wanted to turn the clock back twenty years. Parents who
were eager that their children learn about the great American heritage through history were called reactionaries.
Those who asked for drill, phonetics, more emphasis on
the 3-R's, and teaching the alphabet, were looked upon
with suspicion or amusement.
At last, people knew that they had to accept Goslin's
program of education without questioning, and they were
furious. They rebelled. Mr. Goslin never admitted the real
areas of conflict. He claimed that his opposition favored
education for the aristocracy, whereas his supporters favored education for all.
To say that the fight over progressive education was a
conflict between the aristocracy and the common man was
a fabrication. There was no evidence to support such an
idea. This was not a class struggle. Yet, by his own definition, Willard Goslin set the stage for the class struggle
between the aristocracy and the common man; he divided
the people of Pasadena by using the class approach.
Besides stressing the need for eliminating inequalities,
the Goslin program over-emphasized discrimination. Race
and class consciousness was first created and then race
feeling was agitated. There is voluminous evidence to
show that this radical human-relations program was nationally sponsored.
To the average man, race and class agitation is a
crime against society. To the social planners it was essential in order to effect change.
In spite of the swelling tide of dissatisfaction, Mr. Goslin
stunned the people by asking for a 50 per cent tax increase
for the elementary district on April 12, 1950. For months
the superintendent had ridden roughshod over the people.
Now he dared to ask for more money to support his
roughshod tactics. If he had scanned the horizon he would
have seen smoke signals springing up all over the city. If
he had read the signals correctly, he would have known
that he had pressed the people too far, and that this was
not the time to call for an election.
The past history of Pasadena must have made Willard
Goslin confident of success because there never had been
a school tax defeat. In 1948, a few months after Mr. Goslin
came to Pasadena, a $5,150,000 school bond issue passed
by a majority of almost 6 to 1. What possible reason
could there be to suspect a tax failure in 1950?
The majority of the people in Pasadena agreed that
a tax increase was needed. This was a period of inflation.
Costs were steadily rising. Teachers' salaries had to be
adjusted to meet the higher cost of living. More teachers
and more facilities had to be provided. These were facts.
Every one in Pasadena had to face them whether they
voted Yes or No.
The people had to take these facts and weigh them
against the threat that Willard Goslin brought to the
schools. If they supported the tax, they would be voting
in favor of continuing to support a program of education
that had created misunderstanding between teachers and
parents, and conflict between races.
As the people weighed the need of the tax against the
threat, they knew that they must defeat the tax. This was
not an easy decision. Many people felt that by voting
against the tax they would deprive their children of necessities for a school year. Many were angry and ashamed
to defeat a tax so obviously needed; but there was no
other way. If they could have had an election to pass on
Willard Goslin, it would not have been necessary to defeat
the tax. But the only machinery given to the voters
through which they could make a majority protest was
the tax election.
On June 2, 38 per cent of the voters (32,242), an unprecedented turnout, swarmed to the election booths in
Pasadena. In the secrecy of the voting booth 22,210 individuals stamped their disapproval of the Goslin administration. The tax increase failed by a majority of 2 to 1.
If Pasadena had abolished the majority vote in favor
of group dynamics with its accompanying consensus, as
advocated by Mr. Goslin and his associates, there would
have been no election and the tax increase would have
passed. It was the majority vote that opposed him. This
should be a warning against group dynamics and the
group process as taught in Pasadena.
The people in Pasadena voted No for the same reason
that the founders of this country overthrew British control — "No taxation without representation." Willard Goslin
denied the people the right to representation in their
schools; therefore, the people defeated the tax.
Aftkk the tax failure, Mr. Goslin should have conceded
victory and worked cooperatively to adjust the school
program to meet the people's demands. There was n"
evidence of such cooperation.
Progressive education is based on the philosophy "
pragmatism, i.e., no absolute truth. A thing is true only f°'
the moment in which it is useful. Under pragmatism then
would be no permanent religious doctrines or moral stand'
ards. However, America was founded on moral values. 'fl
the past we were taught moral principles, love of country'
that honesty is the best policy and anything less th*
honesty is wrong in the sight of God, that man was ml"'
for eternal destiny, that man should look to himself 'c'
salvation and not to the state, and that courage, inti"'
gence, and hard work should be rewarded.
Exponents of progressive education claim that cofflfl
tition is a warping influence on a child, and they opPoS,
it. But competition is a basic condition of human life Iin
cannot be abolished.
Progressive education talks about the individual. D1-
stresses conformity with the crowd. It offers no rew;"'
for excellence and no moral standard for young pe"l'
to hang onto.
Criticism of communistic influence was contained .
tt letter submitted by the School Development Con"c
(an organization which opposed Goslin). In the '>'"
they expressed fear of the Columbia cult and the ]'
Dewey philosophy. They pointed out that certain te;,,
books and audio-visual material were slanted. Thev' si"!
"As the University of California president, Dr. R0^
Cordon Sproul, stated, the struggle between commu"11'
and American democracy is not a debate, but war- .
found, and we are sure, that the majority of teacher* I
our public schools are excellent teachers as well as 6*J
lent Americans. But an instructor or administrative V
member or civilian aide who follows the Communist H
certainly lias no 'right' to employment or continued se**
ill a public institution of the United States."
1 ins letter brought Mr. Goslin face to face with the f^J
that had been harassing many Pasadena citizens ''"if
long time. He should have been ready with an ;i'lSV\ J
If he had been a wise administrator he would have <fl
this opportunity to remove suspicion of his administra"
Facts Forum News, April-
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