Next-Generation Shop Class: the Undisclosed Merger of Mind and Hand Touted as Coding for All

For anyone with a marketing or PR background who is quite aware it is all about the sales pitch, it still may come as a surprise that the much vaunted, recent, $4 billion computer science for all initiative, could be tied to the phrase–’Next-Generation Shop Class’. The nice thing about accurately recognizing in the last post that this initiative, also hyped as Coding for All, was actually about Visual Programming Languages is that we can now track admissions like it’s to be a “shift from learning code as an individualistic endeavor to learning it as a social enterprise.” Another useful quote for gaining an insight into why this educational shift is such a high priority now is that “learning to code” is actually to be a means of “computational participation” and thus a “model for students who wish to create a more collaborative and open society.”

Connected Code: Why Children Need to Learn Programming was published in 2014 with Mitchel Resnick from the last post writing the Foreword. It is such a blueprint document for the whys of this expensive initiative that it is also part of the MacArthur Foundation Series on Digital Media and Learning. Officially sanctioned by the Powers-that-Be in other words although I do not think there will be any lucrative Genius Award for recognizing the meaning of Coding for All even though I am showing Grit and Perseverence in my research. That’s a sarcastic allusion to Angela Duckworth’s Vygotskyian inspired research that won their Genius Grant last year and is now being built into a National Growth Mindset study the White House and her Character Lab are involved with. Coding for All is also directly tied into the Maker Movement (mold the digital with the tangible),  the White House Behavioral Sciences Team, and these new models for high school reform like High Tech High or what Laurene Powell Jobs is pushing as Project XQ.

Not trotting down any of those other pathways today, but once again we have multiple gears pulling in a common direction and it is always a mistake not to point out those adjacent interlocking and necessary gears. I have also talked in recent posts about why an Ideas first curriculum can be problemmatic, especially at a foundational level. Try to control your shock that ultimately Coding for All also has aspirations to institute a ‘communal practice’ in the classroom where students Learn by Doing (literally in the John Dewey sense we met before, especially in Chapter 2 of my book) “about the cultural and social nature of human behavior through the concepts, practices, and perspectives of computer science.” That’s my bolding. Alert readers with science or AI backgrounds will easily grasp that those ‘concepts, practices, and perspectives’ may not actually be pertinent to accurately understanding human behavior.

That’s the beauty though of training students to ‘act like a expert’ by providing the desired Guiding Ideas, Concepts, Principles, Techniques, and then asking students to apply them in a provided task. They won’t know it’s an Inapt Metaphor for a given situation. They will not get the danger of analogizing via regular practice physical bodily systems like hearts and lungs or designed systems like computer code and software with people and human systems generally like an economy or a city. That’s a real danger in training students to be comfortable again with “the concrete as a mode of thinking and a form of digital production.” They will have zero ability to realize that it is now they who are being neurologically programmed to meet the demands of Big Business and Want-to-Be Social and Political Planners. In one of those quotes that can only happen if you read the entire book and the authors have gotten comfortable in the non-repulsiveness of what they are pushing we find the Maker Movement and Coding for All:

“supporting a culture where members ask for permission before they move forward with new ideas.”

No wonder Big Business is enthused. I really did write ‘No, Thanks’ in the margin, but parents who still assume Coding for All is about algorithmic-based individualist mental acts will get no such chance. Nor will they be told that Coding for All “acts as a community of practice, bringing in new members who grow to understand the prevailing rules of the group.” Comrade Practice to go Along with the Herd Effect seems so much more accurate now than Computing for All. How about “facilitates a better baseline understanding of the nature of systems”? See above critique, but again No. No. No. Connected Code wants to get beyond “code being understood as a proprietary commodity” so that “remix” of existing code and images can become “the essential lens by which individuals participate socially and economically within an increasingly global society.”

Well if it’s not proprietary and we now are to ask permission before we move forward with new ideas, all those existing computer patents owned by the same megacompanies pushing much of this in education just got lots more valuable and secure. Not as cynical as me? It should bother us a great deal that on the same page where John Dewey is quoted at length celebrating the widespread return of his desired Learning by Doing and his desire to make school a “more practical experience for children.” Why is that so important beyond the tendency to never notice the Total Immersion in Inapt Analogy Training? Here’s Dewey:

“the social and educational theories and conceptions must be developed with definite reference to the needs and issues which mark and divide our domestic, economic, and political life in the generation of which we are a part.”

Ackwardly worded, but we can see how much easier that will be if school has taught students that all those areas of human coordination are actually ‘systems’ that were ‘designed’ and can now be reengineered. Usefully that same quote is on a page talking about Seymour Papert and his dream of the reconstruction tool the computer might come to be–”For Papert, the computer provided the materials, situations, and experiences that allow learners to connect to the real world.” Maybe we should rephrase that as “the real world it would be useful to have students imagine” so that they will be keen to act to change it. Just like they practiced successfully in virtual reality. What could go wrong?

The hyped idea in this Next Generation Shop Class that really is a phrase touted in the book is to shift computers from ‘Objects-to-Think-With’ to ‘Objects-to-Share-With that Connect to Others’. This is of course a different way of organizing planning and problem-solving than the previous text-driven individualist acts of logic. Only quoting will pull together the flavor of what will in fact be hidden behind initiatives like Coding for All or integrating CTE into academics for all students. There is a footnote in the middle of what is being quoted. I looked for the cited book and discovered it was $250 used now so then I located the cited supporting article here. https://ccl.northwestern.edu/papers/concrete/

Remember how nerdy that theory we kept encountering of Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete sounded and how we traced it back to the USSR and a philosophy called the New Dialectics (Evald Ilyenkov tag)? Think of this quote as concretizing that theory at last.

“Learning by connecting knowledge [Core Ideas, UbD, Cross-Cutting Concepts and Themes, etc.] and relationships [new 3 Rs tag] also highlights other distinctions that society has drawn between critical thinking (traditionally understood as conceptually and linguistic based) and physical making (goal-based material work). In providing opportunities to concretize knowledge by creating material objects that embody ideas, we highlight ways that two modes of engagement with the world (that are usually held separate) can be reconnected. By encouraging the externalization of knowledge [journals, show your work, count wrong if solved correctly without explanation], we promote seeing the knowledge object as a distinct ‘other’ with which we can enter a relationship that consists of questions that makers ask themselves about how the external object connects to other bodies of knowledge.

Understanding the boundaries and values that have been associated with such forms of engagement is critical to understanding who and how learners can connect with them.”

No incentive there to manipulate virtual reality or which ideas are deemed to be Core or Essential in having that as the priority for the 21st Century Classroom. I am going to switch myself to something far more tangible and financial to help us grasp precisely how these educational shifts matter. People monitoring the federal Department of Education or even local school boards would simply never think to monitor the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for research into the neuroscience implications of these initiatives. Yet that is precisely where this White House has tucked “several applied research programs that use multidisciplinary approaches to advance our understanding of cognition and computation in the brain.”

I am not sure we are supposed to be participants in that ‘our,’ but I have gotten rather good at accurately tracking into places where known outsiders are unlikely to be welcome. Since we are already interlopers into this initiative, we might as well appreciate precisely how it relates to Coding for All, Big Ideas, and the Maker Movement generally.

“programs to be executed in FY15 include: the Knowledge Representation in Neural Systems (KRNS) program, which seeks insights into the brain’s representation of conceptual knowledge; the Strengthening Human Adaptive Reasoning and Problem-solving (SHARP) program, which will develop non-invasive neural interventions for optimizing reasoning and problem-solving; and the Machine Intelligence from Cortical Networks (MICrONS) program, which will reverse-engineer the algorithms of the brain to revolutionize machine learning.”

No wonder we keep having Continuing Resolution Budget Deals no one gets a chance to read. So what seems like Robin’s nerdiness and petulance in worrying about any Ideas First education no matter how glorious the descriptive title, actually turns out to be the current subject of federally-funded research to see what effect such social reengineering can have on the student’s physical brain.

Just be glad this blog has no visual images and still relies on text-based explanations and Apt Metaphors. I am never going to be able to extinguish the images of the scalp-attached electrodes being used in that research.

What happens when innocuous seeming phrases like the Common Core, Coding for All, and Competency obscure a real agenda where governments seek “to map the circuits of the brain, measure the fluctuating patterns of electrical and chemical activity flowing within these circuits, and understand how their interplay creates our unique cognitive and behavioral capabilities”?

Could we get even a pinky promise from politicians that none of that research will be used to diminish those very capabilities?

After all, as my book Credentialed to Destroy explained in detail, that was the real reason for the federal initiatives to change reading, math, and science instruction.

Did I mention that Connected Code concludes by saying that “K-12 educational computing can take the road that K-12 language arts, mathematics, and science education took long ago.”

It’s not about how to teach reading, math, science, or coding. It’s about the threat of the logical, fact-filled individual mind.

What a superb reason to be seen as threatening. Let’s keep it up for us and our children.


 

Bypass the Analytic System and Pass Directly to Proficient Performance: the Coding for All Initiative

Would you support an expensive, all agencies and levels of government, education initiative if it were pitched on the following basis?

“Just as the human body is no longer the major tool for physical labor, and just as a carpenter need not use only hand tools, so will mental functioning no longer be the sole province of the human mind.”

That quote has actually been translated from Russian and came from a 1972 Moscow University paper on “The Psychological Consequences of Computerization.” Most of you have probably heard that over the weekend President Obama announced a more than $4 Billion with a B Coding for All, computer science instruction for all, initiative. To supposedly make all children ready for 21st Century jobs. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/us/politics/obamas-budget-urges-a-deeper-commitment-to-computer-education.html?_r=0 is an example of the glowing coverage, but my favorite story is this one http://www.governing.com/templates/gov_print_article?id=367034991 because it shows just how excited state and local government officials are with this push. That link was actually pushed by the Center for Digital Education that is a subsidiary of the e-Republic organization of state and local officials and politicians.

It hypes all the “federal agencies and technology industry leaders behind this initiative.” In other words, cronies and fans of public-private partnerships and public sector unions think education to create Manipulable Muppet Minds is a swell idea. I know what you are thinking. How do I know the nature of the initiative since it says computer science? Because it says it is to be Coding for All and facility with abstractions like Binary Code wouldn’t be accessible to all.

Plus I am quite familiar with what kind of Coding and ‘Computer Science’ is accessible to all. Raise your hand if you know what a VPL is? It’s an acronym standing for Visual Programming Language. No need for abstractions at all. In fact, VPLs are accessible even for those who cannot read or do not know English. Now that’s the kind of manipulable, concrete learning experiences John Dewey would certainly love, wouldn’t he?

