Using Teacher Evals To Coerce Irreversible Change in the Drive Towards Statism Globally

One of the ways I deal with all the Schemes and Blueprint reading it has taken to pull together this story of the Common Core’s real aims or the CAGW hyping to cover all the meddling to gain a Crony economy based on Low Carbon or Green Growth or Sustainability–whatever this week’s buzz word is, is to retreat into history. Usually I try to read scholars who have been cited in those ever revealing footnotes in order to get to a “these are our intentions, this is who is involved” level of discussion. This blog is actually not Robin’s opinion for the most part. It is a searching out the actual facts in the relevant places where most people would never think to look.

It’s impossible to read through the last several posts or the entirety of the blog and not recognize all these education reforms and the insistence on redesigning the economy under government direction and not think–”that’s Statism and aren’t we past the L’etat, c’est moi mentality of Louis XIV or a Stalin?” Well no, state control over people and natural resources for the benefit of the political class is actually the historical norm and we forget that at our peril. All the references to the Knowledge Society while actually trying to restrain any unapproved accurate knowledge and then calling it College Ready is par for the course. A common aspiration when the drive is towards organizing people and an economy around Statism.

As an image of the palace at Versailles may remind you, Statism is oriented toward power-maximizing for politicians, public employees, and their Cronies. These can be Big Business wanting to protect their current revenue with no need to innovate. Or media seeking influence and access. Or foundations and colleges and universities all wanting to participate in the redirection of the future. For Statism to work, at least short term, it needs an ideology to march under–like Equity or Social Justice or Sustainability in a World at Grave Risk without Intervention. Check. Statism needs to keep going after an ever increasing number of subjects and issues to control and regulate. And it needs to go after its citizens at ever deeper levels of consciousness. Hence all the social and emotional emphasis with no lecturing unless it’s about a politically useful topic.

Professor Manuel Castells commented on how the Soviet authorities were able to move away from submission due to outright terror to a passive routine based on  “a lack of information and views of the world.” That appears to be the intended model for people all over the West in the 21st century. Use education “reform” to cultivate false beliefs, new values, different attitudes. The dominance of feelings and intuitions and impulse. The exact kind of initiative that enraged people in Hong Kong  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/using-education-to-shut-down-free-choices-and-then-redefining-as-personal-autonomy-orwell-lives/ going on in the US or elsewhere but off our radar screen. The invisible aspect of the drive for power and control.

We have talked on numerous occasions about Michael Barber. From foisting Cambridge Education on the US in 2007 to tell classroom teachers they may no longer teach the material to his leadership in that 2011 UNESCO meeting in London. You know the one where they wrote:

“Responding to climate change also starts in the classroom. Education is the way to shape new ways of thinking and forge new sustainable behaviour. . .

Fundamentally, education is about values.”

Well, back in 2000 when the UK was in the midst of its controversial reforms in education that mirror what is going on in the US now, guess what? Teachers in the classroom were seen as the main impediment to creating “radical change.” That phrase “radical change” and the desire to control and alter the classroom interactions of teachers and students (sound familiar?) caused several papers and presentations by Barber and Vicki Phillips from our last post. Back then she was  the School Superintendent in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but somehow she and Barber knew each other and were seeking to Unleash Irreversible Change-Lessons for the Future of System-Wide School Reform. Apparently their presentation style on how to win consent for Labour’s education programme was memorable because a description of it made it into a 2003 book.

A graphic description. As the authors of the book, Chitty and Simon, describe Barber & Phillips analogizing to prayer saying “You learn to pray by first going down on your knees. Only then will you create the conditions for belief, and be able to address God accordingly.” The analogy for education, they said, was “you don’t try to change minds through argument, consultation, debate, dialogue. You change them first of all through changing people’s behavior, through the element of compulsion.”

Having had children at a high school in the throes of an ideological Super and Principal, using Cambridge classroom reviews and Spence Rogers for professional development of teachers, compulsion is the right word. Psychological terror is also apt. But this was actually already envisioned and long before Vicki had the money and leverage of the Gates Foundation to back up her intentions to coerce. Students and teachers. First do, then believe. Here in Barber and Phillips own words from the book:

“There is a popular misconception about the process of change. It is often assumed that the key to successful change is ‘to win hearts and minds.’ If this is the starting point then the first steps in the process of change are likely to be consultation and public relations campaigns…The popular conception is wrong. Winning hearts and minds is not the best first step in any process of urgent change. Beliefs do not necessarily change behavior. More usually it is the other way around–behaviours shape beliefs. Only when people have experienced a change do they revise their beliefs accordingly…Sometimes it is necessary to mandate the change, implement it well, consciously challenge the prevailing culture [to make it Positive, perhaps?], and then have the courage to sustain it until beliefs shift…The driving force at this critical juncture is leadership.”

That is a mindset that appeals to political fanatics and greedy bureaucrats with a chip on their shoulders about their own childhoods. Or intimidates frightened teachers trying to keep their jobs. It makes promotion these days in education not about what teachers or administrators know or can do with students but what they are willing to impose on teachers and students.

Professor Castells writing in 1998 about the lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union said this:

“As for intellectuals, the most important political lesson to be learnt from the Communist experiment is the fundamental distance that should be kept between theoretical blueprints and the historical development of political projects. To put it bluntly, all Utopias lead to Terror if there is a serious attempt at implementing them.”

Well the Common Core implementation is overflowing with theories and  blueprints in pursuit of political, social, and economic Transformation. At the level of the student. From the inside-out. The local results of the piloting districts have been miserable when not outright tragic. Yet still we proceed. By compulsion. Nationally and internationally.

Political lesson not learned in the least. And no distance between theory and sought action at all.

 

 

All That is Solid Melts Into Air–But Does It Really?

That provocative image from a famous 19th century political theorist hoping for dramatic future change was also meant to Prime a Feeling for Planned Complete Transformation. Both within individuals at the level of conscious thought and society wide over time. The repeated and dire coordinated cries of the Ehrlichs and others of Danger, Danger unless We Change, Change appear to have the same impetus. Give up your right to make your own decisions and defer to Our Vision.

It’s supposed to be a matter of necessity of course. Hence the hype. But the repeated push for Newmindedness that rejects rational thought and all the hyping of imminent unprovable global disaster sure is fortuitous. Especially when combined with a global vision of education that describes Foresight Intelligence as essential for transitioning to a Knowledge Society. While state-approved institutions seek to actively limit what anyone may really know. Methinks we are all being played here and the documents I have located certainly support that view.

First the stated determination to “move us away from reliance on fossil fuels” will seem even more like a fantasy to shift us to a redesigned, state directed economy that benefits political favorites and Cronies after you read this December report “Humanity Unbound: How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity.” http://www.cato.org/publications/policy-analysis/humanity-unbound-how-fossil-fuels-saved-humanity-nature-nature-humanity  . It details, for example, all the forest that would be gone now just to have an agricultural sector that could support our current population without fossil fuels. Something along the lines of the land mass of Canada, Latin America, and India. It’s a great overview but you simply cannot read it without recognizing that CAGW, the idea that there is substantial manmade global warming and it will prove catastrophic, is just an excuse. An excuse to gain widespread voluntary submission by ordinary people to an economy dominated by the Public Sector. Which means people who can be corrupted by conflicts are in charge and they have the power to tax, coerce, and compel.

Paul Ehrlich and the UN and the European Union all want to push this idea of Foresight Intelligence as the goal of education. How would such a vision benefit them? Foresight Knowledge is about selling people on the idea that they should be thinking about Future Social Transformations so they can together debate its direction and shape the future. Now the 2006 document I located describing this Foresight process came from the Baltic region which remained under Soviet control until 1989. It thus described having to change people’s mindsets that together they could interact and develop a vision for future direction. The participatory aspect was a huge selling point for those with a history of subjugation by state decree.

The flip side though of the Foresight collective decision-making process is the majority’s ability to bind everyone else to its vision guts the West’s vision of the primacy of the Individual. Personal decision-making freedom tossed away because of a perceived crisis. Plus the Imposed Vision is unlikely to actually be realizable. That’s particularly troubling when we think of a majority driven by emotion and false beliefs and new cultivated values as the education vision grounded in Outcomes Based education and social and emotional learning and the visual instead of the intellectual makes clear.

In fact I have always found the use of the term Knowledge Society given all the official documentation and plans to limit anyone’s personal knowledge in the 21st century to be both a bad joke and cruelly ironic. It turns out to be a very good thing that I am both so suspicious and cynical and widely read on what is really going on. Because boy does the United Nations have plans for all of us while we are busy setting goals, interacting with each other and ICT generally, and pretending we get to set our own future courses. Right.

Think of the Giant from Jack’s Beanstalk or Jabba the Hut gleefully rubbing their hands together while eyeing their captured prey. All the while repeating “You are Mine. Mine, All Mine” to appreciate what the bureaucrats and politicians have planned for us. After they use their monopoly over education to take out those Axemaker, rational minds and create an expectation that a majority can bind everyone else because it is now necessary to “save the world.” For the Future.

Following up on Foresight Intelligence led me to a UN document from its Economic & Social Affairs division called “Understanding Knowledge Societies.” It’s not a 21st Century vision any of us are likely to be OK with but it is very real. And very grasping. At the level of “Right now, we do not have a unifying central cultural thought for humanity.” That would be what the 20th century called Ideology as a political organizing principle and it proved to be positively lethal on  a mass scale. Having the UN push for “universal acceptance of the central cultural thought” (both quotes are from page 115) in the 21st  is just not likely to go well either. Unless you have a job with the UN or a coordinating agency.

Getting a majority to go along with that “central cultural thought” may be why the UN and quite frankly its global allies in accreditation and colleges of education and other federal agencies are all quietly mandating reforms that limit explicit knowledge–aka accurate information in a person’s own brain in favor of what the UN calls Tacit Knowledge. It’s also behind their interest in having ICT dominate future education. Here’s the definition of such bureaucratically approved knowledge:

“a fluid mix of framed experience, contextual information, and expert insights [those with the proper credentials. Conflicts of interest need not be mentioned] that provides an individual with a framework for evaluating and incorporating new experiences and information. Tacit knowledge is information combined with experience, context, interpretation, and judgment. It is acquired through one’s own experience or reflections on the experiences of others. It is intangible, without boundaries and dynamic. It is highly personal and hard to formalize, making it difficult to communicate or share with others. Subjective insights, intuitions and hunches all fall into the category of tacit knowledge.”

Sounds like feelings and guessing and impressions to me. But we still have those no longer to be sanctioned Axemaker Minds unwarped by the planned daily immersion in ICT from an early age. And I don’t think the UN’s plan to have governments “reinvent themselves” to create “public value” is going to work well either. At least for us. No wonder the Statist Planners only want Tacit Knowledge among the masses. This is not really funny and I was clearly not on the approved list to see or read that document. C’est La Vie Schemers. Include me in that not going quietly into the Dark Night Brigade.

Actually the document makes so many things we have discussed make more sense. From all Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking and Presencing work:

“Recently, new qualities are stressed by management experts as crucial for business leaders: visioning, intuition, understanding of the patterns for change and an ability to imaginatively act on this understanding.”

To all the focus now on racism and oppression and Social Justice and Equity:

“By definition, the fully developed Knowledge Society cannot accommodate social exclusion and marginalization. This would result in weakening its very foundations.”

And finally our old UNESCO vision of human solidarity:

“The way in which this will play out in transition to the advanced Knowledge Society will eventually depend on values [which the helpful Canadians have already acknowledged as being the real sought for common core], and especially on the value that this new human civilization may wish to place on human solidarity. It may also be influenced by the economic interest of engaging the whole available store of human creativity and tacit knowledge.”

As I said when we started this post all these visions being cultivated will not turn out as hoped for. But one thing will. This clear determination to make individual freedom and liberty a relic of the past will go as planned unless we quickly recognize that it is the mind the Schemers so want (bolding in original p 44) .

Or as the document itself says “as society shifts from an old order to a new order through a transitional phase of relative chaos . . . Thought is the spiritus movens of this process.”

And right now in K-12 and higher ed with preschool programs being ramped up, thought is precisely fully within the current domain of these Schemers. In fact that’s what education reform all over the world is really all about. And it is quite coordinated.

And now finally it is becoming much better understood.

Please join me in not going quietly into this Planned Vision.