Specifying New Education, Economic and Social Models as the Final Act of the Civil Rights Movement

Can you imagine what your teenage and early 20s would have been like if you got a Get Out of Jail Free card for your 15th birthday? And were then told it could be used 5 times or, better yet, unlimited usage. OK, stop dwelling on the mischief that would have ensued or already happened but without punishment this time. Bet you learned your lesson. With that card you wouldn’t have had to.

What I am about to point out is that the Common Core has become the all-purpose excuse that generates access to loads of taxpayer money to implement theories that may have never been tried before. Or tried with a tragic history. Or have been created by political theorists and professors and even Soviet psychologists as we keep seeing to create wholesale noetic personal changes to gain transformative system changes. Shifting away from an ethos grounded in the primacy of individuals and the choices they make to groups and collectivism and enforced responsibilities as the hallmark of citizenship. All at our expense. Created by people who do not have to pay a personal price if this is a disaster and have much to benefit from in terms of promotions, new jobs, or locked in revenue streams for the requisite 4G wireless contract that will go with all those tablets for every student after you hire a former urban school super to be your Head of Sales.

Nothing but cronyism where politically connected individuals meet public money but it’s the name of the game now in this Digital Literacy push. And at the end of all those dollar transfers will be muddled, weakened minds waiting for a visual prompt and life to be one big engaging game. What a disappointment being an adult will likely be. You get the picture. Anything and everything gets a pass if Transformation is the actual or potential goal. It’s a free-for-all of change and mostly under the radar for the average taxpayer or parent. If they do notice something is wrong, they simply get told “This is the new Common Core State Standards Initiative so ALL our students will be college and career ready for the 21st century. This will allow us to be internationally competitive.”

Now that’s not the real story as we know well but it buys time and your dollars while the real moral and ethical and affective orientation instead of knowledge continues apace in our schools and higher ed. Called student-centered learning or individualized learning. With potential wakeup calls like “Student Loan Write-offs hit $3 Billion in first two months of Year” being off most people’s radars. http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/sns-rt-us-usa-studentloans-delinquencybre92o11k-20130325,0,6746534.story . Also likely off your radar screen is the related story of the National Science Foundation doing Neuroscience and Cognitive Science research to see how these new forms of instruction and assessment and classroom practices physically impact the brain. http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2013/nsf13067/nsf13067.jsp?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click .

Now that’s not quite the wording of that Dear Colleague letter although “how the brain regulates the individual’s biology…and allows organisms to behave in and adapt to changing environments” is awfully close. Especially when we add in NSF’s involvement in the globally transformative in every respect starting at the level of the human mind, Belmont Challenge, or its decision to use education to squelch climate skepticism as part of the USGCRP 2012-2021 initiative. Or the fact that NSF reports to John Holdren whose colleague of many years, Paul Ehrlich, is seeking new kinds of minds that do not fall back easily on rational thought.

I have not mentioned the Axemaker Mind metaphor recently but destroying it is very much part of this ed reform vision plus the accompanying systems transformation for Equity and Equality. Many of you may not know if you use dynamic MRI imaging of a brain that reads phonetically and fluently and compare it with the brain of a teenager or adult of limited literacy you visually see the firing throughout one but not the other. Let’s think about that picture of Korea from space at night with the North in black and the South all lit up. If you are a school or classroom producing brains that still light up like South Korea in five or 10 years, you have not been following the sociocultural model of collective emotional understanding. And it will be physically apparent. The effective classroom at producing new kinds of minds with cyberlearning (also a big NSF initiative) and collaboration and no more lectures may well produce brains that image like North Korea. Some Equity, huh?

Equity and Equality also come into play in the reforming the high school initiatives that are shifting everyone toward what the Soviets called the polytech model (although they did pull out their finest minds and send them to academic boarding schools to retain their abilities). That’s not going to be on your radar either probably even though President Obama did mention P Tech in his State of the Union. Just to point out though that this dramatic overhaul is not really about the Common Core I came up with some links that precede CCSSI. Remember Jeannie Oakes of the Participatory Social Inquiry post?  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/throwing-an-invisibility-cloak-over-the-classroom-to-get-to-deweys-participatory-social-inquiry/ She was involved in this transformation in California before leaving for the Ford Foundation and was kind enough to tie this high school initiative to its real source–John Dewey’s 1915 Democracy and Education and his idea of education by occupations. http://www.connectedcalifornia.org/downloads/LL_Expanding_Pathways.pdf . SREB has also been on this bandwagon for a long time as the high school vision for ALL students as are other groups.

