Renowned critic of compulsory schooling, John Taylor Gatto passed away this week at the age of 82.  A teacher for 30 years, he achieved notoriety after quitting teaching upon receiving the New York State teacher of the year award in 1991.  He used the opportunity to speak out against the unnatural, restrictive and harmful impact of compulsory schooling on students.  He then spent the next few decades speaking, writing and advocating for unschooling.

He wrote several books including Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, and The Underground History of American Education: A Schoolteacher’s Intimate Investigation Into the Problem of Modern Schooling.

Watch his talk about the artificial extension of childhood.

He was a great advocate for youth rights and NYRA mourns his passing.