Morphing the Common Core into a New Rewritten US Constitution by Mandating False Beliefs

I always feel a bit like Scrooge when pointing out Equality for All enforced by government coercion is not in fact a Lovely Idea. But it’s too easy to malign someone who says “Not so fast” as having their nest egg and wanting to lock others out. But that is actually not how commerce and markets have ever worked in history. Which remains a darn useful guide to how things will likely work in the future. So before I explain how CCSSI turns out to be a huge con to change the nature of the US Constitution away from its historic role, let me explain for a minute what we are losing. Let me point out basically why Prosperity Generation Seed Corn like diversified expert knowledge and incentives should always be protected. While it still exists.

It turns out that throughout history specialized production/diversified consumption has been the key to mass prosperity. So moving everyone to Common Levels of Adequate Skills guts that. As does the open declaration that we are moving back to a Government directed Economy of Protected Political Favorites. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/

I have also noticed that in all the scheming I have been describing where education is an essential part of the No Growth, Post-GDP Future, when education is standing alone no one is being honest with the students and taxpayers on what’s really in store for the future. That the claims of Economic Development around education globally are really just a means to steer more money into that compliant sector for Social Control over the masses. As the always graphic Europeans described it, to obtain “a deep, structural shift in the basic premises of thoughts, feelings and actions.”

So before the bolts of the invisible serfs collars to hobble minds, manipulate hearts, and propel future individual actions have been welded shut, let me remind everyone one more time that historically personal economic freedom predicts a country’s prosperity “better than its mineral wealth, education system or infrastructure do.” That an all-powerful state means economic stagnation at best unless you are part of the politically connected few.

Now that I have sounded that warning one more time hoping to save our Prosperity Seed Corn from Official Arson, it turns out that CCSSI is part of a ploy to create a national equal citizenship guarantee. This highly creative theory of “social citizenship” has been created by controversial former Berkeley Law Professor, Goodwin Liu. You may recognize him from his failed nomination to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or his subsequent installation on California’s Supreme Court. Where he has apparently been trying to show he would not be a radical jurist after all. Anyone believing that has not read his “Education, Equality, and National Citizenship” Manifesto from the Yale Law Journal. No, not when he was an impetuous law student. Published in 2006. Part of his adult philosophy of how to revamp the nature of the US Constitution through a highly imaginative reconstruction of the citizenship language of the 14th Amendment.

Liu asserts that the term “citizenship” should now be interpreted to have “social and economic dimensions” instead of just its civil and political meanings. To be a font of substantive guarantees to “secure full and equal citizenship.” Now if this is starting to sound a bit like an insistence on the Scandinavian welfare state as enshrined in the US Constitution when we were not looking, Liu does make quite the use of qualifying language. Well, kind of. See what you think.

This guarantee is not to be “a rigid requirement of national levelling” and “economic inequality is not inherently at odds with equal citizenship.” The “account of citizenship” offered by Liu “does not squarely challenge the competitive norms of  the marketplace and its competitive hierarchies.” Liu just wants to create a principle of “bounded inequality” that looks at what others have so social stratification will cease to be a problem. Right.

So basically creative Liu wants either SCOTUS or Congress to assume that the citizenship language means we are all members of a national community called the United States of America and that Membership has its privileges and duties that do not include an American Express card. Because you would have to pay that bill each month. No membership in the US community means everyone has positive rights to certain forms of government assistance to “secure full and equal national citizenship.” Basically social citizenship turns into a claim encompassing “the whole range from the right to a modicum of economic welfare and security to the right to share to the full in the social heritage and to live the life of a civilised being according to the standards prevailing in the society.”

Now here’s the fascinating concession to our already having found  the confession that the CCSSI sales pitch of national content standards  was a ruse http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/. Liu sees the need for his federal guarantee of equal national citizenship to be created via:

“enlisting non-governmental organizations to develop national education standards and by incentivizing states to adopt them voluntarily.”

There could not be a more succinct description of CCSSI, the Common Core State Standards Initiative, than that. Which would also explain why the implementation of CCSSI I have chronicled looks nothing like the rhetoric. And why lawyers rightfully concerned with violations of the 10th Amendment or federal statutes are missing the true story. A sought profound rewriting  of the 14th Amendment to turn the nature of the US Constitution upside-down.  Starting with the need for national education standards. But why that exactly?

Beyond the levelling function we have chronicled, I think the answer lies in the odd definitions of College and Career Ready Standards we have noted along with the Positive School Climate mandate I have described. Plus what we talked about in the last post. There is a desire to create a view of national citizenship not as the source of evenhanded protection against an overbearing state but as the generator of citizenship obligations and duties and responsibilities. All of these words get used over and over again in reference to this new view of education for citizenship. There is to no longer be a right to be left alone. This is not only true in US but in the descriptions from all over the world. Education is being seen as the means for creating the Values and Attitudes, the real common core, that recognizes a personal and collective responsibility towards solidarity with others to achieve social justice, understanding and cooperation amongst peoples.”

And I am retorting that this so-called “model of partnership” created via education with government employees acting as enforcers is unlikely to work out as envisioned. And I think all of this rewriting of the 14th Amendment and UNESCO Education for All and Systems Thinking and Transformational OBE and Career Pathways and OECD Competences are all examples of a return to the Predator State. With a global Nomenklatura this time. No more genuine personal autonomy or economic freedom. By the time anyone could have figured this all out it would have been too late. I think no one intended for a history geek who once aced Con Law to be tracking education policy by its economic function and political results.

And because perceptions can trump reality, if you teach students this altered definition of Citizenship and obligation for the Common Good and demerits for acts of individuality, and then gather data to enforce this Image of the Perfect Collectivist Citizen Drone for the 21st Century, you can create her. Regardless of the language and historical intent of the Constitution. I have seen the College Board’s revisions of their AP history courses. No one is likely to be learning the truth about the Constitution in an American classroom for very much longer.

History shows that self-interest always exists and only free markets channel it in beneficial ways. A government employee with the ability to enforce an education edict that insists that “community means working collectively and collaboratively with others toward a shared vision” still has a self-interest they will try to maximize. That will likely involve pushing this sought mandate to get a raise or promotion no matter how bad the results for students and taxpayers.

Everything that has been a barrier in the past to the Overbearing State is being dismantled. At the exact same time the countries that have social democracy/welfare state for all have found it to be unsustainable. All those realities are being ignored though by politicians and Connected Businesses wanting to preserve power and economically unsophisticated voters and students wanting free stuff at someone else’s expense.

I am not going to tell you we need to stop this before it goes airborne. That really happened in the 90s as Outcomes Based Education. I am just hoping to create enough alarm before we get to the May Not Turn Around part of the Trip.

I mean did anyone even pack a life raft for when we go down? I can hear that left engine sputtering badly and we cannot all fly on only one engine.

 

 

Didn’t the President Just Admit CCSSI was a Ruse to Change Classroom Interactions?

CCSSI is the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Nominally state-led and thus constitutional, CCSSI is an initiative pushed and embraced by the Obama Administration to supposedly create consistent areas of content knowledge for students that will no longer vary from state to state. That’s the rhetoric and political story being sold to parents and taxpayers and school boards and legislators and members of Congress. About 45 states and the District of Columbia have officially adopted CCSSI. Generally to get and keep federal funds. In my previous post I pointed out that the Hewlett Foundation had acknowledged that CCSSI was really just an excuse to alter classroom assessments, curriculum, and forms of instruction and classroom interaction. Hewlett, of course, as a major education funder, gets invited to meetings not open to mere taxpayers. We will have to take their word for it but it does fit with the known facts we have systematically uncovered.

Long-time readers of this blog know I have been showing all summer how the real implementation coming to a classroom near you looks much different and is dominated by practices intentionally engaging feelings and emotions. Plus policies attempting to alter student values, attitudes, and beliefs. Especially with respect to shifting to a non-fossil fuel new planned economy around Sustainability and altering the traditional respect for the legitimacy of the individual in Western thought. The Common Core implementation we have tracked is full of the communitarian ethos that the individual submit to the consensus of the group and its beliefs about the Common Good.

I created this blog to try to get that vitally important information widely disseminated in time since the implementation begins this school year. That’s 3 weeks ago in some districts. Last week President Obama gave a speech at a Nevada high school where he seemed to say that federal officials led the common-standards fight. He appeared to want to take credit for it. Now that would create Constitutional problems if true so an Ed Week reporter, Catherine Gewertz, swooped in to apparently try to put the President’s statements in a less troubling context. So she wrote a story called “Common Standards: Blaming and Bragging in Presidential Campaign” and made the issue of the federal involvement far worse. Her extended quote tied President Obama far more tightly to the altered consciousness form of education reform than she ever dreamed she was doing when she went for the save. Here’s why.

What President Obama actually said was this:

“almost every state has now agreed to raise standards for teaching and learning–and that’s the first time it’s happened in a generation.”

Now Catherine Gewertz takes that phrase I bolded “standards for learning and teaching” and immediately treats it multiple times as synonymous with the “common-standards” and the “common-standards” movement. I think that is true. But the “common-standards” she and President Obama are talking about is not CCSSI. You see “standards for teaching and learning” is what we lawyers call a term of art. It has a precise meaning.  Moreover, it is a precise meaning that was created in Chicago about the time of the President’s reference to “in a generation.” It was created to be a national template for change. And President Obama is linked to its creation via its primary funder, the Joyce Foundation, where he served on the Board from 1994 to 2002. He is also linked through leading the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, another listed funder.

And no I am not going off some List of Contributors and jumping to conclusions because of the time periods involved and Board membership. You see when I was following up on the curriculum and instructional practices used at a paradigm shifting California high school supposedly redesigned for the 21st Century, I noticed first that the announced School Profile looked just like the IB Learner Profile except it wasn’t an IB school. So IB clearly fit into a broader education template. Then the school itself said they wanted all faculty to adhere to the curriculum and instructional practices laid out in a particular cited book, Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s Schools. The school cited the Second Edition published in 1998 so that is the one I tracked down used. As an aside to show its continuing relevance for what is coming to your schools and classrooms, I noticed that the Fourth Edition came out in February 2012.

There in the Preface is the whole history of “Best Practice” (and the “generous grant” from Joyce) and how it is a means of altering the nature of the curriculum and the types of instruction. What the book calls the “day-to-day teaching and learning” that needed to change “key classroom activities and practices that embody a new paradigm.” What the book calls Best Practice or “standards for teaching an learning” was supposed to create “the strongest and most enduring school renewal in this century.” If that sounds like it harkens back to John Dewey’s vision, it does.

“What is recommended across all subjects can only be called a neo-progressive transformation virtually all the authoritative voices in each field are calling for schools that are student-centered, active, experiential, democratic, collaborative, and yet rigorous and challenging.

Those listed classroom Criteria are basically the “common-standards” movement. Which is why companies like Cambridge Education build their revenue stream around pushing this vision in the classroom in unlucky cutting edge Best Practice districts like Charlotte-Meck and now Fulton County in Georgia as we discussed in this post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/you-mean-i-cant-teach-because-the-economy-should-not-grow/ . The book proceeds to lay out the reading practices now known as Whole Language which created the Reading Wars in the 90s and the math practices and policies that would ignite the Math Wars. Which were erroneously treated by most parents as distinct, unrelated controversies. As the 2nd edition, the book even complains about how the “conservative” California governor and “his appointed school board” had “recently eviscerated” the state’s innovative Best Practices math curriculum to “return to computation-based, skill-and-drill mathematics curriculum.”

Oh My. The horrors. So what we are implementing in the name of the Common Core is actually what was so controversial in the past except this time the new methods to measure “progress” were funded first. Plus as we saw in the previous post, Critical Race Theory (by name)  is now being explicitly directed into the mandated classroom dialogues so we can expressly create Social Change Agents in the classroom. The deliberate cultivation of feelings and emotions completely saturates Best Practice precisely because that level of unconscious engagement is more lasting and memorable and altering.

But no where for federal government officials to be. Or any elected official or bureaucrat or district super or principal. Not even an elected President. Or a caring Teacher unless the reasons for such emotionally intrusive and manipulative interventions are widely known and agreed to.

President Obama’s advisors may have come into office infamously declaring they were “ready to rule.” But we are not subjects yet and this level of federal intrusion into the psyche should be Out of Bounds.

Keep Urban Schools Weak to Force Economic and Social Justice Then Make the Suburbs Close the Gap

To be Equitable of course in a tragic and perverse way that insists no one gets to have an Axemaker Mind. Because not everyone is equally good at abstract, logical, sequential ways of thinking. We somehow forget that the Whiz Kid may also be uncoordinated in sports or cannot put together Basic Legos even with detailed instructions. I will come back to Peter Senge and Systems Thinking in a later post. He represents both the how–Forcing Systems Thinking and the related New 3 R’s-Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance in their new meanings forms on what had been high-achieving schools in suburban districts and students in high-achieving courses of study anywhere.

Senge also gives useful insights into the real Where–the reimagined Sustainable Future that he calls the Regenerative Society. Hint: it’s to be built around Relationships with one another and not seeing human beings as a special species. There’s also a great deal of emotional connections so all this SEL emphasis and Dewey’s Quality Learning will be so handy. And after all widespread prosperity was so 20th Century. This Regenerative Society will be so cooperative they need the schools to mandate creating the requisite mindsets. Some cooperation, huh?

Today we are going to focus on the Why. At least some of it. I hope this post will be as much of a shock to each of you reading as it was for me to come across this several times in research. And then to bore in carefully to be sure. For a country where millions of voters in 2008 chose to show they were ready to move to a post-racial America it is painful to discover that the education establishment is not ready to move on at all. Too politically useful and financially rewarding for a directing, planning elite is probably the best way to describe this.

As you will see nothing except equal outcomes  and no more racial or economic segregation by neighborhoods will suffice to stop the manipulation of students and schools. And at that point the governments at all levels will be so intrusive.  And the future voters will know so little and will have been so manipulated in preparation for the redesigned Sustainable Regenerative Society. It is hard to envision anyone surviving with independence and an individual presence of mind. Why?