The Common Core excuse and the College and Career-Ready slogan then mask a whole lot of huge philosophical, politically transformational changes that are mostly unknown. Being implemented without much discussion to avoid the previous controversies or pesky arguments about constitutionality. Especially when you think through a government with police and coercive power collecting and sharing data with vendors on all aspects of students’ developing personalities and interests and attitudes and values. A marketing and political consulting dream come true.

Now that I have pointed out how you get transformative change at the level of the individual student in place without really being seen and also revealed that there will be means of monitoring compliance other than data collection of Student “Growth” (another concept that tracks to Dewey) and those Effective Teacher evals. I want to take the accompanying social, economic, and political vision out of the 21st century or the 1990s. Back to the mid-80s while the Cold War was still simmering if not raging. Because when sociologist Robert Bellah and others wrote the 1985 book Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (reissued usefully in 1996) they were describing the communitarian vision for the future we now associate with Amitai Etzioni and that Positive School Climate Executive Order (another off the radar screen initiative). He was describing the workplace vision we have tracked now to Peter Senge’s Fieldbook and Otto Scharmer and Shoshana Zuboff’s similar visions of the future of capitalism.

And he too saw education as the key to getting there. Especially for getting there without a popular outcry that might prevent the stealth revolution. Here’s the vision from the 1996 edition (page 286):

“The transformation of our culture and our society would have to happen at a number of levels…Personal transformation among large numbers is essential, and it must not only be a transformation of consciousness but must also involve individual action…out of existing groups and organizations, there would also have to develop a social movement dedicated to the idea of such transformation… If the Civil Rights movement failed fundamentally to transform the position of black people in our society, it was because to do that would have required just the change in our social ecology that we are now discussing. [See now why urban schools had to remain dysfunctional whatever the resulting chaos?] So a movement to transform our social ecology would, among other things, be a successor and fulfillment of the Civil Rights movement.

Finally, such a social movement would lead to changes between our government and our economy. This would not necessarily mean more direct control of the economy, certainly not nationalization [which by the 80s was known to harm revenue to state coffers. The USSR was telling African dictators much the same]. It would mean changing the climate in which business operates so as to encourage new initiatives in economic democracy and social responsibility…”

Sound familiar? Do you have any idea how many publicly employed administrators and professors and degree holders insisting on being called “Doctor” have credentials designed primarily to get this vision into effect?

Lots. And now they have the perfect cover, in their mind, to finally finish the Civil Rights Movement.

Except to get there they are stripping away the veneers that brought modern civilization and the prosperity of the West like the division of labor and contract instead of status. And all we get are the bills and promises and utopian political theories that this time human nature will change.

 

 

 

What Happens When the Hidden Goal of Education Is Interrupting Pre-existing Social Stratifications?

What if you were a hungry pioneer in a new town in the middle of nowhere in the 19th century and it was a long, cruel winter? Inexperienced you did not appreciate the danger of eating the seed corn that would be needed if there were to be plants for the following years. So you and your family and maybe other starving townspeople consumed it all to get through the winter. Unaware just how precious it might turn out to be in hindsight. But by then it is gone.

That failure to appreciate the precariousness of how we stay where we are culturally and economically, and the preciousness of what it actually took to get to this point in history, is exactly what I worry about when I read statements about “suspending the contributions of inborn capacities” or the “extent to which people expend great effort.” Jettisoning those important things is supposedly necessary to “adequately interrupt the reproduction of pre-existing social stratification.” And I am once again NOT playing Fish Around for Horrific Quotes to Get People Riled Up About the Common Core. Or C-Scope. Or even those preparing for a new type of capitalism 21st Century Skills.

Initially the quotes I am using are from another one of those Gordon Commission reports I have been writing about in recent posts. This one called “Democracy, Meritocracy and the Uses of Education” is by Aundra Saa Meroe. It helps frame the very dangerous mindsets being created in graduate higher ed programs to credential adults to impose what are actually political or sociology theories on students in K-12 institutions. And soon to be preschool.

