Rockefeller Domination of Education

In the early 20th century both the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations were donating large sums of money to education and the social sciences. They supported, in particular, the National Education Association. By way of grants, they spent millions of dollars, money which was used to radically bend the traditionalist education system toward a new system that favored standardized testing over critical thinking, toward “scientific management” in schools. This was part of a calculated plan to make the schooling system benefit corporate America, at the expense of the American school child. Powerful foundations with private interests, such as the Ford Foundation, continue to support, and thereby influence the policy of, the NEA to this day.

Additionally, an unprecedented U.S. Congressional investigation into tax-exempt foundations identified the Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations engagement in an agenda for vast population control. Norman Dodd, Research Director for the Congressional Committee, found this statement in the archives of the Carnegie endowment:

“The only way to maintain control of the population was to obtain control of education in the U.S. They realized this was a prodigious task so they approached the Rockefeller Foundation with the suggestion that they go in tandem and that the portion of education which could be considered as domestically oriented be taken over by the Rockefeller Foundation and that portion which was oriented to International matters be taken over by the Carnegie Endowment.”

The impact of promoting standardized testing remains to this day. “No Child Left Behind,” enacted in 2001, enforced yet even more standardized testing on US school children. It requires that all government-run schools receiving federal funding administer a state-wide standardized test to all students annually. NCLB has been widely criticized, the most common criticism being that it reduces effective instruction and student learning by causing states to lower achievement goals.



Gary Allen. "The Power of Foundations":

John Gatto. Underground History of American Education. New York: Oxford Village Press, 2006.

“Duncan: Keeping No Child Left Behind is the ‘Height of Arrogance or Tone-Deafness.’” Huffington Post: