ADHD in the new education

ADHD in the new education

by Jon Rappoport

May 12, 2014

“I learned twenty-four new things today at school,” the child said. “One right after the other. I felt so happy. My teacher told me I was learning accelerated. I wrote on my iPad. I saw pictures. I did group harmony. I added. I divided. I heard about architecture. The teacher said we were filled with wonder at the universe. We solved a problem. We’re all together. I ate cheese. A factory makes cheese.”

The new education is ADHD.

It’s a method of teaching that surrenders ground on each key concept, deserting it before it’s firmly fixed in the mind of the student.

It hops around from idea to idea, because parents, teachers, administrators, students, departments of education, and educational publishers have given up on the traditional practice of repetition.

Repetition was old-world. For decades, even centuries, the time-honored method of instruction was: introduce an idea or concept or method, and then provide numerous examples the student had to practice, solve, and demonstrate with proficiency.

There was no getting around it. If the student balked, he failed.

There were no excuses or fairy tales floated to explain away the inability of the student to carry out the work.

Now, these days, if you want to induce ADHD, teach a course in which each new concept is given short shrift. Then pass every student on to the next grade, because it’s “humane.”

Think of it this way. Suppose you want to climb the sheer face of a high rock. You know nothing about climbing. You engage an instructor. He teaches you a little bit about ropes and spikes and handholds. He briefly highlights each aspect and then skips to the next.

So later…while you’re falling five hundred feet to the ravine below, you can invent stories about why the experiment didn’t work out.

Since the advent of organized education on the planet, there has been one way of teaching young children…until recently. Explain a new idea, produce scores of examples of that idea, and get the students to work on those examples and come up with the right answers.

Subtraction, division, decimals, spelling, reading—it all works the same basic way.

For the last hundred years or so, however, we’ve seen the gradual intrusion of Teacher ADHD.

School text ADHD.

Not enough examples. Not enough exercises.

Education has nothing to do with “improving the self-esteem” of the student. It has nothing to do with telling children they’re valuable. And it certainly has nothing to do with trying to embed social values and team spirit in children.

No matter how many fantasies educators spin, schools can’t replace parents.

If what I’m writing here seems cruel and uncaring…look at the other side of the picture. Look at what happens when a student emerges from school with a half-baked, “dumbed-down” education.

He can sort of read. He can sort of write. He sort of understands arithmetic. He tries to skate through the rest of his life. He fakes it. He adopts a front to conceal the large territory of what he doesn’t know.

He certainly can’t think straight. Give him three ideas in succession and he’s lost. He goes on overload.

He operates on association. You say A and he goes to G right away. You go back to A and he responds with R. He’s up the creek without a paddle.

That’s what’s cruel.

Forty years ago, I was on the verge of landing a lucrative job with a remedial education company. The owner gave me a lesson plan and told me to write a sample program.

I did. He looked at it and said, “There are too many examples and exercises here. You have to move things along faster.”

I told him the students would never comprehend the program that way. They had to work on at least 20 exercises for each new concept.

He was shocked. “That’s not how it’s done now,” he said.

“Oh,” I said, “you mean now the student and teacher both fake it?”

And that was the end of that.

Several years ago, I explained much of what’s in this article to a sociologist at a US university. His response: “Children are different now. They don’t have patience. There are too many distractions. We have to operate from a new psychology.”

I asked him what that psychology was.

“Children are consumers. They pick and choose. We have to accommodate them.”

While I was laughing at his assessment, he capped his display of wisdom with this: “There is no longer a division between opinion and fact.”


I know all about how the Carnegie and Rockefeller Foundations torpedoed education in America. But their major effort was cutting off teachers and students from the history of the nation and the meaning of individual freedom.

What I’m talking about here is a different perversion. The unhinging of the young mind from any semblance of accomplishment and continuity. This goes far beyond the agenda of outfitting children to be worker-drones in a controlled society.

This is the induction of confusion and despair about what used to be called thinking. This is the imprinting of “gaps” that make it very hard for a person to operate, even as a drone.

In addition, seed children with all sorts of debilitating psychiatric drugs, and you have a profound mess that only dedicated parents can undo, one child at a time.

People may wish it weren’t so, but that doesn’t change the facts of the matter.

The upside is, when you explain a concept to a child, and you then take him through a great many exercises designed to help him understand that concept, he’ll achieve a victory.

When you see the lights go on in his mind, it’s very satisfying.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at

11 comments on “ADHD in the new education

  1. False merit is the new education!

  2. This is so true. I have a topic that I can’t quite articulate. Maybe you can. I’m annoyed with all of the stories about schools throwing away lunches because lunch accounts are in the red. There’s been several in the past months. I’m trying to sort out why school funding is routinely based on free and reduced lunch plans. Parents are mad when their children are not forwarded free lunch. I don’t get it. As a mom, I’ve joined my children regularly for lunch. We pack. It’s simply amazing to sit & watch the majority of the kids throw their entire lunch in the trash. Many get this free lunch on our tax dollars. I wouldn’t eat the lunch either…it’s gross.. So why are we paying for a huge amount of children to get a free or reduced, gross lunch, to throw away daily. Then we use their stats to decide on education funding.

  3. Nick says:

    My question is why? If imprinting “gaps” make it very hard for a person to operate, even as a drone, then this suggests that the agenda changed at some point. I simply can’t see how a dysfunctional population serves any purpose.

    • Ryan AP says:

      One idea is that if the workforce is moving toward near-complete automation then an incapacitated society will have minimal means to unionize against. Certainly, if they can’t even recognize that this is happening, much less extrapolate into the future about the negative impact this will have on their lives, then the transition could ease along much more smoothly.

    • Cousin of THE BEARD says:

      I think what Ryan AP is trying to say is that the people who have these gaps will be less able to question authority because they will not have been taught how to think. They will not have learned to observe and process information, which means that they will simply do as they are told.

  4. Nick I have the same feeling, but for sure it will be great for those who can spend more time with their family.

  5. OzzieThinker says:

    Disagree here, Jon.

    That system didn’t work before and it is largely responsible for your ADHD fantasy. All that’s happened is things have moved surreal without allowing artists to prevaricate. We live in the age of mediocrity which is the resolve of disillusioned ignorance and that’s the problem.

    • Ryan AP says:

      How is which system responsible exactly? How did things become surreal/disconnected from reality without a major fight against? Were artists not allowed to prevaricate or did gaps in their ability to draw logical conclusions leave them without an awareness of the option to even try? What defines mediocrity and how were people herded toward it so easily? Where did mass ignorance stem from and how does it go unnoticed up to the extent that it assumes completion? I feel like this article actually attempts to explain your over simplified summary of the real problem.

      • OzzieThinker says:

        Firstly, the empirical tables are crock of theoretical nonsense. Students have always been brainwashed and expected to regurgitate crap by rote. As for art, clearly you do not understand its history. Just about all talent has been ostracised by the pack for breaking rules only to be come the trend settlers of the future. The establishment is pretty much always unrepentant in its blood-sucking of ideas – processed for the mediocre.

        All that’s happened today is lessons have become so surreal, there is no question the j[i]st about the whole “education system” is based on bullshit, at worst, or profiling the mediocre, at best. Though, I fail to find it in Jon’s article, the “shift” – if there is a shift has been to put “reason” on the slippery slope, encouraging students to rely on the system to tell them “how things are”, because the “surreal nature of everything” is “too confusing” for “normal”, “decent”, mediocre people. That, if anything, is all that’s changed.

        But have normal people ever been able to “understand” Einstein or his notable predecessors?

      • Cousin of THE BEARD says:

        There was a major fight. Our current system of “educating” our children was founded upon the “Prussian model” of education then utilized in Germany and implemented as “free” public schools in Boston, Massachusetts in 1821. After finding that parents were not willing to send their children to schools they considered inferior, the state of Massachusetts sent in the state militia to force the parents to send their children to school. He who controls the guns makes the rules?

        In the late 1700s and early 1800s, between 95 and 99% of our adult population considered itself literate. Keep in mind, “literate” for them meant being able to read and understand a book like, say, the King James Bible or “Last of the Mohicans” (both rated at 12th grade reading difficulty). Parents, rightly, did not want that level of success to be tampered with. However, threats of violence and imprisonment (and imprisonment is still a viable threat in relation to what the government calls truancy) and a now-decades-long history of public education, we have a large majority of people in our country who cannot perceive education as anything except so-called traditional learning. And it has had major unfortunate consequences. In 1941, our literacy rate was approximately 96%. This meant that, in a test designed by the US government to weed out unsuitable military candidates, a full 4% of them could not read well enough to understand basic instructions, particularly life-saving safety instructions. By the beginning of the Korean War, less than a decade later, this 4th grade proficiency test could only be passed by 81% of applicants. By the Vietnam Conflict, approximately a decade after the Korean War, the exact same test was passed by only 73% of test takers.

        The Prussian Model of education was designed on purpose to separate children from the religious teachings of their parents (the statement of the time–not my wording) and place them in a situation in which they would learn to be good followers of the state. It was never designed to provide a thorough and comprehensive education. But, with the violence of its implementation in the United States and the continued threat of imprisonment, implementation has been successful and, unfortunately, the model works as designed for most students. And, should you not believe me regarding the threat of imprisonment, look up the compulsory schooling laws for your state. I would imagine that compulsory schooling starts about age 8, earlier if your family is considered low income, and continues until at least age 16. Where I live, a child of a low income family may be required to begin schooling at age 4. Now, I realize that some folks will say that this is because these children have a greater struggle to “catch up with” their peers, but as a former teacher, I can confidently state that the system would is less effective at preparing these kids to learn than creating a situation in which their parents did not have to work 70 hour weeks to make a living wage–thus freeing up some of their time to actually parent.

        Ok. Time to step down off the soapbox and let somebody else squawk.

  6. sylphsandcloudships says:

    Thank you! Again! You really put everything so precisely. Great work!

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