I am going to detour for a second to reiterate a point Nobel Economist Friedrich Hayek made in his classic 1944 bestseller The Road to Serfdom. It is something to keep in mind as we explore today and generally in this blog the determination to use educational institutions to transform the prevailing worldviews. In the US and all over the world especially anywhere that ever cherished individual liberty and freedom to create and trade and set rules by private contract. Schools and colleges and universities really are being used to alter individual feelings, values, attitudes, and beliefs to embrace, or at least tolerate or not notice, a radically different political, economic, and social structure than what has ever brought mass prosperity. Hayek with his background in prewar Europe and then among the Fabian social planners in London knew what was, and still is being sought.

“The important point is that the political ideals of a people and its attitude toward authority are as much an effect as the cause of the political institutions under which it lives. This means, among other things, that even a strong tradition of political liberty is no safeguard if the danger is precisely that the new institutions and policies will gradually undermine and destroy that spirit.”   (HT to Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek for that timely Quote)

That destruction is absolutely the hidden intent of the Common Core’s actual planned implementation and its new assessments and the Lumina Diploma Qualifications Profile in higher ed and all the social and emotional emphasis coming to the classrooms. To understand why anyone would contemplate such a wholesale attack I want to quote from a part of this report that sets up the anger and actual hatred for what currently exists:

“The history of nascent democracy and nation-building in the United States among voluntary immigrant populations obscures how the broadening horizons for some were in part realized through the brutal eclipses of basic human freedoms, for many others through land seizure, warfare, the persecution and containment of indigenous populations, the enslavement of African people and the subordination of women. These forms of oppression and subjugated labor underlie the advances made in the nation’s formative forays into farming, commerce and industry.”

In this view everything that exists in our 21st Century America is seen as irrevocably tainted by the past and illegitimate. The remedy? “Absent the larger society’s commitment to an equal distribution of resources, academic institutions are held to be central sites for the distribution of resources.” Hence the Equity in Credentials even if they no longer designate meaningful knowledge or skills. Those unfulfillable expectations merely become more fuel for the desired radical transformation. That’s why all these education reforms are always coupled to a Social Citizenship vision in a Welfare State vision. We first saw it here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/morphing-the-common-core-into-a-new-rewritten-us-constitution-by-mandating-false-beliefs/.

Meroe then follows up her vision of tainted America with a description of Robert Dahl’s vision for democracy to become “an evolving, progressive social enterprise.” This time “all people must have equal opportunities to realize” their “mutual interests and valued goods.” Of course history has shown that that kind of equality can only exist with an overarching government constantly administering “fairness and justice.” And government involved to that extent will ALWAYS be captured by politically connected rent-seekers wanting favors at our expense. And thus be even less fair or just in the long run. But, hey, let’s not let reality intrude quite yet on all these pie-in-the-sky decrees.

One more pivot to the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard that philanthropist Eli Broad set up in 2008 with a $6 million contribution. Best known in education for his creation of the Broad Prize for Urban School Districts and training administrators in a Superintendents Academy, I am going to use the description of the purpose of the Ed Labs found on the website of the WEB Du Bois Institute at Harvard. It says the project is “devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of inequality in American society. .. The broader objective of the lab is to employ scientific methods–rather than anecdotal or ideological reasoning–to improve public decision making and policy around issues related to inequality in the US.”

Fair enough although with all the behaviorist economists, psychologists, and sociologists involved in the effort you do have to wonder if the “scientific methods” are not BF Skinner’s vision for a science of education using operant conditioning. It sure would fit our known facts and is something to keep an eye on.

Meroe’s report goes on to announce that the “ubiquity of substandard public education among students of lower-SES ethnic minority groups . . . also reveals the malevolence of meritocratic rationalization.” She is on her way to lay the ground work for “mass-scale capacity for cooperative productivity in the workplace” that we have seen before. She advocates for what she calls “these collectivist goals of ‘democratic equality’ and ‘social efficiency’ [that] can conflict with a view of education as a private good for the purposes of education.”

Meroe is not unique in her angst about the urban areas and seeing the solution as Social Citizenship. We saw it with the Building One America conference and the Regional Equity and Metropolitanism movement I have written about. I read Professor Michael Katz’s The Price of Citizenship: Redefining the American Welfare State this week and got treated to yet more of the Social Citizenship as necessary to give our inner cities a remedy for their devastation argument. Likewise, the involvement of a number of the listed Ed Lab contributors with the Russell Sage Foundation led me to the future vision laid out in 1995 in their Poverty, Inequality and the Future of Social Policy: Western States in the New World Order.

So I actually do see where all this is going and it is an unworkable remedy. But I want to go back to the rationales. In particular that the low achievement in the urban districts is a result of “malevolence.” Whose? After all it is the urban districts that readily embraced the Vygotskyian “sociocultural” approaches first. Why? Because as we saw in the goals of the last post and as Leontiev and Bronfenbrenner apparently discussed in the 60s in talking about the Western countries and economies, many decision-makers do not want education theories or practices that preserve or reenforce the prevailing capitalist/individualist systems. They want urban students primed for transformation. This was also why Saul Alinsky’s IAF saw urban schools as great places for community organizing. The Alliance Network in Texas and other states now show it still is viewed that way.

I have written about Professor Michael Cole before. In a chapter to a 1985 book called Culture, communication, and cognition: Vygotskyian perspectives, Cole writes “In circumstances where we do not want to take the cultural context as given. . . [sociocultural theory] offers a very fruitful framework because of its militant insistence on linking individual and social activity.” So what was a militant linkage in 1985 is now to be the required classroom practices under the definitions of Effective Teaching under the Common Core. Moreover, that physical and social activity approach had toxic effects in urban areas. Especially when normed or even criterion tests are used against suburban schools which still had an academic focus and parents who could remediate at the proverbial kitchen table or hire a tutor.

That’s not malevolence and the resulting gaps in performance are certainly no reason to wreck everything as we are doing. And it’s not like the sociocultural/Soviet emphasis in the Urban schools was a secret. Professor Cole goes on to thank the Carnegie Corporation for the funding to import the psychology theories from “our Soviet colleagues.”

This went longer than I wanted so I will stop. The dysfunction of the inner cities and the achievement gaps have causes that are not being discussed. They have become excuses for wholesale transformation of all our institutions and even us. From the inside-out.

And when we trace backwards we find either false beliefs or political theories with a tragic past. All being pushed by tax free foundations intent on social change and without any willingness to do the cleanup work from the effects of previous theories.

Equality-the chimera that threatens to ruin the futures of anyone without political connections.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Making Race and Class Oppression the Locomotives Driving the Positive School Climate Mandate

That does seem confusing doesn’t it? Instead of transmitting the knowledge gathered through the Ages so this current generation of students can mull that over and build on it, we seem to be embarking on a Game of Fruit Basket Turnover in our K-12 schools and colleges and universities. Required by federal regs or at least executive orders, NCLB waivers, and accreditors’ edicts. Whatever it takes to get Equity in Credential Attainment. Even if that means no one knows much and the scabs picked at and pulled off to gain a widespread sense of oppression to justify and create demand for a wholesale political, social, and economic Transformation create a toxic, flammable mixture of citizen rage. Plus cultivating dependent citizens with unrealizable expectations that only a Strongarm State can hold together.

Before I walk you through “The 10C’s: A Model of Diversity Awareness and Social Change” currently being cited by ASCD as part of their Whole Child Common Core Initiative as well as the National School Climate Center as part of the creation of the required Positive School Culture, let’s remember that famously true saying that “a society that values equality more than liberty will end up with neither.” If government officials can enforce equal results despite real differences, they are treating citizens in vastly different ways. Not only is that not equal, governments that develop a taste for telling certain people what they can and cannot do want to continue that power. And with everyone. Let’s think about the untouchable power of Government Officials in such a Political Favorites and Clients Economy with what really made capitalism unique. Since so many people seem to confuse the Crony Capitalist/Political Class Dirigiste economy with Capitalism now:

“In a free market system, in order for one to get more for himself, he must serve his fellow man. This is precisely what Adam Smith, the father of economics, meant when he said . . . in 1776 that ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.’ . . . Free-market capitalism is relatively new in human history. Before the rise of capitalism, the way people amassed great wealth was by looting, plundering and enslaving their fellow man. Capitalism made it possible to become wealthy by serving one’s fellow man.”

My thanks to the great Walter Williams for reminding us that a world where the federal government now intends to mandate that “I=We and We=I” through the schools may well take us back to those days of officially sanctioned plunder. That no government in history has ever been able to decree an equitable, just and peaceful society. Remember that as we go though the 10C’s. Where they say they are going has always been unattainable and is in fact undesirable to many if it means living as part of a Yoke, like Oxen or Cattle, being told what to Do and Feel and even what may be Known. Let’s be very careful we do not allow everything that works to be destroyed by educators and politicians and Businesses seeking to profit from Connections pushing an Impossible Utopian Dream.

The 10 Cs is a two-part model that includes the 5Cs of Awareness and the 5 Cs of Change. And it is not a model just cooked up for the Obama Administration’s ed reform push. No, it goes back to 1995 so it was created originally to be part of the 90s version under the Clintons known as Outcomes Based Education. We were always supposed to have our values and personal attitudes manipulated via education in fundamental ways. Our schemers prefer a different definition than they tend to tell us about. They wish to try to draw out a new kind of human being. You don’t mind a little experimenting on your children, do you?

The 5 Cs of Awareness are: Color, Culture, Class, Character, and Context. The 5Cs of Change are: Confidence, Courage, Commitment, Conflict, and Community. That last word is where all these education reforms we have examined are going. Community “means working collectively and collaboratively with others toward a shared vision.” And if a student does not share the vision at the start of the 10 Cs he must at the end. You see, the 10 Cs regards individualism as an unacceptably Eurocentric belief. School then becomes about creating values, attitudes, and beliefs so that each student not only values their own 10 Cs, “but the 10 Cs of others as well.”

Not a moment then to waste to see how students are to be taught to see themselves and others. Remember too that like emotions, this is also a type of learning accessible to all. The plan is to start with “an inventory of ourselves and examine our own experiences to more effectively confront issues of personal and societal oppression.”  First, each student is to be taught to look at skin color as an essential, unchangeable aspect of one’s individual/group identity. Charming, huh?

Then we move on to Culture which the students are told is always changing. I would point out that is not necessarily true but is very useful for schemers who would like to jettison an existing culture while creating a new one based on Theories of Utopia as well as political theories that have a tragic past. The students will be told that male and female are socially constructed, assigned roles that differ from culture to culture. The Culture lessons seem to be long on a “Free to Redefine” element without any accompanying lessons that redefinitions have consequences.

“The third C is Class and addresses power relations. It examines individual and group identity relative to power, authority, hierarchy, status, and the degree of access to, control over, or ownership of resources, including wealth, education, employment, housing, etc.” Now most kids have little idea what decisions and training went into their parents having what they have, or not, and the good or poor choices made. We are setting ourselves up for students decreeing “Ice Cream for All!” with no awareness there is a limited amount of milk and sugar available and it’s already been sold to others for necessary uses apart from dessert.

Instead, of reality and the inevitable tradeoffs of finite resources, we are to get student jam sessions that “the failure to recognize power imbalances is a key obstacle to productive and authentic dialogue about diversity because it avoids the fundamental issues of access, ownership, and control over one’s own/group life.” So students are to be encouraged by teachers and principals and facilitators (all living on salaries and benefits paid at taxpayer expense) to each “identify and accept the power that we do have, and creatively use that power in the service of social justice.”

Oh yeah, as part of that lesson students get told “we all have an obligation to use whatever power we possess in ways that work for peace and justice.” Something to keep in mind during the upcoming holidays if your college student comes home for turkey and dressing with a barrelful of new attitudes being cultivated for those tuition dollars. Not just a K-12 model you see.

Character then turns out to be all about the importance of Group Identities. Beyond the Eurocentric comment, it tells middle class White students that they believe in individuality because their “group identities of Color, Culture, and Class have been validated at every turn.” So Dominant Group Members put their primary emphasis on their C of Character. Only someone living at taxpayer expense would think deemphasizing personal Character in favor of parity with Social Group Identity was a Good Idea. Let’s just chalk this C up to the continuing assault on the legitimacy of the Individual.

