whole idea of being trapped in a room for hours didn´t work for him at all.

      • Thank you, thank your for all that you guys share. My son attended first grade for only 2 months. When he was able to read and count numbers, he said enough. The whole idea of being trapped in a room for hours didn´t work for him at all.

      • sorry got the wrong button.


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