John Taylor Gatto Fact Check #1: Why Children Work

Sporadically picking through the sources in John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction.  Here’s a link to Helen Todds Why Children Work: The Children’s Answer, published by McClure’s Magazine in 1913:

This is certainly a fascinating historical document.  While I’m as skeptical of the integrity of the journalism of 1913 as I am of the journalism of today, I find Ms. Todd’s account to be sobering.

Personal Reflection: I find it strange that our contemporary view of child labor is still largely framed by the the mental images that we hold of the factory conditions of the early 20th century.  In this age of the service economy would it be possible to reach a compromise that could provide safe opportunities for children to be more productive members of society?  Can they be any more than tax evaders who occasionally engage in illicit lawn mowing, dog walking, and babysitting?

Source Mention: Page 1

My Silly Old Uncle

Uncle Sam

I have an uncle who spent over $125, 000 to put my cousin through school.  My cousin graduated without mastering the fundamental skills provided in a basic Grade 3 education.

I’ve got another cousin who will start kindergarten next fall.  My silly old uncle is set on opening up his wallet again to send the young one through the same system as the hopelessly useless graduate.

A Message of Hope for the New Year

Our world is filled with problems.  Many of them seem so unfixable that millions of Americans have begun to lose hope in a better tomorrow.  Rather than give in to the fearful messages of doom heaped upon us by the media, along with well-meaning Facebook friends, let us take a moment to reflect upon something that we can hold close to our hearts as whatever it is that causes the lengthening of days to happen brings us nearer to the light of spring and a new beginning.

Continue reading A Message of Hope for the New Year

Just a Quick Thought #6: A Chevy Celebrity Metaphor

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 21, 2015

Image of 1986 Chevy Celebrity courtesy of:

I once owned a 1988 Chevy Celebrity.  It started to develop problems after a while.  The problems could always be fixed by spending more money on the car.  If I had been able to increase my funding to a level sufficient for continuing to repair each new problem, I could still be driving a 1988 Chevy Celebrity today.





Just a Quick Thought #1: Illiteracy Rates

Originally published by AMERICANSCAPEGOAT.COM

October 8, 2015

According to the CIA, the United States ranked 45th in the world in adult literacy in 2003.  (That sounds alarming.)  At the same time, 99% of American adults were deemed literate by the same intelligence experts.  (That sounds reassuring.)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 14% of American adults were below basic readers (that’s a euphemism for illiterate) in 2003. (That sounds alarming, and it’s also confusing because it seems to contradict the CIA’s figures.)  To make matters worse, the National Center for Education Statistics claims that only 13% of American adults were/are (gosh, it’s old data) proficient readers.  That means that 87% of American adults do not have strong reading skills.  Those numbers would be scary if American adults preferred reading books to watching  movies about superheroes or their childhood toys.

#here’sagoodexampleofwhyyoushouldn’talwaystruststatistics             #whichgovernmentagencyiscorrect?