The fifth C is Context. “The reality in which individuals and groups exist in time, location, environment, and the socio-political, economic, and historical conditions which influence individual and group experience.” Yes, it sounds to me like Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Thinking that we talked about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ . Heh, at least we are finding consistency in the Real Common Core implementation. Even if it IS light years from the rhetorical sales campaign. So Context shapes the meaning of Color, Culture, Class, and Character and is like “the basket that holds the other Cs together.” So our students who are largely ignorant of past history are being encouraged to think you can redesign societies, economies, and political structures. They will not see the Likely Downside of Wholesale Change. They are just being pushed to promote it.

How? The C of Confidence–”Reclaiming and redefining one’s personal and group identity and abilities, in ways that are inclusive of all people, will build confidence and unleash creativity that can enrich and enhance the quality of life for all people.” Maybe but history says probably not. Next C of Change is Courage to push for “movements for peace and social justice” despite likely backlash.

3rd C is (sustaining) Commitment. It is the “focus, strategy, determination, and consistency, driven by love. . . that is the deep and consistent passion for justice and embrace of humanity that has always driven social revolutions.” Reality check here from Scrooge. That is not what drives social revolutions. Gracious People. Read some history books not written by Howard Zinn.

The 4th C is (Engaging) Conflict. It means the “reflection, struggle, and creative tension that promotes growth and justice. . . when channeled appropriately, it is a force that can propel us forward.” Yes, right into an abyss. Just ask the French about 1795 how well delusions over human nature as a basis for a revolution worked out there.

And that gets us back to the 5th C-Community. Or not. I personally do not think these 5 Cs will create Community. I do think that widespread pushing of these 10 Cs will destroy a great country. Extinguish the greatest beacon for freedom the world has ever known. Squelch the only economic system that encourages cooperation among ordinary people that leaves all of them better off.

No one pushing the 10 Cs has to live with their likely pernicious consequences. We do. and we have every right to know about and object to this planned focus of K-12 and higher education.

That seems to be already starting judging by some assigned handouts printed out at home by 9th graders. The ones who will be voting in 2016 for the first time. Make more sense now?

Building a Compelling Future Political Coalition Around Advocacy for Keeping the Axemaker Mind

Former slave Frederick Douglass once said that “education . . . means emancipation. It means light and liberty. It means the uplifting of the soul of man into the glorious light of truth, the light by which men can only be made free.” Perhaps Joel Klein would also like to sneer that Douglass also had just an 1860s mind unsuitable for the 21st Century? No, I didn’t think so. THAT would play poorly in urban and suburban districts where Amplify and At&T hope to sell those new Tablets to be a visual replacement for emancipatory type knowledge within a students own mind. Such a lousy investment for taxpayers to be funding the known, intended, destruction of the Axemaker Mind.

http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ is where I originally explained the significance of destroying the Axemaker Mind and where the now beloved metaphor actually comes from.

The point is that the transformative education being mandated for both K-12 and higher ed under obscuring but appealing names like College and Career Ready, 21st Century Skills, Lumina Diploma Qualifications Profile, the Common Core, Deep Learning for Understanding, Quality Learning, etc are none of them a Frederick Douglass type of emancipatory education. That would be too individualistic and might nurture a desire to pursue self-interest instead of communitarian values. Right because the only people entitled in 21st Century America or anywhere else in the West should be politicians and their cronies enjoying the coercive powers of government to take OPM, Other People’s Money, and reward it to their allies. Here’s the problem. You only get that one time confiscation of wealth to fuel the allies. Stalin got to use Collectivization to fuel Industrialization in the USSR but at the cost of the Soviet Union never having a viable agricultural sector again. From food exporter of grain to importer to avoid starvation.

He destroyed incentives and necessary knowledge and skills in addition to all those lives. It takes real individual knowledge in the Frederick Douglass sense and genuine personal skills of marketable value in the Julian Simon sense http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/learning-to-learn-or-how-to-replace-old-minds-with-sustainable-new-ones/ plus hard work and a willingness to take risk to create wealth in a society. New products or services that people want to buy. A job is not wealth if the money to finance it was confiscated from someone actually trying to create Wealth. The kind of Prosperity that raises all living standards.

