Misportraying the Conspiracy Covers Up the Broader Plans of Political and Economic Transformation

Most of the reporting I saw of last summer’s celebration of 20 years of Sustainability and Agenda 21 (so not an urban legend) at Rio de Janeiro  viewed it as a failure because “no definitive agreement was reached.” Well while the world paying attention was breathing a sigh of relief at another bullet dodged, the ICLEI component of this UN-led Reorganize the World program at your expense launched a new initiative to clarify what Sustainable Development would mean in the future–the Green Urban Economy. Generally in Initial Caps just like that for emphasis.

Now this is not the story I planned on doing today. That can stay in the holding pen until the weekend. This story was prompted by the very strange reaction locally to the criminal indictment using RICO of former Atlanta School Super, Beverly Hall. Something along the lines of “she’s not a mobster. It can’t merit RICO.” When lots of non-Mafia types have been pulled in through RICO over the years. http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2013/04/02/criminal-indictment-of-beverly-hall-is-it-illegal-to-be-a-demanding-leader/ is an example of the kind of nonsense being peddled that it can’t be a RICO conspiracy. Now the idea that what Bev was up to was about being a demanding leader or having too high an expectation for minority students given the educational and psychological policies and practices APS was piloting for national (and international as you are about to see) implementation is preposterous.

My experience is that that kind of preemptive “I am a lawyer and I read the indictment and this was no conspiracy meriting RICO” treatment gets pulled in when big bucks are at stake. And Atlanta’s business image. The good news Atlanta movers and shakers is I am about to make what is going on an Urban juggernaut and boondoggle connected to that reimagining of federal revenue sharing we talked about in the last post. Because while I was still fuming over that exculpatory blog post, I learned that the week before the indictment Bruce, the last post’s Race to the Shop, Katz had been back in Atlanta. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/ is the post explaining the Low Carbon and punt consumer choice regional vision from last fall’s visit.

Except this time he brought former Chicago mayor Richard Daley to pitch the Global Cities Initiative. A Joint Project of Brookings and JP Morgan Chase. Chase said its role was about its “longstanding commitment to investing in cities.” As a former corporate securities lawyer who has written her share of bond prospectuses, I am sure the prospect of underwriting fees from municipal bonds to finance infrastructure expansions plays no role. Purely altruistic. Which is why GCI began in 2012 with events in San Diego, Columbus, Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles. If you are in Texas, maybe you can make it to the GCI forum on May 15. Other 2013 opportunities are in Dallas, Denver, and Mexico City.

Something else began in May 2012 that does seem related to this rebuild urban areas and insist everyone globally push the sociocultural model  just like the urban schools. It’s called the Global Cities Education Network and its participating cities are Chicago, Denver, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Toronto. None of which are cities with any interest in an export economy of the type GCI is hyping. Seriously, the JP Morgan, Gates, Hewlett and Pearson Foundations are among the sponsors. So the profit parts bring in revenue from underwriting or selling technology and digital literacy or writing and grading those all important assessments and remaking urban America to be Green. While the “charitable” arms push the policies that control the next generation’s values and belief systems and their ability to think at all.

So I am not trying to rain on revenue dreams from a Corporatist redesigned 21st century economy so much as trying to prevent the kind of insider boondoggle and user and taxpayer expensive nightmare now being used to describe the Chicago Parking Meter Lease Deal (look it up. I need to move on).  You see, I don’t know just a sliver of this story. And one of the things I understand is precisely how these urban school systems have been operating and why and how it has related for years to the hoped for political, economic, and social transformation. I literally have the blueprints as I was reminded again yesterday as I read this driving assumption. It is why outcomes based education always comes back. In function if not name and why the economic vision must have the schools:

“Without appropriate beliefs, many elementary acts of internal forethought, external colloquy [apparently discussion was not a sufficient term] and operational realignment would be unlikely. In so far as these acts depend on conscience, the beliefs of those involved is crucial.”

That was from 1990 and the UK but it actually laid out the global blueprint that mirrors what we are seeing now. Behind on its 21st century implementation schedule but definitely shifting into 3rd gear while we pay and pay and pay. That’s why all Transformation plans in any area rely on using education to alter the prevailing values, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings through education. It’s why the herd-defying, propaganda busting, abstract mind must not be nurtured anymore. So making equity in education and closing the achievement gap for urban youth the global focus prevents an academic/transmission of knowledge focus. That is inherently unequal so emotions and physical activity become the default classroom focus. Which is really convenient since that is the area of research from all those Soviet psychologists as we have talked about. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/imitating-the-ussr-in-striving-to-discover-how-the-child-can-become-what-he-not-yet-is/

And to invoke all this as being a matter of fairness to all and needed in light of the 50th anniversary of the Brown US Supreme Court decision on school desegregation (it is aboriginal rights being pushed in Oz by the way. Whatever pitch is needed) you get law review articles like “Toward Everyday Justice: On Demanding Equal Educational Opportunity in the New Civil Rights Era” by Mica Pollock. Now Mica is now an ed prof at UC San Diego and Harvard but she wrote that Ohio State Law Journal article that is ready to be cited in support of many a legally dubious practice to get it into place. Get it embedded into daily practice is how she describes it while our civil rights laws remain too focused on intent to discriminate. Instead of focusing on ANY harmful effects to a particular racial or ethnic group.

Mica is an anthropologist, not a lawyer, by training with a PhD from Stanford. She is thus in a position to credential away future professors, teachers, and District School Supers and administrators committed to her vision of using schools to “transcend current legal tools” and really get to wholesale structural transformation. You just focus on changing the aggregate of ordinary daily practices and policies that might give some children benefits not available to others.

All out of sight. All admittedly in violation of the actual statutory or case law. It’s not like anyone will ever know or those District Supers really have to answer to anyone in what they choose to push. And that’s how Equity and Equal Opportunity are bringing in sociocultural practices for all schools that the creators admit they based on USSR research. I don’t think it is coincidental Mica is now where Michael Cole and his Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) set up shop after the Rockefeller Foundation stopped funding that type of psychological research.

The Spencer Foundation has also been funding research designed to equalize opportunity to learn. They italicized it just like that. And equalizing OTL requires, they say, using those sociocultural practices like CHAT and alternative assessments like what the Gordon Commission is pushing. That would again be the influential commission led by Edmund Gordon with his life long interest in urban youth and equal justice for minorities. One of the Commission members, our friend James Paul Gee , explained OTL in his work for Spencer:

“New Knowledge that cannot be tied to any prior knowledge is not learned well or at all.” That means that what we would call book knowledge is off limits with an OTL focus because people have varying degrees of ability to take it in based on their prior life experiences. a/k/a homelife and parental education and financial resources.

Gee then goes on to say:

“For true and equal OTL, learners must all have the capacity to form the required representations [concepts, mental models] at the required degree of ‘power.’” Now since people differ in their ability to think abstractly, genuine abstractions like real Algebra or geometric proofs or even grammatical logic are all now off limits as a violation of OTL. If concepts or mental representations are needed, the kindly proprietors of an equity focus will supply them. Helps create consistency in beliefs too. No need to be skeptical and think there might be a political agenda that would make influential false beliefs or metaphors a temptation. Oh wait. We already did that post on Professor Donald Schon.

In the end our urban focus and OTL equity priority leaves classrooms largely devoted to “people’s participation in shared talk and social practice.”

A perfect opportunity to both level and change those beliefs that form the conscience that drives action. That can create a broader fundamental Transformation. Of everything.

 

Well No Wonder No One Listens to Common Core Complaints if It is Tied to Federal Revenue Sharing

A New Vision for Federal Revenue Sharing with state and local governments to drive future economic and workforce development being cleverly marketed as “Race to the Shop.” That’s a play on the accompanying education vision that bribed or threatened the states to adopt the Common Core in the first place under the education Race to the Top set up in the 2009  Stimulus Act. Turns out that’s not all it set up, apparently it also set up a new Regional Race to the Top for all America’s regions (bold and Italics in original to show the excitement for this vision of shared prosperity based on a clean energy economy). In fact it’s to “be a truly ‘New’ New Deal, [but] government cannot go it alone, it can only serve as a key partner and catalyst.” With your redistributed tax dollars or public debt I would add.

Now before I get further into this political and cronyism dream at all levels of American government that is explicitly tied into the 21st Century Skills agenda (it’s actually on the cover of the September 2010 working paper from the Tides Foundation project–the New Policy Institute), I want to quote a particularly juicy passage that highlights how these initiatives stifle complaints and encourage cooperation about any related aspect like the Common Core:

“Deeply engage the private sector as a critical solutions partner in addressing these systemic changes, or risk a continuing and negative narrative that these efforts are simply wasteful public sector programs.”

That’s your money going to make sure no one aware of these tie-ins has any incentive to complain. Because this Acceleration Agenda “does not simply call for more federal revenue-sharing with the states. The changes we need to accelerate private-led innovation in regions and communities do not begin, or end, there.”

Truer words were never spoken as the Acceleration Agenda lays out Multi-State regions (10 in all), Clean Economic Development Visions, and Economic Acceleration Zones. Like High Speed Rail and making the SW the Saudi Arabia of Solar. What a boondoggle. Those of you with a background in economics may recognize all this for what it is–the explicit adoption of an Industrial Policy vision by the US with its known Cronyism and benefits to political favorites or necessary adversaries. And the report acknowledges just that with the following chilling quote:

“So is the Acceleration Agenda a new “industrial policy”? Do such labels really matter? We hope not–there is too much on the line for our economy to be bogged down in over-simplified debates from the past.”

Now the historian in me would point out that’s not the subject of debates so much as lessons from the past about the sheer waste of public money that comes with an Industrial Policy. But I actually correctly pegged the education vision last May as related to Industrial Policy and a Dirigiste vision for the economy. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ and http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/ . What I never in a million years suspected was that I would come across a report openly declaring it while stating “Obamism at its core is largely about bottom-up change rather than top-down change.” Wow, Harry Boyte must be pleased.

Now I know this vision has been around since the 60s. It’s not an invention of this Administration but wanting to name it after the President tells us just how much potential for successful political coalitions using your money is seen here. In fact, looking at the full vision and the Go-Fast Model, it’s hard not to remember the high urban turnout in the last Presidential election. No wonder. A vision of federal money, private sector, and community foundations together using, and again I quote, the “transformational, low carbon project…serves a key project screen.”

Doesn’t that word “screen” sound like “excuse?” The reason for remaking the nature of the American economy and political structure all while engaging in Mind Arson in preschool, K-12, and higher ed? Whatever is necessary to make sure the designated providers in this 21st Century system get the workers they want while never again having to worry about a better product or invention upsetting their revenue dreams?

You know how for sports contests we see the label “Designated Provider of X. Event? You know what I mean. This utterly reeks of being the designated cellphone provider or operating system provider or Smart Grid provider. Protecting and preserving current business. But it actually gets worse believe it or not because all of this is also tied to the renewal of our urban areas as part of creating start-ups to be the component “middleware” to “connect government and business in the 21st Century economy.” Which brings me to what pulled up this Revenue Sharing 2.0 to get to the Next Economy vision. It is called “Inclusive Competitiveness” and it was announced a few weeks ago at the SXSWedu Summit in Austin.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-green/sxswedu-launches-next-big_b_2765038.html?view=print&comm_ref=false is the story laying out the vision of how all this will Save America’s Black Boys, be part of a permanent “Black Innovation Group,” and create a Pipeline2Productivity and Urban Innovation.”

And I genuinely wish urban areas and America’s Black Boys the best possible future they can have but tying it to economic redistribution while simultaneously trying to spread the bad education policies and practices that have destroyed urban systems to the suburbs just means OPM, Other Peoples Money, will run out sooner than this plan accounts for. It would be so much better to teach those Black Boys and everyone else’s children how to read properly and provide a solid curriculum like the Core Knowledge. You just cannot get me excited about what this Project 21 vision is going to do for Cleveland which is where the affiliated Nortech is based when I know the Cleveland Schools are pushing social and emotional learning in their classrooms as the vision of how all children can learn. You cannot push PATHS–Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies–for all kids in all classrooms and then pretend that these urban kids are being left behind despite an academic focus.

But that’s the poignant cry for what is wrong with our urban areas. And Project 21, which used to be known as the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative, is the supposed answer to linking Urban America to the 21st Century Economy. Does this look like reparations to anyone else? Using the “low carbon project as the screen” as the Acceleration Agenda report put it. Whatever the rationale this gushing of federal dollars to launch public-private partnerships resulted in “Five Private-Sector Initiatives Launched at First White House Tech Inclusion Summit” held on January 31, 2013.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/04/five-private-sector-initiatives-launched-first-white-house-tech-inclusion-summit .

One of those, the Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative, picked Portland, Oregon to be its pilot city. That would be the same Portland that has been committed to cutting edge education pushes for decades. Discussed here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/now-more-than-five-years-into-an-attempt-to-help-organize-a-near-total-revision-of-human-behavior/ But Portland is also considered to be the shining star of the Urban Planning, Agenda 21, Regional Equity, and what is now called Metropolitanism movements. All based on a Low-Carbon Economy of the Future centered on Producers, not Consumers, the Brookings Institute’s Bruce Katz said at a breakfast I attended and also wrote about. Curiously Katz is also the coiner of that catchy expression Race to the Shop above to fit the manufacturing and workforce development component of all this planning and redistributing.

Now ALC is also known as Accelerate Local Communities ( I guess it depends on how stagnant a region is right now as this is all ramping up). ALC is also listed as being a collaboration with Microsoft. Which is concerning since they are among the primary partners in the students only need generic 21st Century Skills like Collaboration and Creativity international movement (ATC21S). And that Tech Inclusion Summit is being sold in the inner cities as bringing STEM jobs to urban communities. http://atlantadailyworld.com/201302083703/Business/white-house-tech-inclusion-summit-unveils-private-sector-initiatives-to-bridge-gap-in-stem

Now I did not write this story because I wanted to rain on the race to the Green Gold Rush as a report called it. Although that does seem like a worthy venture. But this vision of new revenue sharing and dictates of where jobs must be, and everyone assuming that with credentials jobs will come, are all simultaneously destroying the actual knowledge and skills and freedoms and certainties that ignite real widespread prosperity. Given the percentage of the federal budget that represents borrowing, this redistributed money to build and pay off political coalitions does not really exist except as an obligation for future taxpayers. But in the meantime it really is going in someone’s pocket. Many of them campaign contributors at every level of government. Just like Solyndra.

The money WILL run out and sooner than expected. And then where will we be? After all, mind arson is not just a provocative expression I came up with to stir up antipathy for the Common Core. It really does describe what has been deliberately going on in urban schools for decades. But with the actual Common Core I keep describing, and those new, poorly understood, assessments (also financed by that 2009 Stimulus Act), mind arson is coming to the suburbs to take down every school where minds are still being nourished regularly with solid content.

Then where will we be? I keep mentioning consuming seed corn for a reason. What happens to a country when the cultivated famine is mental and widespread? Especially when the most able students were the particular targets for levelling.

We appear to be about to find out.

Protected Producers vs Paying Consumers/Taxpayers:Who will Prevail on Education and the Economy?

If we did not already understand just how much the entire legitimacy of individualism and free choices are at stake in what is being sought through education and the Sustainability Economic Transformation, that graphic phrase from the last post’s title “psychological umbilical cord” should be a wakeup call. At a deep emotional level cultivating the fundamental belief that each of us is nothing without the group. That our physical environment and social interactions determine who we are. Not just as a contributing factor.

Now you know part of the impetus for the frequent assertion for the statements that K-12 education cannot be fixed as long as poverty exists. That first we must change the environments so that everyone has comparable opportunities.  Of course we now know that is bogus. That K-12 is being consciously broken to prevent Axemaker Minds and take away the magic mental effects that people gain from the power of symbolic manipulation.

This week was quite the series of confirmations on precisely what is going on. Socially. Economically. Globally. Before I tell the story of the new revelations, I went back to the 1982 book on using Systems Thinking to alter the direction of the future to revisit the whys of what I knew and could prove. It is relevant to why accurate factual knowledge of the past and the enduring drivers of human nature are such a danger for anyone with a futurist orientation. Here’s a telling quote on the motivation behind what became known in the 90s as Transformational Outcomes Based Education or today’s Systems Thinking in the classroom. The core of the Common Core is an apt way to describe the planned classroom dominance of reimagine the future activities for Real World Problems. Solvable of course with just enough taxpayer money, dialoguing, and maybe a Model UN Session or Two.

“Where memory is rooted solely in the past, imagination may be oriented in the past, present, or future. ”

Knowledge of history then or human nature from great literature influences your beliefs about what can be in confining ways. Practical ways that get in the way of anyone with aspirations of Utopia or just a desire for an old-fashioned Power Grab. Here’s more (the next line):

“The subsequent behavior of the living system is governed by the nature of the image, whether of memory or imagination.”

Can you see the value of convincing young students that the polar bears are drowning and clinging to life on ice floes from disintegrating icebergs? Caused by industrialization and fossil fuels and human activity in general? How useful an emotional visual appeal is to creating a deep felt belief that Authorities must intervene and Do Something? Anything to help. ASAP.

What’s the effect of actual knowledge of the past on such a cry? Might the student recognize that power corrupts or that it is foolish to jettison what works for the most part in favor of Something that has never been tried before? Or worse that it is similar to what brought tragedy in the past. And that the Designers of the Plan have no real downside if they screw up. But we taxpayers and ordinary unconnected to the Political Powers-that-be Folks will be left with the consequences of any fiasco. Think about that as we pull up another Systems Thinking futurist quote of precisely the importance of what education, K-12 and higher ed, is shutting down.

“What gives man a significant ‘edge’ over other living systems is not so much his ability to transmit symbols horizontally, to his contemporaries, but vertically, to his successors. It is this vertical capacity that is made possible by the time-binding nature of his symbols . . . This permits us to encapsulate and transmit to our successors a culture embracing our past experiences in a degree far more effective than other creatures, making possible a progress unique to man.”

And that is precisely what the Learner Centered classroom mandated in the CCSSI classroom implementation takes away. And Whole Language. And making regular use of tools like the I-Pad or a laptop or a Smartphone the focus in the classroom. All fundamentally interfere with this Vertical Transmission of Knowledge.  In fact as we have discussed more than once. That Desired Interference is a Feature, not a Bug prompting the mandated use.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/embrace-and-seize-technologys-potential-to-capture-the-hearts-and-minds-of-todays-students/ is from our helpfully explicit  Texas Insurrectionists. And taking out the Vertical Transmission aspect means that actual knowledge need not impede the imagination conjuring up alternative futures.

Except The Powers that Be or Hope-to-Be already have a desired future in mind. They just do not want enough well-informed Axemaker Mind voters to get in the way and alter what seems to them to be a perfectly good and lucrative dirigiste scheme around the notion that Gaia has a temperature and the world’s indutrialized economies need to radically restructure. Now. We have talked in a few posts about the Regional Equity Movement. The seminal conference was actually not the 2011 Building One America. Instead in 1998 the Brookings Institution held a national Regionalism conference. Bruce Katz assembled the results into a series of essays, Reflections on Regionalism, published in 2000 with then VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore writing the book’s Foreword.

That book clarified an unappreciated aspect to both education reform and Regionalism and the racial justice movements in the US: “ensuring that people of color have equal access to jobs, schools, and housing throughout metropolitan regions.”

Now that goal is impossible in an economy based on capitalism and individual achievement and free choice. It is impossible where education is based on academic achievement of the individual. See our real problem? See why the Green Economy is such a lure? As admitted and avowed Communist Van Jones himself acknowledged in 2009 it let’s government bureaucrats and politicians and their connected cronies set the terms of who benefits, where business is located, whose, what kind, etc.

I had seen Bruce Katz’s name attached recently to a national taxpayer funded push known as Regional Innovation Clusters that takes a more Dirigiste/Corporatist approach to Regionalism. It is still not Capitalism as Adam Smith described it that creates mass prosperity. So when I saw that Bruce Katz would be speaking In Atlanta last week at a political breakfast to promote Regionalism, I bought a ticket and went. Relying on my Memory and Big Ears and Eyes to catch a glimpse for us of what Regionalism looks like in 2012.  Still working at Brookings and promoting what is now known as Metropolitanism internationally.

As always Regionalism is about getting us to a new future economy redesigned around Export Manufacturing and Low Carbon Technology. Katz said the New Economy would be “Production driven, not consumption driven.” I wonder if I was the only person there who immediately recognized that is Mercantilism. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ And a huge part of where ed is going and the premise behind 21st Century Learning. Katz went on to describe an economy where businesses would “collaborate to compete” which sounds a whole lot like officially endorsing Collusion between Government and Established Businesses. Which they have always loved but it works quite dismally for those of us who pay the bills and do not have a Seat at the Table or a Tee Time with just the right Lobbyist.

I am going to close with the vision in an Education Transformation Plan that I found horrific but that so inspired AT&T that it offered the School District one of the choicest venues in Atlanta, the historic Fox Theatre, to roll it out. Thus emboldening every administrator and principal and politician attending that This Was a Good Plan. The plan insists on using computer technology to get graduation rates up to 90% and then wants 85% of that to go on to colleges already being reorganized in light of this Paper Credentialling Vision http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/

So here’s my question to all of you. Is that our future? A take it or live it world where we finance an educational vision and an economic vision where we have no choices. Where students and consumers are merely sources of long-term revenue for politically connected adults? Where there can be no mass prosperity?

Because Systems Thinking and Pedagogy and implemented collectivist political theories may be able to alter our future but none of them can feed any of the billions currently alive who actually rely on Capitalism and the benefits it creates for their Daily Bread. And so much more.

When will we contemplate what is being destroyed in the name of Equity?