The experts mean well, but a centralized [government school] system cannot possibly have that degree of personal concern for each individual child that we have as parents. The centralization produces deadening uniformity, it destroys the experimentation that is a fundamental source of progress. What we need to do is to enable parents, by vouchers or other means, to have more say about the school which their child goes to, a public school or a private school, whichever meets the need of the child best. That will inevitably give them also more say about what their children are taught and how they are taught. Market competition is the surest way to improve the quality and promote innovation in education as in every other field. . . . [Under the current system] [a]nybody who wants to send his child to a non-public school has to pay twice: once in the form of taxes and once in the form of tuition. William Bennett [asserts
that the Founders of the United States] . . . believed "that government has a
responsibility to ... help educate citizens about right and wrong." To me, that
is a totalitarian view opening the road to thought control and would have been
utterly unacceptable to the Founders. I do not believe, and neither did they,
that it is the responsibility of government to tell free citizens what is right
and wrong. That is something for them to decide for themselves. Government is a
means to enable each of us to pursue our own vision in our own way so long as we
do not interfere with the right of others to do the same. In the words of the
Declaration of Independence, "all Men are ... endowed by their Creator with
certain unalienable Rights. That among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit
of Happiness. That to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men,
deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed." In my view,
Justice Louis Brandeis was a "true friend of freedom" when he wrote, "Experience
should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's
purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel
invasions of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty
lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without
Dr. Milton and Rose Friedman
The recipients of the 2006 Quaqua Elijah Award are Rose Friedman and her late husband, Dr. Milton Friedman. The Friedmans are honored for their profound pioneering contribution to the world-wide intellectual, economic, and political movement seeking educational choice and alternative education.
Dr. Milton Friedman was born July 31, 1912, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the fourth and last child and first son of Sarah Eszter (Landau) and Jeno Saul Friedman. Dr. Friedman’s parents were Jewish immigrants born in Carpatho-Ruthenia (a province of Austria-Hungary that later became part of inter-war Czechoslovakia and then the Soviet Union) who both entered the United States during their teens and then met in New York City. The young Milton was raised in Rahway, N.J, where his mother ran a small retail dry goods store and his father pursued mostly unsuccessful jobbing ventures. The Friedman family was poor and in a constant state of financial crisis, but the family atmosphere was warm and supportive.
Like his older sisters, Milton attended public elementary and secondary schools. He graduated from Rahway High School in 1928, just before his 16th birthday. Despite his father’s death when Milton was only fifteen years old, Milton gained admission and a competitive academic scholarship to Rutgers University. Through a combination of scholarships, summer jobs, waiting tables, and clerking in a retail store, Milton supported himself until age twenty, when he graduated from Rutgers in 1932 with the equivalent of a double major in mathematics and economics.
Two faculty members in the Rutgers Economics Department, Arthur Burns and Homer Jones, became life-long mentors to Milton Friedman and successfully recommended him for a graduate scholarship at the University of Chicago Economics Department for the 1932-33 year. There Milton Friedman met a fellow economics student, Rose Director, and they were married six years later. Milton Friedman completed an M.A. in 1933 from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in 1946 from Columbia University. During his life he would receive honorary degrees from eighteen different colleges and universities.
Milton Friedman went to Washington, D.C., to work with the National Resources Committee in 1935 and help design a large consumer budget study. His subsequent job was at the National Bureau of Economic Research, where he assisted with a study of professional income and co-authored a book about the monopolistic effects of professional licensing schemes (medical doctors, but many of the ideas also apply to government licensing of schools and school teachers). His affiliation with the Bureau would continue until 1981. From 1940-41 he was visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin (in later years he would also be a visiting professor at Columbia University, U.C.L.A., and the University of Hawaii). From 1941 to 1943 he worked as Principal Economist at the Division of Tax Research, U.S. Treasury Department, on wartime tax policy and began to think about the informational role of price mechanisms. From 1943-45 he was Associate Director, Statistical Research Group in the Division of War Research at Columbia University, working as a mathematical statistician focused on problems of weapon design, military tactics, and metallurgical experiments.
In their very early careers both Milton and Rose embraced aspects of the New Deal and Keynesian economics. Milton Friedman helped implement such measures as the payroll withholding tax to help support an economic machine shaped by war-time imperatives and central planning. Experience and further study, however, quickly led to a dramatic shift in the Friedmans’ philosophical direction. The Friedmans found themselves particularly persuaded by conservative Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek, an outspoken opponent of all socialist policies, who in 1944 wrote the influential book Road to Serfdom. Dr. Friedman associated himself with Heyek’s efforts and played a key role in the formation of Hayek's influential Mont Pelerin Society, which first met in 1947.
In 1945, Milton Friedman worked for one year at the University of Minnesota, and in 1946 he took a faculty position at the University of Chicago to teach economic theory. Friedman and the University of Chicago began a long-term intellectual and professional relationship that would impact not only the economics program but also the University’s graduate business school and law school. Dr. Friedman began to study the role of money in the business cycle and founded the "Workshop in Money and Banking" ("Chicago Workshop"). He is now widely regarded as the leader of the Chicago School of monetary economics, which stresses the importance of the quantity of money as an instrument of government policy and as a determinant of business cycles and inflation. In 1950, Dr. Friedman spent an academic quarter in Paris serving as a consultant in connection with the Marshall Plan and the effort to rebuild the European economy. By 1951 Friedman had won the prestigious John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association, which honors economists under age forty for outstanding achievement. From 1953-54, he was a Fulbright Visiting Fellow at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge University. From 1957-58 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.
For her part, Rose Director Friedman is believed to have been born to a prominent Jewish family during the last week of December 1911, in Staryi Chortoryisk, White Russia (her birth records have been lost). She attended Reed College and then transferred to the University of Chicago where she received a Bachelor of Philosophy degree. She continued her training in economics at the University of Chicago, completing all work for a doctorate in economics except for writing a dissertation. In her youth she co-authored articles espousing the Keynesian theory of consumption, but like Milton subsequently changed her philosophy.
Rose was on the staff of the National Resources Committee (Washington, D.C.), working on a nationwide study of consumer purchases, and continued work on that study at the Bureau of Home Economics. She then joined the staff of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, where she worked until she married and moved to New York. In New York she was on the staff of the National Bureau of Economic Research until the Friedmans briefly moved to Wisconsin in 1940. Since then, she has continued economic research on her own, publishing a pamphlet entitled Poverty -- Definition and Perspective (American Enterprise Institute, 1965), and a series of twelve articles entitled "Milton Friedman -- Husband and Colleague" in the Oriental Economist (May 1976 to August 1977)(which was also published as a book in Japanese). She also received an honorary LL.D. in December 1986 from Pepperdine University. Milton and Rose had two children, a son and a daughter.
During the course of his seventy-four year career, Milton Friedman proved to be a prolific author and editor who turned out multiple articles on an annual basis. It is not possible to list or discuss all of his writing here, but the following works constitute his most important career contributions to the field of economics: Income from Independent Professional Practice (with Simon Kuznets 1945, reissued 1954); “The Utility Analysis of Choices Involving Risk,” The Journal of Political Economy, 56(4):279–304 (with L.J. Savage, Aug. 1948); "The Marshallian Demand Curve," 57 Journal of Political Economy 463-95 (Dec. 1949); “The Expected Utility Hypothesis and the Measurability of Utility,” 60(6) The Journal of Political Economy 463–474 (Dec. 1952); "On the Methodology of Positive Economics" in Essays in Positive Economics 1-43 (1953, reissued 2000) ; Studies in the Quantity Theory of Money (as editor, 1956); A Theory of the Consumption Function, The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays (with A. J. Schwartz, 1957); The Demand for Money: Some Theoretical and Empirical Results (1959); Price Theory: A Provisional Text (1962); A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 (with Anna J. Schwartz, 1963) ; “The Relative Stability of Monetary Velocity and the Investment Multiplier in the United States, 1897–1958,” in Stabilization Policies 165 (E. Cary Brown et al., ed.)(with David Meiselman, 1963); Money and Business Cycles (with Anna J. Schwartz, 1963); “A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis,” in Milton Friedman's Monetary Framework: A Debate with His Critics 1-62 (Robert J. Gordon, ed.,1974); “The Role of Monetary Policy,” 58(1) The American Economic Review 1–17 (Mar. 1968); The Optimum Quantity of Money and Other Essays (1969); Monetary vs. Fiscal Policy (with Walter W. Heller 1969); Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods (with Anna J. Schwartz, 1970); "A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis," Journal of Public Economics (1970) ; An Economist's Protest: Columns on Political Economy (1972); There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch (1975); Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom, Their Relation to Income, Prices, and Interest Rates, 1867–1975 (with Anna J. Schwartz, 1981) ; Milton Friedman’s Monetary Framework: A Debate With His Critics (1981); Monetarist Economics (1991); Money Mischief: Episodes in Monetary History (1992). A discussion of all of the unique contributions made to the field of economics by Dr. Friedman during his career would (and did) require volumes of exposition. We will hazard only a very brief overview here.
Dr. Friedman's most prominent contribution was to create an influential modern formulation of the quantity theory of money, including the short and long-term relationships between money supply, consumption, output, price levels, and inflation. As an outgrowth of his theory, he asserted that the Great Depression was largely caused by government mismanagement instead of any failure of the free-enterprise system. His ideas about currency markets and exchange rates, although eventually superseded, helped stimulate debate and creative new macroeconomic ideas within the economist intellectual community. Dr. Friedman also provided an important critique of the Phillips curve and championed the concept of the natural rate of unemployment.
Dr. Friedman considered the permanent income hypothesis to be his best scientific work. His theory says that the key determinant of consumption is an individual's real wealth, including “permanent” income from physical assets (real and personal property) and human intellectual capital (education and experience), not transitory current income fluctuations. Consumers estimate long-term “permanent” lifetime income and then establish their consumption patterns based upon some proportion of that expected income. Low income earners have an above-average propensity to consume, while high income earners have a higher transitory element to their income and a lower than average propensity to consume.
Virtually every introductory college economics course includes Dr. Friedman’s ideas regarding economic epistemology and methodology. He argued that the value of any economic theory should be judged by its ability to accurately predict outcomes from any given set of observational input variables. In the world of economics, therefore, descriptive realism (e.g. the precise biological processes by which a particular species of tree orients its leaves to the sun) is secondary to accurate predictive final outcomes (e.g. the fact that tree behavior serves to orient leaves to obtain maximum surface exposure to sunlight). Moreover, according to Dr. Friedman, economics should be treated as a science and should not cede objectivity to the inclusion of subjective value judgments. These epistemological ideas are of particular importance to alternative educators, because alternative educators emphasize that the value of their economic activity is objectively measured by the benefits conferred upon student and family consumers. For example, home education is best assessed by the above-average student performance actually produced in hard data instead of by inferior student performance incorrectly predicted by government educators on the basis of subjective ideological bias. As other examples, if actual scientific studies fail to reveal any correlation between class size and student performance, or any correlation between school budget and student performance, or any deficiency in home education student performance compared to government school student performance, there is no credible basis for public policy makers to assume that revenues taxed from home educators in order to support larger budgets and smaller class sizes for government schools will result in better student performance for anyone.
During the 1950s and early 1960s, the Friedmans first began to champion the cause of educational freedom and educational choice. They wrote a book called Capitalism and Freedom (1962) (reissued in 1982) that advocated minimizing governmental interference in the free market in order to enhance political and social freedom. Among other things, the book advocated school choice and suggested the concept of vouchers. "What is needed in America is a voucher of substantial size available to all students, and free of excessive regulations." But even after taking this position, the Friedmans’ views had not fully evolved. Dr. Friedman later explained: “I used to argue that I could justify compulsory schooling on the ground of external effects. But then I discovered from work that E.G. West and others did, that before compulsory schooling something over 90 percent of people got schooled. . . . In Capitalism and Freedom we [the Friedmans] came out on the side of favoring compulsory schooling and in Free to Choose we came out against it.”
One of the Friedmans’ contributions to the educational debate during this period was, in effect, to reintroduce, systematize, and popularize ideas increasingly similar to those advocated by the Founders of the United States such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Paine. In Dr. Friedman’s The Role of Government in Education (1955), the Friedmans concluded that government financing of primary and secondary schooling is entirely consistent with private administration of schooling, and that such a combination is both more equitable and more efficient than the existing linkage of financing with administration. In order to ameliorate the existing system of perverse financial incentives in government education, the Friedmans suggested in Capitalism and Freedom that one way to separate financing and administration is to give parents who choose to send their children to private schools "a sum equal to the estimated cost of educating a child in a government school, provided that at least this sum was spent on education in an approved school....The interjection of competition would do much to promote a healthy variety of schools. It would do much, also, to introduce flexibility into school systems. Not least of its benefits would be to make the salaries of school teachers responsive to market forces."
Beginning in the early 1960s, the Friedmans’ interests were drawn to the public arena. Consequently, the Friedmans’ public policy ideas emphasized the preservation and extension of individual freedom. Dr. Friedman became a Director for Aldine Publishing Company from 1961-76. He served as a 1964 economic adviser to Senator Goldwater’s presidential campaign and as a 1968 economic adviser for Richard Nixon's presidential campaign. From September 1966 to June 1984, Dr. Friedman wrote a triweekly column on current affairs for Newsweek magazine and worked at times as a Contributing Editor. Many of his columns are reprinted in Bright Promises, Dismal Performance: An Economist’s Protest (1983). Throughout their long and distinguished public careers, the Friedmans were steadfastly unassuming, approachable, open-minded, dignified, candid, congenial, principled, analytically rigorous, and intellectually honest. This set of traits that allowed them to be a persuasive catalyst for transcendent, profound, long-term, international societal change.
Dr. Friedman considered his most important policy achievement to be the end of military conscription, which the United States abandoned in favor of a voluntary professional military in 1973. Dr. Friedman pushed for the change while serving from 1969-70 on the Advisory Commission on an All-Volunteer Force (“Gates Commission”) and as a Member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellows from 1971-73. He believed that the military should normally be constituted of professionals who voluntarily joined because career opportunities and personal fulfillment associated with military service. When General William Westmoreland complained that he did not want to command an "army of mercenaries," Friedman famously responded, "General, would you rather command an army of slaves?" The Friedmans have also consistently opposed the related concept of “service learning”, a more recent “civilian” form of conscription based upon the notion that the governmental can invoke the military draft or compulsory school attendance laws to force students into involuntary servitude associated with government-sponsored "mandatory community service" projects purportedly designed to further the public good.
Dr. Milton Friedman was named a Member of the Advisory Committed on Monetary Statistics, Federal Reserve System, in 1974. Shortly thereafter, Dr. Friedman was honored with the 1976 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, "for his achievements in the fields of consumption analysis, monetary history and theory and for his demonstration of the complexity of stabilization policy." During the course of his career, Dr. Friedman served as president of the American Economic Association and the Western Economic Association. In addition to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, Dr. Friedman would become a member of five professional economics societies and eight elected academic societies. Besides the awards explicitly mentioned herein, Dr. Friedman has also received seventeen other major awards and honors from organizations all over the word. Dr. Friedman also served as an adviser, director, or trustee for numerous private and non-profit organizations.
In 1977, Dr. Friedman retired from active teaching at the University of Chicago, but retained a research relationship with the institution. He was a Visiting Scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco from January to March of 1977. He continued to work, research, and write at the Friedman home in Vermont, near Dartmouth College, and spend winter as a Senior Research Fellow at the Hoover Institute of Stanford University with a nearby home in San Francisco. Eventually the Friedmans settled year-round in San Francisco, and Dr. Friedman continued to research, write, and lecture with the Hoover Institute until 2006.
The Friedmans then participated in the creation of Free to Choose, a series of ten one-hour PBS programs that first appeared on PBS (Public Broadcasting System) in January 1980. Among other things, Dr. Friedman advocated educational choice and parental empowerment:
Transcripts of the final documentaries were converted into the best-selling non-fiction book of 1980, entitled Free to Choose: A Personal Statement. Free to Choose would ultimately be translated into fourteen different languages. Rose later wrote that the experience "seems like something of a fairy tale.” “Who,” she reflected, “would have dreamed that after retiring from teaching, Milton would be able to preach the doctrine of human freedom to many millions of people in countries around the globe through television, millions more through our book based on the television program, and countless others through videocassettes."
Dr. Friedman served as an unofficial adviser to presidential candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980 and as a member of President Reagan's Economic Policy Advisory Board from 1981-88. Among other things, he has championed the concept of a balanced budget amendment and the spending cap to constrain government spending, the Dutch auction procedure for selling government securities, elimination of wage–price controls, and elimination of government monopolies. Dr. Friedman believed that the “fundamental threat to human freedom” is excessive “government intervention” that derives “from some individuals within the community trying to take advantage of the concentrated power of the government to benefit themselves and provide themselves with special privileges and monopolies.” One of his most famous maxims was that "A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both." The Friedmans also participated in a three-part PBS television series called Tyranny of the Status Quo and published a complementary book with the same title in 1984. The Japanese government awarded Dr. Friedman the Grand Cordon of the First Class Order of the Sacred Treasure in 1986. In 1988, Dr. Friedman was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science.
Especially during the mid-1970s through the 1990s, the Friedmans took their message of economic and educational freedom to the entire world through visits, lectures, and television. They reached out not only to intellectuals, business leaders, and policy makers, but to ordinary citizens. Some of the nations included Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Eastern Europe, Estonia, Hong Kong, Iceland, India, Japan, Netherlands, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Dr. Friedman worked with Michael Walker of the Fraser Institute to host a series of conferences from 1986 to 1994. This eventually resulted in a methodology and annual report providing measurements and data concerning Economic Freedom in the World. The annual report provides data for peer-reviewed studies and influences policy in various nations.
Dr. Friedman did not believe that the government should be viewed as a font of moral authority or moral education. In a Wall Street Journal editorial dated September 7, 1989, he rebuked William Bennett:
Anyone familiar with the history of government education--and the history of alternative education--is hard-pressed to dismiss Friedman’s observation.
Dr. Friedman authored numerous books and articles relevant to educational choice, intellectual freedom, school reform, and other concepts of importance to alternative educators. Aside from the works discussed separately herein, the most important writings of this kind include the following: "A Free Market in Education," 3 Public Interest 107 (1966); "The Freedom to Listen," 29(28) Human Events 12 (1969); "The market v. the bureaucrat," 22(19) National Review 507 (1970); "Social responsibility: A subversive doctrine," 17(34) National Review 721 (1965); "The Fragility of Freedom," 16(4) Brigham Young University Studies 561 (1976); "An Interview with Milton Friedman," 38(46) Human Events 14 (1978); Milton Friedman speaks (1980); Tyranny of the status quo (with Rose Friedman 1984); Politics and tyranny : lessons in the pursuit of freedom (with David J. Theroux 1984); Politics and Tyranny: lessons in the pursuit of freedom (1985); "School Vouchers and the Textbook Controversy," 46(40) Human Events 10 (1986); "Free Markets and Free Speech," 10(1) Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 1 (1987); "Service, Citizenship, and Democracy: Civic Duty as an Entailment of Civil Right: Comment," in W. M. Evers, National service: Pro and con 44-48 (1990); "Vouchers No threat to Church State Split," Wall Street Journal (Dec 31, 1991), at A7; Why government is the problem (1993); “Public Schools: Make Them Private,” Cato Institute Paper No. 23 (June 23, 1995); "Public Schools: Make Them Private," 5(3) Education Economics 341-44 (1997); "Arizona's new schools: Hard lesson learned," Wall Street Journal (Jan 24, 1997), at A15; "Our backward schooling," 36(6) Across the Board 10 (with Rose Freidman) (1999); and "Why America Needs School Vouchers," Wall Street Journal (September 28, 2000), at A22.
In 1996, the Friedmans established the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation, which is based in Indianapolis and devoted to promoting parental choice in education. The Foundation publicly vows to achieve “improvement in the quality of the education available to children of all income and social classes in this nation, whether that education is provided in government or private schools or at home.” As Dr. Friedman once explained, “I think the performance of our school systems is disgraceful. I think roughly a quarter of the population never graduates high school. We have a lower level of literacy today than we had a hundred years ago. That's not despite, but because of the poor schools, particularly in low-income areas.” On another occasion he observed: “Any institution will tend to express its own values and its own ideas. Our public education system is a socialist institution. A socialist institution will teach socialist values, not the principles of private enterprise.” Support and opposition for school vouchers cuts across party and ideological lines, but the Friedmans' act of raising provocative questions about the causes of America's educational woes has been at least as beneficial as their effort to offer specific proposals for a remedy. Particularly from the standpoint of alternative educators, the increased public awareness generated by the Friedmans has conferred an independent tangible benefit by softening opposition to alternative education.
Adaptations of the Friedmans’ school choice concept were enacted in Milwaukee in 1990 and Cleveland in 1995. (Variations of the school choice or voucher concept also exist in Chile, Hong Kong, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and some other European nations.) Other locales, such as California with Tim Draper’s Proposition 38 in November 2000, considered but voted down school choice. The choice movement eventually led to a legal showdown before the United States Supreme Court. Opponents of a Cleveland school choice program alleged that the program violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because ninety-six percent of parents chose to use the opportunity scholarships (a form of tax-funded voucher) to help their children attend private religious schools. In a landmark decision, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), the Supreme Court upheld the program as constitutional. However, in Bush v. Holmes, 919 So.2d 392 (Fla. 2006), the Florida Supreme Court struck down a state Opportunity Scholarship Program on the ground that the school choice scheme violated "uniformity" clause of Florida's Constitution (article IX, section 1(a)): "Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools." In 2006, a large federal government voucher program was created for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina and proved to be a popular option. In 2007, Utah became the first state where a state legislature voted for a universal-access school choice program, but the legislation was defeated by referendum.
In what was a footnote to Dr. Milton Friedman’s life, but a major event for the Quaqua Society, Quaqua founder Daniel E. Witte had the opportunity to communicate with Dr. Friedman during Witte’s stay in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Friedman graciously reviewed a draft written plan for Quaqua and opined that it was a “splendid idea.” Dr. Friedman offered various insights about how to best ramp up the foundation which were, of course, carefully implemented.
Witte also had an opportunity for lively discussion with Dr. Friedman about the home-education movement from an economic point of view. As an open-minded intellectual provocateur who thrived on congenial debate, Dr. Friedman quite naturally chose to write to Witte that “There is no . . . major area in our lives in which we rely on do-it-yourself rather than the commercial division of labor.” Witte countered that home education was, in the venacular of Free to Choose, an "other means" by which parents could leverage "market competition" to achieve more control over "what their children are taught and how they are taught." Legal barriers to entry were also a consideration; experience had shown that many jurisdictions not currently receptive to vouchers from a political standpoint were willing to acknowledge the legally-protected status of home education. During the interchange that ensued, an eventual consensus seemed to emerge. Home education is a type of “self-made” service product. Economic theory predicts that “self-produced” products will occupy a niche feature in a modern economy that permits and favors the benefits of exchange derived from economic specialization. Thus, although home education continues to thrive and grow, economic theory predicts that home education is unlikely to supplant all (or perhaps even a majority share) of private schooling or government schooling economic activity.
However, because home education is extremely versatile and can serve as a substitute good characterized by relatively low entry barriers (other than artificial penalties imposed by any retrogressive laws that might apply), home education exerts a disproportionate impact upon the educational marketplace by strengthening the bargaining power that family consumers enjoy vis-à-vis educational institutions. Since home education makes it possible for family consumers to leave a government school at any time, the power of government schools to monopolistically impose curriculum or conditions offensive to local cultural morays and market preferences is greatly diminished even if the substitute option is rarely invoked. This "backstop" or "pressure valve" effect is present for the demographic majority and the demographic minorities at the same time, so that market forces provide an economic incentive for different groups to accommodate each other on a voluntary cost-benefit basis. Home education therefore benefits institutional student consumers by compelling government schools (and private schools) to be more responsive to local market preferences. Indeed, the home education pedagogical model actually allows some forms of private school to provide competition to public education through distance learning in places where a “brick-and-mortar” private institution could not exist because of sparse population or other impediments. From the standpoint of economic theory, the aforementioned effects explain why home education often attracts such fierce opposition and persecution from government schools and government monopolies. Direct loss of enrolled students to home education, though sometimes significant, is actually an effect of secondary concern to education monopolists.
In addition, since home education creates a market demand for certain goods and services, alternative education will likely continue to manifest a pronounced growth trend towards “outsourcing” of certain educational tasks and “hybrid” educational arrangements. (Dr. Friedman and Witte initially debated the extent to which (in Friedman’s words) “a proper competitive educational system . . . would reduce the size of the home schooling industry” or, conversely, support and reinforce the home education industry through innovative new support services and “hybrid” educational structures.) It seems likely that as knowledge accrues, expertise is refined, economies of scale are attained, and the market matures, alternative education will likely continue to attain greater efficiency, creativity, and effectiveness. Alternative education will also continue to function as a cauldron of independent economic innovation, pedagogical refinement, and objective performance measurement. In many respects, establishment educators have already been compelled to adopt some of the pedagogical and technological innovations first championed by alternative educators, such as curriculum customization, distance learning techniques, expanded (although not sufficient) student attendence choices, and more focus on practical ability instead of "seat time."
On November 16, 2006, Dr. Milton Friedman passed away at the age of 94 in San Francisco. But the intellectual, political, and cultural contribution that the Friedmans have made to alternative education and educational choice is profound and long-lasting. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger subsequently declared January 29, 2007 to be Milton Friedman Day. According to The Economist, Friedman "was the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century . . . possibly of all of it." Alan Greenspan stated "There are very few people over the generations who have ideas that are sufficiently original to materially alter the direction of civilization. Milton is one of those very few people."
The Friedmans’ 1998 book, entitled Two Lucky People: Memoirs, is a wonderful summary of their outstanding joint career. But the Friedmans’ success was not mere luck. Instead, they demonstrated the hard work, preparation, and boundless creativity needed to take full advantage of opportunities that eventually came their way. Both of them were immigrants who overcame poverty, intellectual orthodoxy, and occasional discrimination in order to achieve their goals. Although the Friedmans had many accomplishments, causes, and views, the Quaqua Society Elijah Award is specifically focused on lauding their efforts to champion efforts against conscription and “service learning” in education, identify economic arguments against compulsory attendance and government school monopolies, and spur an intellectual and political debate about the best way to put educational choice in the hands of parents and family consumers.
The Quaqua Society is delighted to honor the Friedmans and help alternative educators around the world appreciate the Friedmans’ vital historic contribution to our movement.
The Quaqua Society’s biographical sketch was developed with assistance from the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation. This assistance includes some information drawn from the Foundation’s own biographical sketches for Dr. Milton Friedman and Rose Friedman, from Dr. Milton Friedman’s autobiographical sketch, and from other biographical sketches based upon information shared by the Friedmans.
Caroline Cook Ball and Joseph Gordon Skelly
The Quaqua Society is honoring Caroline Cook Ball and her late husband, William Bentley Ball, Esq., along with Joseph G. Skelly, for their respective roles in helping to litigate the landmark case Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972), and to otherwise advance the interests of the alternative education community. Yoder changed the legal landscape for alternative education and enabled the subsequent modern home education movement to prosper in the United States.
In addition, Caroline Ball, Joe Skelly, and Joe's wife, Sheila Petulla Skelly, all continue to make ongoing contributions through service to their community, as described below.
William Bentley Ball, Esq. and Caroline Cook Ball
From a legal standpoint, the modern era of home education and alternative education began with the landmark United States Supreme Court decision Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972). William Ball was the lead litigator who successfully defended Jonas Yoder's family and thereby turned the legal tide that ran at the time against home education. For over three decades, Ball was a preeminent litigator in the fight for parental liberty, alternative education, and free religious exercise.
On Christmas Eve of 1968, William Ball fielded an urgent call from Dr. William C. Lindholm, a pastor with the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America. Government officials in Wisconsin had threatened the Old Order Amish family of Jonas Yoder with criminal prosecution because of religiously-motivated participation in Mennonite-based home education and alternative education. Lindholm was trying to find a way to help the Mennonites in general and the Yoders in particular.
Wisconsin's persecution of the Yoders was part of a larger multi-state campaign of cultural genocide designed to exterminate the Mennonite communities all across the Midwest, especially in Ohio, Kansas, Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Wisconsin. (Various Mennonite and Amish sects are part of an interrelated family of denominations who share a common historical heritage and doctrinal lineage. For convenience and brevity only, all Mennonite and Amish sects are collectively referred to herein as "Mennonites.") Mennonites had been subject to fines, imprisonment, forcible removal of children from their parents, seizure of farms and farm equipment, and other measures designed to force the Mennonite children into government schools. The ultimate aim was to coerce the Mennonite population into the economic arrangements preferred by the surrounding non-Mennonite populations. For about ten years just prior to the Yoder case, many Mennonites had been fleeing to open space in Wisconsin as virtual refugees in order to escape persecution in Iowa and other states only to encounter similar harassment by Wisconsin officials.
William Ball responded to Lindholm's Christmas-Eve entreaty and agreed to take the case. At the time, the legal prospects for the Yoders were bleak. Ever since the State v. Hoyt, 146 A. 170 (N.H. 1929) case, state courts had ignored the constitutional principles set forth in Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), and Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925). The United States Supreme Court had turned a blind eye to the resultant pattern of state-sponsored atrocities against alternative educators of all backgrounds. The Mennonites themselves had recently lost important state court cases very similar to Yoder in Ohio, Nebraska, Kansas, and other jurisdictions, and the United States Supreme Court had refused certiorari. Moreover, the Mennonite plight had simply not garnered the sympathies of the upper crust social circles in New York and Washington, D.C., who tended to favor the educational establishment. At the same time, the local Midwest press had virulently ridiculed the Mennonites and intensified the climate of bigotry.
Notwithstanding the tremendous obstacles, William Ball obtained a landmark decision in favor of the Mennonites and thereby initiated a long, grueling, gradual legal battle to restore the parental liberty, religious liberty, and choice in education originally intended by the Framers of the United States Constitution. Additional details about Mennonite history and the Yoder case can be found here.
Ball's varied experience, keen intellect, and personal traits uniquely prepared him for the daunting litigation challenge in Yoder. He was born in Rochester, New York, on October 16, 1916. Later he graduated from Western Reserve University in 1940. While a college student, he served in a 107th Cavalry Unit of the Ohio National Guard and performed his duties on horseback. Ball then served in combat with the U.S. Navy during World War II and eventually retired as a lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve.
After World War II, Ball obtained his law degree from Notre Dame in 1948. During his studies he was Editor-in-Chief for the law review. Ball then practiced corporate law in New York until 1955, first as an in-house attorney for W.R. Grace & Company and then subsequently in a similar capacity for Pfizer, Inc.
In 1955, Ball decided to devote his career to constitutional issues. He joined the faculty of the new Villanova University School of Law as a professor of constitutional law, where he met a law student named Joseph Skelly. In 1960 Ball became general counsel and executive director for the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference of bishops. By 1968 he had founded his own law firm, Ball & Skelly (later to become known as Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell) in Harrisburg Pennsylvania--to concentrate in litigation for religious freedom.
From 1967-68 onward, Bill Ball left an indelible influence upon constitutional jurisprudence in the United States. He was the Lead Counsel for numerous landmark cases, including: Lemon v. Kurtzman I, 403 U.S. 602 (1971); Lemon v. Kurtzman II, 411 U.S. 192 (1971); Sloan v. Lemon, 413 U.S. 825 (1973); Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972); Meek v. Pittenger, 421 U.S. 346 (1975); California v. Grace Brethren Church, 457 U.S. 393 (1982); Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983); Ohio Civil Rights Comm'n v. Dayton Schools, 477 U.S. 619 (1986); and Zobrest v. Catalina Foothills School District, 509 U.S. 1 (1993). He was also co-counsel for Board of Education v. Allen, 392 U.S. 236 (1968), and filed amicus curiae briefs for such cases as Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1 (1967); St. Martin Evangelical Lutheran Church v. South Dakota, 451 U.S. 772 (1981); Harris v. McRae, 448 U.S. 297 (1980); United States v. Lee, 455 U.S. 252 (1982); Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, 492 U.S. 490 (1990); Wheeler v. Barrera, 417 U.S. 402 (1974); and Wallace v. Jaffree, 472 U.S. 38 (1985).
Although his manner was always gentlemanly, courteous, measured, and prudent, Bill Ball never lacked the courage to stand up for his beliefs in the face of prominent opposition. He fought vigorously against Justice Harry Blackman in order to challenge various controversial constitutional doctrines such as the Lemon test and the Roe v. Wade approach to abortion, but even his fiercest opponents respected him personally. For his part, Justice Blackmun told a group of law students who had just observed Ball present an oral argument that they were "privileged to see one of the finest oralists this court has ever had, Mr. Ball of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania."
Nor was Ball afraid to counter perceived excesses emanating from any other portion of the political spectrum. As Judge Robert Bork and Justice Antonin Scalia mounted an ongoing effort to scuttle strict scrutiny protection for religious liberty and entirely eliminate any meaningful constitutional protection for parental liberty and educational choice, Ball spoke out vigorously in defense of Meyer v. State of Nebraska, 262 U.S. 390 (1923), Pierce v. Society of Sisters, 268 U.S. 510 (1925), and Wisconsin v. Yoder, 406 U.S. 205 (1972). Despite the concerted attempt of Judge Bork and Justice Scalia to directly overturn these precedents, all three cases still remain good law. And although Justice Scalia worked with Justice Stevens to subsequently strike down the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a statute enacted by Congress to restore the strict scrutiny test after Employment Division v. Smith, 494 U.S. 872 (1990), the efforts of Ball and many others resulted in a combination of federal and state provisions that now cumulatively operate to ensure strict scrutiny protection for religious liberty for most fact situations in most legal jurisdictions.
Bill Ball had an ability to work across cultural, political, racial, religious, and geographic boundaries in order to ensure sound law and policy. Although he was a staunch Roman Catholic and held many positions of responsibility within that community, Ball also spoke out in defense of Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Jews, Mennonites, Native Americans, and many others. He worked with diverse individuals in a very effective, practical way. Ball litigated dozens of federal and state cases in jurisdictions all across the country, fought for 1986 legislation in Pennsylvania to loosen compulsory education requirements so as to respect religious rights, advocated federal measures designed to protect religious liberty, testified before numerous congressional committees, and spoke out in favor of vouchers, educational choice, and alternative education. His efforts elicited both meaningful results and widespread respect.
Ball disliked elitism and the oppression of ordinary people. At the same time, he worked hard and expected excellence from both himself and his contemporaries. Ball criticized what he saw as a trend by Catholic educational institutions toward the lowering of standards, the acceptance of mediocrity, and the elimination of Catholic distinctiveness in order to pander for outside funding, prestige, and social acceptance. On one occasion Bill Ball was asked to chair a legal advisory board for the Catholic League. When told that other attorneys contacted for possible involvement had all reported they were too busy to help, Ball said, "Fine, I'll do it myself." Despite all of his other considerable professional commitments, Ball's example did the talking as he successfully served as a one-man committee.
Bill Ball was also a noted author of two books, numerous law review articles, scholarly papers, academic lectures, and popular articles. His focus on scholarly writing became most pronounced between 1993 and 1999. Of particular relevance to alternative educators is his Mere Creatures of the State?: Education, Religion, and the Courts (1994), a must-read book discussing the connection between anti-Catholicism, the history of American law, and religious liberty, and an earlier book entitled Freedom & Education: The Pierce Case Reconsidered (1978).
In addition to the items set forth above, Ball was at various time also a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great, a papal knighthood; a member of the publication committee for Crisis magazine; a participant in the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Council, the Christian Legal Society, and the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights; a Director and Vice President for the Harrisburg Symphony Association; a Life Member of American Law Institute; a Vice Chairman of the National Committee for Amish Religious Freedom; a member of the Judicial Nominating Committee for Pennsylvania; a member of the Westbury (NY) Board of Zoning Appeals; a member of the National Committee for Year of the Bible; a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Judicial Studies; a member of the Advisory Board for the Thomas J. White Foundation; a member of the Advisory Board for the Religious Freedom Reporter; and a member of the Advisory Board for the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. He received numerous honorary degrees and academic accolades. To the very end of his life, Bill Ball remained an energetic and inquisitive participant in civil and scholarly life.
Caroline Ball was born Caroline Cook in Norfolk, Virginia. Her father was a physician with the United States Navy. As a result, Caroline's "growing up years" were spent living with her family in various cities throughout the United States, and also for a period of time in Haiti. She attended many different schools along the way.
Caroline graduated from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she majored in sociology. Soon after college, she met Bill Ball, then a young naval officer, in Norfolk, Virginia. They were subsequently married in 1943. The rest of the war years were spent, as Caroline describes it, "following the ship." The Navy background was one factor that helped Bill and Caroline effectively understand and work with people of many different backgrounds.
After the war, Bill and Caroline moved to Indiana where Bill entered law school at the University of Notre Dame. During this same time, Bill had a fellowship teaching German in the undergraduate school, and Caroline worked as a receptionist in the Administration Offices at Notre Dame.
After living in the New York City and Philadelphia areas where Bill held various positions with W.R. Grace & Co, Pfizer, and Villanova Law School, Bill and Caroline settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, with their daughter, Ginny. Caroline became very involved in community activities and charitable endeavors, serving such capacities as the President of the Dauphin County Lawyers' Wives Association. She also played a very active role in helping Vietnamese refugees settle into their new way of life when they came to Harrisburg. Of course, she also provided essential support for Bill Ball's endeavors on behalf of alternative education, parental liberty, and religious liberty.
Caroline and Bill had, in Caroline words, "56 wonderful years of married life" before Bill's death on January 10, 1999, at the age of 82. She continues to reside in the Harrisburg area as does their daughter, Ginny Duncan, who holds two masters degrees and works with the deaf.
The Quaqua Society is pleased to honor Caroline Ball and her late husband William with the 2005 Quaqua Elijah Award, to recognize their profound contribution to the body of legal litigation, scholarship, legislation, and leadership needed for the preservation of parental liberty and alternative education.
The Quaqua Society also wishes to express appreciate to Joseph G. Skelly, Esq., for providing the biographical materials from which this tribute is derived.
Joseph Gordon Skelly and Sheila Petulla Skelly
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana, Joe began his pursuit of a career in law by enrolling at the Villanova University School of Law, Villanova, Pennsylvania. It was there that he first met the man who would eventually become his mentor and law partner, William Bentley Ball. Mr. Ball was Joe's constitutional law professor during his second year of classes. Soon thereafter, Mr. Ball left Villanova to move to Harrisburg, the capitol of Pennsylvania, to take the position of General Counsel and Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference ("PCC"), an organization then composed of the eight Roman Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania. Mr. Ball represented the PCC in civil issues of statewide significance to the Church.
Upon graduation from Villanova Law School, Joe returned to his native Oil City, Pennsylvania, where he was born and raised, to commence the private practice of law as an associate in a small firm. Joe became the typical small-town young general practitioner, engaging in a wide variety of civil and criminal cases for the next two and a half years. Mr. Ball then invited Joe to join Ball at the PCC as Assistant Counsel. While with the PCC, Joe was involved, to a great extent, in educational matters. Approximately a year and a half after joining PCC, due to an expansion and reorganization of the Conference, Bill Ball and Joe Skelly left the employment of Conference to form their own private practice law firm, Ball & Skelly, where they continued to represent PCC's legal interests as well as a growing number of other private clients.
Due to Mr. Ball's reputation, the firm rapidly became known nationally as one having expertise in educational and constitutional matters, and much of the firm's work consisted of cases involving the constitutionality of various educational issues. During the beginning years of the firm, Joe worked very closely with Mr. Ball on these cases, one of the most notable of which was the landmark case of Wisconsin v. Yoder wherein the United States Supreme Court ruled that the religious liberty and parental liberty of the Amish took precedence over the compulsory education laws of the State of Wisconsin. Joe's name appears on the brief in that case and he was seated at counsel table with Mr. Ball when Mr. Ball presented oral argument to the justices.
As the firm's practice grew, so did the firm. In addition to constitutional law cases, the firm was also building a practice in general civil matters. Two associates of the firm, Philip J. Murren and Richard C. Connell, were added as partners and the firm changed its name to Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell. At about this time, with other attorneys in the firm available to assist Mr. Ball in the constitutional area, Joe began to concentrate his efforts more in the handling and development of the firm's general civil practice. He was also the managing partner of the firm.
In the civil practice of the firm, Joe handled a wide variety of cases, both litigation and transactional, in many substantive areas of the law, including business and commercial, environmental, zoning, professional licensure, profit and nonprofit corporation and health care matters. He served a wide array of clients from individuals to Fortune 500 companies.
In 1999, after Mr. Ball's death and out of a desire to seek some new challenges after a number of years in the practice of law, Joe undertook extensive mediation skills training. Having an amicable parting with his partners at Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell he set up his own practice for alternative dispute resolution, the Skelly Dispute Resolution Center. In this practice Joe now helps parties in dispute to resolve cases outside of the traditional litigation setting, principally through mediation and arbitration, primarily in business and commercial matters as well as divorce and family law matters. In addition, he serves as a mediator for special education disputes involving controversies between parents and school districts relating to special education services to children. In addition, he has served as a hearing officer in special education cases.
Joe is a member of the American Bar Association and remains active in the Pennsylvania Bar Association as well as his local bar association, particularly in the areas of ethics and professionalism and alternative dispute resolution. Of particular interest to Joe in the area of ethics and professionalism is the problem, perceived by many both inside and outside of the legal profession, of the breakdown in civility among lawyers. Joe has lectured extensively on the subject including presentations at continuing legal education courses.
Joe serves as an Adjunct Professor at the Harrisburg campus of Widener University School of Law where he teaches Alternative Dispute Resolution as well as Law Practice Management. He is also a frequent lecturer on alternative dispute resolution at continuing legal education courses in Pennsylvania.
Also of intense interest to Joe, and something that has become somewhat of an avocation for him, is working with lawyers and others suffering various illnesses, such as alcohol and other drug addiction, compulsive gambling, depression and similar impairments to help them get into recovery. Attorney problems of this kind can often be aggravated by the stressful lifestyles and sobering aspects of legal work that many of them experience. Joe was a founding director, and remains a member of the Board of Directors, of Pennsylvania's Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, an outreach organization to lawyers and law students who are experiencing problems in these areas. He has served as a delegate from Pennsylvania to the American Bar Association's Commission on Lawyers Assistance Programs.
On a personal note, Joe is the father of three adult children, Mame, a banker, Meghan, a sales representative, and Steve, an industrial designer. His marriage to their mother ended in divorce in 1997. In 2003 he renewed contact with Sheila Straub Petulla, an Oil City native, whom he had dated forty years previously when he was a young lawyer back in Oil City and she was a young nurse. They were married in December of 2004. They now reside in Harrisburg.
Sheila was born Sheila Jeanne Straub in Oil City, Pennsylvania where she grew up and attended local schools until her college years.
Upon graduation from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, she moved to Philadelphia where she was an Associate Instructor of Nursing at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. She also cared for patients on week-ends at Lankenau Hospital.
Sheila married Louis Petulla and they became the parents of two children, John and William. During these early years the family lived in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, where Sheila practiced as a school nurse. She then accepted a position with the Delaware County Community College, returning to what would become a life-time career of teaching nursing for several years.
Following the Philadelphia years, Sheila and her husband returned to the Oil City area where they raised their sons. Sheila was an Instructor of Nursing at Clarion University of Pennsylvania and became involved in various community and church related activities. She held positions on the Board of Directors of the Easter Seals Society, various hospital foundations, National Honor Society for Nursing, Mu Xi Chapter, chaired various committees for the yearly Oil Heritage celebration, and was involved in teaching religious education to elementary school students.
Sheila completed her Master of Science degree in Nursing at Edinboro University, Edinboro, Pennsylvania in 1988. As a requirement for this degree she wrote and defended a thesis entitled Family Decision: Nursing Home Placement involving research surrounding the timing and decision making in placing a parent in a nursing home. Care of the elderly is, of course, becoming an increasingly prevalent issue for alternative educators and other families alike as the Baby Boomers take care of their parents while simultaneously approaching their own retirement.
After the death of her late husband in 1994, Sheila moved to Pittsburgh and continued her teaching career in nursing. She retired in 2002.
Sheila is the grandmother of three small children. Her two sons completed their educations in civil engineering and law and they are now both engaged in their respective professions.
Sheila married Joseph Skelly in 2004, after having dated Joe forty years earlier. She continues to volunteer as a board member of a condominium association and as a Pastoral Care Visitor at Holy Spirit Hospital in Camp Hill.
The Quaqua Society is pleased to honor Joseph and Sheila Skelly with the 2005 Quaqua Elijah Award, to recognize the profound importance of the Yoder case to the preservation of parental liberty and alternative education.
The Quaqua Society also wishes to express appreciate to Joseph G. Skelly, Esq., for providing the biographical materials.
John Taylor Gatto and Janet MacAdam Gatto
John Taylor Gatto first burst onto the alternative-education scene on January 31, 1990. On that date, Gatto, who was drawing toward the end of a thirty-year teaching career with the New York City public schools, received the New York State Teacher of the Year Award. He delivered the acceptance speech heard round the world.
Gatto's remarks presaged his subsequent contributions to the alternative education community. He candidly lauded home education, noted the crisis in public education, and traced the lineage of compulsory education back to the Know-Nothing era in Massachusetts. He observed that standardized mass instruction was a byproduct of factory-owning tycoons of the industrial revolution, who pressed for an educational culture of conformity and institutional dependence.
In the fourteen years since John Gatto's remarkable address, he has fleshed out the themes outlined in 1990. These intellectual contributions are the reason the Gattos were selected to receive the Quaqua Elijah Award. John and Janet Gatto are part of an open secret in the alternative education community -- the fact that many alternative educators are former public-school teachers!
Born in the river town of Monongahela, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, John remembers citizens rowing through the streets during the great flood of 1935. A tough, practical small-town of 3000 steel-mill workers and coal miners, its Saturday-night streets sounding with fist fights and its big green river dotted with coal barges, Monongahela exerted a deep and long-lasting impact upon Gatto. It was there John first developed his preference for candor, his appetite for new ideas, and his exposure to people from many different demographic backgrounds.
In order to serve as an alter boy for a local Roman Catholic church, Gatto studied Latin. While working as a sweeper in his grandfather's a printing office ("a tougher taskmaster never existed"), young John had an opportunity to read a "dizzying variety" of text materials. As he grew older he played football, baseball, and basketball, sparred with his sister Joan, and became an avid patron of the town library.
John Gatto's college career took him to Cornell and the University of Pittsburgh. He ultimately graduated with a bachelor's degree from Columbia University. Following service with the U.S. Army medical corps at Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Sam Houston, Texas, he did graduate work at Yeshiva, the University of California, and Cornell. His master's degree was obtained from Hunter College, City University of New York.
After stints as a scriptwriter for a film company and copyrighter for a large advertising agency, John Gatto sought more professional fulfillment. He became a substitute schoolteacher in Harlem, New York City, and spent the next thirty years serving as a teacher in public junior high schools. There he utilized his "guerrilla curriculum" to great effect. His career was capped by the aforementioned New York State Teacher of the Year Award, awarded by the New York State Senate on January 31, 1990. He received a separate New York City Teacher of the Year Award from a well-known foundation.
Once John Gatto caught public attention because of his notable acceptance speech, accolades poured in. He was praised by a Nebraska Senator (Congressional Record No. 135), published in the Wall Street Journal, lauded as by the Princeton Review as "breathtaking, scholarly, and encyclopedic," described as "one of the world's most controversial education reformists" by the Western Australian, and made the subject of a Carnegie Hall show called "An Evening With John Taylor Gatto." Although some may take issue with John Gatto's ideas, most observors seem to agree that he has started an important conversation about education.
Now a popular speaker in home-education and alternative-education circles, as well as a frequent television and radio guest, John Gatto has traveled more than two million miles since 1991. He received the Alexis de Tocqueville Award in 1997. He has also authored four books, all available in electronic form on his website for the Odysseus Group: Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling (2002), The Exhausted School: Bending the Bars of Traditional Education (2002), A Different Kind of Teacher: Solving the Crisis of American Schooling, and the Underground History of American Education (2004). A fifth book, The Curriculum of Power, is currently in the works as of 2004. Gatto is also working on a documentary film about the origins and nature of forced schooling, entitled The Fourth Purpose.
John Gatto's wife, the former Janet MacAdam, was born in Panama to Scottish immigrants Thomas James MacAdam and his wife, Doris Cuthbertson-Brown of Glasgow. They were in Gamboa, Panama, during World War II to help maintain the Panama Canal; subsequently they moved to Oyster Bay Cove, Long Island. Janet's mother was one of seven intrepid sisters who came to America searching for a better life during the Great Depression.
Janet's father died at sea when she was eleven, creating difficult family circumstances during her teenage years. Just out of Oyster Bay High School she became a fur model on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.
At age nineteen, Janet met John at a public swimming pool on East 77th Street. Janet inadvertently dripped water on a poolside chess board while walking past John, who was locked in mental combat with his friends. Although not yet introduced, John threw Janet back into the pool. Later that day, the two chanced upon each other again while attending an evening performance of jazz-man Thelonius Monk, performed at the Five Spot Cafe. They never looked back.
John calls his forty-four years of marriage to Janet the "single best thing that ever happened to him" and says Janet is his "best editor, critic, and taskmaster." Janet Gatto is "a Scottish Presbyterian who learned . . . that unredeemed Catholics are . . . well . . . not going to be in need of overcoats in the afterlife. She's been working on my reconstruction ever since."
Janet became editor at her college newspaper, ring designer, producer of dramatic audiotapes, Treasurer of School District Three, and an elected member of the local school board. She founded the highly-successful Weekend Market on West 77th, which annually raises about a half-million dollars for neighborhood schools.
Janet produced for Lava Mountain Records, operated a mail-order antiques business, and maintained a mail-order library of classical radio shows. An avid cook, she earned three degrees from the Culinary Institute of America. She also participates in regular gardening and bird-feeding.
Although Janet has at various times been challenged by Lyme Disease, severe arthritis, and breast cancer, she continues to press forward with the Gattos' latest project: creating "Solitude," a 128-acre retreat for home educators near Ithaca, New York.
The Quaqua Society is pleased to honor John and Janet Gatto with the 2004 Quaqua Elijah Award, to recognize their study of the relationship between home education, the history of religious and ethnic discrimination, the Industrial Revolution, the history of Massachusetts, and the pedagogical theories of early government-school advocates. An understanding of these interrelationships is central to an accurate appreciation of the history of education.
Some portions of this biographical sketch have been compiled from information courteously provided by John and Janet Gatto. John Gatto's remarks in accepting the Quaqua Elijah Award can be found here.
John W. Whitehead, Esq., and Carol Whitehead
John W. Whitehead, founder and president of The Rutherford Institute, is an attorney and author who has written, debated and practiced widely in the area of constitutional law and human rights. In particular, Mr. Whitehead has acted to provide legal assistance to parents and alternative educators.
Born in 1946 in Tennessee, John spent much of his childhood in Peoria, Illinois. It was there that John met, and later married, Carolyn Nichols, his childhood sweetheart. Since their marriage in 1967, Carol has dedicated herself to helping John pursue his dream of founding an organization that would defend people who were persecuted or oppressed for their beliefs without charging them for such services. Carol remains John's sounding board, assistant, editor and best friend. They are the parents of five children. According to John, he wouldn't be where he is today had it not been for Carol's selfless devotion, unconditional love and faithfulness.
John earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law in 1974. He served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971. He subsequently worked as a private litigator and served as an adjunct professor of law at the O. W. Coburn School of Law, where he taught a special course on First Amendment law.
Because John had defended a number of people who could not afford legal help, his concern for the persecuted and oppressed led him in 1982 to establish The Rutherford Institute with $200, his family's entire savings at the time. Since that time, the Institute, a nonprofit, non-partisan civil liberties and human rights organization whose international headquarters are located in Charlottesville, Virginia, has defended thousands of men, women and children whose beliefs have been threatened--all for no charge.
In 2003 alone, The Rutherford Institute handled over 10,000 requests for legal assistance. Many such requests were from home educators, parents confronting child-protection agencies, minorities suffering religious persecution, and victims of improper searches and seizures. The Institute maintains a national affiliate network of over 700 voluntary attorneys, who receive training, legal research, case support, and funding for court expenses. The Institute also maintains a media department to educate the public about constitutional liberties. Like the Quaqua Society, The Rutherford Institute depends solely upon donations for the maintenance of its operations.
John has authored at least twenty books. One groundbreaking work, Home Education and Constitutional Liberties: The Historical and Constitutional Arguments in Support of Home Instruction (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1984), is a classic must-read for anyone who wishes to understand the historical, legal, and ideological underpinnings of the alternative-education movement. Two subsequent books, Parents' Rights (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1985), and Home Education: Rights and Reasons (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), are excellent addendums to his 1984 work. The intellectual contribution made by these books was a major factor leading to Quaqua's selection of the Whiteheads for the Elijah Award.
John has also published articles in eleven different law review publications and in such print media as the New York Times, the Washington Post and USA Today. His writing focuses mostly upon First Amendment liberties, especially the application of such rights to education. He directed a seven-part documentary video series, Grasping for the Wind, which focuses on key cultural events of the 20th century and is accompanied by a book and study guide. Grasping won the 1998 and 1999 Silver World Medal in the New York Film Festival.
John has also been the subject of numerous newspaper, magazine and television profiles, ranging from Gentleman's Quarterly to CBS' 60 Minutes. He has appeared on such shows as Crossfire, CNN Headline News, Larry King Live, Nightline, Dateline, The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS Evening News, CBS This Morning, This Week with Sam and Cokie, Rivera Live, Burden of Proof, Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer, FOX News Sunday, Hardball, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio, BBC Newsnight, BBC Radio, British Sky Tonight and Sunday, TF1 (French TV) and Greek National Television.
No profile of the Whiteheads would be complete without a mention of John's most famous professional achievement, his role as co-counsel for the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against President William J. Clinton. The case culminated in a landmark ruling, Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1997), in which the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution affords the President no temporary immunity from civil damages litigation arising out of events occurring before the President took office.
Like the proverbial chaos-theory butterfly that caused a thunderstorm in America by flapping its wings in China, the Jones case dramatically affected the course of world history. President Clinton committed perjury during a deposition for the Jones litigation by denying an affair he had with White-House Intern Monica Lewinsky, an action which formed the legal basis for his subsequent impeachment trial. Clinton's impeachment, in turn, created political baggage that almost certainly cost Albert Gore a victory in Gore's razor-close 2000 presidential contest against George W. Bush. President Clinton was eventually forced to settle the Jones case for $850,000.00, pay a $90,000.00 fine for contempt of court, and surrender his law license to avoid disbarment. (Quaqua has no official position regarding the impeachment, the Clinton v. Jones litigation, or the 2000 presidential campaign.)
John's aggressive, pioneering approach to civil liberties issues has earned him numerous accolades, including Christian Leader of the Year for 1986 for "outstanding service in religious liberty" at the Christian World Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. He was also selected for the 1990 Business and Professional Award by the Religious Heritage of America Foundation and was awarded the Hungarian Medal of Freedom in Budapest, Hungary in November 1991 by the President of Hungary.
Living in Virginia, a state with a rich tradition of constitutional law, political thought, and alternative education, John's commitment to liberty remains strong. "All freedoms hang together. To defend one constitutional freedom is to defend them all, and to defend one person's constitutional rights is to defend those rights for everyone. No governmental official is above the law. The Rutherford Institute exists to ensure that people are treated fairly in the courts and are free to express themselves without fear."
John Whitehead was the first person to champion the civil-rights component of the "modern" home-education movement. He was one of the first to understand that the cause of alternative education is based not only upon free-market principles and pedagogical innovation, but also upon a commitment to ensuring legal protection for the fundamental human liberties of all people.
John Whitehead became the first modern "briefcase warrior" for home education, litigating and writing to preserve parental liberty and home education. Many attorneys in other service organizations received their training from The Rutherford Institute. John's innovative legal and institutional paradigm, once the target of great skepticism, now serves as the model for numerous other legal organizations founded after 1982 (both inside and outside of the alternative-education movement).
The Quaqua Society is pleased to honor John and Carol Whitehead with the 2003 Quaqua Elijah Award, in recognition of their innovative approach to defending those liberties which are of such crucial importance to all alternative educators.
This biographical sketch for the Whiteheads has been drawn from information on the website for The Rutherford Institute, and electronic mail provided by Nisha Mohammed of The Rutherford Institute.
Dr. Raymond Moore and Dorothy Moore (In memoriam 1915 - 2002)
Dr. Raymond S. Moore was born in Glendale, California, on September 24, 1915. At age four, Raymond lost his devoted mother, Dorcas, to the devastating 1918 flu epidemic.
Dr. Moore attended public and church schools in California. He graduated from Glendale Adventist Academy in 1932, and spent six years at Pacific Union College. His studies were interrupted by a flood that destroyed both his home and his construction business. To persevere through the Great Depression, he worked as a handyman by logging, milking cows, firing boilers, plumbing, and concrete finishing.
Dr. Moore's first teaching experience was in 1933, when he taught remedial English at Pacific Union College during his sophomore year. He graduated and married Dorothy Lucille Nelson in June 1938.
Dorothy Lucille Nelson Moore was born on a farm in Bruce, South Dakota on October 30, 1915. She was a Methodist and Seventh-day Adventist Christian of Norwegian ancestry. She helped her father at his dairy in California almost until she finished at Long Beach California Junior College and went on to Pacific Union College.
Dorothy was California State Spelling Champion and Gregg Shorthand gold medalist. In college she admired Ellen White and became a respected student leader whose first concern was poor or troubled girls.
After graduation and marriage, Dr. Moore pursued a masters degree at the University of Southern California. He taught for two years in the public schools of Artesia, California, and was principal in Hermosa Beach, California from 1940 to 1941. On May 7, 1941, he was called to active duty in the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant medical administrative officer with the Ninth Corps Area Headquarters in San Francisco, California.
Pearl Harbor resulted in a transfer to San Francisco Port of Embarkation Medical Section, where as a Captain over personnel and intelligence matters he worked in the company of a communications officer named Ronald Reagan.
His next assignment was in New Guinea, where he helped build the 47th General Hospital. He subsequently commanded the New Guinea rotation Detachment and Casual Camp, Milne Bay, New Guinea, then was promoted to Major and executive officer in the South Pacific Medical Commander in Lae, New Guinea. He concluded his 58 months of active duty by serving as general staff medical personnel officer for General Douglas MacArthur, the famed home-educated military leader, in Manila, Philippines.
After leaving active duty in March, 1946, Dr. Moore became Superintendent of Schools in Artesia, California. There he was invited to teach at University of Southern California on a doctoral fellowship. After doctoral study in college and university administration and early childhood education, he was called to Pacific Union College in 1947 as head of its graduate teacher-education program. He helped Pacific Union College upgrade and obtain state accreditation.
Dorothy, meanwhile, distinguished herself in public service in California schools as a remedial reading specialist and as a faculty wife at the University of Southern California. She then became a faculty wife and Sabbath School leader at Pacific Union College. Along with her other responsibilities, she reared and educated seven "chosen" teenagers through college.
In 1951 Dorothy moved to Japan with Dr. Moore, only a few years after her husband and brother had fought in the War to defeat Japan. The Moores helped San-Iku Gakuin College achieve status as an accredited, debt-free, senior education institution. The Moores also helped develop an Adventist school system for Japan and Okinawa. They implemented a "work-study-service" plan at the college in which all teachers worked with students, including the family of Senior Prince Takamatsu.
In 1956, Dr. Moore went to Philippine Union College. He later went on to serve as President of Southwestern Union College. His program theme continued to be work-study, debt-freedom, academic standards, social standards, and home education. Dr. Moore also worked to achieve integration of African-American into Southwestern Union College.
Dr. Moore was subsequently called to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists as one of a team of five to help pioneer what is now known as Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan. In 1960, he went to Loma Linda as corporate vice-president to share leadership in the transition to Loma Linda University. After a years of raising a family in Japan, the Philippines and Washington, D.C., Dorothy became the founding director of the Loma Linda University Cerebral Palsy Clinic in California.
In 1964, Dr. Moore accepted the job of graduate programs officer with the U.S. Department of Education, a position which involved the funding and upgrading of master and doctoral programs of American colleges and universities. He helped colleges and universities save billions of dollars. The White House published two of his books.
After moving on to a stint with UNESCO, Dr. Moore he was invited to be the founding director of the International Advanced Intercultural Study Center. This consortium at the University of Chicago included member institutions such as Johns Hopkins, Southern Illinois, Stanford, Tulane and Wisconsin. The Center studied indigenous people ranging from Native Americans to tribes in Lesotho. Dr. Moore met the prime minister of Lesotho, along with Ghandi's former secretary and the author of Indonesia's new language.
Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore worked about 40 years together as leaders, editors, and authors for their research foundations. They helped form the Cedar Springs Foundation, which was later renamed the Hewitt Research Foundation. Since 1983 the Foundation has operated in Washougal, Washington, near the Columbia River. The Moores focused on early childhood education, school entrance age, and teacher-student work-study programs. Along with Raymond, Dorothy served as a pioneer in the resurgence of the old-fashioned home-education phenomenon. Reflects Dr. Moore, "God, with the likes of Reader's Digest, James Dobson, John Holt, Reed Benson, thousands of media, and all of you, turned home education into a giant movement."
The Moores have written numerous books and published articles. Their most famous work, a 1979 Brigham Young University Press book entitled School Can Wait, was written during this period. This book is a classic must-read for scholars of the alternative-education movement. Raymond's authorship credits include thirty-five college texts.
Beginning in 1983, Dorothy headed a team of carefully selected educational counselors who fulfilled the dream of helping families educate their own children legally. The Moores set up individualized programs for each child enrolled, creating units of study tailored to the child's interests, aptitudes and abilities. Now known as the Raymond S. and Dorothy N. Moore Foundation in Washougal, Washington, their program works with hundreds of families every year and has formed the basis for a "Malachi Movement" stressing family togetherness and work-study-service balance in schools. The goal of the organization is to make schools, churches and families more creative, efficient and debt-free in health, education, welfare and service to their communities.
When Dorothy passed away in 2002, after a lifetime of service, alternative educators around the world lauded her contribution. We knew her voice could never be fully replaced. "I thank God, my Master Teacher," said Dr. Moore, "for giving me a special lady for 64 years who walked at my side during half of those homeschool years through sunshine and storm."
In her absence, and with the help of a new wife who "selflessly" assists him, Raymond continues to be a tireless, progressive force in alternative education. His profound reservoir of professional, cultural, religious, educational, and intellectual experience continues to inform and enrich the alternative-education movement.
For all of this, and more (no pun intended), the Quaqua Society is very pleased to present the 2002 Quaqua Elijah Award to honor Dr. Raymond and Dorothy N. Moore.
Biographical sketches for the Moores were drawn from the Raymond S. and Dorothy N. Moore Foundation memorial page, the Raymond S. and Dorothy N. Moore Foundation biographical sketch of the Moores, and electronic mail provided by Pat Wolfswinkel of the Raymond S. and Dorothy N. Moore Foundation.
Dr. Reed A. Benson and May Hinckley Benson
The 2001 Elijah Award was presented to Dr. Reed A. Benson and his wife, May Hinckley Benson.
Dr. Reed A. Benson is a professor in the Ancient Scripture Department at Brigham Young University and teaches a thousand students a semester. He has written for a national news magazine, lectured widely, and interviewed with numerous TV and print outlets. A former Air Force Chaplain during the Korean War, he was the President of the Kentucky, Louisville Mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He served as Branch President in Oxford, England and in the Israel District Presidency. The eldest son of President and Mrs. Ezra Taft Benson, he is the father of nine children and grandfather to twenty-four.
Dr. Benson was the author of the first dissertation in the nation on home education, which is still in print. He collaborated with John Holt, Dr. Raymond Moore, Dr. Larry Arnoldson, and other early pioneers of modern alternative education, consistently lending his influence to support home education during its critical embryonic years in the western United States. He helped develop some of the modern conventions of the home education movement, including the very notion of state home-education conventions and "modern" home-education outreach.
May Hinckley Benson was honored as Homeschooling Mother of the Year in 2000. She completed studies at the University of Utah, University of Maryland, and Cornell. With a great display of courage, she successfully home-educated her nine adopted children for fifteen years during the early days of the modern home-education movement. She is a popular speaker and a pioneer in the home education movement who has consistently lent her voice of experience and support. Both Reed and May are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
The Quaqua Society is both proud and grateful to honor the Bensons for their profound contribution to the home-education community. They have been instrumental in helping Utah to have, at least to this point, one of the most progressive environments for home education to be found anywhere in the nation. Their tireless and uncompensated service has touched thousands of lives. They will never be forgotten.
Biographical sketches for the Bensons were drawn from http://www.schoolofabraham.com/speakers.htm.
The experts mean well, but a centralized [government school] system cannot possibly have that degree of personal concern for each individual child that we have as parents. The centralization produces deadening uniformity, it destroys the experimentation that is a fundamental source of progress. What we need to do is to enable parents, by vouchers or other means, to have more say about the school which their child goes to, a public school or a private school, whichever meets the need of the child best. That will inevitably give them also more say about what their children are taught and how they are taught. Market competition is the surest way to improve the quality and promote innovation in education as in every other field. . . . [Under the current system] [a]nybody who wants to send his child to a non-public school has to pay twice: once in the form of taxes and once in the form of tuition.
William Bennett [asserts that the Founders of the United States] . . . believed "that government has a responsibility to ... help educate citizens about right and wrong." To me, that is a totalitarian view opening the road to thought control and would have been utterly unacceptable to the Founders. I do not believe, and neither did they, that it is the responsibility of government to tell free citizens what is right and wrong. That is something for them to decide for themselves. Government is a means to enable each of us to pursue our own vision in our own way so long as we do not interfere with the right of others to do the same. In the words of the Declaration of Independence, "all Men are ... endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights. That among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the Governed." In my view, Justice Louis Brandeis was a "true friend of freedom" when he wrote, "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficial. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasions of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greater dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding."