Minds, Souls, & Attitudes: Whistleblowing the Tarbiyah Project for Islamic Education Imposed for ALL Students

The multiple tragedies in Paris on Friday in Paris did not change the topic of the Conclusion of this Trilogy. The ramifications of a document that came out of my UNESCO Lifelong Learning research, written by two Malaysian profs and presented at a 2011 Computing and Informatics Conference in Indonesia,  http://www.icoci.cms.net.my/proceedings/2011/papers/86.pdf is what has flushed out the other Ideology that fits 100% with the actual implementation I tracked first in my book Credentialed to Destroy, and now as additional details come into place, through this blog. By Ideology I mean in the cultural model sense used in the last post, but essentially it is the values, beliefs, and concepts a person sees the world through–the personal and social belief system or Worldview that guides individual and collective behavior.

The Arabic word for this is tarbiyah and it means education for Total Human Development, which is why its mandated practices and tenets dovetail so closely with that other M word that grew out of the political and human philosophy of Uncle Karl. I had never heard the word before yesterday. I had planned to write about the still troubling hijacking of acceptable religious belief systems using the secular K-12 classroom as laid out in an atrocious UNESCO/ UNICEF report sponsored by the Arigatou Foundation called “Learning to Live Together: An Intercultural and Interfaith Programme for Ethics Education.” Looking at that long document and its recommended activities and project-based learning and role-playing experiences, it was obvious this global targeting of each student’s values and beliefs, whatever their religion or lack of it, was already in place in various mandates I have covered.

I had pulled that ICOCI “Visionary Model of an Islamic Learning Community” in part because it had a nesting graphic that worked like a Russian Matrushka doll with the student at the center just like the Aspen Institute wanted in that “Students at the Center of a Networked World” report created by a Task Force Jeb Bush disturbingly chaired. It extends outwards to classroom, school, community, and workplace, and then global, so it also fits with something a psychologist named Urie Bronfenbrenner developed. The C3 Social Studies Common Core Framework already hypes BEST (see tags), which also fits with the Learning Cities/ Regions emphasis from the last post. So not only did the push not seem limited to Islamic communities and countries, the link mentioned that Learning Communities, which we already know are to be required in US schools under the definition of what constitutes being an Effective Principal (see FCL tag), are based on a concept created by the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1943.

Saturday morning then, I decided to reread that link carefully, and it said that the late Hassan Albanna used usrah as an education medium laying down its three components of knowing each other, understanding each other, and helping and caring for each other. I am leaving out the particular Arabic terms although these, and usually the symbol from Arabic script and a verse from the Quran, are consistently provided throughout every component of anything involved with this Tarbiyah Project.

Before anyone thinks I have to go to the other side of the world to track this, Tarbiyah was created by a native of Philadelphia, Dawud Tauhidi, who “embraced Islam in 1972. He studied at Lehigh University and later studied Arabic” at U-Penn. In 1980, he graduated from the famous al-Azhar University in Cairo where President Obama chose to go to address the Muslim World. His degree was in Usul ad-Din and Tauhidi’s masters and PhD in Islamic Studies are from U-Michigan. The Tarbiyah Project materials frequently cite to Michigan ed standards said to reflect the Project.

Now we could stick with that 2011 link which tells us “ICT will play a role in helping the democratization of the usrah system” so we can keep its tenets in mind as we look at various digital learning initiatives. I can look at the various prescribed features of the Tarbiyah Project and recognize the complete alignment with what is being mandated for US classrooms in NCLB waivers, Positive School Climate XO’s, civil rights laws, etc. Most of my regular readers and anyone who has read my book will be able to as well. Phrases like ‘continuous improvement’ that are what every administrator and anyone involved in student and school accountability track verbatim.

I have also tried to explain the focus on concepts and the desire to internalize what students will then use to guide perceptions and interpret daily experiences. Not only is that a component of Islamic education for holistic development of the Whole Child so they will learn to “be Muslim,” there was even a reference to the term ‘Enduring Understandings’. It has a tag as does its creator Lynn Erickson. Tarbiyah and Tawhid state that the heart and its transformation are to be the ‘core of education.” Anyone remember the subtitle of Erickson’s book on Concept-driven education? Stirring the Head, Heart and Soul. Did the Georgia Social Studies teachers down at the State DoE in 2009 receiving Conceptual Development training under a Bill Crenshaw know they were being trained to provide Islamic Education consistent with Tawhid (Spiritual Literacy) and Tarbiyah? Probably not and I doubt if the overpaid administrator knew either. That’s the beauty of K-12 globally now. People are pushing concepts they do not know the background of because there’s a lucrative job there, promotions, pensions, and frequently being a Change Agent through curriculum was the whole basis of the education doctorate.

And in it comes with virtually no one having the knowledge or incentives to look further. Did you know the Tarbiyah Project also likes to use that tired metaphor about education needing to move beyond the ‘factory-model’? With the name of the creator and project it will be easy to pull up lots of reports now, but this is too important to have to take Robin’s word for the alignment. Would you believe that in 2014 the US-China Education Review, perhaps excited about the implications of the 2013 Beijing Declaration and Learning Cities from the last post, published an article called “Revisiting the Concept of an Integrated Curriculum and its Implications for Contemporary Islamic Schools.” Again we have Malaysian profs who probably assumed they were talking among like-minded insiders.

It cited to the ‘Tarbiyah Project’ of Tauhidi and how it is an “entire curriculum approach” that can become embedded through standards and “involves integrating Islamic knowledge into every subject of the curriculum and, hence, the inevitable need to rewrite the curriculum.” This integration, which deplores self-contained subjects like algebra or chemistry, also goes by the name ‘Islamization of knowledge’. It “mainly involves integrating all subject disciplines into the Islamic Weltanschauung.” The German phrase for Worldview as the new focus of education.

So when you look at the Tabiyah Framework and its Universal Concepts, remember that the Next Generation Science Standards, with its CDIs-Core Disciplinary Ideas and CCCs-Cross-Cutting Concepts and themes, fits fully with what Tauhidi laid out. Maybe just in time for Bush 43 to allow the US to rejoin UNESCO. Anyway, evaluating Tarbiyah against the Common Core and competency-based education is so much easier with the boast that the Tarbiyah Project:

“promotes the inspiration and transformation of students through the process of teaching and learning in order to transform the world in the future. It has integrated the national curriculum with Islamic principles and output of a ‘brain-based research’. Hence, it avoids pure rote learning and makes learning more meaningful using students’ ability to think and comprehend.”

So the so-called Thinking Curriculum is consistent with Tarbiyah as are all the SEL and Whole Child Initiatives. Anyone reading the Overview should also remember the New 3 Rs of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships because all are mentioned repeatedly as well. They even make it into Essential Learnings and Key Outcomes and Indicators that formative and summative assessments will be looking for and creating through Project-based Learning and cooperative projects.

Unless the pending reconciliation of the House-passed Student Success Act and the Senate-passed Every Child Achieves Act no longer reflects the language of either bill, the forthcoming ESEA Rewrite will be enshrining the fundamental concepts, values, beliefs, and attitudes of what it means to act as a Muslim per the Tarbiyah Project into federal law. Making the implementation point the states and local schools means nothing as Tarbiyah also fits so well with the Learning Cities/Regions focus that first brought it on my radar screen. Remember Chapter 7 of my book where I made the title about the Common Core always being about changing Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs? Here’s an enlightening quote:

“The ultimate aim of this Islamic education is closely related to character building, i.e. producing an integrated Islamic personality that requires Islamic values as its foundation. Hence, these two elements, i.e., beliefs and values, should be considered as key elements in the implementation of the Islamic integrated curriculum.”

What are those values? Well, the ubiquitous communitarianism we have located everywhere from what makes a Positive School Climate to what are Career Ready Practices is a key component. Tarbiyah is noted in footnotes as being consistent with Bloom’s Taxonomy and Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Tarbiyah was not mentioned in any of the Rapprochement of Cultures materials I read or in the Learning to Live Together required practices and activities for the classrooms, but they all fit like puzzle pieces assembling a photo vista once we know about the other initiatives. Remember how the purpose of the creator of a theory or practice comes in even if the implementer is unaware?

Islamic values and beliefs, Tauhidi and these cited others say, thoroughly permeate what is being required and implemented in the US and globally under a myriad of names. I have used tags and Proper Nouns for phrases to bring some of these out. In a world where people can be shot for drawing cartoons or anything maligning, I am reluctant to quote all of the references in the Tarbiyah Project documents and appendices to the Prophet, Quran, quotes from verses, or further Arabic names for what is desired to act as a Muslim instead of knowing about Islam. The Tarbiyah Project aligns with what is already being imposed, including the kind of dramatic change in pedagogy and instructional practices laid out by the Ultimate in American insiders here last week.  http://www.gtlcenter.org/sites/default/files/Using_New_Assessments_Educator_Evaluation.pdf We can all wish that a focus on Student Growth and the required Effective Teaching did not align so well with Tawhid and Tarbiyah.

How can free people survive in a world where the required practices all trace back to either Marxist theory for an ‘all needs met’ society or Islamic theory? In the Learning to Live Together report that was to be the basis for this post, the UNICEF/UNESCO writers make it clear just how regulated people are now to be to fulfill the UN’s agenda. No deviations or amendments allowed and they even said that.

It’s a one-way street though where the beliefs and perspectives of some groups and religions must be respected, while K-12 education deceitfully wipes out any religion, beliefs, or values that venerates the individual.

At least now we do not have to wonder why strange stories about required Mosque field trips and forced studies of Islamic pillars just keep cropping up.

Now let’s see what sunlight can do to this planned transformation without consent. It should trouble us all greatly that Tauhidi cited Abraham Lincoln’s famous quote about whoever controls school curriculum being in charge of the forms of government in the next generation.

Hopefully not, for all of our sakes.


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.





Incarcerated By Their Minds: False Narratives, Compulsion Via the Law, and Believing in Unicorns

When I looked into Tim O’Reilly, whose company was touting the Haunted by Data video from the last post, he turned out to be a great admirer of a professor Alfred Korzybski. Now that was a new name on my horizon, but his point that the brain’s neural networks, coupled to available language, constrain how each of us interprets our experiences, was not new at all. It fits with Classic systems thinking as well as the reason for Whole Language reading instruction under its various names. There is a story told about Korzybski that fits right into why transformationalists want to Frame Orientation via a “Well-Organized Mind.” Here goes:

“One day, Korzybski was giving a lecture to a group of students, and he interrupted the lesson suddenly in order to retrieve a packet of biscuits, wrapped in white paper, from his briefcase. He muttered that he just had to eat something, and he asked the students on the seats in the front row if they would also like a biscuit. A few students took a biscuit. ‘Nice biscuit, don’t you think,’ said Korzybski, while he took a second one. The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog’s head and the words ‘Dog Cookies.’ The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to vomit, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. ‘You see,’ Korzybski remarked, ‘I have just demonstrated that people don’t just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter.’”

False narratives can make Dog Biscuits seem palatable and turn actual healthy practices into something we avoid at all costs. Just the tool if transformational economic, social, and economic change are sought, but being open and overt would likely result in effective opposition. In 1968 the US Office of Education awarded SRI International at Stanford an Educational Policy Research Center grant to “investigate alternative future possibilities for the society and their implications for education policy.” The resulting scenarios were later written up with this 1973 quote from a Fred Polak being a lead epigraph to frame the plans:

“Awareness of ideal values is the first step in the conscious creation of images of the future and therefore the creation of culture, for a value is by definition that which guides toward a valued future…”

If that seems a bit scifi and premeditated, the actual study stated that its specific purpose was “to chart, insofar as possible, what changes in the conceptual premises underlying Western society would lead to a desirable future.” Well, that purpose certainly puts a new spin on what the acronym NAEP–National Assessment of Educational Progress–was really planning to monitor when it was created in the same time frame. Perhaps we should just start assuming that when it comes to K-12 education, in the US and globally, false narratives are the norm and have been for decades. Last Friday I was at a False Narrative Extravaganza being billed as the Fulton/Atlanta School Justice Partnership Summit “Pipelines to Pathways: The Problem, the Solutions, the Actions.”

Transformation Ready to Proceed, in other words, and it was full of influential people from lots of Atlanta police officers, Georgia Supreme Court justices, juvenile justice judges and administrators and school district officials. The ‘incarcerated by their minds’ comment was actually from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice about needing to shift the focus from punishment to “reform, reshape, and rehabilitate those individuals [juvenile offenders] to become productive citizens.” It was a prelude to a presentation by a Georgia DoED Deputy Super and a former school psychologist, Dr. Garry McGiboney, called “Changing the Conversation About Student Discipline” to promote PBIS  and Positive School Climate [see tags for previous posts on point] as “what it takes to heal these broken kids.”

‘Broken’ because they are growing up in “unsafe environments and unstable homes.” After all “people and their environment are NOT separate things,” according to Dr McGiboney. “Behavior is a function of the person and their environment,” and to reiterate the point, McGiboney cited notorious Frankfurt School social psychologist Kurt Lewin [tag] as having created a formula for change. To make things even more interesting, False Attribution Theory then came in (by name) as Dr McGiboney complained that too many administrators looked to “understand the behavior of others by attributing causation to feelings, beliefs, intentions, and personality” instead of the “situational contexts” kids have grown up under. “Attribution of cause” affects the “doled out consequences”.

So if someone who grew up in bad circumstances misbehaves at school, their poor behavior gets excused as due to “environment.” Children who grew up in better circumstances and behave well in the classroom nevertheless need PBIS in every classroom and a Positive School Climate in every school so their values, feelings, beliefs, intentions, personality, attitudes, etc. can all be targeted and rearranged by the school. I guess if a student is not Incarcerated by their Mind when they come to school, they certainly will be by the end of a preschool and K-12 grounded in these psychological and mental health practices. Dr McGiboney actually sold this as “school climate matters to student outcomes.” Well, of course it does since SEL is now a crucial component of how ‘learning,’ Growth, and ‘student outcomes’ are measured.

The audience would not know that though and simply listening to the presentation they would believe that PBIS and Positive School Climate were nifty Georgia ideas and not federal mandates and requirements under Georgia’s NCLB federal waiver. Not to pick on Dr McGiboney, but I was down at the State DoED the day after they got that federal waiver. State officials that day did not seem too happy I knew that the School Climate Center guidelines required schools to have a social justice emphasis. What can I say? I read a lot. That is also how I know that all the hype about how PBIS and Positive School Climates will help reading achievement contradicts Georgia’s NCLB waiver. As I noted in my book, it explicitly made sure that an inability to read would no longer be a basis for holding a student back from promotion.

That’s one way to increase graduation rates, huh? Dr McGiboney closed with a truly poignant story about a potential suicide incident at a high school that was physically in terrible shape–dirty, broken windows–, in other words, a terrible physical environment. He related that the girl asked him if “he believed in unicorns” and he said yes, because he believed she needed to hear that. Years later, she reached out to him and talked about how she had pulled it together and lived a successful adult life. Her turnaround and the importance of environment then once again became the pitch for PBIS and Positive School Climate.

PBIS, Restorative Justice, Positive School Climate, and social and emotional learning generally are all targeting the personality and values. Tragic story and lots of false narratives used to sell something as a good idea that is actually another way of pushing the UNESCO vision we met in the last post without admitting that. Few in the audience understood that these measures are not in addition to an academic focus. They are actually a substitution for it as the new purpose of school and education. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3744335/pdf/nihms-493001.pdf , supported by multiple federal agencies and grants, confesses the intention to blur the distinction between student learning and mental health outcomes. All are deemed part of student success.

In 1987, then Princeton Professor and now President of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann, published a book–Democratic Education. It laid out a new vision for K-12 and higher education and worried about the still prevalent and “well-intentioned misperception that [teachers'] obligation is to impart knowledge, not to develop the moral character of their students.” It is my belief that all these various rationales we keep encountering on why all schools must use PBIS as a core component in each classroom and Positive School Climate practices in every school attempt to stealthily use the law as an enforcer. The required agenda is actually the UNESCO vision as well as what Gutmann laid out as the necessary right of the State “to shape the political values, attitudes, and modes of behavior of future citizens.”

Hide it under the alluring title of “Character development” as well. http://character.org/  Everyone knows too many kids now have deficits in this area. Selling this political agenda honestly would create objections. So we get all these false narratives and problems where the offered solutions are always headed in the same direction. Change the student at the level of their mind and personality. Call it conscious social reproduction and insist that it is about altering the future, just like SRI also had in mind. If the phrase Incarcerated by their Minds still seems a bit strong, how should we describe this intent: “To cultivate in children the character that feels the force of right reason is an essential purpose of education in any society.”

This is Guttmann’s vision of conscious social reproduction and its ties to education. Every child must be educated “to be capable of participating in collectively shaping their society.” She does believe in the ability of the majority to bind everyone as long as each person gets to participate in policy deliberations. Public policy directs society and the economy. People have a human right to have their needs met. In Dr. McGiboney’s vision where environment is all, there should then be no more ‘disruptive behaviors.’ Back to Gutmann, we have all schools, public and private, with an obligation to create “a set of secular beliefs, habits, and ways of thinking that support democratic deliberation …compatible with a wide variety of religious commitments.” Parents have no right to object either.

I am closing this post with the disclaimer I do not know who at that Summit was aware of the broader agenda I have covered in this post. Because the vision though fits precisely with where the UN has said we are all going by 2030, my guess is a few are aware this is all a sales pitch backward mapping from desired transformations to get to a new vision of the future. It is also Atlanta, home of the new Civil and Human Rights museum, so it is probably not a coincidence Gutmann’s vision ties so tightly to what Martin Luther King called the “Beloved Community” [tag] vision for the future.

Pipelines to Prison and School Discipline Problems in 2015 have been worsened by these previous educational reforms that had no interest in teaching reading or math properly. Now tragic bad individual behaviors are selling a vision where school and education are not really about knowledge in the traditional sense at all.

I simply want all of us to be able to recognize a Dog Biscuit, whatever it is being called, before we take that first bite.





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.

Neurological Social Engineering Designed for Collectivist Political Purposes: the Real Purpose of K-12 Standards

I really wish there was still some doubt on what Learning Standards or Competency actually mean or what they intend to alter. No one is openly admitting to us that in the future all that is desired are ‘existential competencies’, a ‘natural science worldview’, or a mind that can be easily read via Knewton adaptive software. We may find the aims sickening, but apparently the planning locations have been glorious. Can you believe our invite to the April 1-3, 2015 Global Education Futures-Forum California: Toward Learner-Centered Lifelong Learning never arrived? We could have stayed at the Five-Star Rosewood Sands Hill Luxury Hotel  in Menlo Park and planned the future of learning globally while hanging out with tech titans there for the Global Technology Symposium. With rooms starting at $600 a night, we too could have lived the Jet Set Life while planning how to meet people’s ‘needs’.

Since we were not invited and did not get to nestle our heads in high-thread count linens, who was there and how did this catch my eye? In early August ISSS-the International Systems Science Society-had its annual meeting in Berlin. Speaking on education were Alexander Laszlo, Ervin’s son and like him a former ISSS President, and a Pavel Luksha. Luksha is Russian but is involved with a project with MIT called Re-Engineering Futures. The California Forum was part of that work getting ready for a Kazan World Skills conference in May, the global World Skills conference in Brazil in early August, and then on to Singapore this fall. The final vision gets presented in Davos in January once again amidst the private jets, luxury linens, and foie gras This is all apparently how global plans can get marketed as local or even as something called the North Carolina Plan laid out in the comments with links on the previous post.

http://www.edu2035.org/ is not a hot link because something is screwy with my computer this morning, but it is the site for the Global Education Futures Forum. What I am describing can be found there. Please pay special attention to the GEFF Advisory Board since it is linked to the Center for Curriculum Redesign because Charles Fadel is a listed member as is an Under Secretary of the OECD. Knewton has a representative which is why this week’s Wired article on the ability to read student’s minds is timely. Another listed member of the GEFF Advisory Board is Alexander Laszlo, who undoubtedly learned about collectivism’s need for a subjective mode of consciousness from his dad instead of the Grimm fairy tales most of us heard as children.

Finally, we have former Gates Foundation exec Tom VanderArk listed, which means that the Brookhaven Innovation Charter just approved in Georgia (links in comments on previous post) that says it is based on VanderArk’s White Paper and the Hewlett Foundation push around Deeper Learning is tied to the GEFF vision. So are school districts like Fulton and other League of Innovative Schools districts that we have covered as bringing him in to consult and train. The entire state of Utah and the concept of Competency (just the means to stealthily impose that subjective mode) get implicated because next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2 and 3, 2015 there is a Statewide Joint Conference there on Competency-Based education with VanderArk as the speaker on both days. Also speaking is Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy so we also have the Common Core being shoved away as we get back to NCEE’s New Standards Project from the 90s, renamed now as Competency-Based Education.

All of this fits perfectly with what my book Credentialed to Destroy foresaw. Chapter 4 on Competency is even more timely now than when it was written. One of the themes of the California Forum apart from the death of the Gutenberg Era and divvying up the billion dollar EdTech market was “How will educational ecosystems for emerging social practices be created?” Now I can scream all day long that the new forms of assessment are not in fact tests and are looking to create and monitor desired behaviors, but there is nothing like the concept of virtual reality prisons to make the point. This is from a GEFF 2014 report called Future Agendas for Global Education .

In following up on all the intended uses of gamification and virtual reality in education of the future, the report mentions that “Besides that, gamification can be efficiently used to redesign the penitentiary system.” Now when we read the following quote, we need to appreciate that if these adaptive software and virtual reality worlds are powerful enough to remediate dysfunctional behavior, what is the effect of constant embedding over K-12 on normal minds?

“application of maturing virtual simulations can allow (within the coming decade) to create realistic virtual worlds, ‘virtual jails’ that help delinquents correct their dysfunctional behavior and acquire socially acceptable ways of conduct–for instance, re-living the criminal action from different positions (of a violator, of a victim, of a police officer who searches for an offender, etc.) and their mastering the proper way of acting [Mastery Learning?]. Such educational solutions could become a more humane way to rehabilitate criminals–and similar solutions can be applied to help re-qualify ‘accidentally alienated’ citizens, e.g. those dismissed from jobs due to skill mismatch. We believe that, since early 2020s, virtual reality worlds will be used as temporary holding places for unemployed and as a cheap alternative for vocational education & training. Also, virtual worlds that help replace dysfunctional behavior patterns with functional ones can be used to deal with traumatic experiences and improve lives of ‘clinically normal’ people that suffer from dependencies, bad habits or fears. ‘Psychodrama worlds’ where people play together and live lief stories of each other could gain wide popularity as an alternative to group therapy by mid-2020s, not only (and not so much) as a clinical psychotherapy, but as part of standard educational trajectory for a majority of population.”

Now in a world where following the misleading phrase Career Ready Practices as the new purpose of K-12 leads us straight to a communitarian obligation to others and so does the now obligatory Positive School Climate, do we really think ‘dysfunctional behaviors’ will be cigarette smoking and eating disorders? No because the next paragraph states that “any gamified practice has an educational dimension, because the game clearly defines desirable and undesirable behaviors.” That is what makes it educational in this Brave New World that is no longer a work of fiction at all. Educational Dimension=altering human behaviors. No wonder the ESEA Rewrite the US Senate passed binds all states to use performance assessments to examine academic results. All behavioral too.

Honestly I think the life of Five Star luxury being pursued to foist this education and Future Transformation vision must addle the brain at some level. How else to explain an insistence that “we now know too much” and that we need only “adequate science and technologies to be maintained and developed going forward.” No wonder we have repeated proclamations that the Gutenberg Era is over. It created the concept of the individual and liberated the human mind. Our wannabe political Overlords want to take all that away and the tech companies want to sell public officials the means to do just that.

What parent when they opt for a Charter School for their child that hypes 21st Century Learning or who wishes for vouchers to escape bad neighborhood schools understands that they are really tapping into a GEFF plan to “reorganize the institutions of cognition and knowledge management.”? Now given the sorts of facts I turn up and papers and confessional books through the decades I can appreciate why this collectivist vision needs Mind Arson and knowledge management.

Repeat after me: We will NOT acquiesce.

Please take the blinders OFF about what formative assessments and a Whole Child focus around digital learning really mean. Otherwise, these planners want to create a Neuroweb of manipulated collective consciousness that is reminiscent of what Star Trek called the Borg. When people in positions of power with access to taxpayer money at the global, national, state, and local levels write of a desire to transform K-12 education and the very concept of learning and wish to “create semantic Internet and supporting artificial intelligence solutions that will structure human knowledge, and scientific knowledge in particular,” we need to listen.

Now we know why digital learning is so crucial to all these future models of education. It’s not a better way to teach math or reading or about making backpacks lighter. It’s about rewiring the brain for collectivist political purposes and it is a Bipartisan pursuit going on all over the globe.

Thankfully we know about the agenda and the links into our local classrooms. Will accurate knowledge reach enough parents and taxpayers in time or will the manufactured hype surrounding the Common Core continue to obscure the actual story?

Personalized Learning as a Molding Mechanism and Prime Instrument for Social and Political Control

We have discussed some of the implications of the personalized learning language in the Every Child Achieves Act rewrite of the K-12 federal education legislation, but most of what will guide the classroom practices and data being accumulated (“a data warehouse for every student”) lies in documents other than ECAA. Scouring those, as I am prone to do in my research, in turn sent me scurrying back to a Carnegie-funded book from 1952 called The New Man in Soviet Psychology. Similar language, comparable visions, and the same recommended changes to education generally means the same real goals whether that is being acknowledged up front or not. I want to go back to something Stalin told Party members in 1933, since we are highly unlikely to get a comparable confession from members of Congress in 2015, on the need to solve the ‘human problems’ if the desired transformations were to truly take hold in the USSR. “Even though the industrial and social base of the old society had been largely destroyed, the ‘remnants of capitalism’ still lingered in the minds of men.” Quoting Uncle Joe himself:

“You as Marxists should know that in its development the mentality of man lags behind his actual condition. In status the members of collective farms are no longer individual farmers, but collectivists, but their mentality is still the old one–that of the owner of private property.”

Stalin and the Soviets made no bones about their intention to “bring all possible facilities of society to bear on the problem of training and controlling its individual citizens.” They were especially fond of using the law in such a binding manner. Methinks they would have liked the language of ECAA and its close sibling, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) from last summer, a great deal. What these measures share in common is a desire to create an organized society. Now obviously that was not news to any Soviet in the 1930s, but it is news to many Americans in the 21st Century, which is why so much of what is intended to bind and quietly alter the minds of men is hidden and not being discussed openly.

What is an organized society anyway? It’s the idea that a society can be consciously organized and directed. In the case of the US in the 21st century, the organization is around the concept of Equity and an obligation to meet people’s needs, whoever they are and however they came to the US. In pushing this vision of social justice, or as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls it–Dignity for All by 2030–the organized society shifts from a place where people make their own choices to a “society in which–insofar as possible–all the parts are coordinated to the service of the whole by the deliberate decisions of persons who are in a position to implement that decision.” Hard to get politicians or public sector employees at any level to back off that kind of decision-making power once they get a whiff of the possibilities.

And the number one “theoretical tool for the coordination of society” in the Soviet Union of the 30s or America in 2015 is education. What the Soviets decided in the 30s and what people pushing all these reforms now know is that if they can train and guide people’s purposeful action, they can control future behaviors reliably without that being apparent. I am pretty sure Carnegie did not fund that book above just because it just loves to spend old Andrew’s steel fortune. It found its vision compatible with where it hoped the US would go as well. That likelihood becomes even more apparent when we look at the Foreword of the book and find Harvard prof and cognitive scientist, Jerome Bruner, wrote it. Bruner, citing John Dewey as having a comparable vision, wrote about:

“the need for a psychology that may support democracy. For man’s image of the nature of man is not only a matter of objective inquiry, it is and has always been a prime instrument of social and political control. He who molds that image does so with enormous consequences for the society in which he lives.”

Words to remember as we delve into personalized learning and so many of the practices and theories we have imported from the Soviet Union. What Bruner knew and what Carnegie knows since it funded the research, we are dealing with a comparable vision of using psychology to mold a consciousness and personality that becomes an activist in remaking the world that exists. Would you like to hazard a guess at the number 1 aspect or trait the Soviets knew they needed to control and mold? Motivation. Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what the number one feature of ‘personalizing learning’ is in 2015 in the US? That’s right. It’s determining and then accessing student’s at the level of their intrinsic motivation.

I have tracked the meaning of personalizing instruction and learning through a lot of reports, but the most graphic is probably in the January 2015 National Initiative from the School Mental Health Project at UCLA. Given all the references in ECAA to the needs of the students and the communities and ‘learning supports’ it appears to me that the entire 204 page document is intended to be implemented via ECAA without anyone in Congress giving a Heads Up. The report is called “Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Developing a Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System” and it tells us upfront it has been created as part of that theme I am asserting is being used to turn us quietly into an organized society. “Equity of opportunity is fundamental to securing civil rights; transforming student and learning supports is fundamental to enabling equity of opportunity.”

Law school was decades ago but there is a trigger threshold in con law once something is deemed a ‘fundamental right’ and that seems to be precisely what this plan wants to trigger. Awfully crucial not to be in the open, isn’t it? Well, it is now so let’s quote what it says about personalization in education:

“personalizing instruction means ensuring conditions for learning are perceived by the learner as good ways to attain goals s/he wants to reach. Thus, a basic intervention concern is eliciting learners’ perceptions of how well what is offered matches both their interests and abilities. This has fundamental implications for all efforts to assess students and manage behavior.”

Manage behavior? Goal-seeking, purposeful actor? Doesn’t this sound precisely like the 30s Soviet shift on how to get at the minds of men to mold a new mentality? Should we be concerned that this 2015 National Initiative says that “From our perspective, the aim of personalizing learning is to enhance stable, positive, intrinsic attitudes that mobilize and maintain engagement in learning.” So all the language about “(a) ensure motivational readiness, (b) enhance motivation during learning, and (c) increase intrinsic motivation as an outcome” seems a bit heavy-handed, but it’s only one document, right? Well, there’s also the ISTE 2014 “Personalized Learning: A Guide for Engaging Students with Technology” that will likely guide what the language of ECAA really means for our students and ultimately all of us.

It helpfully lets us know that “personalized learning is not the digitization of traditional learning” since after all, it is the student’s mind and personality that are the real focus of this digital menu. Showing that unfortunately subject content areas are merely the means to get the desired changes in the students we are told to set goals and then try to achieve those established goals. How purposive! A goal-seeking actor just like Stalin wanted the emphasis to be on. “Progress through subject area content is measured by the demonstration of proficiency in identified skills and understanding.” Those would be the skills and understanding needed not for the world we now have, but that desired future which needs a new kind of citizen and worker.

Now I can say repeatedly that this is not the model of coursework we are all used to and insist how much manipulation is going on, but a vision of “courses built around concepts and learning outcomes” just speaks volumes about how socially engineered this “self-directed learning” will actually be. Let’s look somewhere else since this 2014 Summit on Personalized Learning of the White House-sponsored Digital Promise and League of Innovative Schools was uploaded to the internet about the time this new version of ECAA–1177–became available. http://www.fi.ncsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/TEPLS_report-FINAL-051415.pdf Let’s go to page 18 since it is describing a federal grant to “revolutionize instruction”.

Now how ‘personalized’ does learning in the ordinary dictionary meaning of the term seem if we specify what all students need to know and then want to assess “How will we know they’ve learned it? and “What will we do if they haven’t learned it?” How a student chooses to show their learning is flexible and the activities they engage in to practice the desired learning has lots of options, but what is to be learned does not. Whether the student gets it or not, there’s actually a great deal mandatory to this personalized vision. That’s just not supposed to be apparent to either the students or us, lest we object to the clear coercion at the levels of mind, values, attitudes, and feeling.

This was true in every recent personalized learning paper I found. Here’s another http://www.siia.net/Portals/0/pdf/Education/PerLearnPaper.pdf The quiet mandatory nature makes perfect sense if this is all intended to be a molding mechanism in pursuit of an organized society where Equity is the lode star for decision-making.

If we go back to that 1952 book it will tell us that “The Bolshevik controls man by training his motives and shaping his ideology.” As someone who has read all these reports and ECAA, I am now asserting that personalizing instruction and “personalized rigorous learning experiences” are intended to train student’s motives for future action as well.

And the requirements about annual assessing of “higher order thinking and understanding” are monitoring whether the minds are being suitably molded and trained in “ideological thinking.” Because at its core, that’s where there is no flexibility.

Is the student using the desired concepts? Is she demonstrating desired values and appropriate attitudes?

Will he be motivated to act when and in the way desired? At least Uncle Joe was transparent in his aims, unlike Congress and most legislatures, governors, and city councils.

Eager to benefit from such social and political control over us.



Commanding Students to Treat Themselves as Manipulable Objects Means Invisible, Ongoing Predation

This post ends what began as a Trilogy but became a Quartet of posts when Senator Lamar Alexander substituted a substantially new version of his K-12 federal legislation rewrite with virtually no attempt to let the voting public know of the switch. As the last post covered in part, as a whole 1177, as the bill is called, reads as if it is the fulfillment of everything the behavioral and social scientists in Palo Alto have ever wanted from education to remake the existing world. It will take the sequel to my book Credentialed to Destroy to lay out all the connections I have documented, but I have them and I get to read 1177 with the informed mind and well-stocked glossary from books and papers going back to its founding in the early 50s. 1177 is also deeply embued with the communitarian ethos and seeks to turn it into collective obligations under federal law. Quite a combo.

I began this Quartet with the Fraud of the Century post because I thought it was important to begin to frame these shifts accurately as a usurpation by governments at all levels of an ability to make decisions that traditionally and legitimately belonged to private individuals. Now please forgive me for what is about to be a graphic metaphor, but it is the best comparison I can come up with and it unfortunately fits. Back in China under Mao or the USSR, the ordinary people knew perfectly well that they were coerced and manipulated by the power of the State. I won’t say imagine because this may be an apt image, but it’s not a pleasant one, that you wake up to someone with a knife to your throat and they insist that if you submit to sex they will not hurt you further. You may not have black eyes, but you were still raped and you would know that.

What the behavioral and social scientists in the East and West have been looking for over decades in a horrifyingly coordinated manner (also documented repeatedly beyond what is in first book) is an ability to gain that physical submission to whatever schemes the public sector decides on without the public appreciating the extent of the sought submission. That of course requires psychological manipulation and a limiting of knowledge, which is precisely what K-12 education in the US has sought to do from the original legislation in 1965 forward. On page 32,  the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 (ECAA) prescribes that  each state “shall include the same knowledge, skills, and levels of achievement expected of all public school students in the state.” The ‘same’ and ‘all’ are deliberate language that limits what can now go on in K-12 public education for every child, regardless of ability.

Accessible to all as a legal requirement means that the focus has to be on emotions, beliefs, and behaviors because those are the only things all children have in common. Usefully those are the areas that the behavioral scientists have always wanted to access and now it’s the only legally acceptable focus. How useful. Now we are going to go back to one of the Big Fish among those behavioral scientists, Benjamin Bloom, to something he wrote back in 1976, where he believed his Mastery Learning techniques (notice how many times ‘mastery’ appears in ECAA) could create equality of learning.

He also wanted to shift the focus of school away from subject-content to affective characteristics, cognitive behaviors, and psychomotor skills. He pointed out that making equality of learning outcomes (italicized just like that) be a goal of education rather than equality of opportunity would mean “teachers and instructional material and procedures should  emphasize acceptable levels of learning for all children.” High standards gets its height from the percentage meeting the goal, not from the height of the goals themselves.

We see that same planned focus in the remake of all high schools project that started in 1998 as the National Urban High School project that the National Governors Association and the federal DoED saw no reason to tell us about. We have already discussed how all secondary schoolwork will meet distressingly low ‘common core goals’ such as the listed low, non-intellectual skills the federal Department of Labor created for its SCANS-Secretary’s Commission on Acquiring Necessary Skills in 1992. Oh, that would be when Alexander was the federal Education Secretary. What are the odds? From the 2008 NUHS “Seeing the Future” report, let me quote two more examples of “Common Core Goals” that would “cut across disciplines, drive the curriculum, and serve as the standards for assessing student work.”

The Six Hoover Learner Outcomes: What All Students Should Know and Be Able to Do on Graduation

1. Demonstrate habits of inquiry

2. Experience high technology

3. Collect, analyze, and organize resources and information

4. Communicate ideas and information

5. Work effectively with others

6. Organize personal resources, plan goals for the future, and show a commitment to lifelong learning

Now try to control your enthusiasm at these generic skills and personal qualities as I list The Five Habits of Mind from Central Park East Secondary, NYC.

Connection: How is it connected to other things?

Perspective: What is the viewpoint?

Evidence: How do we know what we know?

Speculation: How else may it be considered?

Significance: What difference does it make?

With those thresholds, what will now constitute mandated ‘learning for all’ judged as meeting federal law requirements, these very low and largely non-academic ‘common core goals’ asked of high schoolers will make a great deal of difference to where the US and other countries with comparable goals are really headed. Just imagine College and Career Readiness based on those as the high school completion goals and we will see why we found what we covered in this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/now-more-than-five-years-into-an-attempt-to-help-organize-a-near-total-revision-of-human-behavior/ , which usefully gets us back to a global focus as we all ask why, why? For that answer we need to go to Uzbekistan to some research Alexander Luria did there in the early 30s to test the effect literacy had on the mind based on a theory he and Lev Vygotsky had developed.

What Luria found was that: “For illiterate peasants speech and reasoning simply echoed practical and situational activity. For somewhat educated people the relationship was reversed: Abstract categories dominated and restructured situational experience.” In other words, illiteracy is problemmatic for pushing theoretical thinking as a reliable guide to altering perception, and thus future behavior, because it simply does not work. It works poorly with an Axemaker Mind that recognizes inapt metaphors and can develop its own concepts from its personal store of facts. So if that Davydov vision of a restructured curriculum and purpose of school we met in the last post and in Chapters 2 and 3 of my book is to work students need to be kept at a Basic Skills and low levels of factual knowledge threshold. Are things making more sense now?

And we have also documented repeatedly that in mandating assessments tied to higher order thinking skills and understanding ECAA mandates that Davydov vision. Now the title came out of reading the following passage in a book from 1981 called Educating because the described vision throughout the book dovetailed so well with the real Common Core implementation I documented in my book and all the references to ‘learning’ now in ECAA. Gowin stated that “voluntary individual learning probably cannot begin until the person can regard the self as an object…One must be able to treat oneself as an object in order to probe one’s self, to see it as an instrument in learning.” What ECAA does is mandate that the student must view themselves that way and accept the school’s right to manipulate his beliefs, attitudes, values, behaviors, and even the hardwiring of his brain as he wishes.

That’s what that language in the statute translates into when it is run through the behavioral sciences glossary and existing papers and books. Gowin called it  a ‘controlled yielding’ and viewed the reorganization of the mind and personality at a neural level as necessary. All of this is bad enough and quickly leads to all sorts of literature on precisely what Transformational Learning really means that makes me long for that first post where we were angry that “high standards” meant combining college prep and vocational into project-based learning for all students. A reader though has passed on the most aggressive charter language I have ever read from the school district, Clarke County, whose leader was recently named National School Superintendent of the Year. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8U0imqlmoA-alFFRU1aNGxBQjQ/view?pli=1

It was this local school district declaring the right to reorganize its students minds and personalities via required “personalized dynamic learning experiences” that really brought home the level of predatory invasions governments at every level are insisting on. Dynamic means transformative change in the student so I want to close with a quote from the late Professor Jack Mezirow on Transformative Learning Theory that fits with where that charter, the ECAA, and this entire learning focus takes us. Long, but vital.

“Transformative learning is defined as the process by which we transform problemmatic frames of reference (mindsets, habits of mind, meaning perspectives)–sets of assumption and expectation–to make them more inclusive, discriminating, open, reflective and emotionally able to change. Such frames are better because they are more likely to generate beliefs and opinions that will prove more true or justified to guide action.

Frames of reference are the structures of culture and language through which we construe meaning by attributing coherence and significance to our experience. They selectively shape and delimit our perception, cognition and feelings by predisposing our intentions, beliefs, expectations, and purposes. These preconceptions set our ‘line of action’. Once set or programmed, we automatically move from one specific mental or behavioural activity to another, and we have a strong tendency to reject ideas that fail to fit our preconceptions.”

No wonder the behavioural scientists wanted a shift to theoretical instruction (called there frames of reference) as I have repeatedly documented. No wonder the government officials and employees who want all this power are lying to us.

The public sector gets to determine what is problemmatic and decide the desired fix and it’s all out of sight. Except for in the language it is using in laws, regulations, and charters to try to make all these personal intrusions mandatory.

Luckily for us the latter is my playground.


Illegitimate Extension: the Stealth Substitution of ECAA and the Dystopian Future Triggered by its Mandates and Lures

ECAA is the acronym for the new federal K-12 legislation–the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. Since Senator Lamar Alexander, assuming unknown to me powers never discussed in Civics in that “How a Bill Becomes a Law” brochure, has pulled what unanimously passed his Senate subcommittee and substituted this more than 200 page longer bill http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-114s1177pcs/pdf/BILLS-114s1177pcs.pdf , we are going to interrupt our trilogy to take a look. Especially since the lack of any genuine public notice of the “Yoohoo, Heads Up” variety makes it appear none of us were supposed to have a chance to notice and object to the switch. I was not fond of the old bill’s language and wrote several posts explaining why back in April.

The new language though requires, as a matter of binding federal law, two revolutionary shifts in American schools. It imposes the UNESCO/OECD Seven Domains (and accompanying subdomains explicitly in numerous instances too often to be coincidental) of Universal Education. I intuited that after I finished the 792 page bill and then located the 3 reports created by the Brookings Institute Learning Metrics Task Force (LMTF) and published in February 2013, July 2013, and June 2014. All the reports start with “Toward Universal Learning”. Report 1 is then titled “What Every Child Should Learn” and lays out those 7 domains of Physical wellbeing, social and emotional, culture and the arts, literacy and communication, Learning approaches and cognition, Numeracy and mathematics, and science and technology. Report 2 is “A Global Framework for Measuring Learning” and Report 3 lays out “Implementing Assessment to Improve Learning.”

Report 2 gives the perfect rationale for why ECAA has had such a stealth approach and why the Opt Out movement seems to really be about shifting to formative assessments and a Whole Child approach. Let’s listen in on this useful confession:

“While measurement may have different purposes at different levels, the systems for measuring and improving learning at the classroom, national, and global levels should not be working in isolation. Globally tracked indicators should be aligned with what is measured nationally and in schools or classrooms, while measurement at the national level should be aligned with the competencies measured in classrooms or schools.”

That is why ECAA is so intent on ensuring that all states and local school districts are using “high-quality assessments” and measuring “higher order thinking and understanding.” Now I have written about the meanings of these terms before, most particularly here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/muzzling-minds-all-over-the-globe-while-trumpeting-higher-order-skills/ , but it is time to reveal that second revolutionary shift mandated as a MATTER OF LAW by ECAA. It forces a vision of theoretical learning and “mastering of the technique of theoretical concept formation” developed in the Soviet Union to create ideological thinkers who could be manipulated by state authorities (or anyone else who knew about the methods). This relates to what is described in Chapter 3 of my book and is also why it is so alarming that ECAA has the National Science Foundation providing recommendations on Best Practices in STEM coursework.

After I had finished reading both the new ECAA and those three Universal Education reports, I pulled a 1984 book Psychology in Utopia: Toward a Social History of Soviet Psychology for insights into what was being mandated via ECAA as “personalized, rigorous learning experiences that are supported through technology” and a repeated obligation to “personalize learning”. This is all under the Innovative Technology Expands Children’s Horizon’s (I-Tech) part that begins on page 551. In other words, after normal people have become too frustrated with ECAA to continue. I have known for a while that the phrase “personalized learning” is a quagmire of misunderstandings and psychologically intrusive practices to lock-in, at a neurological level, how the world will be interpreted going forward.

The book’s author did not think much of this theoretical learning and called the project an “outright utopia,” which should not be extended “illegitimately, to the whole of society.” Can’t imagine then why we should enshrine it in 2015 as an obligation under federal law. The book described all the programs that Vasily Davydov and his group created in the 70s that, from my knowledge of the actual Common Core implementation as detailed in my book, is the basis for all those planned learning tasks and literacy instruction now. Oh. Good. Kozulin noted though that by 1981 Davydov’s research showed that “object-oriented activity” alone had no effect on mental development. To have that effect, a “personalized form” of “educational activity” must be found. I am guessing that is what ECAA means with its constant references to “well-rounded educational experiences.”

To be ‘personalized’ according to the research of the Soviet psychologists, the focus “of the psychological program” must get at “problems of motivation and personal reflection and the construction of individualized programs of educational activity.” That would be what ECAA calls data to ‘personalize learning’ and ‘inform instruction’ and specifically calls for the “use of data, data analytics, and information to personalize learning and provide targeted supplementary instruction.” See what I meant by Windows on the Mind from the last post?

I have a lot to cover so here’s why Universal Design for Learning had to be in ECAA and why it is vital to personalizing learning http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/05/19/udl-personalized-939/print/ . Here is the Gates Foundation-funded and tied to OECD work and the Achievement Standards Network we have also covered on the Next Generation Learning Environment and its ties to personalizing learning. https://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/eli3035.pdf

So why really must Learning be personalized and why is what now constitutes ‘content’ under ECAA really behavior or the kind of theoretical concept knowledge or principles we have now tracked to the USSR and its visions for utopia in the future? This is from the 2nd Universal Education LMTF report. I put up a link yesterday from 2013 of Arne Duncan hyping this very global agenda of the UN Secretary-General. It is worth quoting in full, but I am bolding the real stunners. Remember the UN Dignity for All by 2030 Agenda I have covered previously.

“The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. These interconnected global challenges call for far-reaching changes in how we think and act for the dignity of fellow human beings. It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write, and count. Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must be relevant in answering the big questions of the day. Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development. It requires transforming the way people think and act. Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. It must give people the understanding, skills and values they need to cooperate in resolving the interconnected challenges of the 21st century.”

That is precisely what ECAA does when you go through its actual language as I have done. By the way, that quote was from a section of the report titled “An Adaptable, Flexible Skill Set to Meet the Demands of the 21st Century.” In the US and other countries all over the world this gets sold as students having a Growth Mindset. It’s no accident that before hyping that euphemistic term Carol Dweck was a well-known Vygotsky scholar. The 1970s Soviet work is an updating of Vygotsky’s work and what this blog has tagged CHAT-cultural historical activity theory. We have met it all before http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/treating-western-society-and-its-economy-as-a-train-in-need-of-rebuilding-and-central-direction/ and now we know why. These global plans and using education as the vehicle are far more extensive even than what is already alarmingly detailed in my book.

ECAA though is the mother lode because it makes regulating our behavior and personality at a neurological level not just something schools may do, but something they MUST do. As a matter of federal law to further an admitted global agenda. LMTF Report 3 talks about how the countries are to get the global Learning agenda and the Seven Domain emphasis into schools and classrooms as a binding obligation. By the time we trace through the schoolwide PBIS, Positive School Climate, “supporting activities that promote physical and mental health and wellbeing for students and staff,” creating and maintaining “a school environment that is free of weapons and fosters individual responsibility and respect for the rights of others” and other ECAA mandates that the local schools and districts must now provide we can see how Ban Ki-Moon’s transformation through education vision quoted above makes it all the way into each classroom and each child.

I have mentioned the repeated use of “well-rounded educational experiences”. It appears to be an obligation to implement not just a Whole Child emphasis, but also to make up for whatever deficits poverty in the community, a dysfunctional family life, or any other problems like being a migrant that does not speak English may have created. All means all. Physical education language in ECAA turns quietly into a mandate to promote the “social or emotional development of every student” and “opportunities to develop positive social and cooperative skills through physical activity participation.” Again mirroring subdomains laid out in those 3 LMTF reports.

I am going to close with yet more proof that ECAA is all about fostering desired behaviors, emotions, and values as it contains repeated references to meeting students “academic needs”. Now I wouldn’t be much of a lawyer if I did not recognize defined terms left mischieviously undefined. Sure enough here’s a link to a February 2009 statement from the National Association of School Psychologists.   http://www.nasponline.org/about_nasp/positionpapers/AppropriateBehavioralSupports.pdf No wonder there are so many references to school counseling programs and mental health providers in ECAA.

I have notes on everything I have described here. If I could draw a jigsaw puzzle to show how tight the actual fit is with everything I have described, I would. It’s impossible to get this level of fit accidentally or this level of correspondences coincidentally.

I joke about speaking ed. I understand intuitively and from years of practice how the law can be used to bind people and places against what they would wish. I have put both those skills together to bring everyone a heads up.

I only wish I was speculating on any of this. Hopefully this post will reach enough people in time.

Windows on the Mind to Confiscate and Control Our Very Essence

Building on the last post’s emphasis on the public sector’s plans for us that are rarely acknowledged to our face and which have always quietly persisted whatever the popular outcry, I want to cover quite a few specific acknowledgments of the End Game that have occurred in just the last week. We may get nothing but deceit from those we elected or whose salaries we pay, but in meetings we are not invited to and reports we are unlikely to see, the coordinated juggernaut is open, explicit, and being pushed at a frenzied pace. Well, that’s not quite true, Needs to Get a Real Life here at ISC did manage to get an invite and does pay attention to all the elements of the web my research has previously indicated I should monitor. Let’s take a look and start with this true confession from UNESCO:

“One of the biggest challenges is how the Framework for Action will link education with the broader sustainable development agenda. Here we believe that more can be done – we must go deeper in exploring the connections and must reposition education at the heart of the post-2015 agenda. We have yet to make a compelling enough case that education is not just one of 17 SDGs but rather a key facilitator for achievement of all the goals. We are pleased to see that this is an issue to be addressed in the Report out next year by the EFA GMR team. Fundamental changes are needed in the world and this requires a new generation of active global citizens with new knowledge, attitudes and behaviours – for which education is the essential catalyst.”

For those of us being asked to turn over our children for years at a time to education and whose taxes pay the costs, maybe we should recognize that statement as the Declaration of War against our culture and the political structures we take for granted that it actually is. Taken from here https://efareport.wordpress.com/2015/05/15/civil-society-priorities-at-the-world-education-forum/ , these nonconsensual shifts that supposedly must occur are in preparation for the UN and the OECD’s Post-2015 plans for both people in the developed and developing countries of the world. Instead of Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” Exhibition, perhaps we need an ISC equivalent exhibition of all the confessions called “Desired or Not, Consensual or Not.”

Here’s another from the well-connected Columbia prof Jeffrey Sachs, who also managed to jet to Rome recently to lobby for a papal encyclical on Climate Change, head up the UN’s World Happiness Reports (started in 2012) pushing measures of subjective well-being as the proper concerns of governments, and be on the Broadband Commission pushing the Internet as a human right. Here’s that confession on the need for ‘data’ to force the new global economic vision  https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/sustainable-development-data-by-jeffrey-d-sachs-2015-05 and if you go to page 23 of the underlying report he talks about, you will find the call for an essential component in every country called an emis. Education Management Information System that will track all students to ensure that all schools have “quality learning” in the UNESCO vision (see above for where it leads) and practices that create Equity for all.

Now for those of you who have already located that 2008 “Seeing the Future: A Planning Guide for High Schools” document or soon will, just remember this global call for an emis that will allow education to be the invisible catalyst for the UN’s post-2015 plans while being implemented at local levels to gain control and hopefully avoid detection. Ooops on that one. Sometimes sarcasm is the most potent relief, but seriously that document is just rife with calls for data as are digital learning initiatives generally and adaptive and personalized learning specifically. Carving out protections under Student Privacy Acts (as Georgia just did in legislation touted as a model) for those types of uses means that there really is no privacy from governmental officials and their cronies to manipulate that data that offers a Window on the Mind.

That was an italicized term used to describe what ‘understand’ is to mean under all these new visions for K-12 education we covered in this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/harnessing-the-meaning-making-capacities-of-the-human-mind-and-then-assessing-for-the-tightness-of-the-fit/ When I decided to crosscheck this week what one of the co-authors Joseph D. Novak was doing now, it led me troublingly to the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. He works there now and I had run into that entity before when I was tracking another troubling theorist who is also there. I remember noting at that time that the composition of its Board of Directors http://www.ihmc.us/board_directors.php reminded me of a group of people whose personal livelihoods would certainly incline them to push a political power should control the economy, mercantilist view of how the future could be shaped. However fine and nice they are as individuals, there is a clear trend to that board membership.

Think of how handy connections like that are when WIOA is mandating State Plans and calling for the states (in the Playbook linked in last post) just to go ahead and describe all their plans for education and how it will be incorporated in every locality into economic development. Then we have the new vision of high schools (2008 report) insisting that all high schools “build and sustain relationships with local employers, community and government agencies, industry associations, labor unions, and post-secondary institutions.” Well, won’t that marry well with the WIOA obligations, especially given the call to “set defined goals and a clear vision for meeting the needs of community youth”?

That old meeting the needs vision of Uncle Karl’s that was also reenforced this week by Google’s (wave hi! to our Internet monitors) UK subsidiary https://www.thersa.org/discover/publications-and-articles/reports/the-new-digital-learning-age/ which takes all the education, links to the workplace, digital learning, etc changes we are encountering and calls for explicit changes in public policy to redesign society “to develop and democratise the Power to Create.” Well, maybe that can be a category of Quality Learning and Equity those emis systems are gathering data to force and then monitor.

Anyone else think Google might have a business stake in this vision of the future? Just like a board composed of real estate developers, bankers, and Chamber of Commerce types might have a stake in a vision of learning as internalized psychological change at a neurological level that makes people highly unlikely as adults to forego the pathway that has been laid out for them. Even less likely to defy the herd. One more example from just this week was the first ever Gigabit Cities conference where everyone seemed to want to push broadband as a human right, especially this speaker http://www.govtech.com/local/Seattles-New-CTO-Focuses-on-People-Infrastructure-Broadband-Access-for-All.html . The hyping of the common good and communitarianism was so constant before I felt sickened and left that I felt tempted to stand up and affirm that historic American vision of people as something other than an instrument of government ambitions.

Seriously, how can people do slides showing the Berlin Wall coming down and mentioning the recognition that “centralized planning does not work” while less than a minute later call for an economy created by the coordination of “governments, universities, civil institutions, and tech companies.” At least no one will be making decisions on our behalf that has any kind of financial conflict for taking the positions they are taking on where K-12 education must go or why Broadband must be a human right or how a requirement of Equity in a naturally unequal world means that intrusive governments will be constantly necessary.

All those financial conflicts of interest in the public, non-profit, AND crony private sector are precisely the impetus for these ed reforms that seek to Confiscate and Control Our Very Essence without notice, or consent, or even knowledgeable consideration of the likely consequences. Is all this intended localized planning somehow going to work because it will be based on real-time data and not be centralized in DC or Brussels? I don’t think so, but these very real, widely-expressed intentions, once we know where to look, are precisely the impetus for these high school reforms and the Common Core.

We must shift to high schools everywhere designed around “rigorous project-based learning experiences in the school, workplace, and communities” (to quote the 1998 NUHS abstract) for the political and social transformation purposes Michael Cole and Yrjo Engestrom usefully described in the last post. Plus the economic cronyism and UN Power-Grabbing laid out in this one.

Clearly I am going to have to make this part 2 of a Trilogy because we still have not chronicled the essence of the manipulation. We should all have a superb handle on the whys behind this manipulation now. We now know that the ubiquitous references to “high standards for all students” designed to reassure us that all these changes are good and necessary actually means the abolition of any distinction between a “college prep” curriculum and a “vocational” one. Add that revelation to our ISC Glossary of Terms.

Let’s close this part of our wading through the muck by quoting something from the 1998 document from a header called “Stories of Change.” It’s a reminder of why everything must be changed and locked in as a mandate for the broader social, economic, and political transformations everyone keeps pointing to to have any chance of occurring.

“High schools are not closed systems: their work and their structure are influenced profoundly by post-secondary entrance requirements, teacher training practices, district policies [hence all the current hyping of charter systems] and assessment practices [why progs love to start Opt Out movements], and community pressures.”

Now of course we know many of the community pressures are deliberately created by the public sector and that the public is being systematically lied to at a level that meets the high thresholds associated with fraud.

We also understand why these calls for a new kind of citizen are rampant at all levels and from every direction.

Next we will close our trilogy with the cited specifics and then link it to the Turchenko vision laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy as well as the Robert Beck polytech rationale we covered in it as well. That book remains the lens for seeing the rest of the story. This blog cannot do it alone.



Shift Facts into Values and Change Values into Facts So That a New Consciousness will Emerge

Since we all just adore an explicit declaration of intent, how’s this for a doozy? “For purposes of organizing [a modern participatory democracy grounded in the common good] it is not important whether there is an objective or subjective reality to this belief since the belief is the basis upon which people act.” That statement certainly gives a reason for all the current focus on skill development for a variety of offered reasons. I have warned that most of the planned assessments should not be described as tests so maybe this description of what is sought will help–”performance assessments are those in which the ‘answer’ is the behavior itself.” Training to act as desired also fits with another quote that gives us the rationale for all these Enduring Understandings, Core Concepts and Disciplinary Ideas we keep encountering as the Knowledge component to go along with all those Skills:

“It is crucial, however, to analyze for people what goes on in areas where they do not have direct experience. Once such analysis comes within their grasp, they will come to see that they can change social reality.”

That would be the same social reality that may not actually exist in the form believed, or be a result of the causes believed, but students, and the adults they will become, will be trained to act anyway. Let’s give one more quote that gives a reason for all the stress on activities and Project-Based Learning and Whole Child SEL Initiatives: “Obviously, one’s capacity to care must be integrated with rationality just because common good requires the reattachment of ‘head to heart’ in our public activities.” To the discussion in my book of everything that started in earnest in the mid-80s with the goal of transforming the political, economic, and social systems of the West, especially in the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK, we need to add another book from 1986–The Common Good: Its Politics, Policies and Philosophy by Marcus Raskin put out by the Institute for Policy Studies (Robert Chandler’s 2008 book Shadow World gives the background on IPS and Raskin as part of the global New Left).

The quote in the title comes from the IPS book as well although I did not know IPS was behind that book when I ordered it. I just recognized the vision desired from the 2001 Learning Society paper and the assumptions being used by that Frameworks Institute from the last post. http://www.ssireview.org/images/articles/2011_WI_Feature_Kania.pdf links to a “Collective Impact” essay hyping Strive in Cincinnati (and other listed cities as well like Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon) “as an example of collective impact, the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.” On the second page is a picture of people bringing together pieces from a jigsaw puzzle so that there can be a collective organized effort around meeting people’s needs without having to confess the total agenda.

This is a long quote but important to appreciating no one is going to run up the flagpole a banner stating: “Our new education agenda is actually tied to these radical transformation descriptions where people actually do mention ‘Marxist thought’ without even a hiccup or a cleared throat.” It’s up to us to find those confessions and put the pieces together:

“complex problems can be solved only by cross-sector coalitions that engage those outside the nonprofit sector…Adaptive problems, by contrast, are complex, the answer is not known, and even if it were, no single entity has the resources or authority to bring about the needed change. Reforming public education, restoring wetland environments, and improving community health are all adaptive problems. In these cases, reaching an effective solution requires learning by the stakeholders involved in the problem, who must then change their own behavior in order to create a solution.”

Good thing the students will have practiced doing that on all those performance assessments and a new definition of learning that now means changes in values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. It does not mean having a solid base of accurate factual knowledge lest we refuse to defer to the Experts or the ‘important actors’ of those coalitions. Or even worse, develop an innovative product that displaces an established business with a superior idea. Think of how handy practice in a Discourse classroom at creating shared beliefs as the 21st century skill of Communication will be in a world where: “collective impact requires all participants to have a shared vision for change, one that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.”

Did any of us get an invite to go to Dallas in January 2015 to be part of the 75 Metro Area Convening put on by the Lumina Foundation to move forward with these transformations with no need to ask the parents or taxpayers? That’s where I found that Stanford Social Innovation paper cited. It covers our communities, our schools, and our children, but no one is telling us about it openly or giving us a piece of the puzzle to start fitting together. Me? At this point I just gate crash, download the issued reports and presentations, and then notice that it is essentially Raskin’s, Marx’s, and the Learning Society vision all being imposed on us quietly. Negotiated at ‘convenings’ we pay for, but don’t get invited to.

This recent report is from another related ‘convening’–this time in May 2014–http://www.competencyworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CompetencyWorks-Maximizing-Competency-Education-and-Blended-Learning.pdf . That’s a long title so they left off the very end that is designed to gain both automatic implementation and little objective scrutiny–”Insights from Experts.” Should we kneel or curtsey then? And if the tenets in that paper and all the emphasis on Equity mean that only a Marxian or IPS/Raskin vision of education to gain the necessary consciousness for economic democracy to work, are we still obligated to defer? Does an education, urban planning, sociology, or public policy degree come now with a license to lie to the public while everything they value and that works gets jettisoned if a Stakeholder Engagement Process decides to put a theory into practice to see what happens?

http://results4america.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-3-18-Moneyball-for-Education-Report.pdf is yet another attempt to put Theory into Practice sold as “informed by thinking from a select group of seasoned experts from the left and right who have much experience with federal education policy.” Given the tragic history of what those federal policies have done to schools and students, we would prefer that be a disqualifier. Has anyone else noticed that expertise in general is constantly dismissed in all these visions of education in the future? Meantime we are supposed to defer to every social science graduate degree as the only reverenced expertise. Again, that’s the way to get Theory into Practice and false beliefs and new values in place to guide future behavior.

Anyone else ever heard of Dane Linn? Now there’s an expert. He was at the NGA when it co-sponsored Common Core. Then he moved on to the College Board to help David Coleman with his current platform for well-funded mischief, before joining the Business Roundtable. http://www.careertechnj.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Georgetown.BR_.CB-CTE-report-11.2013.pdf is called “The Promise of High-Quality Career and Technical Education:Improving Outcomes for Students, Firms, and the Economy.” It forces the kind of “contextualized learning, in which even academic material is presented in the context of projects or workplaces” that Uncle Karl and his 20th Century social reconstruction supporters like Robert Beck (Chapter 4 of my book) have always dreamed of. This is to be for ALL students, including the most academically gifted, because, just as Beck worried about, CTE must no longer be stigmatized.

That paper advocates “states and local districts can adopt/adapt/develop standards and curricula in collaboration with local businesses. Students must demonstrate competency in these skills.” What skills? Oh, the ones laid out in that Competency Works paper that just came out that provides “Insights from Experts” without really specifying which theories those experts’ opinions are really grounded in. Anybody else finding all the stress on needed skills development as awfully useful as we switch to a vision of education that is no longer really about accurate facts in someone’s personal, private possession? When the ‘answer’ is desired behavior, hyping Skills Development to be globally competitive as the rationale is quite the invisibility cloak.

One of the nice things about being where I am in my research on what is really going on is being able to recognize when we are dealing with pieces of a common puzzle created to be function together. We have every right to examine them as the consolidated whole they are intended to become, even if no one invites us to these ‘convenings’. Sometimes these reports and sources are not created to be pieced together though. Sometimes the linkage is the common destination that allows traveling on unconnected tracks. That’s why I mentioned that Robert Beck called himself a social reconstructionist as he pushed the federally funded polytech vision that also fits with this current CTE vision back in the late 1980s. Beck’s work also fits with Anthony Carnevale’s Workplace Basics vision that we found so troubling in this post  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/ballad-of-the-long-sought-shift-to-being-educable-not-educated-adaptation-via-dissolving-the-logical-mind/

Fascinating, huh, since the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy issued that CTE report in conjunction with the College Board and the Business Roundtable. Do you know who else calls himself and his vision a social reconstruction philosophy? Andrew Raskin in The Common Good.

This story gets much easier to track when we look for common destinations and then Backward Map to the pathways being used to get there. The blueprint is also discernable when the jigsaw pieces are so clearly designed to fit together.

Combine both and the vision and its constancy through the decades begins to feel like a supernova, blinding in its intensity.

The Frameworks Institute is not the only one who gets to create analogies and metaphors to guide analysis.