The second I heard about the initiative I knew it had to be about using Logo and Scratch and letting children believe they could design imaginary worlds and come to believe that the natural world works similarly to pretend, manipulated virtual environments. After all I first wrote about Seymour Papert and his MIT Media Lab back here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/megachange-macroshift-daily-school-experience-to-fuel-a-revolution-in-consciousness/ What I discovered though when I correctly surmised that this Coding initiative involved Constructivism (covered in depth in chapters 2 and 3 of my book on the real purpose of the reading and math wars) and Mitchel Resnick’s Lifelong Kindergarten work, was that there was now an 8 minute video available celebrating this vision for learning.  https://vimeo.com/143620419

Produced with videos of Papert and his vision that children interacting with computers is the ultimate integrated–tactile, mental, aesthetic, physical–learning experience that produces “involvement and engagement” that “grabs the individual so that they fall in love with the material.” It provides the potential for a new kind of learning that can change how the students see themselves and the world. In other words, it’s the perfect means to manipulate the ‘interiority’ of the individual without that person having any idea just how much they are being manipulated. It’s Dewey’s concrete experiences, except the actual consequences of any student actions are determined not by scientific laws of physics, chemistry, or biology. The results are whatever the software coders design and those rules are not apparent in the least to the student.

We do know though that the keynote speaker at a global ed tech conference bragged about this ability to rig virtual worlds and the beliefs about how the real world works that would be created.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-gaming-intends-to-shape-and-distort-our-perceptions-of-everything-around-us-viva-la-revolution/ We know that the same Nicholas Negroponte featured at the 1:21 mark in that video is a member of the Club of Budapest working with Ervin Laszlo to pitch systems thinking and alter culture globally to create a Holos Consciousness. K-12 education is such a useful way to alter a culture and create a desired consciousness, isn’t it, especially if it can be sold as Coding for All?

http://hci.ucsd.edu/102a/readings/LearningAboutLifeAnnotated.pdf is a 1994 article Mitchel Resnick wrote about wanting to shift students away from the mechanistic “models and metaphors of Newtonian physics.” Isn’t control over virtual reality useful if you want to alter how students “make sense of the world around them” as Resnick and that video both proclaim openly? Logo and Scratch may allow students to control the behavior of creatures they design and “create, experiment, and play with decentralized systems” so that they come to believe that human systems in the real world will react much the same. Contrary to all the plans involving redesigning people and economies using data, we are now running the biggest experiment in the history of the world in a bid that, finally, this time, collectivism will work.

Everything I linked so far I knew about, but because I have a large number of books that openly admit a desire to use computers to redesign how the human mind works, I decided to go back and reread them yesterday before writing this post on Coding. The title of the post is a direct quote from a 1986 book Mind over Machine: The Power of Human Intuition and Expertise in the Era of the Computer. Its authors, Hubert and Stuart Dreyfus, are quite excited about education that bypasses the analytic mind. Is that what any of us would associate with an initiative being sold as computer science for all? That the computer can be used to create “skilled behavior based on holistic pairing of new situations with associated responses produced by successful experiences in similar situations?”

Is that how Success for All, Coding for All, and closing the achievement gaps between groups with widely varying abilities occurs? To train students to act Arationally as the Dreyfuses called it. To rely on “in principle, we may be able to close much of the gap between the information-processing capabilities of child and adult and ultimately of computers by integrating our information-processing systems.” That was my bolding or didn’t you know there has been a long-standing desire by the Soviets and those seeking Social Reconstruction starting at the level of the human mind all over the world for decades to achieve a “co-evolution of Human-Computer Intelligence”?

Humans get weaker and what they can do and how they perceive and what makes them motivated to act all dictated by political power intent on a shift to a planned society. In other words, Overreaching political power needs to control the individual without that control being apparent. Manipulated Muppet Minds and mind arson are the perfect solution. Computers also means there’s no pesky textbook to give away the nature of the shift. Education writers may misleadingly drone on about Common Core being a transition to a Type 2 Philosophy of Education, but the reality of the actual intended change in K-12 education is much graver.

I did appreciate, though, the concession from an Atlas member, the Heritage Foundation, that http://dailysignal.com/2016/01/31/progressivism-throws-money-at-problems-conservatism-solves-them/ conservatism seeks to “build a society where all Americans are afforded the same opportunities.” That would explain why the education policies pushed dovetail so closely with what John Dewey wanted. I didn’t know until that letter that the supposed difference between progressivism and ‘conservatism’ is that progs put the focus at the federal level and ‘conservative solutions’ target the local. Well, they both seem to be targeting the individual and the sanctity of the human mind via computerized education.

Where else did I look yesterday to get that lead-in quote and to confirm that Coding for All is actually designed to alter the neurological properties of American schoolchildrens’ minds in ways that level and manipulate? I have a tag for Stanford Professor Roy Pea because we have met him before in connection with the NSF Cyberlearning initiative. I have a 1987 book of his called Mirrors of Minds: Patterns of Experience in Educational Computing. It described precisely what was hoped for from Logo and Seymour Papert’s work and the possibilities for altering the human mind as a result of “marrying the problem-solving capabilities of child and computer.” Again, that’s the whole point of the Coding for All push in the President’s 2017 budget.

Finally, after all these years, those seeking to build a new society plan to get there using “the co-evolution of human and computer intelligence.” Admitted progressives, Marxists, and apparently declared ‘conservatives’ all seeking to use computerized education to get at the human mind. Since “formal operational thinking” is decidedly ‘nonuniversal’ and terribly unequal in who is good at it, K-12 education grounded in equality of opportunity has to be about “integrating the powerful information-processing systems of the computer and the frail information-processing system of the human mind.” These “integrations would serve as mental catalysts for engineering the development of high-level cognitive skills.”

Those would be the same as what ESSA now requires states and districts to annually assess with fed Ed proscribing Opt Out in a way it never threatened to do before the statute passed. Using the computer as a tool, “the child would not need to await the development of general logical structures in order to become a powerful thinker.” Without personally created logical structures, let’s make that an Arational Powerful Thinker using ideas and concepts supplied to him or her by those wanting to reconstruct society in the 21st Century. What is being called adaptive learning now and promoted all over the globe appears to me to be what the older literature called a cognitive trace system. Let’s end this post looking at the usefulness of the kinds of information provided (whether it is personally identifiable or not).

The “fundamental idea of a cognitive trace system is that the intermediate products of mind are externalized through the process of interacting with knowledge-based computer systems.” More known then to the computer than to the actual student. Ripe for manipulation by anyone wanting to control that ‘interiority’. Pea admitted that “cognitive trace systems can provide a major lever for cognitive development.” And whose hand is on that lever? It’s not the student as much as they may be excited about being allowed to follow their own interests. That simply allows content to be found that the student can be made to “fall in love with” as Papert put it in the video.

Students are being made to fall in love so that the manipulation is both lasting–Lifelong Learning–and not unpleasant. No need for gulags in the 21st Century. Virtual reality and Coding for All can create the needed shifts. “Cognitive trace systems could act as prime movers toward the child’s grasp of consciousness in different domains by contributing to the development of this metacognitive knowledge, so important for expertise.” Once again, that would be the supplied concepts, understandings, themes, and principles that Dewey wanted to use and so apparently do many pitching themselves as ‘Classical Educators.’

Be very wary of all education using the computer whether sold as Classical, about Great Ideas, or Coding for All. Ironically, as I was getting ready to write this post a weekly newsletter from admitted educational transformationalists was hyping Seymour Papert today and the vision he had for the “personal computing device.”

Papert called it an “instrument whose music is ideas.” Beware the human brain manipulated by that instrument to act on Ideas Arationally.

Bypassing the analytic mind. It’s just what every collectivist and Social Reconstructionist needs.

 

Stimulating the Inner Springs Fundamental to Real Personality Change and Harmonious Social Progress

Did anyone guess that we had embarked on another Trilogy, except this time it was in Reverse Order as my personal experiences starting with a phone call to my home on December 17 sent me looking for answers? For a while now, the false narrative being constructed by various employees or allies of the Atlas Network members has both interested and angered me. Angered because it is frequently built on parroting some of my insights and research conclusions. Read Robin’s book, pretend to be an expert, get people to trust you, and take them somewhere I would never go.

For example I would never describe Bill Ayers and Linda Darling-Hammond as “Marxist Humanists” because they are admitted Marxists and rather proud of it. Hint: this is why Ayers was willing to promote violence. Marxist Humanism (see tag) is a belief that because capitalism has reached a certain stage of technological feats, namely computers and the Internet and communications technology generally (abbreviated ICT), there is now enough prosperity in the world that there need be no poverty anymore within countries or anywhere around the world. It’s why the UN’s Post-2015 plans for us are called “Dignity for All” by 2030. As one of my UN news blurbs put it after New Years, we are now Post-2015 and this agenda has begun. Understanding it accurately is very important.

That gets me back to that phone call. After hanging up in anger at what was said and pouring myself a glass of wine while I made dinner, I began to think about what had changed that day. Well, I had made a comment on the blog that I had ordered William Easterly’s book The Tyranny of Experts that had been an Atlas Network supported Hayek Lecture in London. So I decided dinner could be late, went down and wrote up notes on what was said in the phone call, started looking for financial connections among the known players, and examining commonalities as they popped up. In other words, I started behaving like the Due Diligence experienced lawyer I actually am analyzing a set of facts. I also got up early the next morning and proceeded to see what was in the Easterly book that people might not want me to grasp.

That’s what I meant about a Reverse Trilogy as we started with explaining what a Nyaya concept of justice was and how I knew that Easterly’s book did not accurately portray Hayek’s thoughts on the subject of economic and social rights. I have more than a provided talking points knowledge of Hayek as that post laid out. I also know what Marxism Humanism looks like and Easterly’s book and the Atlas Network’s support for it does give good reason to start to whitewash what the term actually means. For parents, Linda Darling-Hammond’s (LDH) pushes in education and Bill Ayer’s past make them known nightmares to be avoided. We have talked about Amartya Sen and his Justice concept and Development as Freedom in the first two posts. He is laying out a Marxist Humanist vision as nyaya and really so is Easterly in his book. If no one has ever actually explained MH correctly though and you now connect it with Ayers and LDH, that actual reality will be missed.

Sen coordinates a great deal with Professor Martha Nussbaum (also tag) on what they call Human Capability Theory, which also describes where P-12 education globally is going. If anyone is thinking I cannot actually tie all this to Uncle Karl, they do not have a copy of Democracy in a Global World covered in the last post. I went into that described alliance for good reason. Nussbaum also wrote a chapter and she tied the vision repeatedly to Uncle Karl by name. It’s also another reason why I found the open-ended Con Con advocacy from the Texas Governor so pernicious. The Chapter was called “Constitutions and Capabilities” and here’s a sample of the kind of direct ties I mean.

“When liberal democracies make constitutions, they typically base their work on a small core of intuitive ideas to which specific constitutional entitlements are referred…The basic idea of my version of the capabilities approach…is that we begin with a conception of the dignity of the human being, and of a life that is worthy of that dignity–a life that has available in it ‘truly human functioning’ in the sense described by Marx in his 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.”

