Charlotte Iserbyt: The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America
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The “dumbing down of America” is a term used to describe a perceived decrease in the overall intelligence of the American population. This can refer to the fact that the average scores of students on standardized tests have been declining over the past few decades, or the idea that people are becoming less able to think critically and engage in meaningful discourse. Proponents of this idea cite factors such as a lack of quality education, widespread consumerism, and the prevalence of low-brow entertainment as contributing to this phenomenon.
Charlotte Iserbyt (1930-2022) is a renowned former school board member and senior policy advisor in the US Department of Education. Her most significant work is The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: A Chronological Paper Trail, in which she examines the history of US education system and argues that it has been deliberately designed to make citizens docile and obedient to the state. Iserbyt suggests that the US government has been integral in the process, implementing an agenda of testing and standardization that benefits the government rather than the students. Since its publication, her book has been widely praised by educational experts and is regarded as one of the most influential works on the subject.
In this interview, Iserbyt discusses the how gradual changes brought into the American public education system work to eliminate the influences of a child's parents, and mold the child into a member of the working class in preparation for a socialist-collectivist world of the future.
She considers that these changes originated from plans formulated primarily by the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education and Rockefeller General Education Board, and details the psychological methods used to implement and effect the changes.
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America: