Not Going to Let the US Constitution Stop Us From Using Schools to Enshrine Global Social Justice and Human Rights

Do you remember how the French thought the Maginot Line of bunkers and armaments would protect them from a future German invasion after World War I? So Hitler simply went around and came from another direction. The head of the same group whose ecstatic rejoicing over the passage of the WIOA in the US Senate tipped me off that something transformative was envisioned, announced in this video on “Rethinking Accountability” in education in June http://www.unfinishedbusiness.org/20140707-henderson-common-core-an-important-part-of-driving-equitable-change/ that ‘they’ were not going to let the US Constitution get in the way of achieving human rights for all as defined by the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That would be a human right to Just Economic Citizenship folks and an obligation for the rest of us to provide it.

Henderson does a shout-out to the 2 major US teachers unions, AFT and the NEA, and notes they are partners working on his Board as well as to his Vice-Chair, the General Counsel of maldef-the Mexican-American Legal Defense Education Fund. Legal amnesty and future citizenship for anyone who can make it to US soil is not a side issue. It is front and center of the Leadership Council’s (composed of 200 separate component groups) efforts to force the US towards Economic Justice and an Equitable Society and ‘building a More Ideal Union.’ Henderson points out that the “thousands of students who may not yet be citizens” need to be educated as if they were. You cannot watch that speech and especially the AFT President’s intro and not grasp that an invasion by migrants is viewed as a crucial means of fundamental transformation. It will radicalize education, the ballot box, and enable democratic local decision-making via participatory mandates of the relevant stakeholders in every community entitled to be consulted.

I want to pivot now to the suburbs because such a vision of Equality and Justice is simply impossible if suburban schools can still teach a solid curriculum of knowledge and students are allowed to retain the Axemaker Minds many brought from home. Now I could generalize about what I think will happen, but there is no need to do that. That same conference pointed https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/events/1201  to the new Consortium of Large Suburban School Districts as being essential to achieving its vision. Told you already that document was designed for trouble.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/deliberate-cultural-evolution-via-developmental-psychology-to-force-social-change-or-gypsy-supers-lobby-dc/

OK, you say, that’s a hugely troubling vision, but we still do not know precisely what the desired template is. But wait (no, this is not one of the Ronco commercials pushing Christmas presents no one really needs) one of the participating Consortium districts, Fulton County in Metro Atlanta (not coincidentally also involved in EdLeader 21, Digital Promise’s League of Innovative Schools, and with that new affirmative Student Code of Conduct) announced the vision in an article in a local paper. ‘Problem-based learning’ would be the new view of curriculum instead of icky textbooks. High School will become a place “for all learners…[where] students and teachers come together.” It is a place where ‘different types of learning styles are addressed’ that provides ‘collaborative learning opportunities.’ Lots of collaboration and chances to sing kumbaya in unison on a daily basis to build community spirit.

A bit of sarcasm there towards the end. I know perfectly well what is involved in Fostering a Community of Learners. That’s why FCL has its own tag on the blog connecting explanatory posts. Now, we could also pretend ‘problem-based learning’ is not in fact a euphemism for what radical Paulo Freire called the cultivation of a ‘critical consciousness’ in each student in how they will now perceive their cultural and historical reality. http://www.thinkingtogether.org/rcream/archive/110/CulturalAction.pdf That would be true and creating Guilt in the Fortunate Students is as crucial for transformative change as creating Anger in Latinos and Blacks and Gay Students and anyone else who can be made to believe the world as it currently exists must now be redesigned for their benefit. Vengeance will be a plus too.

Anyone paying attention might have been able to make that accurate connection though. What’s the fun in that? No, being a research maniac entitles us to more vital info than that on what’s coming. The links we have found to the Study Circles made me want to look at what are called Folk Schools in Scandinavia. Could those also be related to this new suburban vision for high school? UNESCO defines the current vision of such a school as a place “whose point of departure is today’s living conditions and the problems we face” and “which do their best to open up young people’s eyes by confronting them with more genuine experiences and broader philosophies of life.” Now I happen to know that high school is using the term ‘authentic’ instead of ‘genuine,’ but yes, we do have complete alignment.

I am going to bring this vision forward to award-winning Finland and what is now called the Human Dignity Paradigm suitable for a “Diversity-Positive Milieu.” That vision is said to enshrine what is called for by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. First though let’s go back to the year, 1948, when the UN adopted the Declaration to see why UNESCO wanted to push “The Danish Folk High School as an Instrument of Attitude Change.” It’s rather hard to escape the basic fundamental entry point needed for wholesale social change with a lead-off heading called “How to Create the Right Attitude of Mind in the Young.” Now in the No **** Sherlock Hall of Fame for all time great understatements in a bureaucratic report would be:

“the quickest and easiest way to create unity is to invoke terror.”

Now those readers who are Climate Skeptics may have a good idea where such a terror gambit may be lurking in the 21st century, but in general the report  wants to create an ‘ethical standard’ that will force everyone to voluntarily cooperate by committing to “a higher consideration than themselves.” Of course some of us immediately see that for what it is-the Public Sector and Friends Full Employment Act until Time for a Taxpayer Funded Pension, but let’s pretend anyway so we can accurately recognize what is really intended. The word ‘folk’ concerns a whole people and the values they are all to share. Remember new humanistic values are the absolute inner core of all these global reform efforts by people who really do seem to believe Marx might have worked if the implementers had simply had enough supercomputers, data, and the psychological  insights of the behavioral sciences.

A folk high school is designed to give each student a “comprehensive view of the world.” It stresses that “true life can only be possessed in common with one’s fellow man, and that some of the richest values a people possesses can be accepted and shared by all, rich and poor, high and low.” It is a place to build an “enlightened view of human and civil conditions” and a “blithe feeling of natural fellowship.” The latter is what we today might call a Positive School Climate. The folk school would be training its students in co-operation. Its value as a vision in today’s suburbs anywhere in the world is the fact that the typical Upper Middle Class student with educated parents who have made themselves available during those early years pretty much arrive at First Grade at close to the level of essential academic skills that are viewed as a long-term ceiling. To get to Justice and Equality for All obviously.

The folk school model then, and a widespread failure to comprehend the radical shift that has taken place, is an essential part of what is going on globally in education under the mischievous labels of ‘reform’ and ‘remaining internationally competitive.’ Hiding under those banners is an actual determination by public officials to force “a broad outlook and understanding” among all students of a given generation “so that co-operation” in all areas can succeed. This of course requires a “will to solidarity” in each student, which is why that affirmative Student Code of Conduct, Positive School Climate mandates, and requiring Principals to create Communities of Learners to be judged as Effective and thus entitled to promotion, are so crucial.

None of this is coincidental. It all fits like a Bespoke Glove because it has been custom designed to fit together to force the desired effects at the level of the school, classroom, and each student’s mind and personality this time. When that 1948 report sneers at ‘examination schools’ and their failure to create the “mentality required to rebuild the world through all-embracing co-operation,” just substitute high-achieving suburban schools with a traditional content transmission focus. Then update to the 21st century and its tendency to stress social and emotional learning because facts can simply be looked up.

The 1948 version with the same intention of cultivating a mindset suitable for fundamental change was to ask “what is needed by modern society?” The answer then by UNESCO was it’s “not what a man knows, but what he both can and will do in co-operation with others.” Furthermore, that “is a capacity that needs training. Teaching and school work must be so directed that the pupil both sees the value and feels the pleasure of performing a task in common.”

That same requirement now goes by the name Collaboration and is specifically listed as one of the 4Cs required for 21st Century Learning. We’ve gone long again. Next time we are off to Finland to get lots more details on what is envisioned.

Everywhere that has ever had a successful economy.

Especially anywhere that ever valued the individual.

Global.

Silently and Seismically Shifting Sovereignty Away from the Individual

Unconstitutional earthquakes no one would willingly submit to can be hard to prove. Words like governance or mandatory collective decision-making or public goods get thrown about where the implication of a seismic shift is there, but that is rarely good enough to lay out convincingly on a blog that we are at great, demonstrable risk. If all of the actual Common Core implementation, and the digital learning essential component that runs in tandem with it, are actually designed to “give birth to the new systems and structures through which ordinary people are taking responsibility for their own and their community’s futures,” we have every right to have that included in the upfront public explanation of what is really going on. Especially in a world where Human Rights are now quietly touted as involving Economic Justice based on Racial Equity Outcomes.

That makes who has authority to seize, plan, and redirect people and property of vital importance going forward. As we discussed in the last post, crucial to these shifts is a new theory being pushed by the White House and charitable foundations called Deliberative Democracy. Like Sherlock Holmes fixating on a dog that did not bark, the lawyer and historian in me could just smell the fundamental shift in quotes like this one from the 2005 Deliberate Democracy Handbook (my bolding):

“By stipulating fair procedures of public reasoning that are, in principle, open to everyone, the outcomes of a deliberative procedure will be seen as legitimate because they are the result of a process that is inclusive, voluntary, reasoned, and equal…Deliberative democracy takes seriously the idea that the exercise of collective political authority must be capable of being justified to all those who will be bound by it. To fail to accept this idea is to fail to take the freedom and equality of persons equally.”

Do tell. So like Fulton County’s Conversion School District Charter, the idea is to use contractual language or laws or regulations to invisibly and nonconsensually bind anyone who might complain or resist once they become aware of this seismic shift in where sovereignty over the citizen and student lies in the 21st century. This turns out to be a global pursuit, but the US has a federal Constitution intended to prevent just this sort of public sector power grab. That would explain the desire to bring this in invisibly via education and regional governance compacts and mission statements and vision reports about metro areas.

In case anyone believes that I have an overactive imagination or am reading intentions into perfectly innocent and well-intentioned statements cooperation, here are three links to get your attention that this is a real problem that we were never to recognize in time. The first is The Deliberate Democracy in the Classroom Toolkit created to be compliant with the Common Core classroom and a new vision for what citizenship involves in 21st century America, including new kinds of dispositions. http://cdd.stanford.edu/toolkit/cdd-complete-toolkit.pdf The Toolkit has an interesting view of the relevant facts and obligations and once again PBS has prepared a curriculum called By the People, much as it did for that related transformational curriculum for the Common Core involving Facing History and Ourselves we covered in our recent Human Rights Trilogy.

Now just think about how handy that Toolkit and mandates about a Discourse Classroom involving considering respectfully the perspectives of all others as equally valid and schools Fostering Communities of Learners who come to agreement on a shared understanding will be to this goal:

“[learning democracy] centers share a common goal of lifting the voices and mobilizing the creative energies of diverse community members to improve the quality of life across all sectors and in all its dimensions.”

To those of you who have read the book John Dewey’s concept of ‘participatory democracy’ as the means to force economic justice is indeed alive and well and so is his favorite tool of forcing the seismic shift nonconsensually through the schools. The second point also aligns with the book’s disclosures and what the 1966 Yearbook described as intended for metro regions and urban areas and then what Turchenko described in 1976 in that Soviet report that was so quickly translated into English. Bruce Katz, who we first met here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/ wrote a 2013 book called The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.

The book was published under the “auspices of the Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation.” That matters because the Rockefeller charities are clearly pushing the Deliberative Democracy concept hard according to searches I did over the weekend. That’s actually what turned up the Toolkit since By the People was created with funding from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund as it repeatedly states. Someone is pleased with their efforts and is insistent on saying so.

I am going to resist the temptation to explain to Bruce Katz that economies cannot be built based on federal grants to create manufacturing institutes around clean energy or voters in LA and Denver voting massive sales tax increases around transit projects. Those are transfers involving bureaucrats spending OPM-Other People’s Money. Zero sum is the best case scenario.

Economic illiteracy, like the results of mind arson to get citizens compliant with Deliberate Democracy, matters though to the consequences of public spending. It is very easy to get lots of debt and unmeetable expectations for the future in the public sector-led reimaginings of the way the world should work going forward. That’s why it is so dangerous for Katz to be calling for “another historic shift in federalism.” He wants the “dual sovereigns” of the states and the federal government to be forced to share power with “their subjects, cities and metropolitan areas.”

Sometimes only a $100 word will do. That Usurpation by Fiat of sovereignty away from the individual in the US system, and then insisting sovereignty that is not supposed to exist in fact now be shared with nebulous regional authorities coordinating around Vision Statements, is absolutely Stealth Authoritarianism. It is the politically connected coercing everyone else to go along. How’s this for an open declaration of radical reshaping? This economic vision will amount to waste, but the hoped-for shift to governance of the individual is intended to survive apparently.

“We are trying to advance a theory of federalism that asks how federal and state sovereigns, and other partners and networks in governance, should interact to coproduce the economy. The metropolitan revolution is, at its core, an economic revolution…”

I’ll say. The next page says that “private and public sectors will coproduce the public good.” That’s highly doubtful, but it sure makes a good rationale for an unconstitutional usurpation of authority over people and property. I guess we can now think of what we know, own, or can do as merely in our temporary custody. Subject to seizure by the public sector and its cronies in an economic power grab that’s not that different from the serf forced to work land because it benefits the noble landholder.

