"Who besides a degraded rabble would voluntarily
present itself to be graded and classified like meat?
No wonder school is compulsory."
John Taylor Gatto
(1937-2018) American school teacher of 29 years, author, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991
The Underground History of American Education, 2001
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Reader comments about this quote:
There is so much more to school than being "graded & classified like meat"... this person should never be allowed near children, and there are indeed far too many good teachers in the world to allow such butchers in the classroom!
 -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    The "undegraded non-rabble" present themselves to private shools or to Mommy and Daddy. They dress in uniforms and are hammered into some type of dogmatic goose-stepping robots for the sake of narrowness and in order to come out thinking just like Mommy and Daddy and therefore not to have any thoughts of their own. Be carefull that like many you do not fall for vogueism. That is the mouthing of whatever current language construction is popular regardless of whether it is truty or not. "Government school" is an erroneous construction that is in vogue or fashionable with certain types of people. Communities across America run schools for any and all residents to partake of if they wish. The residents have obtions to do otherwise as long as they educate their children. Community is "us" not the government. Beware of vogueisms.
     -- Waffler, Smith, Arkansas     
    Anon from Reston, said well. Waffler wants everyone to be as degraded a rabble as he.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
  • 1
    Waffler's description of 'vogueism' fits himself to a tee. His loyalty to public schooling seems contrived -- why of course students get a better education in private schools. I will agree that many private schools are merely producing clones, too, but they are for a different class of robots. Religious schools produce religious robots, military schools produce military robots, preppy schools produce corporate robots. It is the individual that suffers in the mass -- but the collectivists believe that is a small price to pay in order to 'get us all on the same page.' When I finally sat down with my daughter who asked me to teach her Algebra, she completed the entire year's study in a month -- most within the first week, the rest was just practice over and over. School is a big social gathering place, and that is really the only reason children can be coerced to go. The suburban neighborhoods are ghost towns during the day. I think Gatto is right on (he was NYC Teacher of the Year 3 years in a row, too.) What a rabble-rouser!
     -- E Archer, NYC     
  • 1
    I would venture to guess that the students of this teacher were better equipped and better educated than most. It sounds like this man actually cared about his students, enough to bring down the wrath of the teachers union on him in fact. Teacher of year? He should be teacher of the century!
     -- Ken, Allyn, WA     
  • 2
    I like this quote. It reminds me of a question...Why would people who absolutely will not give their guns to the government (a good thing) give the kids to them 6 hours a day for "training"? I think of that every time I see a school bus.
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
  • 1
    I do believe this was meant to be humorous. Self deprecating humor.
     -- warren, olathe     
  • 1
    Gatto is spot on.
     -- Russ, near Atlanta, Georgia     
  • 1
    Ken Allyn summed it up accurately.
     -- jim k, Austin     
    You missed 'government schools produce workers obedient to gov.,' Archer. Also, if you read Gatto's book or listen to him on tragedyandhope at youtube you learn that our leaders are nearly all from related families and have a far different education than the masses. One educational system is teaching the elites to be leaders, while the other system is squashing such aspirations in society's 'lesser' members~the masses. The history of education is extremely telling and interesting...and leading to total world domination by the few over the whole in a giant social engineering coup. Welcome to the new world order (in motion for MANY years now-Technocracy in the 20s and 30s, Metro 1313 in the 50s, and Agenda 21 today). Whomever teaches the children rules in the long run...and our children are being robbed of a real education...and we have 3+ generations of non-thinkers, and folks who lack basic knowledge of civics, history, and the 3 Rs and haven't read a classic or a philosophy book. They certainly don't know anything about the Constitution they are supposed to be living by as citizens of this country~our supreme law~after God. They do know they better turn off the tap while brushing their teeth and they need to walk and not go by car or they will be at fault for destroying the Earth (the new religion). Gatto knows of what he speaks and his words are worth your time to explore further.
     -- Abby     
  • 2
    I'm sorry, but this is a stupid quote....
     -- Robert, St. Emilion, France     
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