That’s what Easterly called for too without tying it to Marx. It’s what the Atlas Network’s members are actually promoting when they push his work or Sen’s. Back to my story of why I spent so much time researching over the holidays. I know John Dewey backwards and forwards from researching my book, but until I saw this post http://www.greattransition.org/publication/the-earth-charter-at-15 I did not know that Steven Rockefeller of the famous family had also written a bio on him published in 1991 called John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism. I ordered it in part because so many of the people who appear determined to control the narrative about what is really going on with the Common Core also aggressively wear their religious faith front and center. In fact, it seems to be a selling point on why their analysis can be trusted.

An example that had flowed out of my research was the Stand in the Gap Tour in fall of 2014 that David Barton had participated in. I had listened to a video of his speaking at a church in Dothan, Alabama and his description of what was desired reminded me of the cybernetic prearranged structuring of the Mind the behavioral scientists and admitted Leftists also want. That made Rockefeller’s book even more pertinent. As I read the chapter on “Democracy, Education, and Religious Experience” in particular I could see that this same Deweyan vision would create a desired worldview and amenable personality that would also work for a Muslim theocrat wanting to reconstruct the world starting at the level of the human mind (Tarbiyah) or a Christian fundamentalist also wanting to push social justice in the here and now.

I pulled the post title from the book and Stimulating the Inner Springs also fits with what the Hewlett Foundation and the CCSSO today push as the requisite Deep Learning. Isn’t this the real reason for wanting to control the narrative on education? Common means and common ends among interest groups and think tanks that are supposed to abhor each other? When I also mentioned the other day that Charter Schools that use cybernetic methods and adaptive personalized online learning are in a position to reap huge sums under the new Every Student Succeeds Act since those methods of manipulating the Inner Springs are effective and thus “evidence-based,” suddenly a drumbeat began online. That ended in that Project Veritas video that the Common Core was about textbooks companies wanting to make money. Well, they do but that is disinformation in an education environment where textbooks are going away.

In other words, like the phone call at home, do not write about the CMOs or online curriculums that also stand to benefit financially from insisting they are “100% Common Core Free” or who the financial backers are. No one may notice that the methods used are cybernetic and target those inner springs while telling parents this is a form of Classical Education. John Dewey understood that education “is a means of creating individuals” and David Coleman, Bill Ayers, LDH, and UNESCO are not the only parties at the education table interested in creating a certain kind of personality to fit with a desired vision of society and the future.

Last year I went to the Educational Policy Conference in St Louis and yesterday I noticed in a flyer trying to get me to attend that someone was parroting my Chapter 7 title language again, but also promoting the idea that the feds want to create a database of those values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on students. Not really, educators want to know this so all those things can be changed. That actual cybernetic purpose keeps being ignored. The fact that Charters target these same areas and have to to expand and get their contracts renewed gets left out. Making Classical Education about ideas and not facts is another way to say it is also cybernetic. Looking into the Barney Charter Initiative Hillsdale has put together and its mention of the Circe Institute and its description of what is Classical Education, I thought “That’s cybernetic too and a good reason to control the narrative about the Common Core and shut down anyone who knows what ESSA actually says and who would actually benefit.”

I have long wondered in all the discussions of the College Board’s shift in its AP courses to Conceptual Frameworks and the use of core ideas as ‘lenses’ why people with Social Anthropology PhDs never accurately explain what a cultural lens is. APUSH’s restructuring was never about what facts to teach and yet people who by specialty are thoroughly trained in using cultural lenses never explain what they are. Now I know. If something reeks of the cybernetic means so many of the Atlas members are also pushing, it must not be part of the approved narrative. The truth is it is not only the admitted Left wanting to use education to force a “thoroughgoing democratic reconstruction of society” that “must be child-centered in the sense that it begins with the impulses, interests, and initiative.”

In other words, what ESSA calls “personalized learning with adaptive data” that entitles its pushers to funding as 21st Century Schools. It’s not just the admitted Left wanting to target, like Dewey, “the whole feeling, thinking, and willing person.” That’s why the parroting of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors functions to inoculate the listener from recognizing that the person they are listening to may also have a comparable agenda. It’s not just the admitted Left and Dewey who want to frame what ideas are salient to the listener and what is likely to get ignored. Politics by Think Tank is all about controlling the Narrative.

It’s not just John Dewey or David Coleman who understand that “emotions are the reflex of actions” and that “if we can only secure right habits of action and thought, with reference to the good, the true and the beautiful [see what I mean about a Classical Education as the cited Circe Institute described it]“, then education will have created “a means of social control that does not violate the freedom of the individual child.”

Well, yes it does because all the false and controlled narratives keep the nature or existence of that control invisible. They make it seem like only a David Coleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, or other admitted Leftists have this goal for education in the 21st century.

I have run long again, but let me close with another quote from that chapter and a reminder that there are a whole lot of people pushing a vision of restructured American education using digital learning that they intend to financially benefit from. They also want a fundamental social and economic transformation where:

“To work and think in a community governed by this kind of democratic moral life is for Dewey the only sound approach to moral education in a democracy, which must rely to a large extent on a voluntary spirit of cooperation growing out of a multitude of common interests to maintain social order.”

Again, it’s not just the admitted Left that wants to enshrine collectivism invisibly and without outcry via education creating a “free play of instinctive sympathy and understanding.”

Lots of good reasons to control the Common Core narrative and guide and frame popular perceptions. Call me the mom who refused to play along and notices too much.

 

Scientizing Public Policy: Implementing Orwellian Tyranny by Statute Via the Mind and Personality

I have spent the last several days since President Obama signed the “bicameral and bipartisan” Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on December 9 reading the false and misleading statements from various think tanks and reporters, supposedly representing a wide spectrum of political visions. Probably the most intrusive and impactful federal legislation ever and hardly anyone writing about it seems to feel compelled to actually read the legislation before explaining what it will do. In school a false Cliff Notes explanation of a book is likely to get a failing grade and an inquiry into cheating. In public policy and journalism now, creating false beliefs about transformative legislation seems to be all the rage. I guess it is to be expected that legislation seeking to physically reengineer the human psyche using behavioral science research would also use a bit of that research to create these false, or simply incomplete, talking points being used to describe the legislation.

If that other “bicameral and bipartisan,” fundamentally transformative legislation from summer 2014-WIOA-was the federal legislation that no one who enacted it wanted to even speak of, its partner-ESSA-is the transformative statute that no one intends to describe accurately. Unfortunately though, the actual statutory language and its real purpose control what must now occur in P-12 classrooms. It lays out what has really been authorized for meaningful change at the level of our children’s minds and personalities. Remember that. Talking points and articles may influence how ESSA is regarded by parents and the voting public, but it has nothing to do with the actual required implementation. Because the points raised and language ignored have so much commonality article to article, I shifted the actual quote I pilfered for the title from ‘scientizing politics’, which is what I believe ESSA was designed to do, to ‘scientizing public policy.’

The reference to Orwell is not me being a clever wordsmith and trying to hype attention. There really was a conference in August 1984 (like his book title) in Cambridge, UK on George Orwell and the “potential for tyranny if the enterprise of politics is interpreted as being analogous to that of science.” I believe that is precisely what ESSA is designed to do. A huge number of reports I have read from the US as well as from all over the globe back that up. Recognizing that makes me want to at call attention to what is at risk and why it matters. This, I believe, is the true reason politicians of both parties and public policy types across the spectrum refuse to accurately describe ESSA. No one seems to want anyone to have much of a chance to recognize the purpose of all those euphemisms used in its language or the Red Herrings designed to be a cited focus.

What does it mean if politics is being falsely analogized to science? Instead of politics being about competing interests within a set of rules that values the individual, scientizing politics uses education and the law as its primary tools. These allow coercive implementation without consent from those actually bound and treat politics as a truth-discovery process. What’s the truth to be compelled for belief? I have warned before that there really is such a thing in political science as the Human Development Society. Karl Marx wrote about it and all its tenets are being put into place now legislatively via all those unread, except by me, provisions of WIOA and ESSA. That is not an ideological smear, but a factual recognition of the background of these ideas.

Whether widely known or not http://buildinitiative.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Four_Ovals_paper.pdf   lays out the federal/states framework of using federal money to intervene in meeting ‘needs’ from birth on. The two think tanks, AEI and Brookings, have recently published definitive plans called “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream” that would also please Uncle Karl immensely. Notice that as much as certain groups have capitalized on criticizing that video of Congressman Tim Ryan saying social and emotional learning is to be the primary focus now of education, that cited paper calls for the same focus. Since I have already read that paper, I know that it makes it clear that the primary reason to have funding follow the student and vary in amounts based on categories of ‘needs’ at federal and state levels is a desire to force socioeconomic integration on all public schools.

I mentioned that goal last week at a program on Student-Based Budgeting and having it be portable like a backpack that was being put on by two Atlas Network members–the Reason Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Both acknowledged that was the goal, but it was a long way away. I pointed out that parents and taxpayers were not being told that was even the long-term goal in all the public programs around changing the nature of student funding. Following up on that discussion, I discovered that both Reason and the Cato Institute had published papers urging a shift in welfare policy to Universal Basic Income. In other words, the so-called Left and Right public policy makers seem to have agreed on implementing Uncle Karl’s vision with the only question marks being how much should be publicly provided vs merely publicly funded and provided under stipulated standards.

Since that apparent reality would probably not be politically popular in a world where a majority of Americans do want to close the borders and not work as a beast of burden for everyone who can physically make it here and then start having children, we get the very lies and misstatements about WIOA and ESSA and what they are really intended to accomplish that I have been noticing. As always when confronted with any attempt to politically install a false picture of reality in the minds of boys and girls and the adults around them, I turned  to a 1988 French book by Jean-Francois Revel that was translated into English in 1991 as The Flight from Truth.

Revel noted just how unusual it is to find people “who possess a taste for facts and an interest in truth.” He called it the “anomaly of intellectual curiosity” and since I have definitely been driven by that curiosity all my life, his descriptions seemed like a good way to describe what ESSA, its required Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings (HOTS), the embedded Competency-based education, the required behaviorally-oriented performance standards and assessments, etc. are all hoping to foster in the minds and personalities of the students who will be tomorrow’s voters.

“The power of ideology is rooted in a human lack of curiosity about facts. When a new piece of information reaches us, we react first by wondering if it is going to reinforce or weaken our habitual mode of thought…The ideas that interest us the most are not new ideas, they are ideas we are accustomed to. [or which preschool through higher ed intends to make us used to as Relevant, Engaging, and Culturally Responsive]. The prodigious progress of science since the seventeenth century prompts us to invest human nature with a congenital appetite for knowledge and an insatiable appetite for facts.

But what history teaches us is that if Man does indeed display an intense intellectual activity, it is above all to construct vast explanatory systems as verbose as they are ingenious-systems that induce mental calm by providing an illusion of global comprehension, rather than by encouraging us humbly to explore reality and to expose ourselves to unknown information. To grow and develop, science has always had to struggle against this primordial human tendency which surrounds it and combats it from within: indifference to knowledge.”

