A DELIBERATE MATH “DUMB DOWN” WAS SERIOUSLY DISCUSSED IN 1928. A TEACHER NAMED O.A. Nelson, John Dewey, Edward Thorndike (who conducted early behavioral psychology
experiments with chickens), and other Council on Foreign Relations members attended a
Progressive Education Association meeting in 1928 at which O.A. Nelson was informed that
the purpose of “new math” was to dumb down students. Nelson revealed in a later interview
with Young Parents Alert that the Progressive Education Association was a communist front.
According to the National Educator (July, 1979):
Mr. O.A. Nelson, retired educator, has supplied the vitally important documentation needed to support the link-up between the textbooks and the Council on Foreign Relations. His letter was first printed in “Young Parents Alert” (Lake Elmo, Minnesota). His story is self-explanatory.
I know from personal experience what I am talking about. In December 1928, I was asked to talk to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. On December 27th, naïve and inexperienced, I agreed. I had done some special work in teaching functional physics in high school. That was to be my topic. The next day, the 28th, a Dr. Ziegler asked me if I would attend a special educational meeting in his room after the AAAS meeting. We met from 10 o’clock [p.m.] until after 2:30 a.m.
We were 13 at the meeting. Two things caused Dr. Ziegler, who was Chairman of
the Educational Committee of the Council on Foreign Relations, to ask me to attend... my talk on the teaching of functional physics in high school, and the fact that I was a member of a group known as the Progressive Educators of America, which was nothing but a Communist front. I thought the word “progressive” meant progress for better schools. Eleven of those attending the meeting were leaders in education. Drs. John Dewey and Edward Thorndike, from Columbia University, were there, and the others were of equal rank. I checked later and found that ALL were paid members of the Communist Party of Russia. I was classified as a member of the Party, but I did not know it at the time.
[Ed. Note: Mr. Nelson was formerly assistant principal at Wilson High School, Minneapolis,The sole work of the group was to destroy our schools! We spent one hour and forty-five minutes discussing the so-called “Modern Math.” At one point I objected because there was too much memory work, and math is reasoning; not memory. Dr. Ziegler turned to me and said, “Nelson, wake up! That is what we want... a math that the pupils cannot apply to life situations when they get out of school!” That math was not introduced until much later, as those present thought it was too radical a change. A milder course by Dr. Breckner was substituted but it was also worthless, as far as understanding math was concerned. The radical change was introduced in 1952. It was the one we are using now. So, if pupils come out of high school now, not knowing any math, don’t blame them. The results are supposed to be worthless.
Minnesota, as well as Johnson High School in St. Paul. This writer was fortunate enough
to verify the above story by calling a teacher colleague of the late Mr. Nelson. Also,
members of the “Young Parents Alert” in Lake Elmo, Minnesota provided the writer with
an audiocasette of the speech he gave at a Young Parents Alert education conference
on April 28, 1979.]
Excerpted from my book the deliberate dumbing down of america, pages 14-15.