[Marxism] Re: Gatto Stresses Competition and Free Market Choice

Peter McLaren drpetermclaren at gmail.com
Sun Jul 9 22:57:02 MDT 2006

Right on Howard...

Unlike some schools of critical pedagogy, that focus on the struggle  
for socialism via education, Gatto's pedagogy appears firmly in  
support of capitalist schooling.  See the description of Gatto's  
Odysseus Group.


The Odysseus Group takes its name and mission from the Greek hero who  
spent ten years fighting his way home, spurning wealth, fame, and the  
promise of immortality to reclaim his family. The Odysseus Group  
stands apart from party politics. We aim to revive public discussion  
of education and give decision making back to the people. We hope to  
revitalize grassroots democracy by presenting a lively menu of  
successful working alternatives to government factory schools—some  
public, some private, some parochial, and some personal. We intend to  
work toward legislative reforms that return school tax money to  
citizens' hands, where it can be spent to restore meaning to school  
choice by enlarging the range of available alternatives. We do not  
ask for an end to government schools, only that they be forced to  
compete. Free market choice will improve government schools, too.
We need your help. We need working partners, donors, advisors,  
correspondents, and volunteers. If you can help, let us know.  
Odysseus finally made it home, and so can we all if we are prepared  
to fight for it. The Odysseus Group was created in 1991 by John  
Taylor Gatto and Roland Legiardi-Laura as a 501(c)3 tax-exempt  
organization with the mission of promoting debate and discussion on  
the subject of education.

To this end the projects we are currently supporting are:

The writings of John Taylor Gatto, including his lectures, books,  
essays, workshops, and speeches.

The Fourth Purpose A Documentary Film

The Odysseus Group Retreat Center and Education Library located in  
Chenango County, New York

On Jul 9, 2006, at 9:41 PM, howard beeth wrote:

> It is not clear who wrote the email that appeared touting  
> educationist John Taylor Gatto, although PK Govindaswamy sent it.  
> This email had a link to The Memory Hole site, whose sponsor is not  
> likewise not identified, that had yet another piece promoting  
> Gatto. Both the email and the link seemed to suggest that Gatto was  
> a left-leaning progressive. As I suggested, he is instead a  
> Libertarian Rightist (by contemporary standards). However, a couple  
> of subsequent posters have taken issue with my political  
> characterization of Gatto, which is based on a single lecture I  
> attended that the guy gave in Houston within the last year. The  
> admission fee to his lecture was, I think, $10, and perhaps 300  
> people attended. I found Gatto to be a high-energy, engaging,  
> enterprising, and hard-working fella, very versed but  
> disengenuously political, who used progressive jargon and even some  
> concepts to promote what I have described as a Libertarian Rightest  
> agenda. The audience--mostly
> active/retired teachers/administrators who projected as being  
> vaguely liberal--ate Gatto's stuff up--without, perhaps, knowing  
> what it was.

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