Bachmann’s 2002 movie claimed public education would lead to a second Holocaust
Guinea Pig Kids II is not, as its name might suggest, a B-list horror film. The impetus for the film was the Profile of Learning, a set of state curriculum standards adopted by Republican Gov. Arne Carlson’s administration in 1998. To Bachmann and Chapman, the standards were nefarious and part of a a far-reaching globalist plot.
As Bachmann and Chapman explained, a little-known federal program called Goals 2000, initiated under the Clinton administration but consistent with a similar plan supported by President George H.W. Bush, was paving the way for a national curriculum. The new curriculum, the two speakers maintained, moved the state away from established truths like the supposedly Christian founding documents, and replaced them with secular documents, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that allowed the state to craft its own set of values. Guinea Pig Kids was designed to explain “Minnesota’s new centrally-planned education, workforce & economic system and how citizens are trying to reverse it.” Over the course of the film’s two hours, Bachmann and Chapman did just that.
Bachmann and Chapman argued that the Profile of Learning fundamentally transformed the mission of public schools from teaching knowledge to preparing students for the workforce. Through a program called School to Work, businesses would work with schools to figure out which skills they would need for the new economy. In the two activists’ dystopian scenario, central planners would be able to prioritize certain fields (sustainable development, for instance) and bring up a new generation of workers whose loyalties were to the state. Work replaced knowledge as the central goal of education.
At one point Chapman quoted Hitler: “When an opponent declares I will not come over to your side, I calmly say: ‘Your child belongs to us already.’” And he framed the educational debate as an existential crisis. America, he insisted, had become the most powerful force for good in the history of the world on account of its moral foundation. Now education standards were putting all that at risk.
“Have we evolved beyond the capability of repeating the atrocities of the past? I don’t think so,” Chapman said. “In Nazi Germany the utilitarian worldview led to Auschwitz,” he continued. “And as the victims passed under the shadow of Hitler’s Final Solution, they were tauntingly reminded one last time that they have outlived their usefulness. The iron gates carried the message ‘arbeit macht frei’: Work makes you free.”