Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Goodlad Study:

The Inside Story

While working in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Dept. of Education, in 1981, I was assigned to work at the National Institute of Education, research arm of the Department.  One night, around  midnight (I stayed late to scrounge around when no one was there!), I needed a typewriter ribbon so went to the supply room to look for one. And, guess what I found?!!!!!!

In the corner was a box entitled The Goodlad Study. (John Goodlad, now in his nineties) is probably the No.1 change agent in the world who produced this study which consisted of four books funded by major tax-exempt foundations, outlining the restructuring of education which became the  official plan in the early 1980s and which is being implemented today).

One can imagine the joy with which I, a former school board member and Education Research Analyst for Guardians of Education for Maine, whose dislike of Goodlad caused me to have "Goodlad Nightmares", unpacked that box. In the box were proposals  from the tax-exempt foundations to write and get published four major books:
  • Schooling for a Global Age, edited by James Becker
  • Communities and their Schools, edited by Donald Davies
  • Arts and the Schools, edited by Jerome Hausman
  • A Place Called School by John Goodlad

What a delicious boxful of proposals for funding for Marxist research and writing, which would ultimately end up in the hands of each of  the 50 Chief State School Officers.

What I had found was the mother lode of what we are looking at today. I called McGraw Hill and asked when the books would be published.  I was told that my name would be first on the list BEFORE the names of the individual Chiefs. The fact that these books were going to each of the Chiefs told me that this project was very, very important. A few months later I received all four books. (Note: these books are very important for anyone researching ed reform. They are still available at

Regarding Lee Anderson, one of contributors to Schooling for a Global Age, the wife of the President of the National Council for the Social Studies invited me for dinner in her apartment.  We had become good friends.  She, herself, had problems with the anti-American tone of global education.   Over dinner she told me that at a recent party hosted by the National Council Lee Anderson announced that he was "coming out of the closet." He then announced "I am a card carrying Communist."

Here are a couple of key quotes from two of the books.

Communities and their Schools, page 255:
Probably no country gives community schooling a greater emphasis than does China. Indeed, community-based education, as we have characterized it here, constitutes a central theme of the "educational revolution" emerging out of the Cultural Revolution. The community focus is closely in line with Mao's educational philosophy which gives emphasis to rural development, productive endeavor, community service decentralized decision making [site based management, USA?, ed], and the viewpoint that the whole society is a school.  [Ftnte #126]

Schooling for  A Global Age:
Parents and the general public must be reached also. Otherwise, children and youth enrolled in globally oriented programs may find themselves in conflict with values assumed in the home. And then the educational institution frequently comes under scrutiny and must pull back.
— Dr. John I. Goodlad

When I found this box full of proof of education restructuring for a global system I showed it to the true blue conservative Director of the National Institute of Education, who, for obvious reasons had not seen it (who scrounges around at 2 a.m. in NIE offices except "your truly"?).  He was appalled and made a comment, words to the effect "he wouldn't be surprised  if he found his car blown up in the basement of NIE; that the whole operation was a Marxist factory.  He was later fired by Secretary of Education T.H. Bell for suggesting his own office be abolished.  Reagan stood behind Bell and let that happen. 

On page 192 of my book the deliberate dumbing down of america, I included the story:

EDWARD CURRAN, DIRECTOR OF THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF EDUCATION, WAS DISMISSED by Secretary T.H. Bell in 1982 due to Curran’s recommendation to President Reagan that the National Institute of Education—the research and development arm of the U.S. Department of Education—be abolished. President Reagan was out of the country at the time of Curran’s dismissal. When President Reagan was elected Dr. Curran left his position as headmaster of the Cathedral School for Girls in Washington, D.C., first to work on the education department transition  team and later to assume the directorship of the National Institute of Education. 

Curran’s courageous recommendation would not have required Congressional approval, as did the proposal to abolish the U.S. Department of Education; an executive order by Secretary Bell was all that was required. Abolishing NIE could have removed much of the controversial federal government influence in our local schools. In an article entitled “Success Eludes Old Research Agency,” Education Week (December 9, 1982) quoted Dr. Curran as follows: 

NIE is based on the premise that education is a science whose progress depends on systematic “research and development.” As a professional educator, I know that this premise is false.

Read more here: