Some have said that Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, J.P. Morgan and other titans of industry at the turn of the century wanted to replace the older education system with a new one that would not produce "highly educated, independent-thinking" competitors to the established family dynasties.
In particular, the rising tide of immigrants was a fearful prospect. Those who left tyrannical governments and made the sacrifice to travel to America were usually the most intelligent, the most independent-thinking, the most talented, and therefore the most competitive to the establishment. They willingly took the most menial jobs, and exploited the freedom that once existed in America to rise to become powerful businessmen.
The modern public education system helps protect the Establishment.
Diane Ravitch, writing in the Huffington Post, says an Establishment educator named
Gerald Bracey ... wrote in an education journal called "Phi Delta Kappan" (October 1991) that as a society "we must continue to produce an uneducated social class" that "will sweep the streets, unclog sewers, scrub toilets, pick up trash, bus tables or mop floors -- no matter what the wages."
Ravitch notes that
The latest international assessment (the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA) shows that our students score behind many other developed nations in math, and our top-scoring students are statistically behind their peers in 23 of 30 developed nations in math.
When we think of "developing nations," we think of illiterate non-white masses who would do a fine job cutting our grass and clearing our tables. But if we let them all in, we could well be letting in superior people who will compete against us.
Immigration laws and dumbed-down public schools are therefore in the interest of the rich and powerful Family Dynasties -- as well as "white trash," who could lose their low-end but often union-protected jobs to immigrants. Instead of getting manual laborers from developing countries, the Establishment creates their serfs from among Americans in the public school system.
Manual labor jobs should not be seen as perpetual assignments, but as learning stations. Colonial Americans were also educated in systems of apprenticeship, which have now been destroyed by Child-Labor Laws and minimum wage laws. Perhaps there are some who reach their full potential in such jobs, but many others could move upward if it were not for various government regulations and restrictions on their freedom to gain the ability to compete.