How many of you remember the confrontations over busing? The long-sought remedy was metro-wide busing to force integrated schools even where the inner cities were separate school systems. When the Supreme Court said no in 1973 in the Detroit case it did leave an opening if officials could prove intentional discrimination by suburban officials impacting the inner city. Many Southern school districts like Charlotte or Montgomery County or Nashville or those in Florida were usually county-wide school districts. But not Atlanta.

Atlanta city schools (APS) (home of the infamous cheating scandal) itself is in the middle of the Fulton County School District. The one we talked about in the last post and the one with what I call the duplicitous charter, enshrining the tenets of Transformational Outcomes Based Education. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/what-happens-when-a-charter-pillages-minds-and-wallets/ Interestingly enough, that charter also adopts the essential policies and practices used by  APS. What are the odds? The metro Atlanta school desegregation case  (Armour v Nix) seeking metro-wide busing was rejected by the federal district court in 1979  despite evidence of official action behind patterns of segregated housing in the metro area.

Other school systems that previously bused students have sought court declarations that they are now “unitary” systems and entitled to leave court supervision and return to neighborhood schools. If these become segregated again, there is no judicial remedy. That has happened in places like Charlotte and Montgomery County, Maryland. The response from the education establishment though is not to make all schools better. Instead the response is the SEL, PBIS, Positive School Climate, Career Pathways for all vocational approach, learner-centered change the student focus we have been describing all summer.

There is tremendous anger over this issue that appears to be actively cultivated in Colleges of Education. Basically the cultivated demand is if economic and social justice is not the norm for all students in the US, no student in a publically-funded school should have access to an academically excellent education. The levelling function of government coercion and the power of the accreditors kicks in to try to deprive any American student of an Axemaker Mind. But we taxpayers and parents might not appreciate this Demand so no one bothered to tell us.

How do I know this is intentional? Well, I read a lot and people like Professor Jean Anyon told me after I accurately pegged her to the Regional Equity Movement. And reading her descriptions in her 2005 book radical possibilities of how to use “injustice to create an outrage that can ultimately be channeled into public demands,” you see there is zero incentive for these educators seeking a Transformative social, political and economic revolution to actually teach the kids to read well. Using the schools to radicalize parents and youth that their poverty is the “congealed result of economic and other social hardships impinging on urban families.” In case there is any ambiguity, Professor Anyon says the economic justice policy changes are necessary first to “provide meaningful life chances for poor families and neighborhoods.” Here’s the full quote from page 127 if you have a copy handy:

“Economic access and the improved social standing its fulfillment provides parents, students, and communities will be prerequisites. . . But economic justice, this important precursor of systemic urban school reform, will not be achieved without concerted, sustained political struggle.”

Enter the community organizers like ACORN or its successor Action Now out of Chicago with much of the same personnel. More importantly though because I think Texans feel protected by their non-participation in Common Core, forgetting Texas adopted OBE statewide in the late 1980s when it was called a radical change, is the role of Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation, using schools and churches to community organize in that state. Do very many Texans understand that? How about people in Cobb County, Georgia where your new Super who came from Dallas ISD would have undergone a great deal of interaction and training around IAF goals and prescriptions? Or the new Super, Mike Myers, who retains a side business seeking federal School Turnaround grants. Is it a valuable asset in seeking those grants to be experienced in dealing with demands of community organizers specializing in urban schools? Makes sense to me that it would. But those are our tax dollars or debt that fund School Turnarounds based on these same Bad Urban Ideas.

“Building Partnerships to Reinvent School Culture” is a 2009 report from the Annenberg Institute for School Reform http://annenberginstitute.org/pdf/Mott_Austin.pdf on IAF’s use of churches to create the Austin Interfaith Alliance and its model of community organizing in Texas schools via the Alliance Schools network. Page 4 has a quote from Jeannie Oakes, who is now with the Ford Foundation, Ground Zero for the Regional Equity Movement, on the “increased interest from both practitioners and researchers in understanding the potential role of community organizing in contributing to sustainable improvements in education.”  If you do get a chance to read that document, do not miss the fact that the Alliance Schools did not want to be subject to standardized testing. They wanted performance based assessments instead similar to what Common Core established via SBAC and PARCC. When these schools could not get an official exemption from testing “they had less time for relational practices. The emphasis on testing changed the schools practically overnight.”

My goodness that sounds a lot like a focus on Relationships instead of content. Just the sort of urban school Quality Learning that Common Core now mandates nationwide. Suburbs too. The community organizers were probably quite pleased those long sought performance assessments were funded from the beginning in the 2009 Stimulus Act. Well, we know all that funding did not stimulate the US economy. Made a lot of educators, professors, and community organizers happy though. No wonder Van Jones says he signed on to the Environmental Green Movement because of the government’s ability to direct money where it wants as so much of the Green Economy is politically directed.

As a funding taxpayer, that hardly seems Sustainable. Or Wise.