Point 3 relates to that Open Data initiative that was President Obama’s first act on taking office in 2009. We have already seen it used as part of the FuturICT Big Data vision that was troublingly outlined here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/science-fiction-made-real-were-we-ever-to-know-in-time/ When I located this Core Principles for Public Engagement report from 2009 http://ncdd.org/rc/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/PEPfinal-expanded.pdf it made it clear that what I had seen as about data was actually part of an organized redirection of the public and private sectors to begin to collaborate over governance.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/memoranda_fy2009/m09-12.pdf is the actual memo. Hard to believe that the Administration that has supposedly lost incriminating IRS e-mails after they were subpoenaed actually meant to become Transparent, but that National Center for Dialogue & Deliberation makes it quite clear that this vision of public participation and collaboration is very crucial to that openly declared intention of fundamental transformation.

The better to bind us by and invisibly shift sovereignty going forward apparently. This is a good breaking point before I launch into explaining how the mindset perfectly suited for Deliberative Democracy per that Handbook is also the precise Mindset and malleable Worldview that the Common Core and digital learning state that they want to create.

Plus I do not think it’s coincidental that the name of the new Aspen Center report on digital learning and the new kind of mindset needed–”Learner at the Center of a Networked World” uses one of Bruce Katz’s favorite expressions for his desired metro-led economy of the 21st century–the ‘networked world’.

We are so far beyond having to infer any more from a Dog that Did Not Bark in our investigations of what is really going on in education.

And what is intended for most of us. Stealth Usurpation. What a phrase.

Nothing As Practical As a Good Theory For Gaining Access to Action Research

If a political theory gets you grant money or a job at a foundation, it “works” whether it is true or not. And puts its creator in a position to drive social change. The same is true with a learning theory. It does not have to be grounded in how kids actually gain knowledge if imposing it on a classroom will change future behaviors of soon-to-be voters in desired ways. Or might. That’s the great thing about action research theories. You impose them in real-life situations and see what happens. And you call them “research-based” to add an additional touch of legitimacy. Slyly leaving off the key point that the research is yet to come.

We already encountered Anthony Giddens saying it did not matter if global warming theory did not turn out to be factually true. That the theory itself would drive desired changes in individual behavior and social and economic changes. German sociology prof Ulrich Beck was even more forthright in declaring CAGW theory created a basis for a post-Berlin Wall Metamorphosis of the State all over the  traditionally capitalistic and individualistic West.

Social science researcher Kurt Lewin is the one who made the observation that there is “nothing as practical as a good theory.” He is considered the Godfather of all political theory action research and is intimately involved in what education pedagogy has become. Culmination of his life work you might say if you look him up.  The fact that he is quoted by name as a justification that:

“in order to learn how to sustain the development of the whole of humankind, individual human minds develop new mental models that can be used for representing worldviews in innovative ways. One way that knowledge of a global view of the world can be enhanced is through the use of systems thinking, from which merges the concept of global interdependence.”

Now the part in the next section about systems thinking being a useful metaphor and not literally true gets left out when systems thinking comes to a classroom. There it takes on its intended function of creating new mental models and worldviews. By the way that IB presentation I mentioned in an earlier post recently had multiple slides on creating new worldviews. It was the purpose of the Critical Thinking and Global Citizenship emphasis.

The disturbing fact that these new mental models and worldviews are intended to use education to drive a Biosocial Evolution should give us pause. So should the reality that I pulled the language from a UNESCO Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS). Especially as the National Geographic Society is helping to draft the Chapter called “Global Interdependence and Biosocial Systems.” It’s not like NGS is involved also with the drafting of the new US Common Core Science Standards.

That’s us. A biosocial system. And the introduction of such systems thinking into the classroom likely will not have the intended effect but it will alter values, beliefs, emotions and perceptions. That highly useful foursome to change future behavior. Just like Paul Ehrlich says his MAHB is more than five years into doing. Now Paul Ehrlich has a history of outrageous predictions of future calamities that never turn out to be true. I have noticed a tendency recently to mock his predictions and ridiculous statements on Twitter and in books and publications. It can make it easy to forget that Ehrlich’s theories do not have to be right. They are not intended to be. What they are intended to be is Influential. To become the excuse for someone’s desired change. That Metamorphosis of government power over people and an economy and the political structure. And in those domains his theorizing seems to be working splendidly.

That’s also why the influence of his Stanford colleague psychology prof Albert Bandura on the classroom implementation of the Common Core in the US and education reforms globally matters to all of us. That would be Bandura who is now trumpeted as the most cited living psychology prof. It appears we have located MAHB’s how to fundamentally change human behavior via UNESCO’s sought global education reforms. It is Bandura who Ehrlich and Orenstein thank first in their Humanity on a Tightrope book. Bandura is intimately in the hyping of overpopulation with Ehrlich. He and Ehrlich were working together to get the Palo Alto schools to study how to motivate students to cut greenhouse gas emissions. Oh and Stephen Schneider too for those who know his work. And if you wonder if he hypes quite as much as Paul I suggest locating Bandura’s 2007 “Impeding Ecological Sustainability through Selective Moral Disengagement.”

Not like access to the classroom would give a means to do something about Moral Disengagement on this issue in the future. That’s Bandura’s Self Efficacy Theory by the way creating a new theory for equity and student success in the Classroom that I described in this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/self-efficacy-cultural-proficiency-training-critical-reflection-and-change-agency-development/ Based on that 2010 Framework created by California Tomorrow to become a national template. That’s also his theories involved when I wondered why the Facing History theory taught students that “history is largely manmade” even though that is clearly not true. Described in this important previous post  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/changing-the-filtering-perception-the-way-we-see-the-world-is-key/

Stressing the idea that each person can make a difference turns out to be based on Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory. He has discovered it encourages motivation to take action if students believe they can manage fortuity as he calls it. So he has developed theories of Social Agency to encourage students to take action, individually and collectively. So Kurt Lewin was right. Good theories are practical means of  trying to change the future in Transformative Ways. And it is important that we remember that and not get caught up in the falsity of the theory.

Now if Bandura’s influence was limited to what I cited above, it would still be important to write about. UNESCO and friends really are trying to use government mandates over education and what constitutes science and regulatory policy to drive a Biosocial Evolution. Why? Because it brings them power and money and justifies what they already have. A motivation about as old as Ancient Babylon and Eqypt if not just after the Garden of Eden exodus. No Bandura is much more influential than that. Which is how he came to my attention.

I have mentioned that Ed Week wanted to trumpet Fulton County, Georgia’s Conversion to a Charter System as of July 1, 2012. And that when I read that charter it clearly reflected the Hearts Desire of UNESCO for post-Berlin Wall education that I wrote about here.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/values-and-vocational-creating-citizen-drones-via-education-worldwide/ . One of the troubling terms used repeatedly in that Charter was Life Skills. Clearly a defined term left undefined in the actual document so I went looking for the origination of the term. And I found it in a 1993 document put out by the World Health Organization, Division of Mental Health with help from UNICEF, TACADE UK, and funding from the Carnegie Corporation in New York.

The idea was that teaching everyday life skills would promote mental well-being and positive health behavior. Something to keep in mind now as social and emotional learning are being trumpeted as necessary post-Sandy Hook “mental first-aid.” These Life Skills for Psychosocial Competence are listed as “Decision making, Problem solving, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Effective communication, Interpersonal relationship skills, Self-awareness, Ability to empathise, Coping with emotions, and Coping with stressors.” The actual document goes on to describe each of these in detail. Leaving no doubt that Life Skills for Psychosocial Competence is the less politically correct name for what are now being called 21st Century Skills. Which is not just a controversial US push under the name P21. As I mentioned in the previous post it is global under the name ATC21S and tied into what Pearson will actually be assessing students for. That will be the next post. I promise.

Today we are talking about Ehrlich and Bandura and the usefulness of theories in driving attempts at social change. Which is why the following paragraph from that WHO report is so important. Not just to education’s real intentions globally. Since its intended purpose is to change future voters from the inside out on what will motivate them to take action and how to behave in the future. That’s really how you get Transformative Change. Here goes:

“The methods used in the teaching of life skills builds upon what we know of how young people learn from the people around them, from observing how others behave and what consequences arise from behaviour. This is described in the Social Learning Theory developed by Bandura (1977).  In Social Learning Theory, learning is considered to be an active acquisition, processing and structuring of experiences. It is this emphasis on the individual as an active processor of reality that lies at the heart of the conceptual basis for teaching life skills using active, learner-centred teaching methods.”

So the actual classroom implementation of what is being called Common Core in the US and Quality Learning and what goes under a variety of names in other countries all ties back to what was laid out in this WHO document in 1993. That ties into what every UN agency wanted before and since. That ties into Ehrlich’s declarations. And the measurements to be used to determine if this is in fact what is going on in classrooms. And the Effective Teacher evaluations. Yes I do have all the relevant documents.

So never ridicule an influential theory or theorist until we successfully defuse those who plan to impose those theories on us anyway. At our expense. Short term financially and long term culturally.