Priority Economic Citizenship for Some, Officially Sanctioned Status as Prey for Most of Us

A large part of what made America exceptional and historically prosperous officially died yesterday. It’s probably why there has been so little mention of a huge new source of funds to states and localities approved in a landslide yesterday by the US House.  So we are taking a side trip but still related detour from the last post to discuss what has been done to us by our political class. Booth parties. Do not call them public servants. Many obviously cannot be bothered to read what they force on us in every state and every locality now in the US. Straight out of the radical Left Handbook that we saw at this conference.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/ostp/opengov/sond2%20final%20report.pdf

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which would update jobs training programs in the U.S., passed the House by a vote of 415-6 Wednesday afternoon and now heads to President Barack Obama’s desk. Obama applauded Congress for passing the bill last night and said he looks forward to signing it into law. ‘This bipartisan compromise will help workers, including workers with disabilities, access employment, education, job-driven training, and support services,’ Obama said. Labor Secretary Tom Perez called the bill “good for workers, employers and the economy as a whole.” Lobbyists and business groups were also thrilled.

- Who voted “nay”? Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.), Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas).” [Source of Quote is Politico]

Hardly any coverage of the statute. I probably would not have noticed it or read its 812 pages either if members of the radical groups that took out the New York Times ad commemorating the 60th anniversary of Brown v Board of Education and lamenting the lack of fairness and human rights for every person in the US  http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/NYT-CCSS.pdf had not been practically doing a lap dance at the prospect of WIOA passing. Remember how often equity comes up these days supposedly as a new legal requirement of what education must accomplish? I have warned repeatedly that the actual definitions of College and Career Readiness are horrifically low and to be binding on all students. http://www.isakson.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/a4766452-3945-44d4-bb34-f8a6670bf166/WIOA%20Final-bill%20KIN14299.pdf is the final bill.

On page 514 we find the official Congressionally approved definition of what it will now mean to be prepared for the workplace, which is also now the official, Congressionally approved, function of all K-12 institutions as well as community colleges. Remember that suburbs or small towns that wish to exceed this standard for all may be accused by the Civil Rights Divisions of Justice and Education of being discriminatory. In many ways this also nullifies the various discussions around the country over the Common Core or other academic standards. Students now are to have a combination of:

basic academic skills, critical thinking skills, digital literacy skills, and self management skills, including competencies in utilizing resources, using information, working with others, understanding systems, and obtaining skills necessary for successful transition into and completion of post secondary education and training.”

Yeahaw! That’s not just the floor. It’s the ceiling as well with political appointees from Big Business, Governments, Unions, and community organizing entities determined to bring about wholesale social change organized into required Local Workforce Development Boards (Sec 107) to make it so. Nobody in any of the permitted groups granted access to these or the required State Workforce Development Boards (p 34) has any interest in Axemaker Minds likely to blow the whistle on cronyism or create a genuine disruptive commercial innovation.

Instead we now get Congressionally approved and to be required Career Pathways (p 10) developed  by the Boards and Industry or Sector Partnerships (p 22) so that what students can do “aligns with the skills of industries in the economy of the State or regional economy involved.” The Middle Ages called the decision that others get to decide what each of us may become feudalism. The 30s and 40s called it Fascism and the 21st century calls it State Capitalism. It is now here in the USA.

No wonder neither side is trumpeting this monstrosity. Thinking about images from what appears to be a planned invasion of the US southern border that simply could not happen without a great deal of official sanctioning, I want to go through some of the considerable ways WIOA gives English Language Learners lots of funding and a priority place at the table of those boards and future employment opportunities. We may not be offering political amnesty yet, but my reading is we certainly have offered economic citizenship without regard to legal status. Now of all things.    https://www.raceforward.org/practice/tools/compact-racial-justice-agenda-fairness-and-unity is an example of the kind of community organizing and democracy revolutionizing that is now intended in the name of race and ethnicity.

To give all of us a better idea of what democracy and equity and fairness and progressive change now mean, I am going to use a 2011 lecture Princeton prof (and Obama colleague and citizenship education advocate) Danielle Allen gave. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrW6HNi9-QU The New York Times featured her vision of a radically transformed Declaration of Independence in a story last week on July 3. In my mind that makes her vision an officially sanctioned one by those with fundamental transformation on their mind.

She views it as the job of governmental institutions to secure and enable factual equality. By this she means five facets that governments must now see to. First, everyone is to have Equal Agency and Political Equality under a Principle of Non-Domination.  Next is a Principle of Equal Opportunity that individuals must have the capacity to pursue their own happiness and that governments and politics will now be used to bring about the material resources needed. Start listening at about the 17:00 mark if you do not believe me.

Next is a Principle that Allen calls Epistemic Potluck. Believe it or not this relates to the affirmative use of the Student Code of Conduct we met in the last post. It also relates to what is called ‘problem-based learning’ in the new vision of high school that goes with this equity and democracy vision. Told you this was a related detour. The idea is that ‘knowledge’ is no longer about experts or specialists or a textbook, but rather the product of democratic conversations among participants magically deemed to be equal no matter how ignorant or emotionally aggrieved anyone is. These conversations will produce a consensus or shared understanding that will be pertinent to solving problems. We have also encountered this same deliberative democracy idea as the Rockefeller Process of Communication For Social Change.

Fourth is the Principle of Reciprocity. Those who have more have an obligation to those who have less so they can supposedly be truly free. Freedom is no longer to be treated as something that comes before the primacy of equality. Finally there is a Principle of Co-ownership of Equality. Allen describes this as a “communitarian commitment to egalitarian sharing of difficulty and prosperity grounds the social bond that sustains a free polity.” Marx was more succinct when he described the same principle as “from each according to his ability and to each according to his needs.” Allen literally wants a communitarian commitment “to social decision-making” and governments empowered to make her vision and what a majority now decides to be necessary for happiness so.

We went back to look at Allen’s Vengeance Will Be Ours Finally Vision because the WIOA not only integrates Adult Education and Literacy for those with deficient skills but mostly for every English Language Learner on American soil. On page 546 WIOA calls for this to also be ‘integrated’ with civics education. That integrated model for those who are supposedly dispossessed comes straight from Marxist radical Paulo Freire even though the statute forgot to mention that. Since you may not be familiar with his work or view of education, here’s an objective source on where this all leads. http://tx.cpusa.org/school/classics/freire.htm Remember community organizers intent on race-based transformational activity are eligible to provide and be paid for WIOA adult literacy, workforce, and civics ed training.

I wish I could say something pithy about WIOA or how it will not be as bad as it looks. If you get one of the federally funded jobs as a trainer at living wages or become a Director or staff member of one of these new Local Workplace Development Boards, you win. The Chamber of Commerce wins. English Language Learners clearly win as they are constantly carved out as Individuals with barriers to employment. The rest of us not so much.

Bound without notice. Prey without consent.

Welcome to US official public policy in 2014.

 

Religion Must Change Too? Learning to Dance in an Earthquake is No Feat if Marionette Strings are Attached

We shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. After all churches and religions, like schools and universities, are cultural institutions. They therefore also make very useful tools for accessing a person’s inner values, attitudes, and beliefs and changing them. At a 2007 UNESCO Workshop in Spain we were once again not invited to, the world’s religions were called on to “assist in the great transition to a viable future for all species.”  http://www.arcworld.org/downloads/Barcelona%20Report.pdf Religions were called on “to renew and transform themselves” in italics just like that and to begin to “present alternative visions to counter the allure of endless consumption and endless economic growth, opening us up to something bigger than ourselves.” The workshop declared that the UN’s Decade of Education for Sustainable Development that commenced in 2005 was “not just about the environment, it’s about social change and transforming economic and political structures.”

Education for sustainability “should aim towards ‘a change in mind and heart, changing who we are.” That intrusive goal of course gets much easier if schools globally are being pushed quietly to make new values, ethics, and moral development the invisible center of all instruction and assessment while religions are told they must now “come together” to push towards comparable personal and social transformations. The title quote comes from a Rabbi Arthur Waskow:

“the whole world is today in an earthquake: politics, economics, sexuality…all is off the ground. People look for something that isn’t quaking, desperately trying to find something stable, and so they don’t pay attention to the state of the Earth…Our calling today is like ‘learning to dance in an earthquake.’ This quaking will transform everything including religions: ‘We know what religious traditions were like three hundred years ago, but we don’t know how they will be after learning to dance in an earthquake.”

Now if an earthquake does come, I personally think survival will call on all my wits and knowledge about what has worked in the past and what consistently leads to tragedies. But then I am not a current or former politician or NGO bureaucrat. I am not even a professor. Just a lawyer seriously tracking all the things being pushed now in the name of Common Core in the US and why the required classroom implementation never looks like all the hype used to try to gain popular support for our own political and economic execution. If you are wondering how on earth today’s post veered into discussing religion when we were just overseas visiting with the Swedes from the 1960s, here’s my reply. It’s the same vision and really the same means as well.

In the kind of collaborative effort now going on between me and blog readers who have also read my book Credentialed to Destroy and thus really mastered the overall framework of the sought transformation, they find troubling documents and ask me to look at them. In this case it was UNESCO’s push of the acronym KSAVE as what the new assessments should be measuring globally as they looked for the students to change to reflect the desired Knowledge, Skills, Attitudes, Values, and Ethics. At the center of what the student was to become via education according to UNESCO were the Core Values. Next was an outer circle of what were called Social and Emotional Competencies that coincide perfectly with what David Conley listed in 2007 in a paper for the Gates Foundation as “College Ready Skills.” Renamed duplicitously in the US to try to hold off a full taxpayer rebellion from the reality of Social and Emotional Competencies and a commitment to Communitarianism as the new goals of K-12 under the Common Core.

It was Singapore’s new vision that was featured in the 2011 Keynote Address in China for the vision of Next Generation Schools, which is interesting since I happen to know Singapore is a listed partner in the global Curriculum Redesign Project. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ The key question of course is what values and ethics are to be that guiding core. That’s where both UNESCO’s entire Values Curriculum and Peace Education push and the determination to shift all religions in an Eastern spirituality direction came tumbling out. Quickly. With very little effort. Clearly a core component of the transformation via education vision.

So that’s why once again we have to talk about religion. It’s where the values, attitudes, ethics, and vision of the transformations and the future are coming from. In his 1989 book The Inner Limits of Mankind Ervin Laszlo, who we first met acting with the Dalai Llama to urge education to create a Holos Consciousness, described the Baha’i Faith as the emerging global religion. Apparently it is what all the others are supposedly transitioning to. The Encyclopedia of Peace Education from 2008 created by Teachers College at Columbia has an article by Marie Gervais laying out the close working relationship from the beginning between the UN and representatives of the Baha’i Faith. Me? I had never really heard of the “world’s newest major religion” until references to it began pouring out on where the values and transformative vision of education were coming from.

Interesting for us in trying to figure out the implications of all this is the acknowledgment quoted by Gervais from the Chancellor of the University of Maryland in 2004 that “What the Baha’i Chair is all about, is the elevation of the common good. It seeks this higher ground by focusing not on what divides people, but rather on what unites them…we must ensure that throughout their higher education journey, our students travel with an open mind while exposed to the widest variety of ethical, spiritual and philosophical thought.” Which of course the students are to view in the desired way much like marionettes on the end of a puppeteer’s strings. i don’t think the Chancellor was just referring to religion majors.

In the 2007 Workshop I wrote about above, one of the participants was Arthur Dahl. He is listed as representing the International Economic Forum based in Switzerland. In the 2012 UNESCO and Earth Charter paper called “Exploring Synergies between Faith Values and Education for Sustainable Development” Dahl wrote the Baha’i Faith vision (pages 44-48). He stated that the “transition to a sustainable world is the fundamental aim and purpose of the Baha’i Faith” and that this transformation “will entail no less than an organic change in the structure of society itself.” I know you will be stunned to hear that the vision then goes on to basically replicate what we have taken to calling Uncle Karl’s vision of a small c, Marxist Humanism, human development society (that the Swedes pioneered) that meets everyone’s needs in the world as a matter of right just from being born. Just think of all the administrative jobs trying to fulfill that vision the UN and governments at all levels get to create.

And guess what institution is first and foremost the way in? Yes, ten points, but it is not education in the traditional sense anymore. Here’s Dahl again in as concise an explanation of what transformative education is all about as I have ever read.

“If education is to effect the profound changes in the minds of people and in the structures of society needed to shift towards sustainability, the nature of the educational processes will need to be rethought. As a starting point, the programme of education must be based on a clear vision of the kind of society we wish to live in, and the kind of individuals that will bring this about. It needs to help learners reflect on the purpose of life and help them step out of their cultural realities to develop alternative visions and approaches to the problems at hand, and to understand the manifold consequences of their behaviours and to adjust them accordingly.”

I could go on and point out how the various elements of the required transformations, including the ubiquitous service learning, replicate listed elements and practices attributed by one of these cited sources to the Baha’i Faith. I could point out how the required Communities of Learners and Positive School Climates sound just like Dahl describing people working “constructively to shaping communities that reflect principles of justice, equity and unity.”

I think this is enough for now though. We really are dealing with an official vision that seeks to regulate through the schools AND religious institutions what MUST be believed and valued and thought.

Conspiracy is certainly the wrong term for such a coordinated effort to make each of us servile to the exercise of political and economic power.

Now that these goals and the means have been once again pulled out of the shadows into the sunlight, what shall we do?

Some things really do need to be repudiated by individuals learning to act collectively against taxpayer funded planned predation.

Digital Promise and 21st Century Skills as the Long-Sought Rapid Change of Minds for the Future

When I was looking for a way to explain what the effects would be from seeking new kinds of minds and personalities through ICT and tracking affective responses, I remembered the 1989 book New World New Mind: Moving Towards Conscious Evolution. Now I do occasionally pull books off the shelf to help illustrate a point vividly but the link of that book to the Digital Promise and 21st Century Skills initiatives is actually quite direct.

http://www.digitalpromise.org/how-practitioners-and-policymakers-can-work-together-to-innovate/ is a July 31, 2013 story on the meeting of League of Innovative Schools Supers and Admins with reps from the federal DoEd, the White House Domestic Policy Council (this push is a high priority for this Administration), and the Office of Science and Technology Policy. John Holdren heads OSTP and his long-time mentor and associate Paul Ehrlich of hyping various global catastrophes fame (with his own tag) co-wrote the New World New Mind book. Ehrlich mentioned and thanked Holdren for his help on the Acknowledgments page.

Chapter 8, “The Beginnings of Real Change,” makes it clear this is a global program to use education to change “the nature of our minds and the training we give them.” According to Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein: “although the problems that humanity now faces are immense, at least they are of our own making. The mismatch of our brains with our environments has been produced by millenia of effort, by the skill, ingenuity, and drive of our species–by the very minds that are now out of step with the world they live in.”

Ornstein and Ehrlich wanted to extinguish that independent ingenuity and drive some people have through “a revolution in the way we bring up children and in the way we teach and what we teach.” They recognized, as all of us now need to, that traditional “schooling also changes the structures of children’s minds significantly [they mean at a physiological level]. Reading, writing, and arithmetic, so commonly taught, are not [emphasis in original] natural acts of the mind, but are radical transformations of the way the nervous system operates. The mind’s default positions are for talking and listening…”

Which is precisely why talking and listening as the purpose of the Discourse classroom, and required projects and group collaboration and communities of learners, is such a huge focus of the actual Common Core implementation. It is why print literacy is minimized and media and digital literacy are held to be just as important. It’s not a better way to learn. It’s an active pursuit using ICT of these New Kinds of Minds. After all Joel Klein, head of Rupert Murdoch’s tech-focused ed subsidiary, Amplify, actually said that was the goal to my face at a luncheon last fall. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/ridiculing-the-1860s-mind-as-unsuitable-for-the-21st-century-cui-bono/

So New Kinds of Minds remains the pursuit almost 25 years later and the other Ehrlich/Ornstein goal then becomes changing prevailing attitudes on politically useful topics. Cultural-historical activity theory or CHAT is a learning theory imported from the USSR created to change  the course of the future by changing the dominant culture itself. Through school specifically but also education generally. I’ll put it this way CHAT theorists also care about what stories get pitched on the nightly news and what the headlines read. What themes will the typical person come to believe are an issue as they go through busy lives? One of the CHAT theorists, a Finnish prof who also works in the US. Yrgo Engestrom (also tagged), kindly put his Learning by Expansion’s theory’s purpose into explicit published words in 2010. http://www.helsinki.fi/cradle/documents/Engestrom%20Publ/Studies%20on%20expansive%20learning.pdf

The article acknowledges a reality that the Supers and ed profs and principals do not bother to tell parents, politicians, and taxpayers so I will: “there are two basic metaphors competing for dominance today: the acquisition metaphor and the participation metaphor.” Now I will stop quoting Yrjo for a minute to point out that the entire actual Common Core classroom implementation this blog has been describing is dedicated to requiring the participation vision. Using misleading terms like equity and excellence and Quality Learning to get there. As I have been explaining, every entity that has a legal ability to regulate or mandate what goes on in the classroom is insisting that participation now win this competition. And it gets hidden in the insistence on group projects and collaboration. But Yrjo was even more graphic about what his and other CHAT learning theories are designed to do and change.

The key dimension underlying the acquisition vs participation “dichotomy is derived from the question: Is the learner to be understood primarily as an individual or as a community?” The participation purpose comes down on the community side of that question in direct contradiction to the West’s historic belief in the primacy of the individual. That is the question at stake in all these ed reforms. Pushing for this new answer behind our backs and without our consent is precisely what Digital Promise and 21st Century Skills are really about.

Yrgo again kindly says there are three more dimensions at stake with all these learning theories like his that are designed to push participation as the new radical vision of education to create “new activity structures for society.” Think workplace, neighborhoods, political processes. These ed profs and administrators have great ambitions while they are living at taxpayer expense. In each of these questions, it is the part I bolded after the “or” that is what is stealthily coming at us like a high-speed freight train whatever our state says it is doing on the Common Core. And in other countries too. Oh, and the ICT focus is a huge tool for gaining this shift.

*Is learning primarily a process that transmits and preserves culture or a process that transforms and creates culture?

*Is learning primarily a process of vertical improvement along some uniform scales of competence or horizontal movement, exchange and hybridization between different cultural contexts and standards of competence? [Think of this as hip hop being as valid a means of communication as a well-written insightful factual paper]

*Is learning primarily a process for acquiring and creating empirical knowledge and concepts [reflects reality in other words] or a process that leads to the formation of theoretical knowledge and concepts?

Now theoretical knowledge and concepts is of course another term for ideology but what do you expect from a theory designed to achieve massive social change as a direct successor to Uncle Karl’s now infamous theorizing? Yrjo leaves no doubt where we are all going with this quote: “While traditional schooling is essentially a subject-producing activity and traditional science is essentially an instrument-producing activity, [expansive] learning is an activity producing activity.” [his italics]

Now that kind of graphic lay out of intent to create transformative action in students is what is coming to our classrooms but the graphic warning is nowhere in sight. Instead we get far more innocuous sounding initiatives being paid for by the National Science Foundation such as Janet Kolodner’s “Learning by Design’s Framework for Promoting Learning of 21st Century Skills.” Janet is also the listed PI for the troubling and related NSF Cyberlearning push that I described here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/the-need-to-know-as-we-understand-it-today-may-be-a-lethal-cultural-sport/ Now Janet’s CV is simply too solid for me to believe that she really thinks that a case-based method that is suitable for adult med students, who have a well-stocked brain of knowledge and analytical skills to be where they are, is somehow suitable for middle schoolers who generally have neither.

The truth is the whole Next Generation Science and Learning By Design and Case-Based Learning is just a rejection of science as an “instrument-producing activity” as in sharp ingenious minds or new unapproved technology without saying so. What Ehrlich and Ornstein sought in their book so long ago. It’s the excuse for a classroom centered around social interaction and designed to limit the cultural transmission of knowledge built up over generations that makes humans a very special species and some people downright extraordinary in their impact on all of us and the direction of civilization.

Kolodner sees people as “goal processors who make our way through the world trying to achieve our goals” which strikes me as a horrifically hobbling vision for the future. Like so many other reformers she wants to shift our daily perceptions going forward and limit us to our previous experiences coupled to theoretical framing school will provide. Yrjo would approve. The end result of these classroom activities are students who are adaptable to uncertain, new, and rapidly changing conditions. Which of course the ed reforms intend to drive. Students who are capable of complex communication and social interaction. The world trembles at the thought of a superpower preparing ALL students to be in the habit of listening and asking questions of each other and making presentations. We also get students capable of non-routine problem solving and self-management which is starting to sound a great deal like David Conley’s definition of College and Career Ready  created for the Gates Foundation.

Finally, students learn to be good systems thinkers and to see themselves as embedded in systems. Even if it is not true in reality, it is such a useful metaphor to get students to see themselves as part of a community instead of an independent individual.

No wonder Paul Ehrlich is running around giving UN presentations that humanity is more than 5 years into a global program to radically change human behavior.

Yes indeed, driven by education reforms that are poorly understood and collectivist political theories masquerading as learning theories.

 

Throwing an Invisibility Cloak Over the Classroom to Get to Dewey’s Participatory Social Inquiry

The IHDP report from 2011 laying out the use of education “reforms” all over the world to shift all of us towards Societal Change talks about the need of a “positive vision for the future” to mobilize global society toward a perceived “common good.” And yes it is more along the lines of what Paul Ehrlich will pick than anything you or I would freely choose. Listed motivating possibilities for visions include:

“sustainability technologies (non-fossil fuel automobiles, LED light bulbs, geothermal power), policies (the wide scale introduction of policies to promote renewables, recycling and reuse), new strategies and methods for education that foster understanding and practice for sustainability and equity, or innovative approaches to creating synergy between environmental and economic concerns.”

Boy those do sound familiar, don’t they? Interestingly enough in order to deal with these contemplated “environmental and global change challenges,” schools get called in again– “more inclusive ways of knowing are required to bring together the partial and incomplete perspectives of different actors faced with uncertainty, diversity and change.” The more diverse the group of people who can be brought together to problem solve these “new, emerging and complex issues” the more knowledge, experiences, and values that can go into the consensus developed to impose on everyone.

That would Change the World based on theories first despite uncertain and potentially risky and speculative global or local problems. IHDP seems to grasp that tentativeness and recommends using “emotionally connective forms” of media to get ideas across. I guess that’s because spectacular graphics can trump any uncertainty. Now I have a good idea what is planned for getting to Equity because I have read Jeannie Oakes among others (and getting that diverse group into a classroom may be why most of the no tracking “scholarship” tracks back to her). Oakes laid out precisely how Participatory Social Inquiry in Urban Schools is to work. She points out that “equal terms” education conflicts “deeply with a long history of White supremacy and the fundamental norms and power distribution of democratic capitalism.”

I just want you to appreciate now how Open-Ended Performance Assessments calling for real-life scenarios will come in handy for this Equity agenda. The one that aims to move all of us toward a “democracy in which people of all races and social classes engage “on equal terms” to learn from one another as they make decisions about how to live and work together.”

So if you are in a high poverty school everything wrong gets blamed on capitalism and racism and nothing involves any poor personal behavior. Not a contributing factor at all. More upscale schools should be made to feel guilty about any privilege and there’s always Sustainability and lots of other scenarios to push the need for fundamental changes to everyday behaviors. And with online curricula and online assessments, it will be quite hard to see any of this going on. Perfect way to bring in IB’s Critical Thinking and Barber’s Global Citizenship too. You as parents and taxpayers will not be able to see these changes. Just ask anyone in Texas about the controversies over the C Scope curriculum where school kids were told to draw a flag for an imagined socialist country as a classroom activity. Concerned parents were told the curriculum was private and they had no right to learn what their children were being asked to do or believe in the classroom.

Now I have mentioned that Pearson is involved with the Texas and both Common Core assessments. So the fact  that in 2012 Pearson assessment said all of these assessments were actually assessing 21st Century Skills should interest all of us. They say that the US National Research Council says that’s what college and career readiness means. Which would explain why David Conley’s 2007 report reminded me of the 21st century skills push. It also means that our assessments are really just looking for those listed Life Skills from the last post. That’s a low bar and gives all sorts of flexibility for what can go on in the classroom. But wait, it gets even better. One of the skills that will need to be assessed is collaboration. Which implicates Albert Bandura’s Self-efficacy from the last post. I would snark what are the odds but it was checking for a link among Bandura, Pearson, and the Common Core explicitly that turned up this fascinating report.

Here’s what I found so fascinating especially in light of those IHDP aspirations. Pearson wants open-ended tasks to assess 21st century skills in authentic real-world problem contexts. And these tasks are to be done as a group in order to assess collaboration. And if the tasks were “obvious” or “unambiguous” there would be “few opportunities to observe student negotiation because there is nothing about which to disagree.” Tasks “relying on:

“stimulus materials designed to evoke cognitive conflict (ie, that reflected uncertainty, ambiguity, disorganization, and contradiction) better elicited critical thinking skills than tasks that used stimulus materials that were orderly, well-organized, and coherent.”

You know these quotes really are going to take the fun and comfort out of being told your child is doing well at school and has excellent “higher-order skills.” Instead, she may be stewing in frustration with “ill-structured” problems deliberately created because they:

“have no clearly defined parameters, no clear solution strategies, and either more than one correct solution, or multiple ways of arriving at an acceptable solution.”

Are you like me wondering why no one is being honest that these so-called tests are actually just a means of getting to a Social Interaction classroom centered around Social Justice without saying so? The tasks are deliberately laid out to require “knowledge, information, skills, and strategies that no single individual is likely to possess.” Then Norman Webb of the Depth of Knowledge template Florida and Texas and PARCC and SBAC all admit to using is cited as saying “when ill-structured tasks are used, all group members are more likely to participate actively, even in groups featuring a range of student ability.”

And that’s the whole point beyond using the assessment to drive classroom activities to create a perceived need for Global Transformation–politically, economically, and socially starting at the level of the individual student. “Groups featuring a range of student ability” will limit the top-performers from soaring as they were able to do in the transmission of knowledge classroom. They do not get to keep getting mentally stronger. And the able student’s strengths will mask a great deal of weaknesses. Leaving those students free to focus on the injustice and unfairness of it all.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s when these performance assessments were first proposed they were called alternative measures to boost graduation rates and show student “growth” even though there was very little knowledge and most of the changes were values, attitudes, and beliefs. And the university research center that has always pushed for some alternative to normed-standardized testing in the schools going back decades is CRESST at UCLA. The same UCLA where Jeannie Oakes was an education prof when she wrote the book I quoted from above. CRESST has been getting Gates Foundation funding to help prepare Common Core curricula and assessments. How convenient is that?

In January 2013 CRESST released a report “On the Road to Assessing Deeper Learning” on the status of both SBAC and PARCC. This report though was funded by the Hewlett Foundation. That would be the same Hewlett Foundation that has a Deeper Learning initiative to guide the classroom implementation of the Common Core. The one that says Common Core is not about content but new assessments and curricula and classroom interactions.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-deep-learning-and-systems-thinking-radicalizes-the-student-factual-reality-ceases-to-matter/ The same Deeper Learning that is part of that Self-efficacy Equity Framework I mentioned in the last post.

Yet more proof that what is coming to our classrooms everywhere is not what we have been told. Toward the end of the book, Jeannie Oakes mentions:

“we step into utopian realms gingerly, knowing that social movements have the power for good and ill associated with all utopian projects. We are also well aware that some social movement scholars caution that such efforts rarely achieve the virtuous ends they seek. Nevertheless, we believe that, given the current threats to our democracy, these risks are all worth taking.”

Now, that’s mighty presumptuous of her and the other professors and foundations involved in all this. Nobody told us the Common Core was about a Journey to a possible Utopia.

Isn’t It Political Sabotage to Use Education to Eliminate the Assumption that Students are Individuals?

Yes I am in a feisty mood today. I am angry at the level of deception and duplicity surrounding the actual Common Core implementation and where this is all going. Or was until some of these revelations. Those of you past a certain age may remember the 80s TV show “The A-Team” when George Peppard would put a cigar in his mouth, lean back, and with a grin say “I love it when a plan comes together.” Well today we really are taking a huge step towards unravelling a well-laid but nefarious scheme that involves Common Core but more importantly it involves education globally. And UNESCO. And the IB, International Baccalaureate Program, and its IB Learner Profile and concept of Global Citizenship as where Common Core is actually going.

I had intuited this from personal experience over the past several years but never thought I could prove it. Then Ed Week did a story right before Christmas on how Common Core was now emulating IB except that the Common Core was missing the IB’s focus on the affective or social and emotional learning. Well I was intrigued and annoyed. Fascinated that Ed Week would admit the link given the IB focus is on changing the individual to listed Personality Characteristics rather than knowledge. For the student to develop a desired Worldview that frames their perceptions of reality for a lifetime. But the typical person does not know that. And annoyed because I knew Common Core was just drowning in social and emotional learning. And Ed Week likely knows that too. I think they are angling for SEL to get an invitation to come in through the front door instead of the windows or through Executive Orders.

I tucked that annoyance away until I was reading David Conley’s 2007 report to the Gates Foundation on College Readiness and recognized just how much the listed characteristics mirrored the IB Learner Profile. And also the 21st Century Skills Movement. Doublechecking to see if I was right pulled up a September 2010 IB document called “Meeting the needs of 21st century learners: New Developments in IB Programmes.” Which sure did look like it fit the actual Common Core implementation I have been charting. Moreover, Harvard’s Project Zero is advising IB. That meant Howard Gardner and Csik’s Flow. And we have been chronicling what they say they are up to. Altering the future. Lots of that aspiration. In fact the new IB motto is “Imagine Education for a Better World.”

IB’s updated Learner Profile language too is quite reminiscent of what Paul Ehrlich and IHDP and Peter Senge all claim to be seeking via education. See what I mean?

“The aim of all IB programmes is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more peaceful world.”

IB just loves to push that “I am because we are” theme, claiming it is an old South African expression. And its elementary program, PYP, has an educator in 2012 proudly proclaiming that “our students no longer see themselves as the centre but as part of the whole. The change is inspiring!” Yes and Peter Senge, who IHDP views as one of their favorite futurists and a useful Statist aider and abettor calls that Systems Citizenship. I wrote a post about it in horror. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/develop-learners-who-think-and-behave-and-view-themselves-as-systems-citizens/

When I went online to check to see if IB was touting a connection to the US Common Core up came the Hunt Institute in NC which is putting out so many of the Common Core training videos for teachers. They had put up the Ed Week story on IB as proof that the Common Core reflected “World-Class Standards.” So IB=World Class Standards. Time to track IB some more. Which is what I did. Arne Duncan in his Equity/Civil Rights drive would be pleased to know that IB is changing its programmes to make them more accessible to all students. Called “Valuing All Learners” it is intended to allow for the inclusion of special needs students in everyday classrooms for all kids. Just change what counts as learning!

Then it turned out that Professor Martha Nussbaum is an advisor to IB talking about Critical Thinking and the problems of our current economic model. More links to Chicago! She wanted IB attendees to know she did not hate business. She merely believed “a human face needs to be attached to our economic system by the teaching of critical thinking and global citizenship.” I think Riane Eisler called that a Caring Economics in our new 3 R’s post. Nussbaum wants education and society to produce more “people who are prepared to live with others on terms of mutual respect and reciprocity” and fewer of the people “who seek the comfort of domination.” Well, honestly, the solution for that is not to make sure nobody knows much and is driven by feelings and intuition instead of facts. But, hey, I am not tenured. What do I know about how the world has always worked. That doesn’t really matter I suppose now that we have IB to recreate our Worldview for the future. More than one slide laid that out.

Now I could talk about IB over several posts but all the papers and slideshows I was downloading over the past several years certainly looked like the planned Common Core implementation if you take good notes. Then things got ever so much more interesting. IB put up its partners in research. They included the University of Chicago and Columbia University Teachers College. Plus the American Institutes for Research. Which might well explain why so many of the slides were from the US. Guess who else? EPIC–Education Policy Improvement Center, David Conley’s group. No wonder the definition of College Readiness reminded me of the IB Learner Profile.

And representatives from the UK and Canada and Australia and Hong Kong. Which would explain why there is so much commonality worldwide. It’s not just UNESCO although UNESCO helped create and fund IB initially. And IB in the last few years has again openly embraced the UNESCO vision of using education to obtain cultural evolution. Downloaded that pdf before writing this post. And IB and Martha are quite graphic in seeing IB education as a vehicle to “promote a humane, people-sensitive democracy dedicated to promoting opportunities for ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ for all. Which sounds strikingly like the Second Bill of Rights push her old friend Cass Sunstein is touting for Obama’s Second Term.

I am going to close with two statements David Conley made in his 1993 book Roadmap to Restructuring that graphically laid out every aspect of what will be sought via education for transformation. His involvement in both IB and College Ready and laundering non-cognitive in 2012 is no surprise. Various Means to Still Sought Transformations that go far beyond education. What he said in 1993 as a statement that underlay all his visions and intentions for education that explicitly included OBE and systems thinking and communities of learners was that this was all an education for “a democratic society that rejects the social class system.” And the alternative would be a leveled society except for political insiders? That’s a caste system like the Middle Ages with no movement or mass prosperity.

The other complained of continuing “learning experiences predicated on assumptions of students as individuals.” There is nothing accidental about the communitarian emphasis to the definition of Career Ready or in the interdependence to be fostered by mandated systems thinking  or john a powell’s determination to destroy the concept of the unitary self.

I have said before that globally there is a recognition that the sought common core is changed values. A Global Consciousness. Values with a Common Good/Universal Love orientation. Now that it appears that the IB Learner Profile=Common Core in US and global classrooms we have to decide whether educators and politicians have the power to jettison the concepts of Individualism without our permission.

It turns out there was a very good reason for all that Mind Arson. Power. Getting it and keeping it. The real 21st century vision.

Who Knew Karl Marx had a Human Development Model? Or that It Fit Our Facts So Well?

Or that it could be put in place in the US by executive fiat at the federal level? All you have to do is misinterpret the nature and language and case law of the federal civil rights laws. And then repeat. Early, often, and adamantly. It’s not like someone with a working knowledge of con law also reads education declarations and documents. It’s also not like changing the nature of education in the classroom could have any impact on a society or economy. Or political beliefs. Or future behaviors.

About a week ago the US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sent school districts a letter announcing that “We Must Provide Equal Opportunity in Sports to Students With Disabilities.” It included a 12 page Dear Colleague letter from the DoEd’s Office of Civil Rights. A number of commentaries (Rick Hess and Mike Petrilli among them) have wondered where such a pronouncement came from and noted how impractical it is. Equal opportunity in sports at whatever cost. What no one seems to be paying attention to is what both letters declared. To  quote Arne directly:

“Federal civil rights laws require schools to provide equal opportunity.”

No actually federal civil rights laws do no such thing. Congress can rewrite them or the courts can change their interpretation of them. But Arne and his employees, even the ones with law degrees, may not. Especially on a Friday afternoon in the first week of a Second Term in office. If you read  http://www.ed.gov/blog/2013/01/we-must-provide-equal-opportunity-in-sports-to-students-with-disabilities/ the OCR letter you will see that sports is just an illustration of a much broader right Arne and his Department want to create. And they explicitly want to include learning disabilities, not just physical ones.

Think about that. If federal law did mandate that those with learning disabilities have an equal opportunity to students without disabilities or who are just plain brilliant, then school and high ed could not really be about intellectual pursuits anymore. That’s a playing field where inequalities in capabilities exist. Must change playing fields then. How about social and emotional learning since everyone has feelings? That would be an equal opportunity arena. All students can also interact at some level. Especially with computers. We also have a push now to promote life skills. Everyone can do that too. Except they usually leave off the full name: Life Skills for Psychosocial Competence. Can’t imagine why anyone would want to ditch such a graphic tipoff as to what is really going on.

There’s another possibility for our Equal Opportunity classroom. A developmental progression that focuses on personality development in a social context. That would be the education theories of Erik H Erikson. He practiced in Chicago and it’s hard to imagine Arne is not familiar with his views of child development or the sociocultural approach to education. Especially since the University of Illinois in 2007 published a paper in Educational Theory announcing all of this as the new approach to education. http://ematusov.soe.udel.edu/vita/Articles/Matusov,%20DePalma,%20Drye,%20Whose%20development,%20ET,%202007.pdf . And also because numerous government agencies including the Department of Education and the National Science Foundation embraced sociocultural theories instead of cognitive theories grounded in individual thinking as the basis of their future work.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ is the post from July 2012 describing that official report and its troubling implications.

What I had not read in July was a 1982 book by CCNY/CUNY professor Marshall Berman called All That Is Solid Melts Into Air: The Experience of Modernity.  That book laid out Marx’s developmental ideal and “how crucial” it was to all his political beliefs. Also that it was grounded in the German humanist and Romanticist culture of Marx’s youth. Berman did leave out the part about how that ideal facilitated the national collective mindset that led Germany to launch two world wars in the 20th century. But then Berman is an admirer of Marx and that’s such a picky little detail for me to mention. Berman does mention though that this Marxian/Romantic German developmental ideal was “still very much alive in our own day” and that Erik Erikson is its “most distinguished living exponent.” Erikson actually passed away in 1994 but his work does clearly seem to be gaining momentum. Probably because without Berman’s book it would be harder to link it directly to Marx.

With that book though we don’t even have to infer. We can quote directly from Berman and Marx (pages 96-98 if you want to locate a copy).  Marx has a vision of education that does not transmit the values and knowledge of the current culture which he of course wanted to disappear. Hence the Melt into Air metaphor he used. Educators pushing Marx’s personal development theories today through later adopters, like Dewey or Erikson or Vygotsky, are pushing the same goals. Change the foundations that support the current economy, society, and political structures.

That’s in fact why this type of education is not just called Progressivism. It’s also known as Social Reconstruction and that is precisely where that Equal Opportunity declaration takes us. Very similarly to the goal Goodwin Liu also laid out for the Common Core here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/morphing-the-common-core-into-a-new-rewritten-us-constitution-by-mandating-false-beliefs/ . Same basic desired Transformation goals coming from a variety of directions. With the same vehicle–education, K-12 and higher ed and creating false beliefs and new values to get different future behaviors. At least from a voting majority. What Paul Ehrlich and his MAHB seek as well

Berman first quotes this passage from Marx’s Communist Manifesto:

“In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we will have an association in which the free development of each will be the condition of the free development of all.”

A desire that 21st century educators will relabel as the Universal Love Principle or Kohlberg’s Moral Development Theory and impose in the classroom in the name of Character Education or a Positive School Climate. Let’s continue on with how crucial this developmental ideal was to Marx. Berman cites several examples but this one rings consistent with the actual current definition of  College Ready: “the goal of communism is ‘the development of a totality of capacities in the individuals themselves.’ Berman goes on with this passage from The German Ideology that is consistent with the Communitarianism we are have found in Career Ready Practices and the Positive School Climate (again!):

“only in community with others has each individual the means of cultivating his gifts in all directions; only in the community, therefore, is personal freedom possible.”

Bill Ayers just loves that definition of freedom. I do believe it’s what sent him into education in the first place. I mean who would know? Who reads Marxist professors to locate such a quote back to Marx himself? Me when the footnotes cite someone.

This final quote from Marx is reflected in the actual definitions of Student Growth and Student Achievement being used in the States as part of Common Core. It’s why feelings and social and emotional learning and changes in values, attitudes, and beliefs measured through collected data about each student and classroom are so much a part of the actual Common Core implementation. This is from Volume One of Capital:

“it is essential to communism that it transcend the capitalist division of labor [that would be differences in knowledge and skills among students in less stilted language]… the partially developed individual, who is merely the bearer of one specialized social function, must be replaced by the fully developed individual, fit for a variety of labors, ready to face any change in production, for whom the different social functions he performs are only so many modes of giving free scope to his own natural and acquired powers.”

That’s a fairly concise summary of what is now being called College and Career Ready if you go back to the original documents as I have. It also fits perfectly with the OECD’s definition of Competency driving international education reforms through PISA.

Now I am not saying everything going on in education globally is about resurrecting Communism. For one thing it now has a terrible reputation. But education globally is trying to displace any right of individuals to make their own decisions about how to live their lives. Right now the 21st century being shaped for us through education is the Age of Statism where politicians and government employees and Business and Nonprofit cronies make decisions for us. It’s not to be the Age of the Individual or the Consumer or widespread prosperity.

And the educational theories being used to mold New Kinds of Minds and Different Personalities really do track back to Marx. Which then makes 20th Century history hugely relevant to where we are headed in the 21st.

I wish this was not true but it is. And the only way to get us off this current planned pathway is to stare this Marxian foundation square in the face.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Now More Than Five Years Into An Attempt to Help Organize A Near-Total Revision of Human Behavior

Now won’t Performance Assessments and a total alteration of the nature of education come in really handy for such a goal? That title is from an August 7, 2012 presentation in Portland, Oregon by Paul Ehrlich on conducting research with his Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior (MAHB) that we have already talked about. It was his later remark about “creating a vision of a future in 2050″ that caught my attention most. It reminded me of a remark by Norwegian Jorgen Sanders on why he could be so confident that his 2052 predictions were not just a matter of probability. He said it was because processes were already in place to make the desired future come true. The UN Secretary General has said within the last year that there is no further need for treaties. That UN education initiatives will be sufficient to realize its desired future. That’s a lot more confidence than I feel and I certainly have more control over my future than a bureaucrat talking of societies and economies with millions of people and activities. What’s really up?

This post was originally going to just be about Professor and Change Agent Extraordinaire David T. Conley and how the Common Core implementation is taking terms like Noncognitive and christening them anew as Metacognitive Learning Skills. And the Ed Week essay of January 23, 2013 “Rethinking the Notion of ‘Noncognitive’” was likely to be the last time anyone acknowledged there is no content knowledge there. Just a hat trick to get rid of the deliberate departure from a rational thought focus.

I recognized Conley’s name as being involved with Outcomes Based education in the 90s and Oregon’s push for a change in K-12 focus to proficiency passing and a Certificate of Mastery. And that Proficiency Passing sounded a lot like the current drumbeat to Move On As Soon as a Student reaches Competency.

No new ideas. Just new names. But when I did my search for Conley up popped all the work he has done in recent years for the Gates Foundation and various states getting ready to implement Common Core on what College Ready really means. And it was stunningly inconsistent with what we are all expecting College Ready  to mean. Even apart from the stories I have written on altering the nature of college to fit with where Common Core is taking K-12. Now I really had the makings of a story on the continued duplicity involved with the actual Common Core classroom effect. But it was a remark in a 2010 Kappan interview that shifted my focus back to Portland and Ehrlich and whether I could link Common Core and  MAHB to that Future Earth Alliance I have written about and other UN transformation activities.

Conley makes no bones about the fact that Common Core is actually “an overhaul of the system from top to bottom”. Absurd but it is what is going on. On top of that though he says this new education system will be “based on the real educational needs of students, with an eye constantly toward the future world and society in which students will live.” Now that futurist talk reminded me of William Spady’s Transformational OBE Future Life Roles http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/future-empowerment-paradigm-or-educentric-tradition-guess-which-began-its-reign-20-years-ago/ . And his links to Portland. And Bela Banathy’s.  And the fact that Spady says in his 1997 book that Oregon stuck with OBE even after it became notorious. And that Peter Senge and the Waters Foundation now consider the Portland School District a Systems Thinking exemplar.

Two more connections you likely do not know, Portland is considered to be the ICLEI Agenda 21 role model for Regionalism. And Vicki Phillips who now heads the Gates Foundation’s Education Initiatives was the Portland School Super. Leaving Pennsylvania to take the job. So Portland is Ground Zero for the idea that education can be an instrument to transform the future. Just like Ehrlich says he wants to do globally.

Conley’s essay wanted to establish “semantic parity between cognitive knowledge and noncognitive skills” like beliefs, attitudes, and feelings. Conley wants us to see knowledge and unfounded beliefs and feelings as “equals” which I suppose is one way to alter the future. Just needs some Name Laundering. And then he goes on to say that with this declaration of equality, “the relationship between the two would be less hierarchical, more symbiotic.” Instead of the rational, well-stocked mind being in charge of behavior, emotions and false beliefs (or there would be no reason to dethrone knowledge) would govern. Exactly what Ehrlich says he wants to achieve. And quickly. Also sounds like his Newmindedness push of the late 80s.

Now I am not going to tease you further, I was able to locate a January 2013 issue of Human Dimensions where Anne and Paul Ehrlich announced that  MAHB was working with IHDP,  the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change. And IHDP is involved with UNESCO and the Future Earth Alliance and using the social sciences to reorient society. And in 2011 IHDP put out out a document describing precisely how it plans to use education to do just that. And I have a copy as of late yesterday. Busy weekend for Education’s Miss Marple. So I am not speculating about the Ehrlichs being involved with the global education transformation anymore just because of the similarities to what is being sought.

Which makes David Conley’s attempted official laundering of Noncognitive (the elements that made OBE so controversial) and College Ready so important. The Gates, Joyce, and Hewlett Foundations all help underwrite Ed Week  and they are each deeply involved with elements of the implementation that vary tremendously from the popular sales job to parents and taxpayers of what Common Core is about. You don’t get the position of headline essay unless this is an official position to be distributed widely. Which it of course was.

Conley’s March 2007 report for the Gates Foundation called Toward A More Comprehensive Conception of College Readiness wants to put the focus of K-12 on creating “habits of mind,” which he describes as a range of cognitive and metacognitive capabilities. And these are to be intentionally practiced at school until they become habitual. Something you need not even think about. Without that Ed Week essay we would not know he is referring there to our old controversial friends–values, attitudes, beliefs, and dispositions. Every parent sends their child to school to obtain “high degrees of self-awareness and intentionality.”

College Ready does have some knowledge in mind from the phrase “be able to know and do.” Unfortunately it just means the Big Ideas and Concepts. No need for detail. And College Ready rejects a focus on “de-contextualized content and facts.” No what content is allowed through into the classroom must be experiential. Something that can be interacted with as a task or activity or project. So students can apply their little bit of knowledge to real life problems that need solving. Students get to “understand themselves as instruments of communication.” It does sound ludicrous but Conley’s explicit goal is to set a gateway so low that virtually everyone can get through to college. “Academic behaviors,” which sounds solid, turns out to “consist largely of self-monitoring skills and study skills.” Study skills turns into time management, using information resources, and “communicating with teachers and advisors.”

Show up regularly with a pulse and a high school diploma entitling you to attend college no questions asked is yours. Another component of College Readiness, Contextual Skills and Awareness, turns out to be “interpersonal and social skills” and an awareness of the “privileged information necessary to understand how college operates as a system and culture.”

Remember these are the Learning Goals for ALL students. The highly capable as well. This type of Social Engineering via K-12 education hiding behind duplicitous definitions is precisely how UNESCO bureaucrats and the Ehrlichs and numerous professors addicted to all the NSF grants to use the social sciences and education plan to get “a near-total revision of human behavior.” All these schemers can alter the future. What they CANNOT achieve is their desired Vision. And they seem to not know or they have forgotten that lesson from the past. I mentioned Vicki Phillips, the former Portland School Super. In 2010 she moved to Gates with the responsibility College Ready. Not Common Core. Not creating consistent programs of solid content from state to state as the PR campaigns suggest.

College Ready. Conley’s College Ready. Search it out. He has repeated this vision of what College Ready really is numerous times since 2007. EPIC appears to be bringing in the dough that was once your money. Or maybe Bill and Melinda’s or Warren’s. Maybe Andrew Carnegie’s too.

When the Democratic Platform for 2012 mentioned education they did not talk about the Common Core. The content standards really only exist to gain the initial political approval from the states. They mentioned having All Students College and Career Ready. We have already discussed that Career Ready actually has a largely Communitarian mandate. To be demonstrated daily.

Now we know what College Ready means. So nobody gets to know much but they will be well practiced at believing and feeling and collaborating. And self-monitoring. Sounds like a Blood Pressure check.

Being stealthily prepared for that Ehrlich vision. At taxpayer expense. With everything aimed at removing the rational mind and the legitimacy of acting as an individual.

In the name of what sounds like a laudable goal to be embraced.