Gatto in Fast Company Mag

January 21, 2008

Fast Company Magazine interviews John Taylor Gatto. This older interview is worth the read:


“When I left school teaching, I was blind with rage. I didn’t know whose throat to grab first,” growls Gatto…

“I’m a saboteur,” he says. “I’m sabotaging the idea that you know best what my family needs.”

“We need to kill the poison plant we created,” Gatto has written. “School reform is not enough. The notion of schooling itself must be challenged.”

Two major publishers liked the book [The Underground History of American Education] enough to offer Gatto sizable advances — on the condition that he trim the pages and mute the language. He refused. So he produced and distributed the book himself, selling 5,000 copies the first week.

At every school where I taught, I told kids that as long as they would do 90% of the work, and as long as the idea was there, and as long as they’d sit still for my lectures about the nuances of the idea, then I was willing to be their assistant.