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. , 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.  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.





Heart-Core Learning: Not Left to Chance or Adult Therapy and Thus Reimagining What It Means to Be Human

Recently I have been writing fewer posts and talking more in between in the comments as I am inundated with confirmations in books and articles, going back more than 50 years, laying out a consistent vision. Books are the best means to lay out all the interconnections, but the toxicity of this vision and the clear determination to lock it in now at an undisclosed, and unforeseeable neural level, means I have to post red light alerts in the interim. Anyone else have a habit of watching the network news on a somewhat regular basis just to learn what the Powers-that-Be want us to believe about the world out there? That’s how I feel when I go through these explanations for the planned K-12 reforms hiding conveniently behind the Common Core banner. I believe I need to give everyone a heads up on connections like GEFF from the last post and all the various entities and initiatives that matter that are clearly tied to that Advisory Board.

In the comments to the last post I put up my original Bela Banathy posts from 2012. Those are pertinent to where we are going today that came out of the GEFF and ISSS connections. Before we move on I want to tie a crucial point from my book Credentialed to Destroy and these discussions and the current, actual classroom implementation. Remember the discussion of Transformational Outcomes Based Education and its links to Competency laid out in Chapter 4? Well, Bela Banathy worked under William Spady, the named Tranzi OBE co-creator, at the Far West Ed Lab in the 80s. They knew each other and Spady would have been quite familiar with what I have described in those two posts and what I am going to lay out today. Tranzi OBE in fact dovetails nicely with what are now being called by Rand and the White House as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies.

In other words, the ultimate social engineering Manipulation of the Brain and its synapses at a neurological level got to go on, despite bloodshed, with no one being the wiser. If someone noticed the fundamental shift it got attributed to Tranzi OBE without the broader agenda being understood. When the Columbine Tragedy occurred, Tranzi OBE and Spady were smeared and implicated. Spady moved out of the country to do similar work in South Africa and Australia and Tranzi OBE got renamed and broken into interconnected parts. The broader agenda went on. Nobody implicated Bela Banathy or the Laszlos or the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

This is a quote from a 2003 paper Kathia Castro Laszlo (very involved at the GEFF Menlo Park conference) published called “Systems Science: Creating Transdisciplinary Knowledge for Conscious Evolution.” She talks frequently and forthrightly about the ‘human science’ that K-12 has quietly become in order to nonconsensually transform “social realities.” She excitedly points out that “humans do not need to be the victims of change–change can happen through us not to us” (her emphasis) and that we can “influence the direction of change through our intentions and actions.” Yes, using the guided perceptions created by the Cross-Cutting Concepts, Core Disciplinary Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Understandings of Consequence, all coupled to cultivated responses grounded in emotions and deliberately created virtual reality images. Some freedom of choice, huh? A false perception of free choice when everything has actually been carefully manipulated, circumscribed, and controlled via the K-12 classroom.

Then, Kathia quotes Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi to say:

“for the first time in human history we can experience joy ‘while working for the most ambitious goal available to the human imagination: To blend our individual voice in the cosmic harmony, to join our unique consciousness with the emerging consciousness of the universe, to fold our momentary center of psychic energy into the current that tends toward complexity and order.’ Indeed, science and spirituality are coming together in the ultimate exploration of the meaning and purpose of human existence: Conscious evolution–the evolutionary phase in which a developing being becomes conscious of itself, aware of the processes of which it is a participant, and begins voluntarily to co-create with evolution.”

Now, I wish we could just consider such intentions to be poppycock, but the definition of Excellence in education as in Schools of Excellence and a civil rights obligation for Excellence and Equity tracks back to Csik’s definition of Excellence as combining what is desired, felt, and thought into action and behavior. Those two posts about Banathy all involve work he did with Csik that is linked to Columbine and Tranzi OBE, but stayed below the radar. We have Aspen Summits where Csik gets invited within the last 5 years and so do people from High Tech High. The 2004 ASCD System Thinking/ Chaos Theory/ ASC newsletter Patterns laid out a comparable quote from Csik about the “need for a new worldview” grounded “not in the traditionally taught evolutionary scenario dominated by competition and selfishness, but an understanding closer to the Darwinian one that sees cooperation and transcendence of the self as the most exciting parts of the story.”

Georgia has renamed what was its Common Core standards as the Standards for Excellence, probably without a politician in this state knowing where Excellence is actually going. The language about becoming conscious of itself is precisely what ‘reflection’ pushed by IB programs means. It is what Metacognition pushed by the OECD and a part of David Conley’s work on what the amorphous mandate “College Ready” actually includes. My point is that what may seem out there in terms of goals is getting written into statutes like the ESEA rewrites that passed Congress this summer or Charters that no one bothers to read. It is incorporated into mandated assessments that are being misleadingly called ‘tests’ to obscure the shift of K-12 education from the assimilation of knowledge into a human science to invisibly force transformational change.

Digging into Alexander and Kathia Laszlo’s work after what I had read that the well-connected GEFF planned to do turned up that about 1980 Bela Banathy began what he called Conversations on the Comprehensive Design of Social Systems. They took place regularly in Austria at a place called Fuschl and from 1988 on, in Pacific Grove, California, and those were called the Asilomar Conversations. At first they were centered on deliberately remaking the educational systems around the world, but gradually the aim became to redesign and transform social systems generally.

I have been digging through those records and all the confessions contained there, including that CASBS was tied to the infamous Tavistock Institute in London as is systems science generally. The 2012 ‘Conversation’, now moved to St Magdalena/Linz and held under the auspices of the now Gates Foundation-funded IFSR, laid out all the Tavistock connections and the desire to use Participative Design Workshops to push the education and social systems redesign agenda.

Now wonder people keep writing about going to a public meeting for discussion and feeling like they have been Delphied. In 2012 a Merrilyn Emery said in a keynote talk we were not invited to at the European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems research that: “There is one other property of human beings and that property created the need for a genuinely open systems science: it is the demonstrable fact of consciousness defined as ‘awareness of awareness.’” So we never get invited to any of these meetings but their confessions, insights, and intentions do get incorporated quietly into the required assessments no one wants students to be able to opt out of, the adaptive software in their digital learning mandates, or the real definition of College Ready.

A paper called “Opportunity Lost: Teacher’s Union Reform-Past, Present & Future” reported that the concept of “Education by Charter” was first presented in 1974 to the same CASBS affiliate-the Society for General Systems Research–that would rename itself as ISSS in 1988. That would be the Tavistock connected entity. I have a copy of the Ray Budde charter paper that was finally published by an ed lab in that busy year of 1988. It’s all about the use of the Charter to lock in a vision of education that few would consent to knowingly and willingly. I was able to locate confirmation that Budde remained tied to GSRT from this 1982 Annual Meeting in DC. Budde spoke on “Applying New Findings from the Neurosciences to Education” and Bela Banathy on “Perspectives on Education in Systems Methodology.” Both were listed in the part of the program on “The Study of Social Systems.”

Today’s title came from this most alarming K-12 vision . I could recognize the ties between its vision and what I recognized as being part of what is being quietly mandated for all classrooms, including Whole Child Initiatives, Positive School Climate mandates, unappreciated definitions of mental health and well-being, and Mindfulness practices. I will come back to this in the next post as once again the extent of the interconnections among the true vision being mandated are hard to cover in a blog.

Getting back to what appears to be an impossible vision being mandated, please click through to the Game Desk website and notice who is funding this Heart-Core vision. When AT&T, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation are among the listed funders, you do not have to be the author of one well-documented book on education and be in the process of writing another, to conclude this is coming to a classroom near you soon.

This is a vision that already assumes we are “a collective” and “a society that grossly overvalues the mind over the heart.” It fits right in to where Csik, Bela Banathy, and the Laszlos, just for starters, have all said repeatedly they intend to use K-12 education to take us to.

In order to obstruct the use of K-12 education as a nonconsensual Human Science, we have to wake up to the reality of that very deliberate shift going on all around us.

With the United Nations convening on the Post-2015 plans for us building on all this later this month, there is no time to wait.


Knitting Binding Fidelities of Consciousness Individually and Globally Because the Test of a Knife is If It Cuts

We already knew the essence of what makes us individuals was being targeted each time the social science profs described us a a ‘system’. Now it appears the social scientists and educators are comparing us to cutlery. Assessing whether we will perform and behave reliably and as expected. That really is a translated quote from Dilthey as to what the Human Studies, or as he also called them–’the moral sciences,’ were interested in monitoring and measuring. “Dilthey was anxious that his methods should be put to practical use. [Actual quote translated from German] ‘The usefulness of methods emerges from their use, just as the test of the knife is if it cuts.’” Since this is 19th Century Germany and the aspirations for the future, we now know that ultimately the knife could cut and the Germans would march thoughtlessly and emotionally to war.

Now remember all the data being gathered on students, the formative assessments, the open-ended questions on mandated tests, and the soon to be federal requirement to use digital technology to push ‘personalized learning’ and read this quote.

“So, how people think and feel, how they perceive the world and what they strive for, is due to a mental structure which has resulted from the moulding influence of physical, social, and cultural factors upon the innate configuration of the mind.”

Learning standards like the Common Core in the US and a Competency orientation generally seek to grasp the essence of the innate configuration of each student’s mind. Then activities, projects, or group problems can be chosen in a personalized, individualized fashion to manipulate that mind, at a physiological level, to interpret the world as desired. To act in it and on it, reliably. I will let that unfortunate social engineering reality sink in while I tell you where the first part of the title came from. In 1976 Harvard sociology prof Daniel Bell wrote a blueprint for aligning the social, cultural, political, and economic systems in the US away from the focus on individuals. Called The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, it sought to shift the US to what he italicized as state-directed economies and state-managed societies.

To accomplish that shift without a full-scale uproar over coercion and the loss of liberty required a ‘public philosophy.’ I believe that K-12 education, first via what used to be called Tranzi OBE and now going by Competency, Excellence, and a Whole Child emphasis was picked to be the means for shifting the prevailing consciousness of each student away from “an individualist ethos which at best defends the idea of personal liberty, and at worst evades the necessary social responsibilities and social sacrifices which a communal society demands. In sum, we have had no normative commitment to a public household or a public philosophy that would mediate private conflicts.”

Now remember that imperative every time you hear Collaboration as a necessary 21st Century Skill or ponder why the targeting of new values seems to pop into every assignment.  Bell bemoaned that “without a public philosophy, explicitly stated, we lack the fundamental condition whereby a modern polity can live by consensus (and without it there is only continuing conflict) and justice.” By the time Bell wrote the Afterword for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the book, he added another way of describing the needed public philosophy: “the binding fidelities of consciousness, rooted in history and tradition, kinship and race, religion and nationality, that shape the emotional consanguinity, literal or fictive, among individuals and make them one.”

In 2015 we seem to be calling such a still desired mandate Deeper Learning and required Communities of Learners in each classroom and the entire school. Anyone hoping that the plans for economies and societies have gone stale has not read the nature of the proposed  regs under WIOA just issued by the federal government. Between what is required in each state’s plans, sought in each plan, and who must benefit from the various programs, the long-sought vision is unquestionably here. What I am also saying is that the true purpose of the ESEA Rewrite, now in Congressional Conference, is to force schools to inculcate the needed public philosophy in each student, to be instilled via ‘meaningful’ assessments and required state academic goals (misleadingly labeled ‘content standards’ to deceive) grounded in behavior.

Remember my receiver analogy from the last post? Dilthey recognized that the Human Sciences needed to assess each student because “if we wish to know the meaning of behavior we must know the meanings of the behavers.” How’s that for putting student-centered learning into its true context? Dilthey recognized that out of man’s psychological reactions and attitudes to the world (now accessible on each student via all that DATA flowing into state longitudinal data systems) “grew world-views. World-views were the result of the giving of content to the forms of the mind by the historical stream. [now the Learning Registry or SAS, Pearson, Amplify, AIR, etc] They were the primary patterns in which the sensory impressions of the external world were organized. They, therefore, basically determined the thoughts, values, and action of the individual.”

Anyone beginning to get nervous about what personalized, brain-based learning actually means?  And world-views need not be true or factually grounded. Dilthey again: “Worldviews, then, were not universally valid views of the world, but rather systems of values which were widely shared.” Wrong, but commonly believed is simply not going to end well for any of us not currently in public office at the local, state, or federal levels or working for one of the agencies pushing this. Speaking of data, Bell in his 1996 Afterword also reminded us that the essence of the Post-Industrial Society is that “information, not production, became the control system of the economy.” So all the hype about manufacturing is more to aid the transition to state-directed economies and state-managed societies than anything grounded in fact.

The employers concerned with inadequate skills are actually seeing the real effects from the pushes in the 80s and 90s to make instilling a public philosophy the primary purpose of K-12 education. Back in the original 1976 body of the book, Bell explained that the public philosophy was to be “the single overriding principle…to which all persona, as members of the community, must subscribe.” In fact, Bell sought “to find a social cement for the society” in 1976, interestingly enough about the same time as state or national think tanks hyping liberty, freedom, and free enterprise began popping up.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if part of the actual purpose in some funders’ minds was to deceitfully create a means to quietly guide, and shut up, anyone noticing a shift in values and political programs? In the name of School Choice all schools, public, private, or online, could be forced to be institutions that would force the “restatement of what is legitimate (the grounded values) in a society.” That reality sure fits the facts I personally have encountered and what teachers in private schools and charters now tell me. Bell was aware and annoyed at how much the West, and the US especially, reveres the individual. His goals were:

“Where bourgeois society separated the economy from the polity, the public household [and now WIOA] joins the two, not for the fusion of powers, but the necessary coordination of effects. The public household requires a new socio-economic bill of rights [WIOA again!] which redefines for our times the social needs that the polity must try to satisfy. It establishes the public budget (How much do we want to spend, and for whom?) as the mechanism whereby the society seeks to implement ‘the good condition of human beings.’”

We can see why politicians, university profs, and district administrators are being less than forthcoming about what is really going on. All the known facts, statutory language, regulations, and anything else designed to control the classroom implementation and the social and economic consequences dovetails with all these declarations. Our students are living in a world where education is to become a means of human study. The declared intentions are to use the behavioral sciences and data from students to instill the requisite values, behaviors, and beliefs to be the needed social cement. Grounded neurally as the prevailing consciousness among a majority of future voters.

In a February 14, 2015 post I covered the just released America Next Education Reform report and its declared ties to the Heritage Foundation in particular. I just did not equate an acceptance of a welfare state as being a conservative position. Bell also called for what was laid out in that 2015 report except he attributed the same idea to economist Alice Rivlin, with an emphasis “not on public provision, but on public financing of care.” In fact, Bell reiterated his preference by saying that “what some liberals and some New Leftists have rediscovered are the virtues of decentralization and competition.” Maybe, after two failed attempts at fundamental transformation in the US, we can see why everyone with aims to steer public policy might be shouting “Local Control” in the kind of Bipartisan manner we saw with WIOA and now with the ESEA Rewrite.

I know it is quite mean of me to read what no one ever assigned to me and grasp what no one ever intended to tell me. That’s just how language intended to have legal effect works sometimes. That’s why this vision needs Axemaker Minds and to a large degree print itself to go away. Much better to embed the students in a controlled virtual reality that can be made to function in whatever way best produces the desired Public Philosophy.

I have a Public Philosophy too. It is to save as many students as possible and this great nation and other countries from a toxic vision that has already caused too much unappreciated harm.

We are now where Bell hoped to get to back in 1976 and then 1996. We had best all grasp the implications in time. Our Governors, Senators, mayors, and legislators do not intend to tell us.

It is what it is and we must deal with this head-on.


Dissecting the Carefully Constructed Plausible Narrative that Hides P-20′s Shift into Human Studies

Nothing like an unexpected injury to give us time to just read and reflect.In our category of another lost invite, there was the recent OECD “People, Planet, Prosperity” summit in Paris. Instead of a boat ride on the Seine and sumptuous food we will have to settle for the powerpoint online. I was struck by the statement of Tatiana Glad where she encouraged the attendees to “Look at government as a crowdfunded initiative for the good of the people. The question is what are the mechanisms we use. Are we using peer to peer mechanisms to figure out the answers to the sharing economy or are we using traditional mindsets and stifling it.”

Actually I have and will continue to assert that the OECD, like the UN entities, is using preschool, K-12, and higher ed globally as a means to stifle traditional minds altogether. The guiding focus appears to be what activities and classroom emphases can lock in the desired values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in the student’s brain and central nervous system. Building on what the White House is touting as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies, the OECD is pushing and wants to assess “Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills.” I am sure it is purely coincidental that the ESEA Rewrites mandate that very emphasis. So do charter schools under the contractual language that gets them approved now and renewed.

The OECD is a participant on the Advisory Board of an entity called Global Education Futures that has been holding alarming meetings this year in preparation for issuing a report on global directions in education at Davos next January. I suspect that will be another lost invite. We will cover GEF in a different post. I want to focus here on the active deceit going on around school choice and local control and how it directly connects to this global agenda. Also on the GEF Advisory Board is Tom Vander Ark, an education consultant who was previously with the Gates Foundation. On July 31, 2015 he wrote a story “10 Next Steps for EdLeaders: The Advanced Course” touting Fulton County in metro Atlanta as “inventing the future of learning.” Now I live in that cutting-edge district and that is not what parents are being told. They certainly are not being told that in twenty years all their precious children will be left with is highly manipulated neural structures and personalities and what GEF calls ‘existential competencies’.

Yet Fulton is a charter system the Heritage Foundation-affiliated state public policy ‘think tank’ touted as an example of ‘school choice’ ( I was there) even though the language of the charter spells out non-consensual psychological rape of the kind described in my book Credentialed to Destroy as Transformational Outcomes Based Education. I nicknamed it Tranzi OBE to keep the references shorter. It is all over Texas too as this 2010 report lays out. We can also connect it to GEF via the March 2015 P21 Summit “Patterns of Innovation: 21st Century Learning in Action” because GEF touts P21 as a global exemplar and because Kelly Young of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution Re-Imagining Education Project spoke at both the P21 Summit and the 2015 TASA Midwinter Conference.

She spoke in Texas with Michael Hinojosa who was also part of that Project along with the NEA, AFT, Heritage Foundation (except Stuart Butler skipped over to Brookings in mid-Project), and others while he was the Cobb County Super (next to Fulton) and while he was training local Texas Supers or aspiring to be a Super admins. He is now the Interim Dallas Super again and thus brings the GEF vision there when we trace these things all the way through.  It is also Hinojosa whose picture is up on the website of the Large County-Wide and Suburban District Consortium–Success At Scale–lobbying Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isakson and others over the ESEA Rewrite and letting local districts take the lead. That meeting on February 4, 2014 was the day after the White House meeting on Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies covered in the last post. Coincidental? Awfully convenient given all these intersecting agendas.

The “Our Values and Priorities” link at that website, which again is intended to get at and change the orientation of the schools that are actually still working and retaining an academic emphasis, is full of references to the need for schools now to be driven by student learning goals set by “internationally benchmarked standards and expectations.” We are back to the OECD again then and the various UN pushes like UNESCO, IB, and the Learning Metrics Task Force that fit with the language in Lamar Alexander’s Every Child Achieves Act. This is again how the Local Becomes the Global, while GEF admits it is really Delocalization because so much education now is digital and embedded in virtual reality. The software writer is the real source of control over what will be targeted in the student’s mind.

In Chapter 4 of my book that covers Competency and Tranzi OBE I explained how these international assessments are tied to something called DeSeCo–Definition and Selection of Competences. The Consortium then is obliquely but surely binding all their member districts to the change the child through the schools vision. Those physiological changes require the kind of assessments described in the last post. They get at the internalized “reasons and motives, which are the equivalent in the world of mind of causal connections in the physical world.” Now where did that quote come from? That quote came from a 1979 biography of a 19th century German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey: Pioneer of the Human Studies whose work greatly influenced John Dewey, many Karl Marx admirers, sociology and psychology globally, and the cybernetic vision for the mind.

It is Dilthey’s vision of creating an interdisciplinary Human Studies that is guiding so much of the actual Common Core implementation and the shift to Competency globally. It’s the why of the shift because Competency and Proficiency focus on student’s aims and interests. Students are encouraged to set goals and plan how to fulfill those goals. Student-centered Competency Learning really places the student on the menu and subject to examination and experimentation as data gets collected that gets at “real flesh and blood human beings who are in touch with reality through their sensations, feelings, thoughts, and acts of will.” That education data, even when not personally identifiable, is hugely useful and telling, and is part of a $31 million NSF ‘data-driven science’ initiative announced October 1, 2014.

All that education data gets at the internalized ‘sphere of mental processes’ so it can be known and then altered at will. The teacher need never actually know as the data flows from online assessments into district and state coffers and NSF cyberinfrastructure databases. Competency, which all these listed programs are driving at, assesses the “intellectual and creative capacity for abstract thinking, conceptualizing and logical reasoning which distinguishes man from other creatures” for each student and then begins to manipulate and change the activities to instill as few connections as is possible to carry out essential knowledge and skills.” The cyberneticians know the Axemaker Mind is an uncontrollable mind and hard to predict. That is unacceptable so we get Competency instead.

When I pulled the 2012 paper from one of the cited NSF education researchers I could recognize the intentional neural restructuring and how Core Disciplinary Ideas, Cross-Cutting Themes, Enduring Understandings, and the focus on no single correct answer wicked problems would all come into play. His paper though started off with how useful this would be to better teach reading and math and finally stop the “education wars.” He needs to read Chapters 2 and 3 of my book and recognize no one actually wants proper teaching because of the inherent ignition of the Axemaker Mind that comes from fluent phonetic reading. My point is that we are turning our students into guinea pigs in a gigantic global sociology project being administered at the local level of the school. Yet virtually everyone involved only knows a part of the story or is also being lied to.

Can you imagine if Competency and the Common Core were being pitched for what they really are–a social experiment examining what it means to be human? Administrators and politicians openly admitting a desire for neural changes at a physical level locked in for life and touted as Habits of Mind? We would have a riot at every school, including many of the privates and charters. So we get deceit, euphemisms, and redefinitions of common words and phrases no one alerts us to.

Except me. Throughout history governments have focused their desire for maintaining power and control over the transmitters of troubling knowledge–book publishers, radio, TV, textbooks, educators. Censorship and propaganda are their favorite tools. They are also highly visible tools that just reek of coercion. Invisibly instilling Habits of Mind at a neural level is subtle and effective. Making the student the focus of a Human Studies program and the Moral Sciences just like Dilthey envisioned is the best way to describe the nature of the data now mandated for collection in the various state preschool programs like Colorado GOLD.

Governments at all levels globally have moved beyond censorship and propaganda and decided, at meetings we are not invited to, to make the receiver of information their new focus. That would be the receiver better known as the student’s brain and personality.

Don’t we all wish this was science fiction written by Orwell instead of me documenting the connections and declared aspirations across the decades and continents?

We are getting the hype about Local Control and School Choice to obscure that the reality is the exact opposite.

Confessions of a Coordinated Cabal Intent on Psychological Rape with Impunity

Does that title sound too strong? I wish it did not fit the facts so well. From open admissions stating an intent to rewire students’ brains http// what is clearly coming seeks to fundamentally change who we are as people–from the inside-out. Before I start with the next mind-blowing revelations, let’s once again look to historian and political thinker, Kenneth Minogue, to help us make sense of what is no longer in dispute. In his chapter called “The Project of Equalizing the World” from his 2010 book The Servile Mind, Minogue reminds us that goals of Equity and economic justice turn “the vast majority of the population” into “materials to be transformed.”

Making the satisfaction of needs and mental health and well-being the new purposes of governments at every level turns the public sector, its employees, and their cronies into “a voracious octopus forever extending its tentacles into civil society and talking about partnership when the reality is unmistakably domination.” As Minogue concludes, and I agree wholeheartedly, “human history is very largely the story of despotic elites.” The ESEA Rewrites passed by the House and the Senate and the language in them seeking to manipulate the human mind, control likely future behavior, and track and alter emotions and the fundamentals of personality would amount to rape if it was sexual and accurately understood. These nonconsensual invasions do amount to psychological rape. That’s why there are so many lies and misstatements surrounding the legislation.

Politicians of both parties are dismayed by the character and values of people they believe they rule. They are keen to change us, but do not want to get caught out. So they either lie about the nature of what they are doing or simply do not bother to locate the truth. Either way we are supposed to be bound, ignorant of who and what is binding us. No one who has read my book Credentialed to Destroy remains unaware, even if the truth is painful. This blog now has several years worth of subsequent disclosures of the intent to use education to socially engineer the mind and collectivize society in the US and globally. Let’s expand on that now and all the deceit about “returning education to the states and local school districts” when all those involved keep openly discussing their coordination.

On February 3, 2014 the White House held a Workshop on what it called “Hard-to-Measure 21st-Century Skills” where a “select group of researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and funders gathered in the White House Conference Center to discuss the assessment of academic mind-sets, collaboration, oral communication, learning to learn, and other hard-to-measure 21st-century competencies.” Obviously none of us were invited nor do we work for the Rand Corporation, which has now been hired to develop such Intrapersonal and Interpersonal assessments. Unfortunately, Rand was very clear I had to get their permission to even link to their report so we will have to settle for me telling you about it. Hilary Rhodes of the Wallace Foundation was there though, which explains why their Young Adult Success Framework (July 1, 2015 post) fits with what I call developing the right kind of mind, personality, and behaviors as if people were Ervin Laszlo’s cybernetic systems.

AIR and ETS were there and Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame along with Growth Mindset’s Carol Dweck and the OECD and UNESCO-sponsored Center for Curriculum Redesign’s Charles Fadel. David Conley was there–Mr Champion of the inclusion of Non-Cognitive Skills that did make it into the Every Child Achieves Act language and Creator of the misleading phrase College Ready for the Gates Foundation. They were there too as were the Spencer, Hewlett, and Ford Foundations.

I am afraid I do not know what anyone had for lunch or whether it was even provided, but everything else calling for “the development of student learning profiles and other methods that allow students to demonstrate proficiency in ways that are meaningful for them” was laid out in Appendix A of the Rand Report. Come to think of it that meaningful quote from the Appendix on the policy desired sounds like what Laszlo called the “subjective mode of comprehension” needed to turn people into engineered cybernetic systems suited for collectivism.

On July 30, 2015 in DC the National Academy of Science is having an open hearing on Assessing Intrapersonal (internalized in the brain and personality) and Interpersonal (how we get along with others and interact with our physical environment) Competencies. Discovering that is what led me to the Rand report and that White House workshop and the fact that on January 5, 2015 the National Science Foundation (#1460028) funded a study “to determine the best available methods to assess student skills in teamwork, communication, self-regulation of behavior, academic tenacity, and grit. These skills, also known as interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies…” Now if we go back in time to how the systems thinkers and cybernetic aspirants described their model of how education could be used to reengineer people from the inside-out, the phrase most commonly used in books from the 60s was “self-regulation of behavior.”

No wonder I see the cybernetic model thoroughly permeating how the Every Child Achieves Act will affect students. Now with the confessions from the language used in that NSF Behavioral Sciences grant and our knowledge of that White House Workshop, we can see the White House actively coordinating with everyone likely to fund or direct assessment in every state and school district to make sure everyone is on the same page in their vision. That’s NOT letting states and local schools decide. It’s forcing everyone to implement the same Reengineer the Mind and Personality to Control Future Behavior Model.

We got more proof of active coordination last week and a concern to make sure all layers of government are using all the “levers” of control they have to force a common vision in another federally-funded report on “Transforming Educator Preparation to Better Serve a Diverse Range of Learners.” Nothing like trying to use federal civil rights laws and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to force states and schools to use “developmental learning progressions” for ALL students and that teachers understand “the role of self-determination and self-regulation in learning.” There’s that phrase again and if we go further into the underlying 2012 report, we get to read about the two sponsors of the Common Core, the CCSSO and NGA-the National Governors Association (governors appoint state school chiefs now in most states), agreeing to use all their authority to force chiefs, teachers, local school districts, and anyone else they can bind to implement the 21st Century competencies vision.

After citing the Holmes Group Report from 1986, the Carnegie Task force from the 80s, and John Goodlad’s work, all of which I covered in my book explaining what the foundations for the real implementation were, the CCSSO report Our Responsibility, Our Promise: Transforming Educator Preparation and Entry into the Profession stated explicitly that “If we put aside our turf protection, find ways to collaborate effectively, and focus on what we must do for students to make good on our promise, this time we can be successful.” This time we will finally impose the cybernetic model of reengineering our students at the level of their minds and personalities. Any teacher not on board with that model or principal will no longer get licensed to enter the profession. Those who refuse to change will not be able to keep their licenses. “Student cognitive development” must be the new focus of the classroom and using “data to drive instruction” to change the students in the ways desired.

Backward mapping in the desired traits, beliefs, dispositions, and behaviors and then ultimately assessing them as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies or Higher-Order Thinking and Understanding. Assessments now for teachers or students are seen as tools to drive behavioral change. No variation among states or types of schools is ultimately where all this is going. The next post will also cover this theme of all the active coordination going on to push the same cybernetic vision and to cooperate with the global collectivist vision pushed now by UNESCO and the OECD. Before I close I want to point to a recent IBM paper “The future of learning: Enabling economic growth” being pushed by the Center for Digital Education. Now that entity is a subsidiary that takes us straight to mayors and local government officials pushing an expanded view of what their roles should be in building the society of the future.

More coordination, in other words, around the same politically-directed at the local level reimagined society and economy. That’s the real reason and context for “adopting analytics and promoting vision of personalized learning.” It creates the needed citizen suitable for a collectivist society. After the IBM disclosures of their vision of education and the world as a “system of systems” in my book, it is so exciting IBM is touting that “social analytics can provide insights from the interaction of students with social media sites, resources and peers to gauge levels of engagement in learning.” Because let’s face it, the ‘engaged’ student is easier to reengineer from the inside-out. How exciting that companies and public officials wanting to maximize political control will also have access to “Integrated student processes [that] will transcend individual institutions and allow for the exchange of student data, learning programs and outcome metrics.”

All that exchanging by the way and results of mind reengineering would be fully authorized under the Student Privacy Act introduced in a Bipartisan manner last week in the US House because such mental and psychological manipulation qualifies as being for “educational purposes.” The ‘purposes’ of K-12 education have just drastically changed. No need to tell parents or taxpayers since they might rebel.

Does psychological rape still seem too strong a term?

The impunity comes from writing this into federal laws and misdescribed required measures of student success, achievement, and growth. The impunity also comes from making this model the foundation of graduate degrees and teaching and principal licensure.

Only widespread recognition of what is really going on can revoke the impunity. That’s precisely what I am trying to do.


Fraud of the Century Via Our Public Sector: the Real Common Core Purpose for Education

Is fraud too strong a word for organized deceit that seeks to override constitutional rights and evade public outcry every time School to Work has reared its unpopular head in the past? Do we have massive, actual, repeated deceit? Check. Are we giving up something of value? Yes, our children’s minds, our tax dollars, plus the foreseeable carnage of all this economic and social planning. Now how many of us upon hearing the now ubiquitous phrase “high standards for all students” understand that this phrase is intended to quietly prescribe project-based learning for all high school students? To marry vocational with academic for all students? To insist that schools be linked with the “adult world of work and learning” and that it is that mandated nexus that constitutes “high standards”?

Before I talk further about the federally-financed, 1998 New Urban High School Project that spun out the High Tech High that is now held up as the exemplar of world-class learning or its 2008 Update called “Seeing the Future: A Planning Guide for High Schools” that made it clear that this vision would be applicable to all high schools and every student in each and every community, I want to go back to explaining what is wrong with such a Project-based Learning mandate in the first place. Imagine that we were invited to visit the lovely island of Tortola in the BVI as part of the Social Science Research Council meeting held there in 1989 with so many of the education professors interested in using education for transformational change of the West and its institutions at what was known to be a pivotal time in the world.

Well, we weren’t invited, were we? We will simply have to rely on the book created by participants in that meeting (many of whom already had tags on this blog because of their promotion of Vygotsky and Cultural-Historical Activity Theory) called Distributed cognitions: Psychological and educational considerations. When I was preparing to write this post I discovered an article by an Alex Kozulin called “The Concept of Activity in Soviet Psychology: Vygotsky versus His Disciples” which revealed just how active the deceit has been about the real purpose for pushing these instructional changes. Kozulin tells us that when the first major work of Vygotsky, Thought and Language, was translated into English it eliminated virtually all of the references to Marx, Engels, or Hegel and the philosophical and methodological discussions.

In other words, we in the English speaking world were to get the practices without a heads-up on the purposes. That, of course, would be known to anyone who spoke Russian and many of the behavioral scientists pushing the work. American taxpayers and parents though, if they were even aware of Vygotsky, got referred to the cleansed and much-shrunken (318 pages in Russian to 153 in English with fewer words on each page). Since this blog does not do sound effects I cannot say “we wuz robbed” in an irksome, high-pitched voice, but we were being lied to systematically from the get-go about what was sought for education just like with the “critical thinking” and outcomes-based education we have been covering.

Two of our Tortola-invited profs well-known to ISC readers, Michael Cole and Yrjo Engestrom, were kind enough to tell us what cultural-historical activity theory and its better-known sibling in our curriculum now–project-based learning–was intended to disrupt. They quoted an anthropologist from 1942, Leslie White, describing the capacity that makes human special animals and it is the capacity that transformational education or what I call Radical Ed Reform in my book MUST disrupt, impede, erect an insuperable barrier in front of, etc.:

“man differs from the apes, and indeed all other living creatures so far as we know, in that he is capable of symbolic behavior. With words man creates a new world, a world of ideas and philosophies. In this world man lives just as truly as in the physical world of his senses…This world comes to have a continuity and a permanence that the external world of the senses can never have. It is not made up of the present only but of a past and future as well. Temporally, it is not a succession of disconnected episodes, but a continuum extending to infinity in both directions, from eternity to eternity.”

That capacity reenforces building up from the world as it currently exists in light of what has worked well or poorly in the past. In other words, that capacity is in the way of political power whenever and where ever it seeks to usurp decision-making power away from the individual and bestow it to public officials at the local, state, federal, or UN/OECD global level. As my book made clear those goals had begun in earnest by 1989 in the West, especially the United States. As this blog has repeatedly made clear with cite after cite, similar goals of social, economic, and political transformation are occurring now.

The public sector at every level wants to be in charge of us and what we can become. Rather than be honest with us that they now insist on Overlord Status with no ability to escape, they are using a reimagined type of K-12 education especially to invisibly create the desired barriers. At its core that is what Project-based learning, cooperative learning, required Critical Thinking, mandated assessment of Higher Order Thinking, mental health assessments, social and emotional learning apps for students , and constructivism generally are all about: creating minds and personalities amenable to subjugation by the public sector.

And no, subjugation is not too strong a word. I am not sure slavery is either, except this time the chains are to be imposed via formative assessments and classroom activities at a neurobiological level. Cole and Engestrom tell us that the unification of the social and physical sciences like that by changing culture and then locking those changes into place at a neural level was what both John Dewey and the Soviet psychologists always wanted. Why what a wonderful reason to lock those instructional practices into place for all students in every state and then hide those mandates. Cole and Engestrom admit one more time in their own words what must be disrupted if transformational schemes of a different sort of future are to be realized. (my bolding for emphasis)

“only a culture-using human being can ‘reach into’ the cultural past, project it into the future, and then ‘carry’ that (purely conceptual) future ‘back’ into the present in the shape of beliefs that then constrain and organize the present sociocultural environment  ..

The public sector, politicians of both parties at every level, think tanks of every label along the spectrum, foundations, business cronies, self-confessed radicals are all desirous now of using K-12 education to sever that “assumption that the cultural future will be more or less like the cultural past.” Rather than saying so to our faces and dealing with our ire, we get lied to repeatedly. I believe that is why the New Standards Project simply rolled forward in 1998 in many states and six urban districts. That’s why this New Urban High School Project began at the same time and then became updated in 2008 ready to have its covert influence on all US secondary schools without anyone bothering to confess what was up.

I think this is why no one wants to talk about WIOA and its clear determination to force a planned economy in every state.  This playbook released recently makes it quite clear that plans for the entire state’s economy and all the K-12 system should be rolled into  each state’s strategies going forward.

All the active deceit involving the NCLB Rewrite and misportraying its actual language and the clear purposes has the same ultimate goal. Public sector power without confessing as much. This post is running too long to cover all of the stated purposes of the New Urban High School Project. Let’s just call attention for now to the admission that “the great power of School-to-Work is that it situates students in the adult world of work and learning, confronting them with unpredictable situations, new perspectives that cut across subject matters, and invaluable lessons in dealing with people in the world.”

School-to-Work as it is envisioned as part of this Project-based learning remake of US secondary schools severs that historic constraint that linked the cultural future with the cultural past because that cultural past ceases to be the classroom focus. There goes the constraint and no one need be the wiser. Just lots of hype about engagement and the Whole Child and how “exemplary School-to-Work practice puts students—their observations, their actions, their reflections—at the center of learning.” The hype continues without anyone admitting how well the barrier to the cultural past is being created at the level of each student’s mind. Instead we get this salesmanship, “inclusive and democratic [STW] invites students to participate in the creation of new designs for learning.”

The fascinating part for me is that both the 1998 and 2008 reports talk about each student being able to meet their district or school’s “common core goals” such as listed Habits of Mind, Student Learning Objectives, or the skills laid out in the notorious SCANS report of 1991. All of these are examples of listed “common core goals.” That means that the list of desired generic personality traits and skills your school or district is mailing out or creating as a poster on school walls is the real ‘common core’, whatever your state decides to rename its poorly appreciated state ‘standards’.

Anyone else feeling lied to and the object of social engineering to create a new kind of citizen for the future?

See why what is going on in K-12 matters to everyone even if they have no children?

Behind the Backs of Individuals: Creating the Well-Trained Consciousness

Fasten those seatbelts because here we go again. In turns out that back in the 1950s, in Rockefeller Foundation financed research carried out at the Russian Institute at Columbia University, Professor Herbert Marcuse laid out the vision of what kind of changed individual consciousness would be necessary for a “society where the realm of necessity is brought under rational control.” I shorthand that vision using Uncle Karl’s term–the Human Development Society–and this blog has been systematically covering all the various announcements of it recently from the Next System Project from the last post or the Larry Summers-led Commission on Inclusive Prosperity from January 2015. Since this power grab is clearly a current quest, even if it is not being widely covered away from this blog, let’s go back to see what Marcuse laid out, especially as it fits well with the announced goals of the new federal education legislation in hearings this week.

This post should have everyone looking at the announced title of the ECAA–Every Child Achieves Act–and wanting to call Congress to protest calling psychological manipulation–student achievement. First let’s go back in time to look at where that title came from. Marcuse was pointing out that in the USSR “individual behavior and values” are “automatically directed by the political agencies” so that there is no such thing as the distinct individual making his own way apart from what is determined to be in the needs of the remainder of society. Marcuse really hated the Western tradition that views the individual as a ‘private person’ instead of merely a ‘member of society’. He called for “the passing of the bourgeois individual…as the autonomous ‘subject’ which, as ego cogitans and agent, was to be the beginning and the end of Western culture.”

All of the emphasis on the Whole Child and social and emotional learning and as I will show today–the “integration of education and mental health” into a single vision of what effective schooling is now to be–makes far more sense if we are aware of Marcuse laying out the preconditions for achieving the kind of social and economic visions we keep encountering. Think of the 21st Century required skill of collaboration as we read the call for “the shrinking of the ego.” Won’t all the data being gathered come in handy in the next Marcuse call for “the administrative regulation of his material and intellectual needs”? What could be done openly in the USSR in the 50s and 60s (my copy of the 1958 Soviet Marxism book is the 4th printing from 1969) was described by Marcuse as “the coordination between public and private existence, which, at the postliberal stage of Western society, takes place largely unconsciously and behind the backs of the individuals.”

Can we just all join together in unison and yell “No More”? Just because all these visions of transformations need the ‘passing of the individual’ as a ‘private person’ to make it so, and even though, the education reforms are quietly trying to arrange the necessary “internalization” that will otherwise “impair the social cohesion and depth of morality,” does not mean any of us have to accede to this vision, for either ourselves or our children. The political theory involved, being implemented quietly, then and even more so now as federally mandated and financed education policy, insists on redefining freedom. Marcuse even italicized redefine to emphasize this crucial point: “it no longer means being the self-responsible architect of one’s life, of one’s own potentialities and their realization…the standards of freedom are shifted from the autonomous individual to the laws governing the society which governs the individual.” (my bolding)

Well, that quote certainly explains why my tracking Radical Ed Reform via its accompanying legal mandates has always proven so prophetic of actual long term intent. Since the needed shifts must occur, per Marcuse, at the level of ‘inner being’ and we know that is precisely the area that the new kinds of Common Core assessments emphasize, let’s come back to the present. First though a wave to Marcuse for being so usefully graphic. It certainly puts the Common Core’s emphasis on creating and measuring desired Habits of Mind into perspective or “normed measures of social and emotional well-being.” A parent concerned about the increasingly widespread use of the PAX Good Behavior Game can add Marcuse’s confessed purposes to PAX’s admission that it:

“is teaching students to self-regulate, reduce impulsive or emotional reactions, delay gratification, and work together for a higher purpose. This is not achieved by lessons on the brain or behavior or some formal curriculum on social-emotional learning. [All of those would be, of course, somewhat visible rather than behind our backs]. Rather, this is achieved in the context of ordinary life at school that mimics the conditions of human evolution.”

Huh? That fascinating remark makes no sense in any biological sense, but it does begin to make sense for anyone who has read my coverage of using education to drive cultural evolution as laid out in my book Credentialed To Destroy. Marcuse also clearly had something similar in mind with his descriptions of targeting ‘internalization’ and an individual’s ‘inner being’. All of these things also become much clearer once we are aware of a desire to Integrate Education and Mental Health in Schools. is from the 2009 conference and shows the actual 2010 publication and Health and Human Services’ interest.

In fact, it is not just a federal agency’s interest in “examining models to better integrate learning and behavioral health” or support at the federal level for a “closer alignment between education and mental health.” It’s not just the citing of the P-20 education agenda “embraced by the National Governors Association and the Gates Foundation” or “other reform efforts (e.g. Next Generation Learners)” sponsored by certain states and the CCSSO or ‘personalized learning’ as good vehicles for this desired integration. All that is bad enough and ties directly to what we have been covering on this blog. No, what ties all this directly to ECAA and this week’s Senate hearings is the call-out for making such integrated education about identifying and cultivating “functional competencies.”

Competency-based education. Where have we heard that phrase before in addition to chapter 4 of my book?   If the new ECAA is about anything it about fostering the shift to competency-based education. As the 2009 paper noted a goal of schools focusing on improved student functioning and “this focus on competency could also create a better alignment between educational and mental health policy.” In fact, the paper concluded with “education and mental health will be advanced when the goal of mental health is effective schooling and the goal of effective schools is the healthy functioning of students.” I believe that would be the healthy functioning of students as ‘members of society’, not so much as private persons anymore. Sure does explain the anti-academic emphasis (there goes that pesky ego) and all the hyping of workforce needs.

I want to close with a quote William James, America’s original psychologist and John Dewey’s instructor, laid out a very long time ago, when so many radicals hoped to change the 20th Century towards collectivism. I wish I could say I pulled this from a long dormant book on him or Dewey. Instead, it is the epigraph at the beginning of a concluding chapter called “A Solid Bridge to the Future” from a 1992 book Breakpoint and Beyond: Mastering the Future-Today.”

“Of all the creatures of earth, only human beings can change their patterns. Man alone is the architect of his destiny….Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Perhaps, given what is laid out in this post, we should rephrase that as having those ‘inner attitudes’ changed for them.

Behind their backs. In the name of Competency or Positive School Climate or Effective Schooling.

At least none of this is behind our backs.


Redemptive Constitutionalism, Sector Strategies, ESEA Rewrite, and a Curriculum Designed Around Caring

Sometimes timing is everything. The last post was based on insights developed just days before I wrote it. Then I caught a plane to St Louis, Missouri to the Educational Policy Conference. Listening on Saturday morning I heard repeated references to phrases like “Power in the People,” ‘local control’ as the ubiquitous answer, and “community solutions to community problems.” I was in a position to recognize that these phrases played right into the themes I knew the Rockefeller Foundation also sees as a way to advance its views of the US Constitution via Metropolitanism, the National Center on Dialogue and Deliberation, and the work involving the Democracy Handbook we examined here.

I do not know if the overlap of memes between what is being pushed as progressive federalism, Rockefeller-funded Deliberative Democracy, and at the Heritage Foundation-sponsored EPC is deliberate or innocent although at some level I am darn sure I am NOT the only one aware there is an overlap. Not wanting good people hearing these themes and still feeling protected by the Constitution to be blind-sided and then sucker punched, I have taken a few days to mull over my concerns and do a bit more research. The post title should give the first clue on where I came out.

First, the book on the aims of progressive federalism The Constitution in 2020 arrived laying out a “framework for developing a political community committed to justice.” The UN and the Club of Rome are not the only institutions now formally advancing a vision for using ‘the rule of law’ as a means “to imagine our collective future.” Emphasis there on the collective. In fact, when I saw the reference to “our successes will come from new mobilizations that emphasize a new constitutional vision that better articulates enduring constitutional values,” the reimagining of K-12 education’s purposes, practices, and policies via the Common Core immediately came to mind.

Plus there are all the references we keep coming across for preparing all students for a reimagined view of Citizenship. Knowing how tied all the social and emotional learning and Positive School Climate mandates are to Nel Noddings work (see tags), I pulled her classic book The Challenge to Care in Schools: An Alternative Approach to Education and read that the subject content focus must go because:

“Neither prudential nor ethical arguments move most affluent citizens [to make the alleviation of poverty and economic justice the purpose of politics and social institutions like schools]. This state of affairs suggests strongly that there is something radically wrong with the education that produced these citizens. Both wealthy and poor experience a morally deficient schooling. Is there an alternative?”

Noddings’ curriculum themes to develop caring and pedagogy of the oppressed and of the oppressors bears a striking resemblance to what we are now seeing pushed in AP and IB English and history classes and throughout the disciplines down into elementary school. In fact, the very phrase of the “New 3 Rs” of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships bowls down at its core to making sure students now perceive the world and its social problems in terms of responsibility to care and act and otherwise fulfill Noddings desire to make education “primarily concerned with what kind of relations we should establish.” That’s not making me feel better about what is intended by think tanks and scholars from what is commonly nicknamed, the Left and the Right, by 2020.

What about “redemptive constitutionalism”? Any hope there? alarmingly informs us that:

“Progressives and popular constitutionalists have two central commitments–one to political equality, one to forward-looking change…Progressives might focus on the achievement of political and social equality, popular constitutionalists on formal equality in political decision making. Both, however, are squarely focused away from the Framers’ intent, and towards the future, in their conceptions of constitutional interpretation. The progressive ambition is to interpret the Constitution in such a way that it helps us to ameliorate deprivation and suffering–i.e., to respond to the felt needs of our community today and in the future.”

Alarming overlap of themes between the Left and Right rhetoric about the Constitution and between K-12 education and the use of the law. Good things to be aware of though to avoid being sucker punched in the future. Especially as redemptive constitutionalism wants to take interpretive power away from the courts and give it to “the People” and ordinary citizens for majorities to decide. All the more reasons then to use education to change what is widely believed and valued. That law review paper called for its aims to be achieved in the future via a constitutional convention called by the states that “ought to focus on majoritarian, popular forms of amendment” which sounds remarkably like what many state ‘conservative’ think-tanks are asking for as the ConCon.

The article called for the adoption of the “progressives’ ambition as a durable alternative vision of constitutionalism, oriented at least in part towards special concern for the most vulnerable populations.” That hope is what was enacted by a bipartisan Congress in July 2014 as WIOA [see tag]. That’s precisely what the ESEA Rewrite hurdling at light speed through Congress plans to do. It’s also what the Sector Strategies, integration of CTE into academics for all students, and Career Pathways for all students that we covered here are explicitly designed to do.

As this paper I pulled from Colorado makes clear what is being put in place in K-12 education now under the misleading banner of the Common Core and Equity is to “align its efforts in support of a workforce development system that is employer driven and locally led with those in economic development and education. This model requires the workforce development system to partner with industry to provide a trained workforce that possesses the desired skill sets business requires.”

Honestly, is there any confusion on why progressive federalism is hiding under a variety of labels but involves an alliance between Big Business, the Chambers of Commerce, and the admitted hard Left that wants economic justice as a Constitutional obligation? The third leg of the Sector Strategies/Career Pathways/Employer Partnership vision for the economy that is typically omitted until we start reading the powerpoints from their conferences is a “New Social Compact with Young People.” That’s why several of the witnesses from yesterday’s ESEA Rewrite came from federally-funded Promise Neighborhoods. That’s why this “Community-Based Learning through Community Partnerships” blueprint was recently released. It’s why KnowledgeWorks Strive Together model of Cradle to Career is being cited as the exemplar of such a social compact with young people. released yesterday is yet another example of this envisioned taxpayer-funded vision of an economy built around government direction, blurring of public and private, and providing ‘jobs’ for the least privileged members of American society. It does not appear to be sustainable at all to me once the taxpayer funded spigot runs dry. The difference though between just pointing out the connections among all these things and how they benefit the public sector at all levels, connected Big Business, and community organizers intent on managing the redistribution of existing wealth to their patrons (obvious and mostly invisible) is I have quite a library I use for appreciating the likely consequences of all these plans and mandates.

So I turned to a 1939 book written by a German, Gunter Reiman. Called The Vampire Economy: Doing Business Under Fascism it reminds us that:

“An Italian economist and editor who is familiar with present conditions in Italy was asked by the author: “What are the relations between businessmen and the State bureaucrats in Italy?’

‘I can answer in one word–corruption,’ he declared. ‘The businessmen in Italy has as much influence as he has money to bribe the bureaucrats. Without cash, you are a helpless subject of the State.’

The word ‘corruption’ is not to be taken in the sense in which we normally use it in democratic countries. Under fascism, it is not primarily the power of money that corrupts, but rather does corruption spring from the power of the State.”

From progressive federalism, Sector Strategies, seeing Equity as a Civil Right, the mind arson I have documented as planned for K-12 education, we are looking at a vision of an all-powerful State where the individual is to be nothing but a member of the collective, the subject under political power, and a workforce participant. All these plans for the US Constitution and changing the purpose of the “rule of law” are designed to ensure that this hoped for power “is not illegal but grows naturally out of the system and is organized and made legitimate by the State.” That’s what Reiman saw in Italy and Germany and wrote about without knowing the rest of the story.

We do now so there’s less ability to be blind-sided with a sucker punch than there was a week ago. Does anyone though wonder anymore why WIOA insisted that one of the required skills that all students must have to be “workforce ready” was “systems thinking”?

Just because a great deal of political and economic power is now focused on using the law and education to design and create such systems, starting at the level of the student’s mind and personality, doesn’t mean any of us are obligated to sit still and wait for that sucker punch.

Not Serfs Yet.

Shaping a Mind is More Important than Stuffing It: Grasping the Psychosocial Key to Fundamental Transformations

In fact, after that essay “An Education for Humanity” was written in the early 60s, psychological research began to show that a fact-filled mind was hard to reshape. The excuses for making education about mind arson would vary from then on, but never the aim: “a new organized system of thought and belief” that “would provide a new vision of human destiny.” This is the same intentional cultural evolution I explain in my book, except I was missing the precise term Julian Huxley created for this new type of evolution–’psychosocial’. Now doesn’t that intention make all the focus now on the Whole Child and a Positive School Climate and Positive Behavior Interventions for all students and Pearson owning the rights to BASC, Behavior Assessment System for Children, and desired utopian Character Traits hiding in a new Student Code of Conduct so much clearer?

If that “inside the student’s mind and personality” target was always the change arena of this revised vision of an education that could supposedly bridge the gap between the cultures on both sides of the Cold War (according again to UNESCO’s first Director General Julian Huxley), what were the actual goals? First, to create a “strong moral bond” between each student and the “wider community” where he lives. Secondly, to foster a belief in the “oneness of mankind.” OK, you say, that does sound a lot like a communitarian emphasis we found when we followed the actual definition of Career Ready in the 21st Century back to the actual guidelines as well as the definition of Global Citizenship the Common Core is pushing through affiliates.

Third should really begin to sound familiar. Definitely not a goal for education that got stuck in the 60s with the Bay of Pigs or the Cuban Missile Crisis. To “give the rising generation a ‘world view.’” Now Elvin acknowledged this would likely be controversial so, then as now, it is simply to be made into the domain of professional deference of what it means to be an educator. And not just a right to dictate the acceptable world view–defined as “a view of man and his nature, of the earth and its history, and of the universe of which it is a minute part” to be enforced by adminstrators and Edudoctorates who mostly have no individual knowledge of any of those particulars. This was, and is, not to be just an intellectual understanding. No, the idea is for the world view to create “a total response” that encompasses the imagination, morality, and the sciences all at the same time.

This all encompassing vision of what education should do to a student, literally described as “should fuse in a total personal synthesis” may sound like the realm traditionally associated with religion. Elvin appreciated that and said this:

“I should make it clear that I mean a type of response that for some people takes place in association with their religious beliefs but that per se is not dependent on any religious creed or dogma and is felt equally by those who are in this sense without religion.”

Before I move on to the current CARE Guide from the NEA and that Teaching Diverse Students Initiative being imposed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a component of Equity and Excellence under the Common Core, I want to juxtapose that admitted new goal for education as a means for finally achieving what was then called the Fulfillment Society. Its new names of course are now a Subjective Well Being focus as part of the Great Transition.

In 1943 the US Supreme Court reversed previous case law to hold that students could not be punished for failing to perform the Pledge of Allegiance if it violated their religious creed. Justice Jackson wrote the majority opinion where he decried any “compulsory unification of opinion.” He wrote a passage I want us all to reflect on in a time when every education degree is now apparently coming with a compulsory unification permission slip in a country where that ought to be unconstitutional: “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not know occur to us.”

That SCOTUS opinion was about the classic clash between the “power of the majority to command conformity from the individual” which is unfortunately the lode star of the 21st century even though it could only command a dissent in 1943. Back then the belief that the US Bill of Rights was created to be a bulwark to curtail Majority Mischief was still firmly in place. The CARE Guide and the Diversity Kit takes all these traditions and throws them out the 3rd story window into a bonfire below. Under it, education becomes the means to “prepare students for their responsibilities in an interdependent world.” The Guide takes on with excitement  “the role schools play in developing the attitudes and values necessary for a democratic society.” In case we have any illusions about what is to constitute such a society, the Guide wants public schools to challenge “all forms of discrimination in schools and society through the promotion of social justice.”

Public schools are explicitly to push the idea that this new vision of education and “appreciation of diverse cultures” as long as they are not White or grounded in traditional Judeo-Christianity or Asian American, is built on the supposed “American ideals of freedom, justice, equality, equity, and human dignity. This is acknowledged in documents as varied as the US Declaration of Independence and the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.” No, actually those are not American ideals and they are frequently in opposition to what is laid out in that Declaration of Independence. The US refused to ratify that UN  Declaration that is now to be imposed via education affirmation anyway.

Wondering why I pulled out Asian Americans? Because they are listed in the Power Relationships Activity for Educator Reflection as a ‘voluntary minority’ who ‘freely’ immigrated to the US. Involuntary minorities “are those who have been conquered, colonized, or subjugated by the US, such as Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, African Americans, and American Indian/Alaska Natives.” So much for the 2008 Presidential election being about putting race behind us. No, students are to learn that “all people share basic needs” and that “each of us learns a set of behaviors and beliefs from the people we grow up with.” Some of those are now to be deemed unacceptable and slated for an extinguishing process via education and others will be glorified for intact preservation. Guess which?

Also slated for discussion as a new value is that a student should ‘achieve her potential’ in order to contribute to the social whole. If that holistic orientation instead of an individual one is not clear enough, how about a statement that “positive feedback should be stated in terms of student’s ability to help family or community?” If that servant function on behalf of the supposed greater good is still not bearing down on our sense of where this is all going, how about “student should be helpful and cooperate with his peers, giving assistance when needed. Helping is not considered cheating?” All can learn in the 21st century, but for the bright kids most of the learning will be social.

The Guide really does expect all schools to be having constant discussions of race and to simply accept that “people of color are more likely to perceive prejudice than others. Not surprisingly then, there will be intergroup tensions in many schools, especially when students live in separate, racially homogeneous neighborhoods.” Which is of course now to be regarded as unacceptable. No longer free to live where we wish or believe as we wish or to value what we wish, courtesy of the Whole Child reeducation process to create a new kind of guiding common core. Does this sound totally toxic all the time for every student to anyone else?

I am going to close this post with the declaration that “one of the primary roles of educational leaders is to give voice to shared values.” It is thus quite clear that education degrees now are to be all about enacting Elvin’s vision of Education for Humanity and not Justice Jackson’s holding of what is an acceptable purview for any official relying on the coercive power of government.

If the intended level of personal coercion via education to create responses from an unconscious level is not already crystal clear, let me end with the purpose of Positive School Climate per the explanation of questions in the Student Survey:

“Repeated articulation of these values, backed by relevant action, can increase consensus and motivate others to act accordingly.”

That’s a great deal of incentive to insist that real differences among students must be addressed by making joint activity the classroom focus to allow “modeling behaviors, thinking processes, and procedures.”

With this vision in place some of us really need to update the Declaration of Independence so that these Educrats can grasp its real significance.

It may take a multimedia powerpoint though to get through. Maybe role playing through the inevitable toxic consequences of these to be required activities and behaviors and discussions.

Substituting Human Values for Spiritual Growth Lets Education Become the Driver Towards the New World Order

Did you ever come across something that both intrigued and terrified you at the same time? That is how I feel about the official Baha’i materials that I have now gotten a chance to read. Especially alarming was my insight that there was nothing to keep these religious or spiritual principles from simply being renamed and then required as a component of an anti-bullying campaign, or a characteristic of an IB Learner, or as conducive to a Positive School Climate, or even required emotional competencies or Life or Soft Skills. In other words, invisibly part of Student Achievement or Growth with no tip-off to parents or a community for the kind of wholesale change in consciousness schools are now being used for.

So being the intrepid investigator I am, I found the Baha’i tenets being pushed as the Psychology of Child Development, moral education, peace education, character education, and Integrative Ethical Education. Missing of course the Baha’i label for the most part unless you actually go to the website of the Center for Global Integrated Education or check into what Achieving Coherence in education means and discover that the Pedagogy of the Empowered does after-school programs. This link from 1991 and a UN talk is par for the course as Baha’i universal principles get dropped into what is to be quietly pushed during the 1988-97 World Decade for Cultural Development.

Dangerously for someone trying to look out for such desired conversions many Baha’i remain members of their Christian, Jewish or Muslim faiths as well and there is no “clergy or ecclesiastical order within the Baha’i faith.” It is thus not clear how many, like Watson are “an educator, working on my education doctorate at Harvard University, with an emphasis on sustainable development” using the schools or universities to collect a paycheck and spread their ‘worldview’.

Not to sound paranoid, but reading  that the son of the founder of a faith, that so closely tracks the tenets of Marxism in pushing the unity of mankind and reconstruction of society through converting the heart and values and ‘mental processes’ via an emphasis on education, also saw North America as the “cradle of the administrative order which Baha’u'llah had conceived” was quite an epiphany. So was discovering that the Baha’i faith in the West was based in Chicago where in 1912 that same son and anointed spiritual leader  had laid the cornerstone of the building that became the “Mother Temple of the West” while on a tour of 40 American cities and towns. That would be the same place that gave rise to the Behavioral Sciences in 1948 and where CASEL, the hatchery of so much social and emotional learning curriculum, is now located.

We can add the overdrive expansion of the influence of Baha’i faith to those troubling ideas that simply erupted in the 80s that I describe in my book that indicated that plenty of people in decision-making positions all over the world had gotten the word that State Communism was about to have a funeral. But not so strangely anymore with No Autopsy of the Ideology. Successor ideologies that would serve similar ends were apparently to get their chance.

In 1984 the entity in charge of Baha’i, the Universal House of Justice, published The Promise of World Peace. In 1985, the book Ervin Laszlo recommended in his 1989 The Inner Limits of Mankind was published so we also have The Baha’i Faith: The Emerging Global Religion to consult on what those tenets might be. A universal system of values and beliefs to be adopted in full and adhered to in full that simply substitutes the phrase ‘human values’ for what are in fact acknowledged ‘spiritual principles’ of Baha’i is a school that is proseletyzing even though a Christian prayer at a graduation or sports game would bring the ACLU swooping in threatening litigation.

Is the difference that Baha’i teaches submission to the authority of government? The Oneness of all Mankind? That of course, according to the basic teachings of Baha’i, “implies not only a new individual consciousness, but the establishment of the unity of nations, of world government, and ultimately of a planetary civilization.” All this from a book advocating for Baha’i and insisting that “We must express unity by building a truly universal and unified social system based on spiritual principles. The achievement of such a system represents the God-directed goal of human social evolution.” Oh good, because that’s within the purview of someone with a teaching certificate or a foundation job or a doctorate in education.

What if you do not believe that all the world’s religions push the same basic message? Is that no longer a sanctioned belief to have and act on in the 21st century? What if a Baha’i commitment to the “spiritual conquest of the planet” makes us nervous and a statement that religion is not “personal salvation we are seeking, but a universal one” seems like a political coup towards collectivism using education as the stealth means of destruction? Is there no recourse when the principles being pushed, quoting Shoghi Effendi, this time acknowledge:

“Our aim is to produce a world civilization which will in turn react on the character of the individual. It is in a way, the inverse of Christianity, which started with the individual unit and through it reached out to the conglomerate life of man.”

You know if something is the inverse of something else, don’t then later assert that all religions are basically equal as part of a bootstrapping sales pitch for the “newest” one. If K-12 education is requiring that all students perceive the fundamental ‘connectedness’ and interdependence of all peoples and treating such system thinking as required under the C3 Social Studies Common Core Framework, what recourse do we have when we discover it is a core Baha’i principle? What do we do when the actual Common Core classroom implementation replicates what Gregory Watson laid out as “Educational Imperatives from the Science of Systems“?  What happens when the sought change in perception or new schemes of thoughts to be coerced through the K-12 classroom tracks back to Baha’i as well as an explicit rejection of the “concepts of an outdated worldview–the mechanistic worldview of Cartesian/Newtonian science” when those concepts remain factually true but unwanted? Not a transformational tool to change hearts and minds and inspire action for change and global justice?

What happens when the reform required tracks back to a Baha’i desire that “once we begin to see things differently, we can begin to feel differently, after which we can begin to behave differently. Abstract knowledge does not have the potential to empower changes in our behavior to the degree that experiential knowledge does, especially when this experience comes to us as children.” Doesn’t that give new meaning to the push for universal preschool and an accreditation mandate too or the so-called Maker Culture and project orientation that is equitably accessible to all learners? Do self-declared religions get a free pass to sponsor revolutionary change through education that will lead to new social structures just as long as the UN recognizes them and loves their potential for empowering change?

Historian Arnold Toynbee is quoted in The Promise of World Peace that the “present threat to mankind’s survival can be removed only by a revolutionary change of heart in individual human beings. This change of heart must be inspired by religion in order to generate the will power needed for putting arduous ideals into practice.” Is there no recourse to such a declared intention as long as the Baha’i link is left off the worksheet? How about required service learning actually grounded in the Baha’i principle that “religious values are expressed in the service to others” and that “work performed in the spirit of service is worship”?

What if the transformative education going euphemistically by ‘quality learning’ also tracks back to the Baha’i desire for a “rebirth of the human personality.” That goal of “individual development is always seen in the context of the collective progress of the entire human race… and this places an emphasis on the qualities which the individual needs to acquire in order to help that collective progress.”

What do we do when the acknowledged intention of a curriculum or instructional practices or Whole Child mandate turns out to be “not to produce a human being whose greatest virtue is to harm no one, but to give rise to social activists and change agents?”

What happens when the definition of ‘culture’ quietly shifts to “include behavior patterns, the individual view of him/herself, of society, and of the outside world”?

Especially when such a stealth shift also wants “those who hold power in the world” or “decision-making authority” to simply mandate and lead the change?

Schools are thus not the only place being pushed to impose a nonconsensual coup over all grounded in new values and beliefs.