The refusal to describe WIOA and the deliberate inaccuracies surrounding ESSA build on that recognized general indifference to knowledge most people possess. As Revel recognized and so does every behavioral scientist and educator seeking to ‘scientize politics’ in the 21st Century: “Man’s major foe is deep within him. But the enemy is no longer the same. Formerly it was ignorance; today it is falsehood.” Those mental systems that can induce calm or motivate action from a deep, emotional level must be created by education under ESSA in each and every student.

Looking for that presence, and manipulating what is found as needed to create the desired dispositions and generalized knowledge and skills to be the future citizen a Human Development Society needs, is precisely what ESSA prescribes. It is what assessing for HOTS, personalized learning based on data, and ‘well-rounded learning experiences’ are all about. The entire concept of 21st Century Schools required to receive all that funding under ESSA goes back to another reason why education and the law are being used now to Scientize Politics without permission and with organized, active deceit from the public sector and its public policy advocates. We are being forcibly shifted from our historic emphasis in the West of a community organized around moral order to a moral community organized around shared common purposes.

ESSA, WIOA, and those reports I provided as examples above, all assume a shift to an “overriding community interest” where everyone’s designated needs must be met. Individual rights to pursue our own interests and, apparently, our own knowledge of actual facts, get trumped by the desire to plan people, places, the economy, and supposedly ensure economic justice for all, regardless of background or personal productivity. Again, since being honest about this shift and a widespread recognition of what the consequences are likely to be is simply not good for a political career or even fundraising prospects for the typical think tank, we get lies and descriptions of legislation based on talking points with no actual curiosity for the facts.

Education necessarily has to be altered at all levels to support this clear, but unheralded shift, because a society that locates its sources of social cohesion in moral community is “necessarily more vulnerable to shifts in attitudes and behavior patterns that might reflect individual departures from the shared purposes of the community.” At least we know now why a communitarian ethos and shared understandings just keep popping up in the required implementation of a Positive and Safe School Climate.

Everything from the Career Pathways requirements to the new descriptions of K-12 as Workforce Development to the mandate that all educational practices promote Equity and meet needs actually trace back to this shift to a moral community where:

“Persons are tied, one to another, by their common identification to the collective, with their shared sense of nationhood, race, class, or ideology.”

As an anomalous seeker of facts with an insatiable curiosity about the likely effects in the reality where we all dwell, let me be the first to point out that this has historically been a tragic path for any society to actively cultivate.

Just because our elected public officials have arrogantly voted to impose this vision on us using education and the law, with an assist on the falsehoods part from the media, doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce.

The way out, as usual, is the recognition of what is really going on.

Even is it is not a politically approved pathway anymore under federal law.

 

Greed as the Driver to Force Education to Create Socially Engineered Human Beings under Federal Law

The only good thing about the huge Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) dropped on Monday, November 30 that sailed through the House Wednesday evening, December 2, to move on to the Senate is that we finally have a truly fixed body of language to analyze. After writing my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon back in 2012 examining the actual implementation and what its true effects would be, and now this blog dealing with real time subsequent confessions, I have joked that ESSA read to me as smoothly as if it were written in Latin and I was Cicero.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that my reference to greed is merely the Pay for Success language that is unmistakably there, let me say the Greed I am talking about is not just for Success or Social Impact Bonds. It is Greed for Compliance that permeates ESSA. What local school districts and governments as well as states must agree to do, in schools and to children, in return for those luscious federal dollars. First though here is a news release from a well-connected organization bragging that just the Pay for Success components of ESSA add up to $2 billion a year. http://results4america.org/press-room/press-release-michele-jolin-evidence-based-policy-provisions-essa-game-changer-federal-education-funding/

Results for America with its ties to President Obama’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Engagement and Cass Sunstein’s Nudging initiatives along with the UK Behavioural Sciences Unit and its interest in cities (Remember my Learning Regions post November 11, 2015) http://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/bloomberg-philanthropies-announces-first-cities-selected-to-join-what-works-cities-initiative/ . They also created a relevant vision back in March with Atlas Network member AEI. http://www.results4america.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-3-18-Moneyball-for-Education-Report.pdf

The co-author of that report, Bethany Little, is a partner at the same Education Counsel that is tied to Clinton’s Ed Secretary Richard Riley. It was hired by the Common Core’s sponsor, CCSSO, to create the competency-based education successor for the Next Generation States pushing innovative practices. Not a surprise then to see that paying for Success or just Compliance with the same reading, civics, or math constructivism that political radicals who call themselves Social Reconstructionists have fought for decades to impose on K-12 (Chapters 2-4 of my book, which is how I recognized what ESSA described)  features so prominently in what ESSA really forces. The local school district, charter school or any eligible entity, wanting those luscious federal dollars to flow to their local economy (think of students as just the excuse), agree to do whatever is specified. Is that really returning ‘control’ to the states and local schools with just federal ‘guardrails’?

The answer of course is it depends on what those requirements are. In addition to the insights only my book covers that are now more pertinent than ever because of what is in ESSA, I think the best summary of what schools must do in return for federal dollars is contained in Title IV–21st Century Schools. Of course every state and school wants those funds so let’s see what they must agree to do. First, provide “access to, and opportunities for, a well-rounded education for all students.” Secondly, create “school conditions for student learning in order to create a healthy and safe school environment.” Lastly, provide “access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology and professional development for the effective use of data and technology.”

Anyone out there saying, “what’s wrong with that? Next thing she’ll be complaining about apple pie.” Here’s the problem. ESSA was trying very hard not to have any damnable sound bytes that might have stopped passage. Most of the egregious language in what passed the House or Senate originally is gone. Instead we get euphemisms. Fortunately for us Tyranny Busters with Axemaker Minds my research is like a glossary of euphemisms. Part 1 on well-rounded education is the UNESCO term used all over the world now to denote non-transmissive or examination type education. Instead education must now be geared to develop the human personality as a harmonious integrated being. (Tarbiyah calls this education for shakhsiyah (personality/identity) for anyone craving an explicit link to the previous post.)

Maybe not such a good euphemism then to fend off scrutiny from what is really being promised in return for federal dollars. Part 2′s promises also sound glorious and vague. Apart from implicating all the Positive School Climate and that nesting a la Matrushka doll model from the previous post, what do I really have against Part 2? Well, in researching that last post I spent time researching what is going on the UK. The madrassas there are terribly pleased about legislation adopted since 2000 imposing obligations of social cohesion and racial equality on every school and community. Ofsted is the inspector to check for school compliance in the UK and in 2009 they defined the legally required community cohesion that schools must also demonstrate as follows:

“…working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging in all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available for all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools, and the wider community.”

I know everyone reading will be shocked that this also fits with Intercultural obligations UNESCO adopted in 2004 and has now moved to force globally as part of its Rapprochement of Cultures decade and the initiatives from the last post. There goes the supposed ambiguity attached to complying with Part II’s obligations. How about Personalized Learning and that data obligation? That of course is where the true manipulation and reengineering of each student at a neurological level comes into play. I have written about this some and it is what my second book’s research covers in depth.

Luckily for us this  http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-measurements-promote-efficacy-of-personalized-learning/409798/ states Gates has spent $5 billion promoting personalized learning. Part 3 is not terribly ambiguous either in its intentions. This is especially true when the chosen evaluator Rand is also who the White House chose to create the Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies it wishes to make the new focus of education. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/confessions-of-a-coordinated-cabal-intent-on-psychological-rape-with-impunity/

Rand was also the chosen evaluator for the federally-financed Change Agent Study in the 70s that was used to create strategies for effective implementations of the behavioral sciences in schools going forward. I am sure none of their Effective Schools template is embodied in ESSA.That would be why the new chosen statutory phrase is ‘evidence-based.’ It is how the compliance of the local schools is to be judged. Literally as in “is the school or district providing programs, activities, and experiences that comply with these listed objectives for 21st Century Schools?” Compliance and greed is how the Social Reengineering gets forced with hardly anyone, I suppose, truly aware of what Congress is mandating.

The real problem is the total reimagining of economies in the 21st Century by think tanks supposedly on the Right and Left, by governments at every level, and on a Bipartisan and Bicameral basis (as Congress is describing its support for both ESSA and 2014′s related WIOA (see tag)).  In a 2014 report called “Impact Investment: the Invisible Heart of Markets” the true vision of the 21st century global economy is laid out. This is what both WIOA and ESSA (as well as other legislation and programs) intend to quietly force on the US. It is to be quite lucrative as well for the insiders, foundations, and investment banks cited in the report. Would anyone be shocked to know Gates and Soros are both involved and all the UN entities and the OECD?

As former Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is quoted as saying “This is ground zero of a big deal.” Under Paying for Outcomes, we learn that “impact-driven organizations need access to markets in order to generate income from the products and services they offer.” Me too, please. It’s thus not people creating a market for things they want. It is governments creating markets by mandating that every person in the world has a right to have their needs met. Think of impact investing as trying to monetize poverty for the benefit of politicians wanting political and social control and high-net worth individuals looking for a certain return. To quote:

“the largest markets, however, could be provided by governments paying for impact. There is an urgent need for a revolution in government purchasing, with paying for the successful delivery of specific outcomes at its core.”

Precisely what Ofsted looks for or Rand. What impact investing or as it is now called in the US–Moneyball for Government–needs is specific standards or measures of ‘success’ or when objectives have been ‘achieved.’  Can anyone say Common Core or Competencies? In fact, it was the constant recurrence of words used in both the House and Senate ESEA Reauthorization drafts that first caught my eye. This is also how charters, and whether they get renewed or the lucrative ability to expand at taxpayer expense, really work. Fascinatingly enough though the well-connected KnowledgeWorks that is tied to Education Counsel and thus Moneyball issued a frightening Forecast 4.0 this week. It not only made reference to Impact Investing as the “New Civic Funding,” it also mentioned under ‘Educating for Impact’ that “What if School Social Impact Scores became critical metrics for attracting funding, partnerships, and community engagement?”

It would also go well with a forced community cohesion mandate a la UK or all the communitarian obligations in Positive School Climate and Democratic Education too. There is a lot of information in this post so let me close with another document that came out today as the UN announced a “Global Alliance to Monitor Learning.” Interesting timing, huh? With ESSA just passing the House, but there is a mention of A4L. Not a lot of new acronyms in my world at this point, but that was one. When I looked it up http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/assessment-for-learning.pdf , it showed me a Theory of Change that fits completely with what ESSA has just set up to send money to local communities in return for compliance with the UNESCO vision. The one no one locally has to even now about.

Quality Learning for all children and youth turns out to be first about Activities, then Intermediate Outcomes, Outcomes, and finally Impact. All in a document tied to the Brookings Institute and its sunsetting Learning Metrics Task Force. I wrote about LMTF and its use of Competencies and the nice Rockefeller Foundation letting them use its Bellagio retreat. That would be the same foundation that coined the very term ‘impact investment’ back in 2007.

How coincidental, huh? Behind a push globally along with others about using tax dollars to force “measurable social outcomes” including reengineered human personalities. Each to be primed and motivated for fundamentally transforming existing social, political, and economic structures.

Perhaps to a motto of Not Serfs Yet, we should add “And No Ambiguity Left as to True Intentions.”

 

Harnessing the Willingness of the Populace to Fill its Role in These Plans Via Deceit at all Levels

Part Two begins with the UNESCO General Conference meeting in Paris that last week enacted what it already abbreviates as FFA–Education 2030 Framework for Action: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. UNESCO is celebrating its 70th anniversary at this meeting and fully intends to use “Quality Education” to achieve its long time agenda of “Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women”. That’s what Rapprochement of Cultures and Human Rights Education were about from the last two posts. I happen to have the up-to-date official definition of Quality Learning at the ready for us:

“there is an acute need to foster skills, values and attitudes that will enable people to overcome religious, linguistic and cultural differences, to coexist peacefully, and to discover shared human, moral and ethical principles…we attach great importance to enhancing quality in learning by..raising awareness of shared moral, ethical and cultural values, and promoting tolerance of differences [at least certain kinds of differences as the Oregon bakers discovered].”

It is that internalized belief and value system we all have that is being consistently targeted, isn’t it? They do intend to build peace at the level of the mind, or at least prevailing perceptions that it is possible. To discover why let me introduce you to a new definition of ‘culture’ and something I had never heard of–Cognitive Anthropology. See where footnote surfing gets us? To quote a cited book, Cultural Models in Language & Thought, “this school of anthropology came to stand for a new view of culture as shared knowledge [hence the boldfacing above]–not a people’s customs and artifacts and oral traditions, but what they must know in order to act as they do, make the things they make, and interpret their experiences in the distinctive way they do.”

Sound familiar? That’s what Competency gets at, what Higher Order Thinking Skills assessments evaluate for, what the Maker Movement and Project-based Learning have students emphasize, and what the local school administrators mean when they hype ‘quality learning experiences’ for all students. When the White House Summit this week on reimagining American high school showed a film Most Likely to Succeed   touting High Tech High in San Diego http://mltsfilm.org/ they were pushing a vision of education developed by cognitive anthropology research. The title of this post tells us why. Education–preschool, K-12, higher ed, and adult–is looking for “insight into those conditions under which cultural models [what Quality Learning internalizes. See above] are endowed with directive force and hence with ideological potential.”

Gulp. The essence of the phrase “sustainable development” is finding cultural models that can be internalized as values, beliefs, and attitudes that will reliably guide and prompt desired future behaviors. If that sounds authoritarian, it is. It fully intends to rely on ‘statutory enactment’ and ‘political regulations’ to be binding, but those things and ‘financial incentives’ cannot carry the load fully. Education for All throughout a lifetime, from cradle to grave, is needed to always be malleable and subservient to political power. No rebellions and no resentment, at least not overtly. In what may be my all time favorite phrase taken from a 2006 book Learning Cities, Learning Regions, Learning Communities: Lifelong learning and local government,  written by a professor and UNESCO consultant Nicholas Longworth:

“Top-down authoritarian structures are no longer in vogue and leaders in cities and regions will need to know how to harness the creative energies of thousands of people for the good. Shakespeare’s ‘tide in the affairs of men’ becomes also a tide in the affairs of local and regional authorities.”

Remember this as your Congress Critter or Senator Lamar Alexander hypes the ESEA Rewrite returning power to states and local districts and schools. Remember it as your State Governor files his WIOA plan, with its state and local boards, with DC. This is all consistent with the UN vision for achieving its 2030 Dignity for All agenda via Learning Cities and Learning Regions. The FFA mentioned above says so. We may not know any cognitive anthropologists or behavioral scientists, but the UN does, and it knows:

“Social life depends on the fit between what is socially required [see above and previous posts] and what is individually desired [Quality Learning games this]. So, too, the designs of those who would rule society and those who would benefit from this control over others, depend upon the willingness of the populace to fill its role in these plans. Therefore, states and other agencies promulgate ideology [Equity for All; Catastrophic Global Warming] persuading people to do what they otherwise might question or resist…To be successful, ideologies must appeal to and activate preexisting cultural understandings [Quality Learning again]…to be convincing, an ideology must pose as either legitimate or inevitable.”

Now we know why Outcomes-Based Education just keeps coming back as my book laid out and as a speaker from the well-connected Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education confirmed just last night. The stipulated outcomes are what can ‘grip us’ and act as an internal compass as Human Rights Education called it. That FFA stated that “Education is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and essential for the success of all SDGs.” Front and center and running through everything, crucial to education, beginning ‘at birth’ and continuing ‘throughout life’ is the ‘concept of lifelong learning.” This time it is FFA bolding that phrase and luckily for us the footnote is on that page and not at the end. It was all-encompassing though and sent me scurrying for the cited technical paper. That’s when the Learning Cities and Regions came rolling out so here’s the quote:

“In essence, lifelong learning is rooted in the integration of learning and living, covering learning activities for people of all ages (children, young people, adults and elderly, girls and boys, women and men) in all life-wide contexts (family, school, community, workplace and so on) and through a variety of modalities (formal, non-formal and informal) which together meet a wide range of learning needs [what new state funding formulas all seem to emphasize] and demands. Education systems which promote lifelong learning adopt a holistic and sector-wide approach involving all sub-sectors and levels to ensure the provision of learning opportunities for all individuals.”

I was a history major and I recognize a variant of Mussolini’s infamous definition of Fascism, even if the State force is divvied up at multiple levels from the global to the local all the way to an insistence on student-centered learning: “All within the State, Nothing outside the State, Nothing against the State.” Remember authoritarianism is not rejected, just any perception of a top-down, centralized imposition. When I found that Lifelong Learning Technical Paper, it revealed a supposedly binding set of documents from 2013 called the “Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities” and ” Key Features of Learning Cities.” Locating these and reading through them it became apparent that I had been living through and attending meetings clearly implementing this Learning Region agenda. No wonder I accidentally learned so much as my book pulled together in alarming detail.

I now know that for sure and not just by inference because a few days ago the San Francisco region issued what it called the Roadmap http://www.bayareaeconomy.org/report/a-roadmap-for-economic-resilience/ that fits with every tenet aspiration of a UN Learning Region down to wanting to create a public-private partnership of elected officials and civic and business leaders to guide an Economic Development partnership that would be qualified to access federal funds as one of the 380 duly-qualified Economic Development Districts. Lots to build Learning Cities and regions on, huh? The report thanked those that have gone before and listed Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, DC, and Los Angeles.

Between the last post and this one I went out of town and part of that trip involved driving Interstate 75 through Dalton, a reminder of the Aspen/fed Communities that Work Partnership http://www.aspenwsi.org/communities-that-work/overview/ that just commenced. WSI is Workforce Strategies Initiatives because in Learning Cities and Learning Regions, we all know that K-12=Workforce Development=Economic Development=Living itself under that definition of Lifelong Learning. Get enough physically juxtaposed regions and cities in one federal program or another, including Community Broadband that the close-by Chattanooga just issued bonds to finance, and our Learning Regions start knitting into a Learning Society committed via the law and education to Lifelong Learning–everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Quickly as I am running out of time, at the end of September 2015 a Second Learning Cities Summit was held in Mexico City and it set out the above as Guiding Documents for cities and regions to formally join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Maybe our mayors or city council members do not plan to tell us though and simply go to conferences like PolicyLink’s October Equity Summit in Los Angeles where the principles are all asserted with federal officials mixing with local and with community organizers, implementing a global agenda without telling us officially.

Maybe the recognition comes from something like an ASCD Whole School Whole Community Whole Child Poster http://www.ascd.org/programs/learning-and-health/wscc-model.aspx once we know about the Lifelong Learning/Learning Region formal agenda and seeing how it fits like a jigsaw piece to a puzzle. When we read about “more collaboration and partnerships with families, industry and business, voluntary associations, people active in cultural life are needed,” we need to recognize this is not just some random public spiritedness and desire for collaboration. It derives from official global policy for a new kind of cultural model internalized within the mind and personality.

We will close with the aspiration laid out by the Chinese Vice Premier at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that this UNESCO agenda of Lifelong Learning is to “facilitate the comprehensive and personalized development of each and every individual.” Now take the top-down authoritarianism rejection and marry it with the bottoms up intent of Human Rights Education. This is Part 2 of a Trilogy, remember?

The Key Features Framework has a Greek Temple graphic with Sustainable Development across six pillars that basically summarize elements of the vision as the Major Building Blocks of a Learning City and three steps laying out the needed fundamental conditions. The left side of the pediment at the top is “Individual Empowerment and Social Cohesion.” Get it? The collective is what empowers the individual, even if it is only an entitlement to basic skills. The right side joining it is “Economic Development and Cultural Prosperity.”

Now would be a good time to remember it does not say Economic prosperity. It would also be a good time to remember that new definition of Culture the Cognitive Anthropologists created set out above.

 

 

 

 

Bottom Up Peace Built By Education From Below Within the Student’s Mind and Emotions

This is the start of a Trilogy where I cover precisely how the Rapprochement of Cultures, Human Rights Education, and Education for Democratic Citizenship as envisioned by the UN entities, make it all the way to your local school, public or private, and your child’s classroom, without anyone recognizing what is really going on. In the materials that back up this and the remainder of the Trilogy there is not a single mention of the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures. As we will see though, RoC fits invisibly with everything being required. In fact, so does fedEd’s recent insistence that a biologically intact transgender boy must have unfettered access to a high school girl’s locker room. It also is a currently undisclosed initiative tied to the likely 2016 Democratic nominee for President financed while she was Secretary of State.

The phrase “Bottom Up Peace Built From Below” is straight from the RoC materials and the remainder of the title fits with how to do it. To show just how long this has been sought in a way that feeds into the timeline in my book Credentialed to Destroy, let’s go back to the Democratic Education book then Princeton prof Amy Gutmann published in 1986.

“Teachers typically resist changing their teaching methods, often on the well-intentioned misperception that their obligation is to impart knowledge, not to develop the moral character of their students.”

What kind of moral character then is the new purpose of education and the schools and so crucial that parents must not be allowed to somehow ‘exempt their kids’? Character that will allow each student to recognize each other as equals “for deliberating and thereby participating in the democratic processes” for restructuring society going forward. That was Gutmann’s vision long before she became President of the Ivy League, U-Penn. The purpose of Preschool to higher ed for her was to create a “common set of democratic values that are compatible with a diverse set of religious beliefs.”

