Exclusive — Hillsdale College President Larry Arnn on Pedagogical Corruption: ‘Educational Bureaucracy’ Weaponizes ‘Teacher Certification’ to ‘Turn People into Robots’

Elementary schoolchildren wearing a protective face masks in the classroom. Education duri
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Larry Arnn, president of Hillsdale College and professor of politics and history, explained to Sirius XM’s Breitbart News Daily host Alex Marlow on Wednesday how the educational bureaucracy enforces ideological conformity in pedagogy via its control and use of professional licensing requirements for teachers.

“The educational bureaucracy does not like education reform,” Arnn said. “They have control, and they exercise control on charter schools.”

Arnn noted that bureaucratic control of primary and secondary education is shaped by state law, with variations between states. “Arizona and Florida are the best,” he said, in terms of decentralization of control benefiting charter schools.

One of the educational bureaucracy’s primary tools of control is over teacher certifications and licensing, Arnn noted.

“One of the key things” the educational bureaucracy does is “require teacher certification because that places [teachers] under the influence of the education schools,” Arnn explained.

Arnn said “education schools” — colleges and universities ostensibly providing instruction on pedagogy and teaching — “originated in America for the purpose of bringing progressivism to the American people.”


He highlighted John Dewey and Frank Goodnow as two prominent examples of 20th-century leftist proponents of centralized technocratic control of education.

“We don’t think that’s good preparation for teaching, for the reason that [education schools] don’t really focus on what you’re going to teach,” Arnn stated, holding that subject matter expertise naturally provides a person with the capacity to instruct and teach in said subject matter.

Education schools “focus on how to teach,” he added. “A teacher is supposed to be somebody who’s wise, somebody who knows things. These [teachers] are technicians now.”

Teachers have mostly become “delivery people” in contemporary America, Arnn warned.

Growth in the educational bureaucracy’s staffing has eclipsed that of the numbers of student and teachers across the prior two decades, Arnn stated.

He shared, “The bureaucracy has strengthened in the last 20 years. I have the numbers in front of me from the National Center for Education Statistics, a part of the Department of Education. In the last 20 years, the number of students has grown in America’s public schools [by] 7.6 percent. The number of teachers has grown 8.7 percent. The number of school administrators, at all levels, has grown 87.6 percent.”

“There’s a few more teachers in proportion than there are students, but there’s almost as many in the administration, and what do they do in the administration? They tell teachers how to teach and schools how to run schools.”

Arnn observed that governmental and institutional centralization of control over education drives corruption of public schools by increasing the distance between stakeholders — parents, students, and teachers — and those with control and power in the educational bureaucracy.

“The natural sovereign in education is the school,” Arnn determined, “because in the school, teachers and parents and students all know each other and have affection for each other.”

Decentralized management of education contrasts with distant control, he remarked, such as “somebody from far away — especially operating on bad ideology — [who] is prescribing things.”

The educational bureaucracy is “trying to turn people into robots,” Arnn maintained.

Arnn reflected on a human being’s innate thirst for knowledge and wisdom.

“The human being stretches himself out to know,” Arnn said, quoting Aristotle. “We love to know. Just go into any good classroom. It’s exciting, and the reason is people love to know. You don’t have to be a classical orator to be a good teacher. You just have to know and love your stuff, and you have to know and love the students.”

The educational bureaucracy holds children “hostages in the schools” as part of a broader mechanism to “get control of the society,” Arnn stated, “and that’s unnatural and despotic and counterproductive.”

Hillsdale College recently released a no-charge K-12 curriculum for interested parents and teachers, entitled “An American Classical Education.”

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