Orchestrating an All-Encompassing Conception of the Legitimate Domains of Government Control over Individuals

If anyone managed to avoid the fury over this past weekend over the Obama Administration’s Transgender Bathroom decrees http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/letters/colleague-201605-title-ix-transgender.pdf and this http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/oese/oshs/emergingpractices.pdf , you either have a set of headphones we would all like to acquire or you had a loved one just graduate. Most of the coverage and outrage is directed at imagining the physical intrusiveness of this edict. Occasionally we will get someone stating that this is not the role of the federal government. Reading both those releases though makes it quite clear that we have governments insisting they can command ‘citizens’ to defer to personal perceptions that disregard physical reality.

Let’s take a look at how useful that command ability is for those who have long sought to bring fundamental transformation to human societies, targeting what people value and how they must behave. Anyone think it is a coincidence that the sacred point for deference–personal perception–is precisely the point that the cyberneticists have wanted to control going back to those Macy conferences in the 40s? I just happened to have an essay from 1973 from Heinz Von Foerster (who edited the conference reports) telling researchers that “Since there are only 100 million sensory receptors, and about 10,000 billion synapses in our nervous system, we are 100 thousand times more receptive to changes in our internal than in our external environment.”

Is it any wonder governments have decided to target that internal ‘Simplex’ at a biological, neural level to gain the compliant citizens they (and their donor class like the Chambers of Commerce) want for the 21st Century? Refuse to believe me because it seems too horrible to contemplate? Let’s go looking for well-connected confessions from people at two places that have been ringleaders in these plans for us going back decades–MIT and Harvard. When I found out that in 1987 Stewart Brand wrote a book called The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at MIT, I got a copy.  The last chapter has a fascinating, matter-of-fact conversation with Peter Schwartz that called attention to something I warned about in the early days of the blog. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/

“Schwartz: No, I think most of the world still believes it is appropriate for the government to control what the people will know. It’s really quite amazing–to me at least, having grown up in the United States. Regimes everywhere are–a term that is not well known in the United States–dirigiste. French word. Literally, it means state direction. It isn’t socialism, it isn’t fascism, it’s essentially the idea that part of the central role of the state is to direct society–as opposed to take care of a few things and let everybody else take care of themselves, which is [was?] the US philosophy. Most every country in the world is in some sense dirigiste.”

Now even if I had not explained recently what Upravleniye meant or the Science of the Individual or the required state and local economic planning now in WIOA or the change and then monitor the mental models of each student laid out in ESSA–the new federal education legislation, anyone want to venture a guess as to which direction global education reforms emanating from the UN would be taking the US on the dirigiste template? But the MIT conversation was not over and the other speaker was Jay Ogilvy, formerly director of research of the Values and Lifestyles Program at SRI International. Now I know SRI used to stand for Stanford Research and was involved in a hugely troubling task force called Changing Images of Man among lots of other things. Let’s listen in decades later to what Ogilvy said to Brand:

“Ogilvy added: What gets me is how utterly inappropriate our basic economic categories are. We need to recast the concept of property for one thing, because in Marx’s terms property is by definition alienable: that is, unlike your elbow which is you and not yours, property must be transferable to another (alia equals other). I sell you the cow. You got the cow. I don’t have the cow anymore. I sell you information. You got the information. I still have the information. That’s one anomaly.

Another anomaly: intrinsic in information is the ‘difference that makes a difference’–to a receiver. So the condition of the receiver is an important part of whether a given signal is or is not information. Is it news or isn’t it news? Well, that depends on the receiver and the receiver’s ability to understand it. That’s not true of a ton of steel. It’s not true of a ton of wheat.”

Where else do we get such a chance to eavesdrop on insiders so we can recognize that we, and especially students with still malleable minds, are the receivers (author’s italics but my bolding) whose ability to understand needs to be manipulated at the internalized (see ratios above), neurological level. Still resisting? When I kept encountering references to the book Harvard and the Unabomber and the social science experiments it laid out going on at Harvard in the 50s involving some of the Macy Cybernetics conference participants, I decided I should read it too. Turns out the author Alston Chase had also graduated from Harvard in the 1950s and he was rather matter-of-fact as well about how “Psychology came to be seen as a powerful tool that could be used for good (when employed by an enlightened elite) or for evil (when used by Hitler).”

On the list of things the Enlightened forgot to mention was the “rise of psychology in public policy” because “the masses could not be trusted, or, as the historian Ellen Herman put it, summarizing the thinking of this time, ‘mass opinion was dangerous as well as fickle…[It] was a real threat to rational planning.” Another word for such planning is dirigiste and the most effective and hard to observe place to enact such planning would be to go after what the so-called receiver has internalized to guide their perceptions and then interpretations of daily experiences.

Still want more quotes as to intentions? “Yet in their heart of hearts they had lost faith in people and embraced a new paternalism. They became what historian Brett Gary calls ‘nervous liberals,’ beset by ‘propaganda anxieties.’ Saving democracy, these scholars concluded, required new psychological techniques that would point public opinion in ‘correct’ directions. Social science was seen as not just a way to understand man, but to control him as well.”

Well, I am ready to leave Cambridge and whatever is in that air along the Charles River beyond world-class hubris. Let’s get back to why all this is clearly relevant to what the planners want to achieve with these Transgender Edicts. When I wrote my book Credentialed to Destroy , a professor–Ernst Von Glasersfeld and his theory of radical constructivism–figured prominently in what was known in the 90s as the Math Wars and what is really being changed via math classes now. What I learned recently was that Glasersfeld’s theories were a part of cybernetics aspirations and that he had written for a 1984 book called The Invented Reality.

Now if governments wish to guide societies and control citizens at a neural level without that really being appreciated, how useful is a theory of education or philosophy (depending on the department of the advocating professor) that preaches to students and future doctorates and administrators that:

“it does not matter what an object might be like in ‘reality’ or from an ‘objective’ point of view; what matters is exclusively whether or not it performs or behaves in the way that is expected of it, that is, whether or not it fits.”

Getting at perception and controlling it gives a means to literally change how students will act in the future to alter reality and how they will insist on interacting with others. That’s why the physical reality of anatomical parts and other ways to protect privacy and feelings are not enough for the Civil Rights Advocates. They know, and we should to, that all these theories on how to turn students, principals, and people in general into Marx’s Makers of History ride on using education to control perception. People may not like the bathroom edicts, but is anyone questioning the legitimacy of legally compelling how the world must work simply on the basis of a student’s declared perception of being transgender?

In 1979 Glasersfeld and a Viennese prof, John Richards, published a paper called “The Control of Perception and the Construction of Reality.” I am really not speculating here on how crucial controlling individual perception has always been to transformational plans to a planned society that meets all human needs. The transformationalists, showing their fondness for italics, want to shift the purpose of education away from What is the structure of the real world? to a cognitive, internalized emphasis on What is the structure of our experiential world? That is precisely the point of emphasis in the Transgender Edicts: Does the student perceive themselves to be a different gender? No need for psychiatric or medical evidence. A personal declaration will do and must be accepted at face value.

This is simply a furthering of the governments’ desire for to be dirigiste and to plan using psychological techniques. As that 1979 article in Dialectica stated, that desired shift simply needed that “We thus redefine ‘knowledge’ as pertaining to invariances [like how they subjectively perceive gender or racism or White Privilege]  in the living organism’s experience rather than to entities, structures, and events in an independently existing world. Correspondingly, we redefine ‘perception.’ It is not the reception or duplication of information that is coming in from the outside, but rather the construction of the invariances by which the organism can assimilate and organize its experience.”

Anyone beginning to see why all mandates now push a concept-based, activity-oriented [project-based learning] focus for education for everyone? We need to recognize that the theorists are using education to enact their observation that “the brain’s model of reality, as far as consciousness is concerned, is reality–there is nothing else to perceive.” By manipulating that model of reality through educational practices and then insisting that we must all defer to that manipulated perception of reality, the Transgender Edicts are not just about bathrooms and privacy. The government is continuing to insist that individual perception is a legitimate area for it to manipulate. Then we must all accept the results of the consciousness that was intentionally fostered to believe in the need for change.

A Haverford philosophy professor cited in a footnote concluded that ” today [writing in 1988] the type of dialogical communities that are required for its flourishing are being distorted, undermined, and systematically blocked from coming into existence.” The Transgender Edicts with their deference to personal perception over actual reality, the Science of Virtues and other pushes of Character and values first, and the ubiquity now of a Whole Child emphasis and emotions as an integral component of learning are all means to remove the barriers to the desired communities that promote the desired “solidarity with our fellow human beings.”

I am not the one who throughout the 80s in elite higher ed kept quoting from Marx on what must be done to change history. This is how Richard J Bernstein concluded his book on Beyond Objectivism and Relativism:

“Marx’s second thesis on Feuerbach, especially his claim that ‘man must prove the truth, the reality and power, the this-sidedness of his thinking in practice,’ is a fitting conclusion to this study. We can no longer share Marx’s theoretical certainty or revolutionary self-confidence. There is no guarantee, there is no necessity, no ‘logic of history’ that must inevitably lead to dialogical communities that embrace all of humanity and in which reciprocal judgment, practical discourse, and rational persuasion flourish.”

So ‘standards-based education reforms’ were called on to alter perception to force what was never inevitable at all. Now we get legal decrees to further that same actual mandate and restart the hoped-for transformation.

See how this is not really about locker rooms and bathrooms?

Straddling the Worlds of Action and Knowledge: Values as the Driving Force of History

Let’s go back to that aspiration for “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge” from the last post since what has been admitted as being ‘controversial departures from the Western traditions’ is laid out in documents we were never supposed to see. We were to simply accept vague terms like ‘standards-based reforms’ being mandated for the classroom as within the unquestionable domain of anyone with an education degree. Even if the implementers and school and district leaders are totally unaware that there is an underlying controversy or that the real purpose of a required practice is that: “we are perhaps ready now to apply Marx’s dictum–that the point was not to understand history, but to change it–in a way quite different from what he intended.”

Now, shouldn’t that aim be accurately understood and not simply rolled into standards, pedagogy, and practices like Project-Based Learning or formative assessment via virtual reality gaming? Now the author of that quote, who also saw people as merely the steerable “individual elements of a complex system” went on to state a view of education and its new transformative aims at a neural level that we must pay attention to if we are to have any hope of avoiding the “leveling the playing field” plans for us. Seriously that is a quote from the Global Silicon Valley ed tech investment bankers and their 2020 Vision: A History of the Future publication that coincided with their well-attended summit in San Diego a few weeks ago. They even paid a stipend to make sure leaders from all the Congressionally sanctioned and White House favorite League  of Innovative Schools districts were all in attendance.

The conclusion laid out the vision of “initiatives to create equal access for all Americans to participate in the future.” I have covered the federal BRAIN Initiative before that began in 2013, but this document announced that the funding had been increased “from $100 million to $500 million per year, aiming to create a dynamic understanding of brain function in a decade–doing for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics. Importantly, we narrowed the program’s focus to two key objectives; mapping the circuitry of the brain, and then applying this knowledge to improving the design of education models/product and curing cognitive disorders.”

We have to wonder if being insufficiently communitarian will become classified as a ‘cognitive disorder’ in the future given how that ethos has made it into everything from Career Ready Standards to what constitutes a Positive School Climate and unappareciated obligations now in Student Handbooks. Mapping the human genome though did not alter what had been mapped. The whole purpose of the BRAIN Initiative though is to develop education models, products, curriculum, and ed tech software to rewire that brain circuitry to create the citizens amenable to political planning of economies and societies in the name of Equity. I quoted equal access above as the intent. The document reiterated the point of the “Mapping of the Mind” yet again by pointing out that the point of “optimizing the way we learn” was “to level the playing field and create a more productive workforce.”

Productive to whose benefit is a fair question, but let’s go back to the “A New Logic of Human Studies” essay from 1988 that our title and the Marxian quote above came from where Frederick Turner said “our hardwiring–whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril–is designed to make us infinitely inventive.” Inventive as in not bound by what has worked well in the past and with the “Rethinking of Patterns of Knowledge” emphasis, no likely knowledge of what has factually led to the great nightmares of history when political power had no check on what it could force people to do.

If that seems melodramatic, my tiptoeing through the cited footnotes regularly forces me to encounter passages like how transformative social and political theories always also need new concepts, ideas, and categories to mentally guide perception in desired ways. Then I see the shout out to someone notorious like a Marx or a Hegel and then I get to see the same concepts whitewashed and introduced as Understandings of Consequence that must have applications to the real world. The philosophers will write about the need to ‘control meaning’ so that ” a rational consensus on the part of citizens concerning the practical control of their destiny” can be ‘attained.’ The educators simply take the same aims and goals and enact it blindly and under coercion of job loss in the name of authentic learning and a New Civics.

We know that the National Institutes of Health is pushing a Science of Virtues with help from the Templeton Foundation because I covered that here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locating-the-internalized-information-guiding-human-behavior-so-it-can-be-controlled-and-transformed/
in March. We know Character is being added as a requisite component next fall for assessment in California. Now take that reality and tie it to this aspiration from Turner:

“The real forces at work on the stage of history are values. And values are uniquely qualified for a role both as tools to understand history and as forces at work in it. One qualification is just that: they straddle the worlds of action and knowledge, they admit candidly our involvement, our partisanship, our partiality and our power. Objectivity in a historian is an impossible goal in any case. Another qualification of values is that they give a kind of direction to history, the possibility of progress, which as we have seen is the logical precondition of any inquiry. [bolded because this is the entire focus of Project-Based Learning] Values are essentially dynamic, readjusting, contested, vigorous, as the word’s derivation from the Latin for ‘health,’ and its cognate ‘valor’ imply.”

So if we change values in students and the public at large we can change what motivates people to act to transform the world as it is. Transform the categories and prevailing concepts and ideas of thought and we can change people’s perceptions of the need to act. A powerful combination together in other words when both of those things become the focus of education, especially when locking in the changes at a neural biological level is the true goal. Now lets come back to the future and this terribly well connected report https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Pathways_New-Accountability_Through_Every_Student_Succeeds_Act_04202016.pdf tied to Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond and the call for “achieving an equitable school system that leads to meaningful, relevant, and engaging learning opportunities for all students.”

If that vision sounds like it has the makings for the very type of straddling called for in Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge, there’s more even beyond a conclusion calling for “evidence-based interventions that support deeper learning in contexts that further equity goals.” The report list three pillars for this new system states and local districts are to create and one of them is the undefined term–’meaningful learning.’ Except it was not undefined to me because I knew it was a term tied to cognitive scientist Joseph Novak who helped develop all the theories of concept mapping and internalized mental models in the first place. Remember the useful partner to transformed values laid out above?

Meaningful Learning is actually a global phrase for Novak’s transformative theory of education he has been writing about since the 60s. This article from Brazil http://www.if.ufrgs.br/asr/artigos/Artigo_ID7/v1_n2_a2011.pdf explains that “Meaningful Learning underlies the Constructive Integration of Thinking, Feeling, and Acting Leading to Empowerment for Commitment and Responsibility.” How’s that for the desired straddle? And conveniently locked into the legal obligation under federal and state laws as a new concept of accountability where no one is likely to notice the true nature of the required shift. Who would ever track this all back to being a Marxian Maker of History other than Robin who reads too much (and who notices even more) now that we are so fully on the right track.

How useful is this to seeing people as goal-seeking systems who can be redesigned at a neural level as needed for the hoped-for transformation? That paper was presented at Porto Allegre, which is known as the city that first developed the concept of ‘participatory budgeting.’ That’s the idea that the poor and various ethnic groups have a stake and the right to a say in determining how much, and for what, government budgets are to be spent. Just this morning one of my newsletters wrote about how participatory budgeting is catching on at the local levels of cities in the US as a means to promote Equity.

Use government spending to promote Equity and education to transform values and the internalized categories and conceptions of thought to “level the playing field” as the GSV report put it. Accountability needs ‘meaningful learning’ because insiders who create these policies and who wrote the Every Student Succeeds Act know quite well that “knowledge stored during meaningful learning is fundamentally organized differently than knowledge learned by rote, and affective associations are also different” as Novak put it in 2011. He also wrote that as “we learn new concepts and propositions, we are really learning the meanings of the concepts and the relationships between them. Through the process of meaningful learning, concepts and propositions are organized into the cognitive structure of our brains.”

That cognitive structure and what education can do to alter it is precisely what the US federal government admits it is now spending $500 million per year to map for the purposes of Equity and leveling the playing field via education.

In the next post I will cover the ‘affective’ component of meaningful learning using numerous examples from just the last few weeks. With a few trips back in time of course so we can have an accurate narrative of what is being attempted here instead of the Faux Narrative the Powers-that-Be had planned for us to simply accept.

Locating the Internalized Information Guiding Human Behavior So It Can Be Controlled and Transformed

Dictating such a transformation via preschool through high school, students would then essentially have a common core of prescribed values, attitudes and beliefs. For our Want-to-Be social and economic planning set that means future actions of most people would be both predictable and manipulable. The Planning Set, as I will call them, that we now know contains many different groups intent on fundamentally transforming the world that exists whether anyone consents or not, will know precisely what Values and Beliefs have been internalized and what visual Images, Words, and Phrases instilled. All become unconscious triggers available to command action.

To better appreciate why, let me quote Alexander N Christakis from a 2006 book How People Harness their Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy (my bolding to show what Planners take for granted):

“Different people in different situations cooperatively develop different interpretations of realities, especially social realities. In our efforts to understand social realities and design better futures, therefore, we must not assume commonly agreed upon linguistic domains. People come from different cultures and have different cultural sensitivities. They see things differently; have opposing ambitions; prize different values. The first priority, then, in a designing effort is to create a consensual linguistic domain among many diverse voices.”

Students, adults, cities, economies, and societies have each been designated by the Planning Set as subject to their designing efforts. We may start with differing values, beliefs, and experiences, but the new vision of education puts all these things on the table for change. Keeping us lulled as to what is being done to us and our children we get euphemisms like Classical Education as we have just covered, OBE, or Competency-based education to describe the new techniques. Stated goals of ‘Learning’ and ‘Student Growth’ make the changes seem salutary. As I mentioned in a comment to the previous post, that internalized set of Images, Ideas, Principles, Concepts, Values, and Beliefs gets assessed via initial Benchmarks, and then changed and monitored through assessments. Can you say Continuous Improvement?

Some Planners and educators call what is targeted–’Worldview,’ as we just saw in the last 3 posts. Others use the phrases ‘Mental Models’ or ‘Cognitive Maps’. All are phrases with the same Target and the same aim of where the Bullseye is. To show just how long this has been a target of official Global Policy Planning, I was even able to chase these to the Oval Office of Bush 41 in May 1989.   https://bush41library.tamu.edu/files/memcons-telcons/1989-05-23–Finnbogadottir.pdf To prove that this still matters, here is the recent NSF letter announcing the Brain Observatory to develop a research infrastructure for neuroscience with the same target, techniques, and bullseye.  http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2016/nsf16047/nsf16047.jsp

In all my posts from 2016 I have been building up from a theme of what is wrong with an Ideas or Concepts first curricula that are not built up from facts. Instead, the purpose of the provided Concepts and Categories is to interpret experiences in a classroom emphasizing activity. Sometimes the activity is physical as in group projects or role-playing. Sometimes it is virtual reality where only the software designer controls the Cognitive Map being created or shifted, mostly out of sight of the student, the parents, and maybe even the teacher. https://libertymuseum.org/in-the-news/groundbreaking-evaluation-study-released/ is a new curricula and assessment designed for building character and civic purpose by “exploring the concept of liberty as a living moral construct in contemporary society.”

Everyone ready to sign their kids up for one of the bedrock principles underlying the American heritage? Not so fast if we read the report and discover that Liberty has been reconceptualized to be “grounded in the notion that liberty must be just and must serve the common good…liberty [must be] reciprocal and responsible…[Otherwise] when liberty is de-coupled from one’s responsibilities as a citizen, it threatens to become selfish and divisive.” I have linked to the report and know both American and English history and, unfortunately, the fundamental tenets of the Marxist Humanist political philosophy. I get to recognize when Liberty as a guiding concept has been completely redefined to mask committing the student to a notorious normative vision for how the world might operate.

Students and parents though do not get that opportunity. They are not likely to recognize that Liberty “as conceptualized by the Museum and this study…becomes the bedrock for societal flourishing and ethical growth of both individuals and society” just turned into a tool for achieving Marx’s famed Human Development Society. Like the Classical Education we just examined the web-based curricula and interactive exhibits with Young Heroes is designed to create “pro-social changes in student behaviors” grounded in the stipulated virtues.

Most parents though will just think of Liberty in its historic meaning and not know that on top of the above redefinitions students also get experiences designed to change their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regard to “the liberty of society as a collective (collective liberty), as well as the liberty of each individual within society (relational liberty).” Think of this then as a Comrade Reinterpretation of the Concept of Liberty, which gets even more troubling because part of the assessment is looking for signs that the Young Heroes Outreach Program “participants consistently evidenced greater retention of all five pillar virtues associated with liberty…lasting at least three months after their involvement with the program ended.”

Why is that post-program search for continued changes in behavior so crucial? Because it is looking for proof the learning experiences created a change at a neural level in each of those student’s Cognitive Map, Worldview, or Mental Model. When researchers found “increased action-oriented civic and social engagement, identifying a number of social issues, upon which to focus their community projects,” they found that the changes in what was believed and valued were driving a change in behavior in desired directions. Desired first, of course, by the Planning Set and now by the students themselves, if they are even aware of why they are now interested in things they may have previously never noticed, much less acted to change.

Anyone else noticing that Liberty has been quietly redefined in much the same way and for the same purpose as how Amartya Sen defined Freedom? Yes, the nuisance of people who actually read the small print and footnotes. That Torchbearers Report and the redefinition of Liberty was supported by the John Templeton Foundation and the Jubilee Center on Character and Virtues in the UK. When the Report used this quote from Sir John Templeton: “perhaps true freedom is not the freedom to do but rather the freedom to become all we can be,” I recognized the sentiment. Since I found a treasure trove back in January when I searched for the connections between Sen’s philosophy and the Atlas Network members, this time I searched for “Templeton Foundation Amartya Sen.”

http://scienceofvirtues.org/ came up as the Templeton-funded Project at U-Chicago to create a New Science of Virtues. If that sounds like an excellent way to get at the values part of the Cognitive Map, I thought so too. There were conferences in 2010 and 2011. Perusing the Virtues Project Abstracts I discovered that the Divinity School was involved since Virtues were seen as a means to achieving ‘new spiritual knowledge.’ Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience administers the Project. Now would probably be a good time to remember Chapter 6 of my book and how the Planning Set wants to use education to gain a cultural evolution since biological change takes too long.

In the last post we talked about the sudden ubiquity of phrases like self-rule, self-regulation, and self-government. We can now add the Virtue of Self-Control where one of the members of the team of investigators is psychologist Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame. More importantly she is involved through her Character Lab with the national Growth Mindset study being pushed by the White House Behavioral and Social Sciences ‘Nudge’ Team. That means this Science of Virtues is involved too. That certainly puts new meaning to this expressed goal:

“The proposed research will produce a comprehensive framework for formulating and evaluating economic and social policy with deeper psychological and ethical foundations than are traditional in economic analyses. It will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the origins and consequences of human differences.”

Very exciting then for the Planning Set! Another investigator on that same team is a Philosophy prof with a focus on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. That’s a useful link to what we saw as we examined Classical Ed which somehow also loves to name drop Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates while making the point about enacting their ‘virtue-ethics.’ More rationale for transforming the internalized cognitive maps controlling behavior. Another part of the Project seeks “The Transformation of Virtues: Imagination, Vision and Dreams and Sources of Human Excellence and Practical Knowledge.” Sounds good even though it intends to prescribe and create an internalized Worldview of guiding values and beliefs to help students “understand the virtue of being able to face up to a collapse of the virtues when a culture is collapsing or being destroyed-as well as the virtue of living well in the aftermath of such catastrophe.”

Oh, Joy. The Planning Set creates the catastrophe while prescribing the beliefs and values to supposedly adjust to what is now broken. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development again defines “virtues, then, are psychological and behavioral characteristics that guide a person towards integrative and positive, or even noble, purposes for self and the world. In short, virtues are understood to play a key role in a person’s positive life trajectory and in the quality of civil society.”

But those characteristics are being prescribed and instilled via education without notice or even consent. Like the experiences obtained though the reconceptualization of Liberty, the curriculum is designed to guide and motivate certain behavior from a subconscious or even unconscious level.

Cool for the Planning Set who get power, grants, and promotions for pushing this transformation of the purposes of education.

Not cool at all for parents and students unaware of what ‘brain-based learning’ now really means or the taxpayers being asked to fund all these transformations.

Before anyone thinks that the answer is just to monitor what philanthropies or the NSF are funding in the name of education, please appreciate the National Institutes of Health is also launching research with the same Target and Bullseye. http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-DA-16-009.html

Theories about Mental Models or Computational Neuroscience are not innocuous terms for research either.

 

 

 

Strange Bedfellows but All Seeking to Build Unmarked Bridges Between Matter and Spirit

Since the last post I have really dug in to figure out why Classical Education as described by the books I have quoted in the previous two posts functioned so similarly to the educational vision I shorthand as cybernetic. I have those answers now, but before we get to that discussion I want to quote something from another book in the same series called Freedom, Justice, and Hope: Toward a Strategy for the Poor and Oppressed:

“Pulling a utopian vision into practice does little harm if the people involved participate voluntarily in the experiment and always have the right to opt out.”

I bolded that because I am not picking on Classical Education, Christian education, or those with a worldview that “Biblical categories of thought” should provide the framework for understanding all of Life and transforming culture. My problem is when this change in emphasis in education is not accurately explained and parents or taxpayers remain unaware. That’s why we are talking about this. To borrow one more quote from that book: “Ignorance is not harmless; in the real world our illusions can have awful consequences.” Consider me to be the Illusion Disperser. I am not disparaging anyone wishing that “Christians should use their God-given intellects to structure society along Biblical lines.” I am insisting though that if that’s the aim, say so when you are pitching your new view of school, education, and the learning philosophy.

Do not hide an aim to circumscribe mental activity and create action guided by religious faith so that a person’s thoughts are bound by the “use of reason within revelation” by pitching such actual goals as some kind of Classical education, the Trivium, or a return to the Medieval Mind. I cover both John Dewey’s real goals via education as well as what were called the Social Reconstructionists in depth in my book Credentialed to Destroy. Recognizing the essential template made perfect sense then when I get to the last chapter of Herbert Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction: The Conflict of Christian Faith and American Culture and it laid out a “strategy for action” whereby “we must consider further how to move toward bringing political, economic, and social life into conformity with the gospel.”

I bolded the latter because the basis for the vision varies from the Social Reconstructionists laid out in my book or any of the Marxist Humanists or humanist psychologists we have covered on this blog, but the institutional aims are the same. So is the belief that the place to start with societal transformation in reality is by targeting what the individual has internalized as his or her values and belief system. Again, the visions vary but every time I track these new philosophies of education that are currently hyped as Common Core or competency-based education, invariably I find someone wanting to provide a normative vision that will guide and motivate future behavior.

That vision again is to serve as the source from which each targeted student will “draw the understanding of the nature of humanity, the meaning of history, the legitimate values of society, and the place of biological creatures in the creation.” That was not the only Schlossberg book I read. I also read Turning Point: A Christian Worldview Declaration that he wrote with Marvin Olasky so there is a consistency as to what is being asserted that has nothing to do with me inferring anything or taking quotes out of context. What is so fascinating to me is the consistent misstatements of what has actually been going on in educational psychology. In both books education is stuck on Behaviorism and Marxism on materialism, even though factually that was absolutely no longer true when any of these books was written.

It is simply not true that Marxism still failed to emphasize that “what people desire and purpose will have any bearing on the future.” Neither was it true that “We are part of an intellectual world that has judged there to be an unbridgeable gulf between matter and spirit.” Fusing those without consent so that “faith and action” become combined and targeting mental models has absolutely been a major occupation of researchers in educational psychology from the 70s forward as Schlossberg could have easily found out instead of erecting these False Narratives. My concerns over what the goals of Classical Education actually were when it hypes Ideas first, instead of facts, makes far more sense as an alluring sales pitch for School Choice dollars instead of confessing:

“anyone wanting to systematize knowledge on the basis of revelation will have to do it within a framework completely different from the common ones that have come to dominate Western philosophy…We must not accept any formulation that erects an impermeable barrier between the sensible and rational, object and subject, matter and mind.”

Dewey could have said that, except pithy expression was never his forte. Sounds precisely like all our so-called systems thinkers as well. Norbert Weiner, who created the term cybernetics back in the 40s, thought so highly of its potential to neurologically unite mind and matter that he equated it to breathing life into a clay Golem in a 1964 book. He also wanted to expand cybernetic controls using data and control via communication in remaking those very same economic and social institutions Schlossberg intended to target for transformation. First though Weiner wanted to start applying the theories in engineering and biology. Biologically–that’s us folks.

Same aim but with a different description might sound like this if you were writing a book you only expected fellow acolytes to read. “For the disciple of Christ is to bring every thought and every action in obedience to Christ.” Substitute Marx for Christ and you will see why we have a problem. If that sounds blasphemous, it is simply the reverse of a point made regularly in these books. Systems thinking exists though because even mentioning Uncle Karl is risky to any PR or sales campaign. Much better to describe such aims to control thought and action in terms about ‘interdependence and systems and mutuality” as both Schlossberg and the Marxist Humanists who call themselves systems thinkers do. “Brain-based learning” sounds better as well.

Here is how another proponent of Classical Education describes its ‘philosophy of education’ to “enable us to make progress in the life-long endeavor of self-rule.” The euphemism the OECD uses now for cybernetic control over what a student has internalized to guide thought and motivate action is “self-regulation.” Awfully close to self-rule, isn’t it? How about curricula that “is conducive to liberating the mind and heart” so that the student can make the ‘vital connection’ between “acknowledging the truth with one’s mind and choosing the good through the exercise of one’s will. Knowing the truth, willing the good, and apprehending the beautiful lead to true human happiness.”

I am not saying parents or adult students may not choose such neurological, normative, and emotional emphases in education as helpful to living one’s life. My problem is when anyone buys into this programming vision without understanding they or their children are being programmed. Too often now ‘classical education’ is simply a euphemism for cybernetic programming. People need to appreciate what is in that breath and that their child is being treated as a Golem. Best to fully understand what ‘spirit’ is being biologically fused. If the goal of these Christian Worldview Reconstructionists is to create a worldview that will guide all of life and change culture then that’s the same goal again of Dewey and the Social Reconstructionists.

What does differ is how it will work, not what is targeted or how via education. Here is the Turning Point again: “There is nothing really secular, out of reach of God’s dominion. Therefore, everything is of legitimate interest to God’s people. Biblically, we are charged with making disciples of all nations and with working toward bringing all things into conformity with God’s revealed will.” I bolded that again because I have been reading Alexander Christakis’ plans for Structured Design Dialogue and the new concept of ‘planning’ hatched in Bellagio in 1968 and the belief that a normative vision of What Ought to Be can be laid out and then willed into being. How? By changing prevailing values, attitudes, and beliefs at an internalized level. Let’s substitute the ‘Vision of Society and the Economy as It Ought to Be’ for what I bolded. See the reason for the interchangeability of aims and reasons?

In all these cases it’s not a matter of individual control anymore. Idols for Destruction tells us why. “Calls for the reformation of society that do not insist upon both orthodoxy and orthopraxy, therefore, are futile.” Must target both what is thought, believed, and valued as well as action in other words. Something all reconstructionists apparently recognize. It also fits with the definition of the kind of standards states must adopt under the Every Student Succeeds Act, what they must assess for, and why everyone must adhere to Universal Design for Learning.

We have noted the rampant Communitarianism required as part of the actual Common Core/Positive School Climate edicts. Schlossberg too was officially hostile to the ‘outdated’ Enlightenment ideal of individual autonomy. It is a vision he believed provides an “amazing answer in the sphere of human relations to the ancient conundrum of the One and the Many. It shows why we are not required to be either the isolated atoms of individualism, nor links in the great collectivist chain that is enslaving the world.” I will interrupt this quote to ask that it also be read as consistent with being a part of a system and a member of an interdependent society. Here we go again where I stopped:

“If each of us is related to the whole of the community as, say, the eyes to the body, then the reason we cannot exist alone is clear; our needs, purposes, and functions must be related to those of the other members of the body. At the same time, the eye performs a vital function for the body and cannot be written off as unimportant or peripheral.”

This autonomous individual with non-circumscribed reason says yuck to that vision whether it is put out in the name of Christianity, Buddhism, or by an acknowledged systems thinker. I have no patience for any of these desires to insist we individuals can only find our meaning “within the context of a larger society.”

Anyone else getting the idea that a whole lot of people want to be the Oligarchs in charge of us? If all these people want to apply for that job they can be forthright about it and quit hiding behind euphemistic terms of education and definitions too few understand.

 

Stimulating the Inner Springs Fundamental to Real Personality Change and Harmonious Social Progress

Did anyone guess that we had embarked on another Trilogy, except this time it was in Reverse Order as my personal experiences starting with a phone call to my home on December 17 sent me looking for answers? For a while now, the false narrative being constructed by various employees or allies of the Atlas Network members has both interested and angered me. Angered because it is frequently built on parroting some of my insights and research conclusions. Read Robin’s book, pretend to be an expert, get people to trust you, and take them somewhere I would never go.

For example I would never describe Bill Ayers and Linda Darling-Hammond as “Marxist Humanists” because they are admitted Marxists and rather proud of it. Hint: this is why Ayers was willing to promote violence. Marxist Humanism (see tag) is a belief that because capitalism has reached a certain stage of technological feats, namely computers and the Internet and communications technology generally (abbreviated ICT), there is now enough prosperity in the world that there need be no poverty anymore within countries or anywhere around the world. It’s why the UN’s Post-2015 plans for us are called “Dignity for All” by 2030. As one of my UN news blurbs put it after New Years, we are now Post-2015 and this agenda has begun. Understanding it accurately is very important.

That gets me back to that phone call. After hanging up in anger at what was said and pouring myself a glass of wine while I made dinner, I began to think about what had changed that day. Well, I had made a comment on the blog that I had ordered William Easterly’s book The Tyranny of Experts that had been an Atlas Network supported Hayek Lecture in London. So I decided dinner could be late, went down and wrote up notes on what was said in the phone call, started looking for financial connections among the known players, and examining commonalities as they popped up. In other words, I started behaving like the Due Diligence experienced lawyer I actually am analyzing a set of facts. I also got up early the next morning and proceeded to see what was in the Easterly book that people might not want me to grasp.

That’s what I meant about a Reverse Trilogy as we started with explaining what a Nyaya concept of justice was and how I knew that Easterly’s book did not accurately portray Hayek’s thoughts on the subject of economic and social rights. I have more than a provided talking points knowledge of Hayek as that post laid out. I also know what Marxism Humanism looks like and Easterly’s book and the Atlas Network’s support for it does give good reason to start to whitewash what the term actually means. For parents, Linda Darling-Hammond’s (LDH) pushes in education and Bill Ayer’s past make them known nightmares to be avoided. We have talked about Amartya Sen and his Justice concept and Development as Freedom in the first two posts. He is laying out a Marxist Humanist vision as nyaya and really so is Easterly in his book. If no one has ever actually explained MH correctly though and you now connect it with Ayers and LDH, that actual reality will be missed.

Sen coordinates a great deal with Professor Martha Nussbaum (also tag) on what they call Human Capability Theory, which also describes where P-12 education globally is going. If anyone is thinking I cannot actually tie all this to Uncle Karl, they do not have a copy of Democracy in a Global World covered in the last post. I went into that described alliance for good reason. Nussbaum also wrote a chapter and she tied the vision repeatedly to Uncle Karl by name. It’s also another reason why I found the open-ended Con Con advocacy from the Texas Governor so pernicious. The Chapter was called “Constitutions and Capabilities” and here’s a sample of the kind of direct ties I mean.

“When liberal democracies make constitutions, they typically base their work on a small core of intuitive ideas to which specific constitutional entitlements are referred…The basic idea of my version of the capabilities approach…is that we begin with a conception of the dignity of the human being, and of a life that is worthy of that dignity–a life that has available in it ‘truly human functioning’ in the sense described by Marx in his 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.”

That’s what Easterly called for too without tying it to Marx. It’s what the Atlas Network’s members are actually promoting when they push his work or Sen’s. Back to my story of why I spent so much time researching over the holidays. I know John Dewey backwards and forwards from researching my book, but until I saw this post http://www.greattransition.org/publication/the-earth-charter-at-15 I did not know that Steven Rockefeller of the famous family had also written a bio on him published in 1991 called John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism. I ordered it in part because so many of the people who appear determined to control the narrative about what is really going on with the Common Core also aggressively wear their religious faith front and center. In fact, it seems to be a selling point on why their analysis can be trusted.

An example that had flowed out of my research was the Stand in the Gap Tour in fall of 2014 that David Barton had participated in. I had listened to a video of his speaking at a church in Dothan, Alabama and his description of what was desired reminded me of the cybernetic prearranged structuring of the Mind the behavioral scientists and admitted Leftists also want. That made Rockefeller’s book even more pertinent. As I read the chapter on “Democracy, Education, and Religious Experience” in particular I could see that this same Deweyan vision would create a desired worldview and amenable personality that would also work for a Muslim theocrat wanting to reconstruct the world starting at the level of the human mind (Tarbiyah) or a Christian fundamentalist also wanting to push social justice in the here and now.

I pulled the post title from the book and Stimulating the Inner Springs also fits with what the Hewlett Foundation and the CCSSO today push as the requisite Deep Learning. Isn’t this the real reason for wanting to control the narrative on education? Common means and common ends among interest groups and think tanks that are supposed to abhor each other? When I also mentioned the other day that Charter Schools that use cybernetic methods and adaptive personalized online learning are in a position to reap huge sums under the new Every Student Succeeds Act since those methods of manipulating the Inner Springs are effective and thus “evidence-based,” suddenly a drumbeat began online. That ended in that Project Veritas video that the Common Core was about textbooks companies wanting to make money. Well, they do but that is disinformation in an education environment where textbooks are going away.

In other words, like the phone call at home, do not write about the CMOs or online curriculums that also stand to benefit financially from insisting they are “100% Common Core Free” or who the financial backers are. No one may notice that the methods used are cybernetic and target those inner springs while telling parents this is a form of Classical Education. John Dewey understood that education “is a means of creating individuals” and David Coleman, Bill Ayers, LDH, and UNESCO are not the only parties at the education table interested in creating a certain kind of personality to fit with a desired vision of society and the future.

Last year I went to the Educational Policy Conference in St Louis and yesterday I noticed in a flyer trying to get me to attend that someone was parroting my Chapter 7 title language again, but also promoting the idea that the feds want to create a database of those values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on students. Not really, educators want to know this so all those things can be changed. That actual cybernetic purpose keeps being ignored. The fact that Charters target these same areas and have to to expand and get their contracts renewed gets left out. Making Classical Education about ideas and not facts is another way to say it is also cybernetic. Looking into the Barney Charter Initiative Hillsdale has put together and its mention of the Circe Institute and its description of what is Classical Education, I thought “That’s cybernetic too and a good reason to control the narrative about the Common Core and shut down anyone who knows what ESSA actually says and who would actually benefit.”

I have long wondered in all the discussions of the College Board’s shift in its AP courses to Conceptual Frameworks and the use of core ideas as ‘lenses’ why people with Social Anthropology PhDs never accurately explain what a cultural lens is. APUSH’s restructuring was never about what facts to teach and yet people who by specialty are thoroughly trained in using cultural lenses never explain what they are. Now I know. If something reeks of the cybernetic means so many of the Atlas members are also pushing, it must not be part of the approved narrative. The truth is it is not only the admitted Left wanting to use education to force a “thoroughgoing democratic reconstruction of society” that “must be child-centered in the sense that it begins with the impulses, interests, and initiative.”

In other words, what ESSA calls “personalized learning with adaptive data” that entitles its pushers to funding as 21st Century Schools. It’s not just the admitted Left wanting to target, like Dewey, “the whole feeling, thinking, and willing person.” That’s why the parroting of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors functions to inoculate the listener from recognizing that the person they are listening to may also have a comparable agenda. It’s not just the admitted Left and Dewey who want to frame what ideas are salient to the listener and what is likely to get ignored. Politics by Think Tank is all about controlling the Narrative.

It’s not just John Dewey or David Coleman who understand that “emotions are the reflex of actions” and that “if we can only secure right habits of action and thought, with reference to the good, the true and the beautiful [see what I mean about a Classical Education as the cited Circe Institute described it]“, then education will have created “a means of social control that does not violate the freedom of the individual child.”

Well, yes it does because all the false and controlled narratives keep the nature or existence of that control invisible. They make it seem like only a David Coleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, or other admitted Leftists have this goal for education in the 21st century.

I have run long again, but let me close with another quote from that chapter and a reminder that there are a whole lot of people pushing a vision of restructured American education using digital learning that they intend to financially benefit from. They also want a fundamental social and economic transformation where:

“To work and think in a community governed by this kind of democratic moral life is for Dewey the only sound approach to moral education in a democracy, which must rely to a large extent on a voluntary spirit of cooperation growing out of a multitude of common interests to maintain social order.”

Again, it’s not just the admitted Left that wants to enshrine collectivism invisibly and without outcry via education creating a “free play of instinctive sympathy and understanding.”

Lots of good reasons to control the Common Core narrative and guide and frame popular perceptions. Call me the mom who refused to play along and notices too much.

 

Leapfrogging Via Deceit that Crucial Last Obstacle to the Long Sought Convergence to Collectivism

Collectivism is one of those loaded words that sounds like I am trying to create a furor. Unfortunately, in this case, whatever the personal intentions of Texas Governor Abbott when he called Friday, January 8, for a Constitutional Convention, the actual release http://gov.texas.gov/files/press-office /Restoring_The_Rule_Of_Law_01082016.pdf may be one of the more deceitful documents I have ever read. It is deeply irritating to continue to be referred to as one of ‘the governed.’ Although since I live in Georgia, perhaps it is only Texans that are to be quietly subjugated at this point. Perhaps the author of the paper, a Texas Public Policy Foundation (another Atlas Network member) employee, Thomas Lindsay, who was previously with the National Endowment for the Humanities, is unaware that the phrase ‘We the People’ is now being used by radicals all over the world to promote the concept of a binding, collectivist, normative view of ‘democracy’.

Maybe the call of UT-Texas prof Sanford Levinson in his 2006 book Our Democratic Constitution: Where the Constitution Goes Wrong (And How We the People Can Correct It) for just such a Con Con that is tied to the Soros-financed American Constitution Society’s desire to have a new Constitutional vision by 2020 (began in 2005 as explained here) http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/progressive-polyphonic-federalism-invisibly-binds-people-and-places-to-the-just-society-vision/ was somehow news to TPPF and Dr Lindsay. It certainly looks like a Convergence, however, especially given all the insistence in the paper that the Rule of Law is the core value America was founded on. Excuse me?

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that ‘We the People’ just happens to be the name of an initiative Community-Organizer Extraordinaire Harry Boyte, who inspired President Obama and has worked on White House education initiatives, has created to be the so-called Third Way, neither Left or Right, to use education to get his ‘cooperative commonwealth’ vision in place. https://www.kettering.org/sites/default/files/product-downloads/We_The-People_Politics.pdf Maybe it’s a coincidence that Boyte created that paper originally for a Dewey lecture in 2007 and it just happens to fit John Dewey’s vision for how to create the right kind of consciousness via education to fit a normative democracy where the law would bind everyone to the common good vision. The one laid out in the 2008 Democracy in a Global World book that I tracked from looking at Amartya Sen’s work covered in the last post.

Let’s start pushing on all these ‘coincidences’ headed in a common direction. The quote that “Our nation was built on one principle above all others–the Rule of Law” is not simply false, it is false in a way that is useful in jettisoning the principles our Nation and its existing Constitution were founded on–the primacy of the individual. Lindsay is correct that at the federal level, politics is broken. That dysfunction, however, is no reason to reverence the Law so state and local governments can turn each individual into merely the Governed. It is facetious to argue, as that Con Con advocacy paper does, that “The whole point of the rule of law is that we comply with it even when we do not want to; otherwise, it is the will of man and not the rule of law that reigns supreme.” Huh? That’s the kind of sophistry a wannabe tyrant would assert.

As Daniel Hannan quoted Baron de Montesquieu as saying in his 2013 book Inventing Freedom: “I am in a country which scarcely resembles the rest of Europe. England is passionately fond of liberty, and every individual is independent.” When the phrase ‘We the People’ is used in various American 18th century documents it is referring to independent, sovereign individuals who believe in a “unique legal system that made the state subject to the people rather than the reverse.” That TPPF framing of the Rule of Law is the Continental View of the Law that Hannan contrasted with the very different “philosophy…from the common-law conception of a free society as an aggregation of free individuals.” It is a view of law grounded in collectivism, as Hannan noted, and “in particular, from Rousseau’s belief in the ‘general will’ of the people in place of the private rights of citizens.”

A conception of the Law grounded in the visionary who gave rise to both Fascism and Communism as the basis for a call to jettison the current Constitution is apparently what the admitted Left as well as quite a few Atlas members want as well. A reverence for individuality is an obstacle to the Convergence apparently. The US Constitution is in the way.  I am going to use a particular essay “The Global Public and Its Problems” to illustrate what was meant by John Dewey by the term ‘Creating a Public’ through educational practices. In 1927 Dewey wrote a book The Public and Its Problems which called for a communitarian form of citizen loyalty as being necessary to create the public will and values to make democracy sustainable. This is not democracy as some kind of representative government with periodic elections, but democracy in the sense that Boyte calls the cooperative commonwealth, Marx called the Human Development Society, and the UN now calls Dignity for All by 2030.

In other words, there are reasons that the concepts from a 1927 book remain relevant in the 21st Century as the first chapter of my book Credentialed to Destroy made clear. Dewey defined the Public as a community where “its members recognize a common interest in confronting problems they all face and see resolving these problems by means of collective action as a common good.” Regular readers will recognize the current concept of Fostering Communities of Learners as the measure of what constitutes being an Effective Principal as using the school to now prepare students for a future where they get to be a mere member of Dewey’s concept of a Public. Needless to say, Dewey’s Public needs a strong, anti-individual view of the law to bind individuals to this broader vision.

Here is where the story laid out in the essay gets really interesting and directly relevant to our Convergence today. “Problem-solving is used as a self-building process” where “education figures prominently.” In fact Dewey called on it, like Boyte,  for “bringing a certain integrity, cohesion, feeling of sympathy and unity among the elements of our population.” This, of course, can only happen in socioeconomically integrated schools with no tracking. The kind of deliberative democracy envisioned then and now can really only go on at the local level. In the late 1960s, that essay announced that (my bolding):

“the Eurocommunists (misleadingly so described because they included Communist party theorists and leaders from Japan and parts of South America as well as from Italy, France, Spain, and Great Britain) rejected this standpoint [the bourgeois/proletarian distinction] in favor of one that posited general democratic and political norms, potentially shared by them and by champions of capitalism within their respective nations.”

Couldn’t we describe that as the model for today’s Convergence we are seeing by the so-called Left and Right think tanks? Doesn’t that fit with the video in the comments of the previous post of Pastor Rick Warren this year moderating a forum with Professor Cornel West and Professor Robert George, the founder of Atlas member–American Principles Project? Have we once again returned to Dewey’s view of education, political life, and social policy that the Eurocommunists also used that “resisted both sides of this orientation by seeking common democracy building social projects.” I was at a forum last week where Policy Link founder Angela Glover Blackwell was the Keynote Speaker and the admitted radicals seem just as hesitant to admit they are now working with Big Business and Chambers of Commerce to advance their vision of a Just Future.

Yet we know that is already going on in the required local and state WIOA boards. It sounds just like the Eurocommunists who were “prepared to respect those with procapitalist attitudes, including capitalists themselves, insofar as they were sincerely prepared to engage in joint democracy-enhancing projects.” Isn’t that arresting to read as we continue to stumble across these clear collaborations and common visions among public policy think tanks and politicians that supposedly have nothing in common. Governments at all levels are in charge of us with the law as the enforcer of the vision in a world where suddenly “a Deweyan public comprising adherents of both egalitarian and neoliberal philosophies is possible, provided that neither camp is hypocritical in its professed commitment to solving common macro problems.”

No wonder Atlas member employees suddenly seem so fond of citing Justice Brandeis that “it is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” If the citizens consent. That must be why the University of Texas-Austin is working with Stanford on the national Growth Mindset study and doing such a loud and explicit declaration of experimenting on students to change their conscious and unconscious mental models. All consensual. Not.

Reverence for the Rule of Law and Education for Democracy are just the thing in a nation where a Republican Governor calls for a Constitutional Convention with a paper that tells us again that “It is wise, therefore, in every government, and especially in a republic, to provide means for altering, and improving the fabric of government, as time and experience, or the new phases of human affairs, may render proper, to promote the happiness and safety of the people.” That’s the view of Law from the Continent where as Aldous Huxley noted, rights are taken, but never given.

That’s the world of the Governed, the serf, and the subject, which is indisputedly where both WIOA and ESSA and a world where the White House has a Behavioral and Social Sciences Team working to change the nature of citizens at the levels of their minds and personalities. I just was not expecting the State of Texas to play such a prominent role in launching this new view of education and what it will now mean to be an American in the future.

Remember with Dewey’s methods comes the totality of his underlying vision. Suddenly the title’s reference to Collectivism is perfectly on point.

Can Bicameralism and Proper Presentment now bind individuals to everything 21st Century state and local governments choose to impose?

No wonder there is such a consistent push to teach through ideas, concepts, and themes now instead of a body of facts. Facts are a useful tool of the individual, but inappropriate without permission for the ‘Governed.’

 

Scientizing Public Policy: Implementing Orwellian Tyranny by Statute Via the Mind and Personality

I have spent the last several days since President Obama signed the “bicameral and bipartisan” Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on December 9 reading the false and misleading statements from various think tanks and reporters, supposedly representing a wide spectrum of political visions. Probably the most intrusive and impactful federal legislation ever and hardly anyone writing about it seems to feel compelled to actually read the legislation before explaining what it will do. In school a false Cliff Notes explanation of a book is likely to get a failing grade and an inquiry into cheating. In public policy and journalism now, creating false beliefs about transformative legislation seems to be all the rage. I guess it is to be expected that legislation seeking to physically reengineer the human psyche using behavioral science research would also use a bit of that research to create these false, or simply incomplete, talking points being used to describe the legislation.

If that other “bicameral and bipartisan,” fundamentally transformative legislation from summer 2014-WIOA-was the federal legislation that no one who enacted it wanted to even speak of, its partner-ESSA-is the transformative statute that no one intends to describe accurately. Unfortunately though, the actual statutory language and its real purpose control what must now occur in P-12 classrooms. It lays out what has really been authorized for meaningful change at the level of our children’s minds and personalities. Remember that. Talking points and articles may influence how ESSA is regarded by parents and the voting public, but it has nothing to do with the actual required implementation. Because the points raised and language ignored have so much commonality article to article, I shifted the actual quote I pilfered for the title from ‘scientizing politics’, which is what I believe ESSA was designed to do, to ‘scientizing public policy.’

The reference to Orwell is not me being a clever wordsmith and trying to hype attention. There really was a conference in August 1984 (like his book title) in Cambridge, UK on George Orwell and the “potential for tyranny if the enterprise of politics is interpreted as being analogous to that of science.” I believe that is precisely what ESSA is designed to do. A huge number of reports I have read from the US as well as from all over the globe back that up. Recognizing that makes me want to at call attention to what is at risk and why it matters. This, I believe, is the true reason politicians of both parties and public policy types across the spectrum refuse to accurately describe ESSA. No one seems to want anyone to have much of a chance to recognize the purpose of all those euphemisms used in its language or the Red Herrings designed to be a cited focus.

What does it mean if politics is being falsely analogized to science? Instead of politics being about competing interests within a set of rules that values the individual, scientizing politics uses education and the law as its primary tools. These allow coercive implementation without consent from those actually bound and treat politics as a truth-discovery process. What’s the truth to be compelled for belief? I have warned before that there really is such a thing in political science as the Human Development Society. Karl Marx wrote about it and all its tenets are being put into place now legislatively via all those unread, except by me, provisions of WIOA and ESSA. That is not an ideological smear, but a factual recognition of the background of these ideas.

Whether widely known or not http://buildinitiative.org/Portals/0/Uploads/Documents/Four_Ovals_paper.pdf   lays out the federal/states framework of using federal money to intervene in meeting ‘needs’ from birth on. The two think tanks, AEI and Brookings, have recently published definitive plans called “Opportunity, Responsibility, and Security: A Consensus Plan for Reducing Poverty and Restoring the American Dream” that would also please Uncle Karl immensely. Notice that as much as certain groups have capitalized on criticizing that video of Congressman Tim Ryan saying social and emotional learning is to be the primary focus now of education, that cited paper calls for the same focus. Since I have already read that paper, I know that it makes it clear that the primary reason to have funding follow the student and vary in amounts based on categories of ‘needs’ at federal and state levels is a desire to force socioeconomic integration on all public schools.

I mentioned that goal last week at a program on Student-Based Budgeting and having it be portable like a backpack that was being put on by two Atlas Network members–the Reason Foundation and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. Both acknowledged that was the goal, but it was a long way away. I pointed out that parents and taxpayers were not being told that was even the long-term goal in all the public programs around changing the nature of student funding. Following up on that discussion, I discovered that both Reason and the Cato Institute had published papers urging a shift in welfare policy to Universal Basic Income. In other words, the so-called Left and Right public policy makers seem to have agreed on implementing Uncle Karl’s vision with the only question marks being how much should be publicly provided vs merely publicly funded and provided under stipulated standards.

Since that apparent reality would probably not be politically popular in a world where a majority of Americans do want to close the borders and not work as a beast of burden for everyone who can physically make it here and then start having children, we get the very lies and misstatements about WIOA and ESSA and what they are really intended to accomplish that I have been noticing. As always when confronted with any attempt to politically install a false picture of reality in the minds of boys and girls and the adults around them, I turned  to a 1988 French book by Jean-Francois Revel that was translated into English in 1991 as The Flight from Truth.

Revel noted just how unusual it is to find people “who possess a taste for facts and an interest in truth.” He called it the “anomaly of intellectual curiosity” and since I have definitely been driven by that curiosity all my life, his descriptions seemed like a good way to describe what ESSA, its required Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings (HOTS), the embedded Competency-based education, the required behaviorally-oriented performance standards and assessments, etc. are all hoping to foster in the minds and personalities of the students who will be tomorrow’s voters.

“The power of ideology is rooted in a human lack of curiosity about facts. When a new piece of information reaches us, we react first by wondering if it is going to reinforce or weaken our habitual mode of thought…The ideas that interest us the most are not new ideas, they are ideas we are accustomed to. [or which preschool through higher ed intends to make us used to as Relevant, Engaging, and Culturally Responsive]. The prodigious progress of science since the seventeenth century prompts us to invest human nature with a congenital appetite for knowledge and an insatiable appetite for facts.

But what history teaches us is that if Man does indeed display an intense intellectual activity, it is above all to construct vast explanatory systems as verbose as they are ingenious-systems that induce mental calm by providing an illusion of global comprehension, rather than by encouraging us humbly to explore reality and to expose ourselves to unknown information. To grow and develop, science has always had to struggle against this primordial human tendency which surrounds it and combats it from within: indifference to knowledge.”

The refusal to describe WIOA and the deliberate inaccuracies surrounding ESSA build on that recognized general indifference to knowledge most people possess. As Revel recognized and so does every behavioral scientist and educator seeking to ‘scientize politics’ in the 21st Century: “Man’s major foe is deep within him. But the enemy is no longer the same. Formerly it was ignorance; today it is falsehood.” Those mental systems that can induce calm or motivate action from a deep, emotional level must be created by education under ESSA in each and every student.

Looking for that presence, and manipulating what is found as needed to create the desired dispositions and generalized knowledge and skills to be the future citizen a Human Development Society needs, is precisely what ESSA prescribes. It is what assessing for HOTS, personalized learning based on data, and ‘well-rounded learning experiences’ are all about. The entire concept of 21st Century Schools required to receive all that funding under ESSA goes back to another reason why education and the law are being used now to Scientize Politics without permission and with organized, active deceit from the public sector and its public policy advocates. We are being forcibly shifted from our historic emphasis in the West of a community organized around moral order to a moral community organized around shared common purposes.

ESSA, WIOA, and those reports I provided as examples above, all assume a shift to an “overriding community interest” where everyone’s designated needs must be met. Individual rights to pursue our own interests and, apparently, our own knowledge of actual facts, get trumped by the desire to plan people, places, the economy, and supposedly ensure economic justice for all, regardless of background or personal productivity. Again, since being honest about this shift and a widespread recognition of what the consequences are likely to be is simply not good for a political career or even fundraising prospects for the typical think tank, we get lies and descriptions of legislation based on talking points with no actual curiosity for the facts.

Education necessarily has to be altered at all levels to support this clear, but unheralded shift, because a society that locates its sources of social cohesion in moral community is “necessarily more vulnerable to shifts in attitudes and behavior patterns that might reflect individual departures from the shared purposes of the community.” At least we know now why a communitarian ethos and shared understandings just keep popping up in the required implementation of a Positive and Safe School Climate.

Everything from the Career Pathways requirements to the new descriptions of K-12 as Workforce Development to the mandate that all educational practices promote Equity and meet needs actually trace back to this shift to a moral community where:

“Persons are tied, one to another, by their common identification to the collective, with their shared sense of nationhood, race, class, or ideology.”

As an anomalous seeker of facts with an insatiable curiosity about the likely effects in the reality where we all dwell, let me be the first to point out that this has historically been a tragic path for any society to actively cultivate.

Just because our elected public officials have arrogantly voted to impose this vision on us using education and the law, with an assist on the falsehoods part from the media, doesn’t mean we have to acquiesce.

The way out, as usual, is the recognition of what is really going on.

Even is it is not a politically approved pathway anymore under federal law.

 

Greed as the Driver to Force Education to Create Socially Engineered Human Beings under Federal Law

The only good thing about the huge Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) dropped on Monday, November 30 that sailed through the House Wednesday evening, December 2, to move on to the Senate is that we finally have a truly fixed body of language to analyze. After writing my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon back in 2012 examining the actual implementation and what its true effects would be, and now this blog dealing with real time subsequent confessions, I have joked that ESSA read to me as smoothly as if it were written in Latin and I was Cicero.

Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that my reference to greed is merely the Pay for Success language that is unmistakably there, let me say the Greed I am talking about is not just for Success or Social Impact Bonds. It is Greed for Compliance that permeates ESSA. What local school districts and governments as well as states must agree to do, in schools and to children, in return for those luscious federal dollars. First though here is a news release from a well-connected organization bragging that just the Pay for Success components of ESSA add up to $2 billion a year. http://results4america.org/press-room/press-release-michele-jolin-evidence-based-policy-provisions-essa-game-changer-federal-education-funding/

Results for America with its ties to President Obama’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Engagement and Cass Sunstein’s Nudging initiatives along with the UK Behavioural Sciences Unit and its interest in cities (Remember my Learning Regions post November 11, 2015) http://www.bloomberg.org/press/releases/bloomberg-philanthropies-announces-first-cities-selected-to-join-what-works-cities-initiative/ . They also created a relevant vision back in March with Atlas Network member AEI. http://www.results4america.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-3-18-Moneyball-for-Education-Report.pdf

The co-author of that report, Bethany Little, is a partner at the same Education Counsel that is tied to Clinton’s Ed Secretary Richard Riley. It was hired by the Common Core’s sponsor, CCSSO, to create the competency-based education successor for the Next Generation States pushing innovative practices. Not a surprise then to see that paying for Success or just Compliance with the same reading, civics, or math constructivism that political radicals who call themselves Social Reconstructionists have fought for decades to impose on K-12 (Chapters 2-4 of my book, which is how I recognized what ESSA described)  features so prominently in what ESSA really forces. The local school district, charter school or any eligible entity, wanting those luscious federal dollars to flow to their local economy (think of students as just the excuse), agree to do whatever is specified. Is that really returning ‘control’ to the states and local schools with just federal ‘guardrails’?

The answer of course is it depends on what those requirements are. In addition to the insights only my book covers that are now more pertinent than ever because of what is in ESSA, I think the best summary of what schools must do in return for federal dollars is contained in Title IV–21st Century Schools. Of course every state and school wants those funds so let’s see what they must agree to do. First, provide “access to, and opportunities for, a well-rounded education for all students.” Secondly, create “school conditions for student learning in order to create a healthy and safe school environment.” Lastly, provide “access to personalized learning experiences supported by technology and professional development for the effective use of data and technology.”

Anyone out there saying, “what’s wrong with that? Next thing she’ll be complaining about apple pie.” Here’s the problem. ESSA was trying very hard not to have any damnable sound bytes that might have stopped passage. Most of the egregious language in what passed the House or Senate originally is gone. Instead we get euphemisms. Fortunately for us Tyranny Busters with Axemaker Minds my research is like a glossary of euphemisms. Part 1 on well-rounded education is the UNESCO term used all over the world now to denote non-transmissive or examination type education. Instead education must now be geared to develop the human personality as a harmonious integrated being. (Tarbiyah calls this education for shakhsiyah (personality/identity) for anyone craving an explicit link to the previous post.)

Maybe not such a good euphemism then to fend off scrutiny from what is really being promised in return for federal dollars. Part 2′s promises also sound glorious and vague. Apart from implicating all the Positive School Climate and that nesting a la Matrushka doll model from the previous post, what do I really have against Part 2? Well, in researching that last post I spent time researching what is going on the UK. The madrassas there are terribly pleased about legislation adopted since 2000 imposing obligations of social cohesion and racial equality on every school and community. Ofsted is the inspector to check for school compliance in the UK and in 2009 they defined the legally required community cohesion that schools must also demonstrate as follows:

“…working towards a society in which there is a common vision and sense of belonging in all communities; a society in which the diversity of people’s backgrounds and circumstances is appreciated and valued; a society in which similar life opportunities are available for all; and a society in which strong and positive relationships exist and continue to be developed in the workplace, in schools, and the wider community.”

I know everyone reading will be shocked that this also fits with Intercultural obligations UNESCO adopted in 2004 and has now moved to force globally as part of its Rapprochement of Cultures decade and the initiatives from the last post. There goes the supposed ambiguity attached to complying with Part II’s obligations. How about Personalized Learning and that data obligation? That of course is where the true manipulation and reengineering of each student at a neurological level comes into play. I have written about this some and it is what my second book’s research covers in depth.

Luckily for us this  http://www.educationdive.com/news/new-measurements-promote-efficacy-of-personalized-learning/409798/ states Gates has spent $5 billion promoting personalized learning. Part 3 is not terribly ambiguous either in its intentions. This is especially true when the chosen evaluator Rand is also who the White House chose to create the Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies it wishes to make the new focus of education. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/confessions-of-a-coordinated-cabal-intent-on-psychological-rape-with-impunity/

Rand was also the chosen evaluator for the federally-financed Change Agent Study in the 70s that was used to create strategies for effective implementations of the behavioral sciences in schools going forward. I am sure none of their Effective Schools template is embodied in ESSA.That would be why the new chosen statutory phrase is ‘evidence-based.’ It is how the compliance of the local schools is to be judged. Literally as in “is the school or district providing programs, activities, and experiences that comply with these listed objectives for 21st Century Schools?” Compliance and greed is how the Social Reengineering gets forced with hardly anyone, I suppose, truly aware of what Congress is mandating.

The real problem is the total reimagining of economies in the 21st Century by think tanks supposedly on the Right and Left, by governments at every level, and on a Bipartisan and Bicameral basis (as Congress is describing its support for both ESSA and 2014′s related WIOA (see tag)).  In a 2014 report called “Impact Investment: the Invisible Heart of Markets” the true vision of the 21st century global economy is laid out. This is what both WIOA and ESSA (as well as other legislation and programs) intend to quietly force on the US. It is to be quite lucrative as well for the insiders, foundations, and investment banks cited in the report. Would anyone be shocked to know Gates and Soros are both involved and all the UN entities and the OECD?

As former Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers is quoted as saying “This is ground zero of a big deal.” Under Paying for Outcomes, we learn that “impact-driven organizations need access to markets in order to generate income from the products and services they offer.” Me too, please. It’s thus not people creating a market for things they want. It is governments creating markets by mandating that every person in the world has a right to have their needs met. Think of impact investing as trying to monetize poverty for the benefit of politicians wanting political and social control and high-net worth individuals looking for a certain return. To quote:

“the largest markets, however, could be provided by governments paying for impact. There is an urgent need for a revolution in government purchasing, with paying for the successful delivery of specific outcomes at its core.”

Precisely what Ofsted looks for or Rand. What impact investing or as it is now called in the US–Moneyball for Government–needs is specific standards or measures of ‘success’ or when objectives have been ‘achieved.’  Can anyone say Common Core or Competencies? In fact, it was the constant recurrence of words used in both the House and Senate ESEA Reauthorization drafts that first caught my eye. This is also how charters, and whether they get renewed or the lucrative ability to expand at taxpayer expense, really work. Fascinatingly enough though the well-connected KnowledgeWorks that is tied to Education Counsel and thus Moneyball issued a frightening Forecast 4.0 this week. It not only made reference to Impact Investing as the “New Civic Funding,” it also mentioned under ‘Educating for Impact’ that “What if School Social Impact Scores became critical metrics for attracting funding, partnerships, and community engagement?”

It would also go well with a forced community cohesion mandate a la UK or all the communitarian obligations in Positive School Climate and Democratic Education too. There is a lot of information in this post so let me close with another document that came out today as the UN announced a “Global Alliance to Monitor Learning.” Interesting timing, huh? With ESSA just passing the House, but there is a mention of A4L. Not a lot of new acronyms in my world at this point, but that was one. When I looked it up http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Documents/assessment-for-learning.pdf , it showed me a Theory of Change that fits completely with what ESSA has just set up to send money to local communities in return for compliance with the UNESCO vision. The one no one locally has to even now about.

Quality Learning for all children and youth turns out to be first about Activities, then Intermediate Outcomes, Outcomes, and finally Impact. All in a document tied to the Brookings Institute and its sunsetting Learning Metrics Task Force. I wrote about LMTF and its use of Competencies and the nice Rockefeller Foundation letting them use its Bellagio retreat. That would be the same foundation that coined the very term ‘impact investment’ back in 2007.

How coincidental, huh? Behind a push globally along with others about using tax dollars to force “measurable social outcomes” including reengineered human personalities. Each to be primed and motivated for fundamentally transforming existing social, political, and economic structures.

Perhaps to a motto of Not Serfs Yet, we should add “And No Ambiguity Left as to True Intentions.”

 

Being Thankful We Know About the New Mandate of Student Success to Create and then Sway a Group Mind

Most years since I started this blog I have published a particular post originally called “Being Thankful for What We Know and Appreciating Why It Matters.” That message remains timely, especially given the gravity of everything I have laid out in recent posts. First though I want to provide a few updates since the last post. I had an opportunity last week to speak with Security Policy expert Frank Gaffney in a recorded conference call about the implications of what I had found in the Tarbiyah Project and how closely it aligns with the actual, to be mandated, meaning of success or achievement under the new proposed federal legislation. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-esea-and-the-the-tarbiyah-project

As I wrote in the last post, the alignment between the actual mandated implementation I covered so carefully in my book Credentialed to Destroy and what Tauhidi described was breathtaking and clearly no accident. I covered systems thinking extensively in that book, but although it was created at the troublingly ubiquitous Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), some of its creators were always connected to Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and Research Center for Group Dynamics. http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/history/ Michigan is where Tauhidi received both his Masters and Doctorate and its School of Education has always been a national leader in shifting K-12 education toward the behavioral sciences. To truly make education into a science of human development it certainly helps that the current Dean Deborah Ball also chairs the Spencer Foundation Board of Directors.

That would certainly explain the alignment I found. Establishing the Group Mind and making it influential, then guiding, and finally motivating, as the definition of increasing Proficiency toward being an ‘Expert’ was laid out recently here.  http://www.epiconline.org/essential-skills-and-dispositions-development-frameworks/ Lots of influential entities there and 3 of the essentials are from 21st Century Learning: Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration. The 4th, Critical Thinking, has been renamed as Self-Directed Learning. That would be the same term Tauhidi used in his Tarbiyah Key Outcomes & Indicators. It’s probably not accidental that Tarbiyah’s Essential Learning of Noble Character and Moral Literacy is the Self-Directed Individual, especially since the other 3 Cs are also in various desired new personal character traits with their names in Arabic script.

Finally, Congress just released a Framework for its new ESEA legislation http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399784 that also aligns with Tarbiyah and the goal of turning the student, at an internal, neurological level, into a designed, predictable system. That’s the ‘success’ within the legislation. I now have everything I need to prove those assertions after the legislation is passed and signed. Here’s the long-standing goal, taken from work on Burmese culture and Buddhist values, attitudes, and motivating beliefs funded by the CASBS with a shout out to Ralph Tyler, the creator of NAEP, the 8 Year Study, and so much more we still encounter today.

“Which brings us to the importance of this symbol for the integration of Burmese society. For it is through their reverence for this common symbol of a shared ego ideal that the Burmese, I believe, come to identify with each other, as Freud puts it, they ‘have put one and the same object in the place of their ego ideal and have consequently identified themselves with one another in their ego.’ [no individualism left as the West knows it] And this is how Burmese society achieves its highest degree of integration. To the extent that members of a social group identify with each other, to that extent is the group characterized by social integration.”

That would be why Black Lives Matter in 2015 and All Lives do not. With that let’s go back in time. Remember all we have covered since forcing a required Group Mind and also the 2014 passage of WIOA, giving all governments unprecedented economic powers for planning society.

I had actually outlined another barnburner story but the day before Thanksgiving is no time to serve up indigestion. So I thought I would write a tale of appreciating why individual liberty has mattered in the past and why Freed Markets resulted in mass prosperity would be a nice tribute. And I do not mean that in a Pollyanish sense. One of the books I am tackling this holiday week is Robert P Moses’ radical equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. I want every child to learn to the best of their ability. I want to really appreciate the desperation that is driving this Equality for All even if it guts the economy philosophy. It is why I read what attracted Van Jones to the Green Growth Economy as a manifestation of his self-confessed preference for Communism.

I think the history lessons of the Predator State declaring its Goals for People and then using its powers to coerce are too easy to forget. It’s not an ideological preference. It’s a factual story. A repeated pattern once government reaches a certain size of the economy. I think history consistently bears out the truth of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek said in his 1945 lecture Individualism: True and False. I give extra credit for people who have first hand experience in what led to most of the great tragedies of the 20th Century. It’s called Walking the Walk and there is great validity to the hard-earned wisdom it imparts.

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is a condition of a free society, the second means, as De Tocqueville described it, ‘a new form of servitude.”

There is just no getting around the fact that government officials and their Business Allies deciding they get to fine tune personalities and reset Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs to guide an Individual’s Future Behavior is a 21st Century form of servitude. Especially when the inappropriately named Positive School Climate is now a tool to retrain each student’s filtering Mindset. The worldview they will use from now on as they encounter daily reality. With their preferred non-Axemaker Mind and habits grounded in emotion. All quite consciously cultivated and monitored.

But we now know all this up front and that really is something to be Thankful for. As an active pursuer of these plans and blueprints this is decidedly unauthorized knowledge that was not supposed to become available. A 2012 Deerstalker Gold Star Award for Me. The most common question I get from frustrated parents especially is Why? What I am saying simply rings too true with their daily reality to discount it. But why the Deliberate Operant Conditioning towards a Future that’s not really about prosperity?

Like I have said, I take great comfort in putting all this in its Historical Context and its real Self-Dealing Context. Because honestly that is where it belongs. So I am going to quote you a passage from Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom (page 176 in my 2007 copy). He really nails the drivers behind making education miseducation. Notice he also nails down the frequent unholy alliance between government and the media. Simply refusing to report or cover accurately anything that might caste a poor light on desired government policies. My bolding and snark is in the brackets.

“Facts and theories [Sustainability, Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming, Diversity, Social Justice] must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge–the schools and the press, radio and motion picture–will be used exclusively to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cast doubt or hesitation will be withheld. The probable effect on the people’s loyalty to the system [Peter Senge just swooned that we so understand the essence of Systems Thinking and Why It Must Be Pushed] becomes the only criterion for deciding whether a particular piece of information is to be published or suppressed. [Benghazi; Actual Employment Numbers]

The situation in a totalitarian state is permanently and in all fields the same that it is elsewhere in some fields in wartime. Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. [Hard not to think of Candy Crowley and that 2nd Presidential Debate]. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with conditions elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

There you have the incentive of Government officials for using education for merely Competent, Mentally Hobbled Citizens. Especially ones who are being bred to see a Duty to the State. And the Business Angle. They are politically connected and want special privileges and protections from their Cronies. That’s not Capitalism though. It’s Mercantilism where there is no mass prosperity. It is what Adam Smith rejected as he accounted for Britain’s phenomenal 18th century economic growth.

So enjoy your friends and loved ones on this cherished American holiday. Whatever happens in education in 2013, we WILL understand what is really going on and what the likely consequences are actually going to be.

And that really is something to be Thankful for.

Harnessing the Willingness of the Populace to Fill its Role in These Plans Via Deceit at all Levels

Part Two begins with the UNESCO General Conference meeting in Paris that last week enacted what it already abbreviates as FFA–Education 2030 Framework for Action: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. UNESCO is celebrating its 70th anniversary at this meeting and fully intends to use “Quality Education” to achieve its long time agenda of “Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women”. That’s what Rapprochement of Cultures and Human Rights Education were about from the last two posts. I happen to have the up-to-date official definition of Quality Learning at the ready for us:

“there is an acute need to foster skills, values and attitudes that will enable people to overcome religious, linguistic and cultural differences, to coexist peacefully, and to discover shared human, moral and ethical principles…we attach great importance to enhancing quality in learning by..raising awareness of shared moral, ethical and cultural values, and promoting tolerance of differences [at least certain kinds of differences as the Oregon bakers discovered].”

It is that internalized belief and value system we all have that is being consistently targeted, isn’t it? They do intend to build peace at the level of the mind, or at least prevailing perceptions that it is possible. To discover why let me introduce you to a new definition of ‘culture’ and something I had never heard of–Cognitive Anthropology. See where footnote surfing gets us? To quote a cited book, Cultural Models in Language & Thought, “this school of anthropology came to stand for a new view of culture as shared knowledge [hence the boldfacing above]–not a people’s customs and artifacts and oral traditions, but what they must know in order to act as they do, make the things they make, and interpret their experiences in the distinctive way they do.”

Sound familiar? That’s what Competency gets at, what Higher Order Thinking Skills assessments evaluate for, what the Maker Movement and Project-based Learning have students emphasize, and what the local school administrators mean when they hype ‘quality learning experiences’ for all students. When the White House Summit this week on reimagining American high school showed a film Most Likely to Succeed   touting High Tech High in San Diego http://mltsfilm.org/ they were pushing a vision of education developed by cognitive anthropology research. The title of this post tells us why. Education–preschool, K-12, higher ed, and adult–is looking for “insight into those conditions under which cultural models [what Quality Learning internalizes. See above] are endowed with directive force and hence with ideological potential.”

Gulp. The essence of the phrase “sustainable development” is finding cultural models that can be internalized as values, beliefs, and attitudes that will reliably guide and prompt desired future behaviors. If that sounds authoritarian, it is. It fully intends to rely on ‘statutory enactment’ and ‘political regulations’ to be binding, but those things and ‘financial incentives’ cannot carry the load fully. Education for All throughout a lifetime, from cradle to grave, is needed to always be malleable and subservient to political power. No rebellions and no resentment, at least not overtly. In what may be my all time favorite phrase taken from a 2006 book Learning Cities, Learning Regions, Learning Communities: Lifelong learning and local government,  written by a professor and UNESCO consultant Nicholas Longworth:

“Top-down authoritarian structures are no longer in vogue and leaders in cities and regions will need to know how to harness the creative energies of thousands of people for the good. Shakespeare’s ‘tide in the affairs of men’ becomes also a tide in the affairs of local and regional authorities.”

Remember this as your Congress Critter or Senator Lamar Alexander hypes the ESEA Rewrite returning power to states and local districts and schools. Remember it as your State Governor files his WIOA plan, with its state and local boards, with DC. This is all consistent with the UN vision for achieving its 2030 Dignity for All agenda via Learning Cities and Learning Regions. The FFA mentioned above says so. We may not know any cognitive anthropologists or behavioral scientists, but the UN does, and it knows:

“Social life depends on the fit between what is socially required [see above and previous posts] and what is individually desired [Quality Learning games this]. So, too, the designs of those who would rule society and those who would benefit from this control over others, depend upon the willingness of the populace to fill its role in these plans. Therefore, states and other agencies promulgate ideology [Equity for All; Catastrophic Global Warming] persuading people to do what they otherwise might question or resist…To be successful, ideologies must appeal to and activate preexisting cultural understandings [Quality Learning again]…to be convincing, an ideology must pose as either legitimate or inevitable.”

Now we know why Outcomes-Based Education just keeps coming back as my book laid out and as a speaker from the well-connected Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education confirmed just last night. The stipulated outcomes are what can ‘grip us’ and act as an internal compass as Human Rights Education called it. That FFA stated that “Education is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and essential for the success of all SDGs.” Front and center and running through everything, crucial to education, beginning ‘at birth’ and continuing ‘throughout life’ is the ‘concept of lifelong learning.” This time it is FFA bolding that phrase and luckily for us the footnote is on that page and not at the end. It was all-encompassing though and sent me scurrying for the cited technical paper. That’s when the Learning Cities and Regions came rolling out so here’s the quote:

“In essence, lifelong learning is rooted in the integration of learning and living, covering learning activities for people of all ages (children, young people, adults and elderly, girls and boys, women and men) in all life-wide contexts (family, school, community, workplace and so on) and through a variety of modalities (formal, non-formal and informal) which together meet a wide range of learning needs [what new state funding formulas all seem to emphasize] and demands. Education systems which promote lifelong learning adopt a holistic and sector-wide approach involving all sub-sectors and levels to ensure the provision of learning opportunities for all individuals.”

I was a history major and I recognize a variant of Mussolini’s infamous definition of Fascism, even if the State force is divvied up at multiple levels from the global to the local all the way to an insistence on student-centered learning: “All within the State, Nothing outside the State, Nothing against the State.” Remember authoritarianism is not rejected, just any perception of a top-down, centralized imposition. When I found that Lifelong Learning Technical Paper, it revealed a supposedly binding set of documents from 2013 called the “Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities” and ” Key Features of Learning Cities.” Locating these and reading through them it became apparent that I had been living through and attending meetings clearly implementing this Learning Region agenda. No wonder I accidentally learned so much as my book pulled together in alarming detail.

I now know that for sure and not just by inference because a few days ago the San Francisco region issued what it called the Roadmap http://www.bayareaeconomy.org/report/a-roadmap-for-economic-resilience/ that fits with every tenet aspiration of a UN Learning Region down to wanting to create a public-private partnership of elected officials and civic and business leaders to guide an Economic Development partnership that would be qualified to access federal funds as one of the 380 duly-qualified Economic Development Districts. Lots to build Learning Cities and regions on, huh? The report thanked those that have gone before and listed Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, DC, and Los Angeles.

Between the last post and this one I went out of town and part of that trip involved driving Interstate 75 through Dalton, a reminder of the Aspen/fed Communities that Work Partnership http://www.aspenwsi.org/communities-that-work/overview/ that just commenced. WSI is Workforce Strategies Initiatives because in Learning Cities and Learning Regions, we all know that K-12=Workforce Development=Economic Development=Living itself under that definition of Lifelong Learning. Get enough physically juxtaposed regions and cities in one federal program or another, including Community Broadband that the close-by Chattanooga just issued bonds to finance, and our Learning Regions start knitting into a Learning Society committed via the law and education to Lifelong Learning–everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Quickly as I am running out of time, at the end of September 2015 a Second Learning Cities Summit was held in Mexico City and it set out the above as Guiding Documents for cities and regions to formally join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Maybe our mayors or city council members do not plan to tell us though and simply go to conferences like PolicyLink’s October Equity Summit in Los Angeles where the principles are all asserted with federal officials mixing with local and with community organizers, implementing a global agenda without telling us officially.

Maybe the recognition comes from something like an ASCD Whole School Whole Community Whole Child Poster http://www.ascd.org/programs/learning-and-health/wscc-model.aspx once we know about the Lifelong Learning/Learning Region formal agenda and seeing how it fits like a jigsaw piece to a puzzle. When we read about “more collaboration and partnerships with families, industry and business, voluntary associations, people active in cultural life are needed,” we need to recognize this is not just some random public spiritedness and desire for collaboration. It derives from official global policy for a new kind of cultural model internalized within the mind and personality.

We will close with the aspiration laid out by the Chinese Vice Premier at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that this UNESCO agenda of Lifelong Learning is to “facilitate the comprehensive and personalized development of each and every individual.” Now take the top-down authoritarianism rejection and marry it with the bottoms up intent of Human Rights Education. This is Part 2 of a Trilogy, remember?

The Key Features Framework has a Greek Temple graphic with Sustainable Development across six pillars that basically summarize elements of the vision as the Major Building Blocks of a Learning City and three steps laying out the needed fundamental conditions. The left side of the pediment at the top is “Individual Empowerment and Social Cohesion.” Get it? The collective is what empowers the individual, even if it is only an entitlement to basic skills. The right side joining it is “Economic Development and Cultural Prosperity.”

Now would be a good time to remember it does not say Economic prosperity. It would also be a good time to remember that new definition of Culture the Cognitive Anthropologists created set out above.