Democratic Education is all about ALL schools helping to “develop the cooperative moral sentiments–empathy, trust, benevolence, and fairness.” She goes on to cite the same John Dewey I cover in Chapter 2 of my book because of his ideal of a school “whose aim is ‘not the economic value of its products, but the development of social power and insight’ pointed to such a morality” in each student.  The presence of such values, cooperative sentiments, beliefs about others, etc are the very learner ‘outcomes’ to now be assessed by schools. How do I know for sure? Last week as part of that Youth Summit and in preparation for the UNESCO General Conference that opened this week in Paris, UNESCO and friends published a rather graphic report Curriculum Development and Review for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education to lay out plans to force EDC/HRE into every subject in every classroom all over the world.

In the bibliography at the end is a cite to a 2014 report called “Teaching Respect for All Implementation Guide” that caught my eye since I had just written the Rapprochement of Cultures post. Found it with UNESCO profusely thanking the US Department of State for “their generous financial contribution and continuous support in the development of the Teaching Respect for All project” that launched in January 2012. Maybe promoting HRE was more important than Benghazi security, but the always italicized Teaching Respect for All was financed and launched by Hillary or her subordinates.

Want to know what its definition is on what constitutes ‘individual achievement’ by a student? In the lead-in under “Part 1-Set of Key Principles for Policy Makers” is the definition that “through education” students will demonstrate the “acquisition and application of awareness, knowledge, skills, and values for the sake of a peaceful society in which individuals treat each other with respect.”

Those are not personal characteristics for students to acquire in addition to math, science principles, historical knowledge, or literature enjoyed for its own sake. ALL school activities are intended to create themes, practices, values, and beliefs needed for “learning to live together as one community.” Amitai Etzioni must be beside himself at what Bill and Hillary have been up to now using their power, influence, and our tax dollars. Remember UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and her admission that education was about promoting ‘scientific humanism’?  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/decreeing-the-interdependence-of-environment-economy-society-and-cultural-diversity-in-the-21st/

A quote from her at the launch of TRforA (its new acronym) leads off “Part 2-Set of Key principles for Headteachers [Principals in the US] and NGO Managers” that “building respect in and through education [is] ‘essential for promoting a new humanitarianism for the twenty-first century.’”  Yes, indeed, we have the US State Department, under Hillary and President Obama, underwriting HRE globally and quietly in the US to “enable the education system to fulfill its fundamental aims of promoting the full development of the human personality [a term straight out of Uncle Karl when translated into English] and appreciation of human dignity, of strengthening respect for human rights and of delivering a quality education for all.”

In addition to the focus on Competency and values, attitudes, and beliefs laid out in detail in my book as the real Common Core implementation, this HRE mandate gives the rationale for fed ED suddenly determining in April 2012 (just months after launch) that IDEA be read to require PBIS and other positive psychology interventions in all classrooms with all students to avoid stereotyping. It also fits with the push to issue an Executive Order for Positive School Climate in late July 2012 and all the efforts to hype bullying and disparities in School Discipline offenses. Since I led with the transgender mention, let me quote the relevant part of the “key approaches necessary to successfully counteract discrimination.”

“Pupils and students may have multiple cultural, ethnic, and racial backgrounds, or understandings of their sexuality, which means that these forms interact. These attributes are best understood as real aspects of their identities and as attributes that may be open to change or new interpretations. Pupils and students have a right to self-identify with cultures, sexualities, ‘races’, genders, or ethnicities in ways that feel authentic to them. The authenticity of one’s identity should never be dismissed or seen as insignificant.”

That is the philosophy driving the fed Office of Civil Rights and it is straight out of the HRE we financed. If they have a copy, so should we, but since UNESCO links are quite unstable you will notice I just give titles. Education now, apparently from little tykes on, is actually about “strengthening mutual tolerance and cultivating respect for all people, regardless of colour, gender, class, sexual orientation, national, ethnic, or religious orientation/identity.” TRforA targets “learners of 8-16 years old, and aims to build curiosity, openness, critical thinking and understanding among youth learners, thus equipping them with awareness, knowledge, and skills to cultivate respect and stop discrimination on all levels.”

Even if it takes false narratives or the kind of manipulative mental framing put out last week with regard to STEM. http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/k12-stem-learning.html If you are like me and rather drenched in facts and logic, we can notice that what is an accepted identity and beliefs is not for everyone, especially high school girls unable to mentally cloak a boy’s visible genitalia in the assurance that only social constructions matter. If anyone hopes the reference to ‘critical thinking’ leaves some subject matter intact, the very use of the phrase ‘critical race theory’ and ‘pedagogy’ makes it quite clear how intolerant tolerance intends to be.

“Curricula must dedicate time to sensitive issues, such as discussing stereotypes and recognizing injustices. They must take a reality-based [I can hear some of you snickering from afar] and relevant approach, which recognizes groups’ histories of suffering and marginalization, and provides learners with the critical skills to react to discrimination.”

I am guessing this is where perceived Microaggressions and White Privilege come in and I am supposed to feel bad about being a bookworm when I was younger or teaching myself to read. I actually think that “Curricula should fully incorporate education to fight racism, xenophobia and discrimination at every level, rather than teaching these lessons as separate subjects” may do quite a bit to bring back what was called the Generation Gap decades ago as older adults wonder why young people are becoming such ignorant, self-righteous twits. We may never see the phrase a ‘Whole Child emphasis’ the same again after reading another key approach that “Going beyond cognitive skills, curricula should equip learners to learn about the issues as well as empower them to act in response to racism and discrimination. Learners need to receive training in conflict resolution and in speaking out against social injustice.”

We are all going to need training in conflict resolution if we have to listen to young people deliberately educated to feel both slighted and empowered to transform an existing world they neither understand accurately or appreciate. Since only quoting the Implementation Guide’s key approaches can reveal the true horror of what is intended in the name of school transformation and student success to be appreciated, here’s another: “A fundamental commitment to create an emancipatory culture of schooling that empowers all pupils and students. This includes practices that allow pupils and teachers to work together to acquire, analyse and produce social and self-knowledge.” And we wonder why we keep being told the change to a competency-based emphasis is needed to be ‘internationally competitive’. That’s a framing that works and explaining the true purpose would likely send us all into a frenzy.

I mentioned the “Curriculum redevelopment” paper release last week  so let’s close with some of the aims it was also up front about. “The wider aim of EDC/HRE is the establishment of sustainable and participative forms of democracy based on respect for human rights and good governance.” Those human rights principles are described as “non-discrimination, inclusion and participation, and the rule of law.” That’s an affirmative, anti-individualistic view of the rule of law http://gluna.wildapricot.org/resources/Human%20Rights%20Day%202014 /The%20Rule%20of%20Law%20in%20the%20Universal%20Declaration%20of%20Human%20Rights.pdf  that is necessary as Harvard Law Prof Mary Ann Glendon described it so that “human affairs are not forever destined to be determined by force and accident, but that they can be affected to some extent by reason and choice.”

Mary Ann is one of Amitai Etzioni’s favorite law profs for obvious reasons. Remember how my Chapter 7 pointed out the real Common Core implementation was all about changing values, attitudes, and beliefs? Remember how that is what learning now means as well? “Efforts to promote EDC/HRE involve the development of dispositions, extending beyond knowledge and skills to include behaviours and actions. research has shown that such dispositions are fostered through participatory and learner-centred teaching and learning processes…” that would be the real reason lectures and textbooks have to go.

Somehow I am sure the now ubiquitous explanation of the antiquated ‘factory-model’ of school is just another group-tested framing meme to alter prevailing behavior without opposition.

See you later when we take on Part 2 on how this is all coming in now and invisibly.

 

 

Rapprochemont or Civilization Surrender? How to Force Global Solidarity Starting with Preschool Education

In case anyone wonders how that UNESCO Roadmap to the Global Action Programme even came up in a discussion of what might be applicable in your neck of the woods, the just-ended Connected Educators Month touted that Youth Summit in Paris last week. Anyone unaware of CEM might want to know it ties to fed ED, virtually all the ed trade and professional groups, and the tech companies involved closely with the to-be-required digital learning. Poking through that Youth Summit and its materials taught me quickly that there is an EDC/HRE global initiative. That stands for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and it declares the “decisive role of school in shaping the young generation, transmitting cultural, moral and civic values and creating the premises for new social change.”

Initially I had written “wanted us to know” but let’s face it, none of these planners, summit attenders, UNESCO or OECD employees, etc, actually plan to tell us anything. We were certainly not going to be told that preschool through high school needs to provide a “shift in mindset and social responsibility” to deal with the peoples and cultures of the world and that this “holistic approach to rebuilding and reconciliation” and “integral human development”  cannot “be achieved effectively without unhinging the idea of nations and cultural communities from the nation-state.” And we wonder why APUSH does not want to glorify American exceptionalism or our Founding Fathers and is now promoting the concept of Dialogue around an Interactive Constitution.

Those were quotes taken from something else being kept quiet from us that was promoted in a session at the Youth Summit called “Mobile Cultures for Dialogue” that announced that in 2013 the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures commenced. Think of that name as you look at the hordes now from Syria or North Africa in Europe or the arrivals in the US from Central America or the resettlements of Somalis and others from certain parts of Africa. Yes, all those migrations/invasions, depending on your perspective, do appear to be a part of the UN’s Post-2015 plans for all of us. UNESCO has now put up a Summary from its first Expert Meeting held March 24-25, 2015 in Paris to create a framework to implement the RoC agenda.

I know everyone will be shocked, shocked, not that there is gambling going on in Casablanca, but that UNESCO views “Citizenship education in a plural and interconnected world” as the means to implement this agenda. “Key message to be instilled: Human values drive a dynamic process to develop responsible citizens.” Apparently citizens who have divorced themselves from fealty to that evil nation-state. Before we examine what is coming at us unbeknownst and without our approval in the present, let’s go back to an interview Amitai Etzioni gave in 1999 that was uploaded by the University of Goettingen in 2013. Not only is Germany the destination of choice for these Migrants in search of a cohesive society to meet their needs, it, like the US, also appears to be Ground Zero for finally bringing the Active Society into fulfillment.

Since we all love a good confession from the politically connected, let’s just listen now to these past declarations of intent and methods of choice. “I was very connected to cybernetics. So the social cybernetics [science of control, remember?] which I tried to develop stated that one of the four conditions for successful social change is the support of the people. Therefore it was not a top-down concept. [or must not be perceived to be since we have tracked to the UN and the OECD]… Because the good society is communitarian [people] believe in shared virtues…you need true participation to set new mores…eight months is not a very long time for reaching shared understandings.”

Although media can help and UNESCO and Etzioni both have called on it to do so, education remains the primary tool for creating these values of solidarity and all this must be done at the local level as early as possible. Last week two papers came out in the US seeking to accomplish precisely what the Active Society needs and the UN entities and the OECD all want. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/30051800/StandardsAlignment.pdf is tied to Etzioni as one of its co-authors is a JD/ Masters in Ed Policy candidate from GWU. Now that’s how you get to both recommend transformative practices for education and also create the legal mandate to make it bindingly so. Just what the Active Society and UNESCO recommend.

Doesn’t everyone want Standards for Nonacademic Skills that cover Preschool through Third Grade and start with Sharing, then “self-control, and then “building relationships with peers and adults.” Fits well if the community and collective action, instead of the individual, is to be the required means of political action. Notice too that the Early Learning Outcomes Framework was changed in June 2015 to add ‘perceptual development’ for the little tykes and to delete ‘general knowledge’. Might get in the way of pitching all these false narratives.

The Achievement Gap Institute at Harvard wants to move “Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency” http://www.agi.harvard.edu/projects/TeachingandAgency.pdf that in the name of Excellence, Effective Teaching and what will be measured to keep jobs, and Equity manages to make the new classroom focus creating the very kind of personal characteristics needed so that everyone feels their responsibility to others.

Since not everyone is as click happy as I am when I see a link, please notice that the cited mindset scholars network combines Growth Mindset, Grit, Perseverence, and Civil Rights expectations as a matter of law into what is slipping in there. Clicking further we find the National Mindset Study that is funded by Carnegie and is involved with the “brain’s ability to restructure itself” and for the students “to internalize those messages [provided] via writing exercises.” Ding. Ding. Ding. So the human brain will neurologically restructure itself over time in response to manipulative reading and writing exercises. This is thus a known way to create false beliefs and acceptance of carefully cultivated narratives that promote social and political transformation.

Etzioni wrote about the need for ‘authentic consensus’ and spoke of the need for the bottom-up support of the people and this is how it gets created. Early Learning Standards wanting to target Perception and social and emotional learning. That Harvard study seeks to focus on developing student’s ‘purposeful initiative’, Why does that matter? Because that bridges the gap between what the students have internalized as values and beliefs about the world and motivating them to act to change the world. That’s what now constitutes Effective Teaching. It’s not about knowledge. It’s about cultivating the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors needed to either push for, or go along with, transformative social change.

Now we can go back to the Rapprochement of Cultures, which oddly enough is being financially sponsored by the same Saudi Arabia with no desire to take in any of the North Africa or Syrian refugees. It is formally sponsored by Kazakhstan, one of the world’s most notorious dictatorships, which is rather a tip off that this agenda is actually not about a goal to “enhance dialogue between cultures based on dignity, tolerance, and respect.” It’s only certain cultures, religions, and beliefs systems entitled to such deference and respect. For an idea who, we can look at the backgrounds and previous initiatives of the invited experts listed at the back of the summary or we can see what President Obama, Jeh Johnson, and a Merkel spokewoman said here http://linkis.com/dailycaller.com/2015/de8UL

When I originally outlined this post I actually mentioned a Tripod of needed false beliefs and narratives that this Rapprochement plans to push that refuses to listen to any facts, no matter how provable they are. Before I knew the background of the ‘experts,’ it was clear this initiative intended to impose a one way Affirmative Claim against the West to protect certain cultures and religions and to provide endlessly for any adherents that managed to physically make it within the borders. If you wonder why I went back to the Etzioni quote on not being top down, Recommendation # 6 calls for “ensuring civil society [Etzioni's preferred term] is paramount in recognition of their pivotal role in transforming social norms, attitudes, and behavior, as well as nurturing peace from the ground up through promoting positive principles and ideals.”

That’s what those two cited papers do from just this week. It’s what the new required PBIS, Positive School Climates, and Restorative Justice practices do. Since Harvard and the state of Massachusetts are listed partners, and the location of, the UNESCO/OECD Center for Curriculum Redesign created by Charles Fadel, it is very unlikely that the paper is not part of the RoC vision for the “creation of a sustainable, socially-cohesive society.” If anyone thinks I am somehow just trying to pull at the heart strings by tying terrible visuals of the hordes in Europe or crossing the Mexican border to the education agenda, Common Core, and competency based education, let me close with a few more quotes. Not my bolding.

” 7. Promote the respect for the inherent human dignity of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and enhance societal understanding of their value and contribution [to, sic] the impalpable dynamics of ideas and in enabling the rapprochement of cultures. Achieving a better balance between migrant rights and duties could result in peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity.”

Notice that ‘could’ because UNESCO is granting a human right to come anyway and an obligation for us to provide and change our existing culture via ‘quality education’ to change prevailing beliefs and values. Notice that the Rapprochment, said to be the biggest initiative UNESCO has ever undertaken, is intimately tied to that physical presence in nation-states that are no longer to have border or cultural primacy themselves. Now as I finish think of the NEA and their CARE Guide and the Southern Poverty Law Center and its Teaching Tolerance initiative that teachers are being taught to implement as part of the Common Core training.

” 8. Strengthen existing and nurture new forms of global solidarity, including through the media, which foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and counter hate speech, racism, xenophobia, radicalization, violent extremism and genocide. Voices of tolerance must be stronger and they must be better supported to maximize impact and reach.”

Education under RoC, that is in fact coming to your local schools with the force of law, “can be a means to resist and overcome political forces, in particular, identity politics that seek to counter pluralism within self and society.” Got that? Only a bigot would refuse this RoC agenda. If you think the hostility to existing nation-states is just in one place this is how Rec #2 ended:

“Social responsibility with respect to safeguarding and promoting culture also needs to be extended beyond the realm of the nation state in favour of its universal value for humanity.”

I am not jingoistic nor bigoted, and I did not go looking for this agenda of Rapprochement. It has a trail that leads to fed Ed and others involved in what goes on locally.

We no more have an obligation to ignore this Suicide of the West by Menticide than most of us would ignore the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife if we could stop it by speaking up.

So I am.

Obscuring Coercive Control and the Active Society Launch: Heralding Lethal Arrows as Rays of Light

To appreciate just how much our beliefs guide our perceptions and actions, let’s assume that we know something is coming at us in the sky, but we cannot know precisely what until we are at risk. At that point it may be too late to duck or put on armor and use a shield. Safety requires we make assumptions beforehand. If we are fully armed, we risk deflecting truly helpful rays of light. If we believe nothing bad can happen, the lethal arrows can slay us while we remained unawares until the last moment. Perception matters, especially when the expressed desire is for wholesale social, economic, and political change without any recognition in time. To avoid timely and effective resistance, the architect for the global transformation blueprints to what was described in 1968 as the Active Society, sociology prof Amitai Etzioni, insisted on a need to “rely less on direct coercive control.”

Control needed to be indirect and out of sight and especially embedded in situations where its presence would be binding but unappreciated. I wrote Positive School Climate in the margin of the book at that point and administrators insisting that all classrooms use Restorative Justice Practices as part of an obligation to practice positive behavior tenets. It’s coercive and intended to control future behavior. Desired attitudes, values, and beliefs get practiced until they become unconscious Habits of Mind, but what parent would be tracking at this level? What lawyer would follow the statutes, regulations, orders, and case law declarations to figure out the binding template if they did not have a school district for a client or work in the public sector? It was a good plan, but what is created to be binding has threads that can be followed authoritatively.

To anyone who has ever called me a conspiracy theorist, I do not theorize, except in my kitchen when I am winging a recipe. I am, however, a very able Tracker of Openly Declared efforts at Colluding to use Political Power to bind people and places against their will to a vision of the future. Here we go again describing events that have occurred within the last week that have kicked the creation of the Active Society into high gear. Professor Etzioni wrote that the Active Society, in order to sell the necessary collectivism, would need a guiding vision. He asked “which creeds have sufficient transcendental force to overcome tribalism?” Tribalism had nothing to do with the Apache nor is it an excuse for a casino in a non-gambling state. Tribalism was a belief that the pertinent community to which a moral obligation of care and meeting needs was one’s family or at most the nation-state.

That was unacceptable during the height of the Cold War, when Professor Etzioni sought to make the moral community the entire globe–all of humanity. Education needed to become about creating values that would extend to “all men” and creating an authentic consensus around the need to act to create the desired transformations–locally, sub-nationally, nation-states, and then globally. This is the so-called Third Way superseding both capitalism and socialism and last week the transition began in earnest. For once, let’s move chronologically. On Thursday, October 22, the OECD released “Schooling Redesigned: Towards Innovative Learning Systems.” It launched with this rather graphic admission of transformative intent:

“In the past, education was about teaching people something. Now it is about making sure that individuals develop a reliable compass and the navigation skills to find their own way through an increasingly uncertain, volatile, and ambiguous world…how well education systems develop knowledge, skills, and capacities and of what kinds, is increasingly centre stage in public debate.”

I am not sure using duplicitous terms like Rigor, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Student Growth, or College and Career Ready is what I would call a center stage debate. I would call it an attempt to declare something to be the subject of consensus when it would not be at all if the true goals were accurately described. Remember that the useful Authentic Consensus can be as false as can be if the point is for defenses to be down as the lethal arrows approach. I cannot cover the whole report but number 6 of the 7 Learning Principles laid out for this vision of coordination among “global and local players” was to use assessments that had formative feedback mechanisms to create the desired knowledge, skills, capacities, and values. Number 7, by the way, was “promote horizontal connectedness across learning activities and subjects, in and out of school.”

That is one way to describe guiding the student’s perception of the real world and how it works. Let’s move to Friday’s news dump with the White House and fed ED announcing a November summit to redesign American high schools. That is the day after the OECD Redesign Schools paper and several weeks after UNESCO released, on September 29 just after the official approval of the Post-2015 agenda at the UN’s opening, a vision to guide the redesign of secondary schools globally. Called “Unleashing the Potential: Transforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training,” TVET in all schools and for all students “must be the master key that can alleviate poverty, promote peace, conserve the environment, improve the environment, improve the quality of life for all and help achieve sustainable development.”

TVET will go wonderfully with the WIOA federal legislation on July 2014 that no one still wants to talk about, even as the State Plans come due within the next several months. The required local workforce boards, development around sector strategies, and which groups are in line for special treatment also dovetails with the TVET/UNESCO vision. Probably not coincidental that UNESCO calls for A Shift in the Development Paradigm and cites Amartya Sen who in 1989 helped Amitai Etzioni found the Society for Advancing Socio-Economics going forward. Sen’s approach is declared to be the UN’s approach to rejecting the “economic and material view of development that dominated the past century.”

This more “holistic and humanistic view of development…presented human development as a process of enlarging people’s choices and enhancing human capabilities and freedoms.” One is not free, in this view, if one’s needs are not being met and this TVET reimagining of high schools and call for planned economic development is all about economic justice and social equity for all. Now it is Saturday, October 24, and fed ED has embargoed its Testing Action Plan for release at noon that day. Since I am pretty sure that timing was not to provide reading material for bored football fans with long drives ahead, it appears to have been timed to make it to the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The Times hyped it as directing states to stop overtesting.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/Assessment%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf is the actual plan and as you can see, it calls for the very kind of formative assessment that the OECD laid out as the desired mandate for School Redesign two days earlier. The Plan, of course, also limits states from much testing of substantive knowledge anymore and thus prevents much chance of a well-stocked mind of the sort UNESCO began criticizing back in 1968 (two posts ago). How are these federal ‘guidelines’ for contextuating what must go on and doing it at the local level? Global mandates coming out of the UN and the OECD and being put into place by federal directives of what is desired, but unappreciated because of the slant of the news coverage even for those with some awareness.

I could say on Sunday the political authorities rested but apparently GEFF advisor Tom VanderArk was busy tweeting that a 2014 paper called “Accountability for college and career readiness: Developing a new paradigm” fit the fed’s Testing Action Plan perfectly. It, too, was all about formative assessment of meaningful learning (likely to guide perception and future behavior) and using activities that would help create the desired perceptions, knowledge, skills, values, and capacities that would create a likely motivation to act and act as  desired. These get called ambiguously assessments for learning. Notice that the fed’s action plan gives no parent any right to see all the data flowing from all these to be required formative assessments. Also notice that the NYT story I saw admitted that the Common Core initiative was really about specifying desired ‘skills.’

We are up to Monday, aren’t we? I was planning to write about all this dovetailing and how it fits with the launch of the Active Society and the reengineering via education of people to be the malleable desired systems yesterday. Then I discovered that October 26 was the opening in Paris of UNESCO’s Youth Summit to follow through on the “UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.” Another lost invite where we could have cruised the Seine. That Roadmap opened with this chilling confession of what is really intended:

“Political agreements, financial incentives, or technological solutions alone do not suffice to grapple with the challenges of sustainable development.. It will require a wholesale change in the way we think and we act–a rethink of how we relate to one another and how we interact with the ecosystems that support our lives.”

Now who needs to theorize about global conspiracies with these kind of explicit confessions?

I will cover the implications of what is going on this week in Paris in the next post.

In time hopefully for us to take precautions against what are clearly lethal arrows.

 

Federal Reserve, Texas, and the UN System Usurp Our Children’s Precious Prerogatives Via P-12 Education

So much going on as the cards have to now be laid down. The End Game we saw in the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon’s “Dignity For All by 2030″ global program commences in earnest in our children’s classrooms and in their very ‘desired mental states’.  That latter graphic phrase was used at the March 8-13, 2015 59th Annual CIES Conference held at the Hilton in DC and called “Imagining a Humanist Education Globally Ubuntu!” Take a look at it and keep that phrase in mind as we move through today’s tsunami of disclosures.

Anyone wanting a link between today’s disclosures, GEFF, the UN System, the Common Core, and School Choice can look at all the links laid out in this bio of former Intel Chairman, Craig Barrett, on the Board link of an expanding chain of Arizona-based Charter Schools. http://bsischools.org/about-us/board-of-directors Most links should ring a bell, but it is the co-chairing of the Skolkovo Foundation Council that is behind GEFF and the Re-Imagining Futures Agenda by 2030 with MIT, Russia, and Silicon Valley that brings so much into the same circle with what I have been covering in recent posts.

Plans for Us and our Children is one way to put it.  David Coleman, confessed Common Core Main Architect and now President of the College Board, just spoke at the NYT Schools of Tomorrow Conference about changes to the SAT. He said that there would be no more “SAT-type words” that few children recognized and only showed up in a high-stakes arena. Instead, everyday important words like “analyze” and “synthesis” would be looked at to see if prospective members of the Ideological Elite were interpreting concepts and themes correctly, and showing proper use of the Dialectic, after their years of carefully selected Learning Experiences. This would of course give a final glimpse into the Desired Mental States to see if the youngster merited a slot in one of the higher ed institutions creating the Planners of Tomorrow prepping us all for the 2030 Agenda.

OK, Coleman did not phrase it quite like that but those were the example new SAT words he gave. They do resonate with whether students have developed the desired Worldviews, don’t they? Will they apply the desired strategies and techniques in everyday practice just reeks of something Moscow State or U of Belgrade would have pushed in the 70s to join the Party Elite. The vocabulary word I did not know when I took the PSAT decades ago was ‘usurp’. I came home and looked it up promptly. It means “to take or hold in possession without force or without right.”

Usurp is still a useful word in the 21st Century, but only if accurately describing and conveying to others what is being planned for us and our children, remains a desired goal. It does not fit though with what the Planners want to allow. As we will see, Workforce Readiness is the Euphemism-du-Jour to cover up a prescribed state of deliberate ignorance, coupled to cultivated false beliefs, and overlaid with new communitarian values.

To explain why there is a global call for Competency, let’s look to a 1978 book originally written in Polish by Leszek Kolakowski and translated as Main Currents of Marxism: The Breakdown . Frustrated, his words tell us precisely why ignorance is now needed.

“Human thought developed and produced science by enlarging the area of knowledge that was not subject to arbitrary judgement, thanks to the Platonic distinction between knowledge and opinion, episteme and doxa. This distinction, of course, leaves no room for an ultimate, all-embracing synthesis [bolded by me as a reminder of Coleman's desired new SAT concept of knowledge] in which thoughts, feelings, and desires are merged in a higher ‘unity’. [Alert readers recognize the whole purpose of a Whole Child emphasis and what goes by the euphemism 'Excellence' in education].

Such an aspiration is only possible when a totalitarian myth claims supremacy over thought–a myth based on ‘deeper’ intuition [Deeper Learning--a 21st Century Core Skill], so that it does not have to justify itself, but assumes command over the whole of spiritual and intellectual life. For this to be possible, of course, all logical and empirical rules have to be declared irrelevant…”

Relevance, one of the New 3 Rs. Perhaps instead of declaring facts ‘irrelevant’ they can just be asserted as Inequitable and Not Accessible to All Students, especially given our more diverse 21st Century population. Maybe those logical and empirical rules can be asserted to be inappropriate for a “culturally-responsive curricula and pedagogy” and inconsistent with a Real-Life problem-solving emphasis where a single, unambiguous answer is supposedly highly unlikely. Yes, I am listing many of the explanations for all these shifts we keep hearing, but Kolakowski grasped what is still going on because he lived in such a police state.

“The object [striven for] is a unified body of knowledge which despises such trivial aims as technological progress, and whose merit is to be one and all-embracing. But there can only be such knowledge if thought is allowed to shake off the external compulsion of logic; moreover, since each person’s ‘essential’ intuition may be different from that of others, the spiritual unity of society must be based on other foundations than logic and facts.

There must be some compulsion other than rules of thought, and that must take the form of social repression. In other words, [this 21st Century Learning as I update this 1978 language beyond Herbert Marcuse and the Frankfurt School] system depends on replacing the tyranny of logic by a police tyranny. This is corroborated by all historical experience: there is only way of making a whole society accept a particular world-view…”

P-12 education reforms globally have been created around a hope that there can be two ways to force the acceptance of a particular world-view. That is the reason for the deliberate insistence on ignorance that gets covered up with a variety of explanations. Yet the insistence students arrive at a ‘shared meaning’ and without complaint become merely members of Communities of Learners makes it clear teachers and administrators are expected to have an iron fist within the velvet glove of ‘meaningful learning experiences.’ Now to three exceedingly influential plans driving this underlying tyranny in the classroom.

In 2014 the Texas Association of Workforce Boards created the vision for all P-12 in that state, once again showing why they did not need to participate in the Common Core formally–”The Workforce in Texas: Aligning education to meet the needs of Texas employers.” Is that really why people have children in Texas or choose to move there–to be molded to the desired mental states that meet current employers’ needs? Not the desires of the family or personal hopes and dreams based on a lively, logical mind that recognizes when their autonomy is being usurped and can say so?

I appreciate the explicit nature of that Texas declaration and the reason I know about it is that the US Federal Reserve System, the world’s most influential public-private partnership, whose product we all carry in our wallets and hit the ATMs to use, just published Transforming US Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century.

https://www.kansascityfed.org/~/media/files/publicat/community/workforce/transformingworkforcedevelopment/book/transformingworkforcedevelopmentpolicies.pdf is the link to the 670 page Warcry to officials and politicians at every level of government to restructure the nature of the political and economic structure in the US, with an emphasis on Public-Private Partnerships. They touted the Texas Statement and especially the vision of economic and community development created by Project Quest in San Antonio, Texas. When the people in charge of a nation’s money supply proclaim Saul Alinsky’s community organizing tactics to be a national model, maybe we have turned quietly into a Police state still hiding behind Euphemisms. Chapter 4 in particular covers the “Connecting Education to Careers in the 21st Century,” which has become the sales pitch, as we have seen, for an education grounded in ignorance and manipulation.

Anthony Carnevale, the lead chapter author, and cited throughout the book, was actually the author of this same vision of education grounded in ignorance, which he laid out in the New Workforce Training Manuals created for the Department of Labor, during the same Bush 41 years when Lamar Alexander was the Education Secretary. The emphasis of those manuals and Carnevale’s various degrees in ‘cultural history,’ ‘social science and public administration,’ and a Public Affairs PhD are detailed in this post.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/anesthetizing-any-ability-to-blow-up-or-contaminate-a-chosen-politically-useful-narrative/

Obviously I cannot cover that entire book in a post although I did read it over the weekend, just like I have read Carnevale’s Workplace Manuals. I wish there was speculation about what is going on or that the Kolakowski quotes were not so entirely apt. Over and over again the book acclaims Congress passing WIOA–the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act I have been warning about since it passed (July 10, 2014 post). It gets praised regularly as a “Bipartisan and Bicameral Agreement,” making me wonder what legislation that Congress passes is not Bicameral. Alliteration though bolsters the overall giddiness at the nature of the fundamental transformation mandate.  It also makes it appear that politicians at every level wanted WIOA because this is the vision the private Federal Reserve already had for the American people, society, the economy, and the future generally.

Finally we have a video created to be a part of “the World’s Largest Lesson” to be held globally in classrooms this Friday, September 25. In honor of the launch of the UN’s Post 2015 Sustainable Development Agenda to shift us all towards Dignity for All by 2030, https://vimeo.com/137728737 is the video. http://www.globalgoals.org/pt/2015/09/17/welcome-to-the-worlds-largest-lesson-materials/ is the link to lesson materials already available in ten languages. The video makes it clear that there is ‘plenty’ for all of us and that the world and its ‘systems’ and institutions can and should be redesigned so there is ‘enough’ for all of us going forward. We can ‘share.’

That’s where I want to end because that video and this UN vision can only be attempted in a world of profoundly ignorant or misguided people. As Kolakowski noted, even trying necessitates a police state of power usurping at all levels of government. This is largely hidden though because already prevailing ignorance, false media hype, and these confounding, ubiquitous euphemisms. All obscure the reality lining the Road to 2030 that we keep coming across from every direction.

Ubiquitous-another one of those useful descriptions of reality that the College Board no longer wants students to have access to or practice with.