The Economic Pie is not stable and fixed and available for redistribution to political allies without affecting its size. In the Lumina world of Equity in Credentials by stressing group learning and social and emotional learning and interpersonal skills, we are creating expectations at great expense without any real means of cashing them in. Contrary to the political slogans, a living wage in return for being human and drawing a breath is not a promise any government can keep long term. They can get to power that way (see Argentina) but when the wealth and knowledge are gone and incentives are destroyed, countries and civilizations can and do go into death spirals. Then most are dependent with a vacuous Newmindedness and there will not be enough Axemaker Minds to get the economy back on track.

Looking at the faces in the crowd on Tuesday night, America’s Election Night, and spending part of yesterday eyeing the makeup of the electoral coalitions, I can tell you there are a huge number of Americans who voted for both Presidential candidates who are not OK with destroying the Axemaker Mind and manipulating values away from what made America great. They are also not OK with the Corporatist/Dirigiste vision of the economy where political insiders and their cronies benefit and no one else.

In reality the rest of us are to get the kind of servitude and assigned roles that Frederick Douglass thought the US Civil War was fought to stop once and for all. Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Immigrants, Middle Westerners, Suburbs. Our next generation of voters is under organized attack through education. To literally have their “hearts and minds” captured in the classroom over the years of imposed attendance to accept John Dewey’s idea of democracy. When he wrote that vision in 1916, no one fully appreciated the costs. But now we do know, but every reformer keeps coming back to Dewey anyway out of a desire to control individual behavior and have a politically directed economy.

I spent part of yesterday mulling over the fact that nothing now could stop the vision I have been profiling. And how few would support it if its long term consequences were actually understood. So I dug back into the school resegregation treatises which is where Regionalism and the 1990s ed reform attempt went to regroup after Al Gore lost the Presidency. Apparently there was a 2002 Chapel Hill conference. In the book that resulted laying out the blueprint for the future, john a powell, who was a featured speaker at President Obama’s Building One America conference in 2011 that I wrote about here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/distributive-justice-is-not-enough-we-must-break-the-illusion-of-the-unitary-self/ lays out his vision for true integration. It basically marries communitarianism with Regionalism. It envisions more than breaking the unitary self. Trashing of the entirety of Western culture up to now is more the ambition of this very influential man with access to political levers and coffers at the highest levels.

“[T]rue integration requires community-wide efforts to dismantle that culture and to create a more inclusive educational system and a more inclusive society in which all individuals and groups have real, equal opportunities to build and participate in the democratic process.

True integration in our schools, then, is transformative rather than assimilative. That is, while desegregation assimilates minorities into the mainstream, true integration transforms the mainstream. . . it recognizes that cultures are not static but are constantly evolving and that all students benefit from a truly equal and just system of education.

To achieve this result, true integration addresses the issues of achievement, opportunity, community, and relevancy at a systemic level. In this process, institutions, communities, and individuals are fundamentally changed . . .Mandatory, interdistrict desegregation or consolidation is just an initial and temporary step in this structural transformation. We must then link housing, school, economic, political, and cultural opportunities and spread accountability throughout entire metropolitan areas via regional planning.”

Accountability in that quote has the same purpose we have seen with its use in accreditation. Compliance with this political vision. A very communitarian agenda. Now you know once again why ICLEI and Agenda 21 are never far away from what is now called Metropolitanism.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/ is the current vision as of a few weeks ago featured at a breakfast to promote Regionalism worldwide. No wonder you had such high turnout Tuesday in urban areas. What an opportunity for power at our expense!

In this world people rarely get a crystal ball that actually is reliably prophetic. I am afraid blueprints of intended political actions once power is achieved are as close as we humans can get to seeing the future. We have that. If we couple those  blueprints with a knowledge of history and economics, we actually can foresee the impending tragedy. And  it is incumbent on all of us to spread that knowledge and build up a real multiracial and multiethnic coalition  around our genuine common interest in averting the disaster that will accompany using education to “reconfigure our collective understanding and political will” around either John Dewey’s political vision or john a powell’s.

We did find out in time what the Second Term is putting in place. There will be a Second Term now so let’s begin to build a more widespread appreciation for what this entails. And how unacceptable it effects are likely to be for most of us not living at taxpayer expense.

Get up everyone! Throw off your funk or illusions. Whichever is apt. Time to Avert an Impending Catastrophe. Before the Collapse if Possible.

Embrace and Seize Technology’s Potential to Capture the Hearts and Minds of Today’s Students

That quote comes again from the Texas Vision Statement that we started talking about in the previous post. “Hearts and Minds”–that unconscious level that motivates and guides human behavior. No wonder one of the listed Participating Insurrectionist Supers has since moved on from Dallas to Cobb County, Georgia (a major suburb of Atlanta) where he is now pushing Digital Learning on middle schoolers despite parent and taxpayer objections. As the Vision Statement makes clear, apart from the fortunes to connected vendors, the digital mandate has a political purpose.

Digital devices like computers are cultural tools that diminish individual mental functioning. The tool does much of the work instead of the mind. Careful then with still developing minds.  And, no, that’s not just my opinion. There is a great deal of research that has now been translated and imported from Soviet psychology explaining which cultural tools aid the mind’s independent functioning. And which ones function like a vacuum cleaner sucking away the ability to conceptualize and think rationally. Guess where anything that kicks up the visual lies? Especially computers?

But before we talk about some of the silly and downright harmful assumptions in that Vision Statement about the Digital Revolution, let’s look at why the Hearts and Minds are being actively targeted. With all the zeal of a sugary cereal maker during Saturday morning cartoons. I am going to give the full quote here because I want you to appreciate how this links up to the planned dominance of social and emotional learning in the classroom and the Positive School Climate and Culture we have been chronicling. It really is about targeting future behavior of what should be independent individuals. Why? Well, consistent with what we have found in the real definitions of what College and Career Ready actually mean, our Insurrectionist Supers want to create “a new sense of community committed to the common good.” See how influential Amitai Etzioni is in education now?

And how do the Credentialled Comrades living (and retiring) at taxpayer expense intend to accomplish that Community-first Goal? Well they have apparently been reading all the Transformational Outcomes Based Education (OBE) work from the 90s because the Vision Statement also announces that “Beliefs create vision and drive action.” Which means if you can just impose OBE, or its more in vogue now sibling–Systems Thinking/ Systems Dynamics, in the classroom early enough, you can get future voters emotionally committed to Sustainability, Biodiversity, the evils of Capitalism, the idea that “Governments Must Facilitate everything.” Whatever. Factual reality ceases to guide perceptions from daily experience once you have captured the Hearts and Minds of the children. And that apparently is exactly what our Supers have in mind and want from the Principals under their command. I mean, employ. (my bolding for emphasis).

“Attention of leaders is focused on the dominant social systems that govern behavior beginning with those that clarify beliefs and direction, develop and transmit knowledge [notice that wording. This knowledge is not the product of the Best Minds of the Ages], and that provide for recruitment and induction of all employees and students into the values and vision.”

Oh, comrades, Employees AND students. No wonder tenure is finally being reformed with the NEA’s blessing. It’s to be part of getting us to a single Purple America instead of Blue States and Red States. Doesn’t that sound more like something that would come out of Moscow in the 30s in connection with Young Pioneers recruitment?

And how do you capture Hearts and Minds? Why you need “engagement-centered schools” where “student engagement is and remains the first focus.” That’s emotional engagement, remember? The whole premise of Second Order Change and Dewey’s Quality Learning. And that Level 4 Thinking on the Webb Depth of Knowledge Florida and Texas, those two gigantic states, both now use.

Willard Daggett, another one of those well-paid facilitators of first OBE and now the CCSSI and STAAR school implementations, has a new saying that “Relevance makes Rigor Possible.”  In other words, like John Dewey, these educators want to use student’s personal interests to get them emotionally engaged with developing possible solutions to the World’s Many Problems. To believe as Bela Banathy asserted in his Nine Dimensions for Human and Social Development that we are all just part of larger social systems that can be redesigned if only you embrace the proper vision.

So instead of using K-12 schooling and then colleges and universities or vocational training to counteract some of the visual input and artificial stimulation and hybrid text messaging that is so dominant now outside of schools, the vision coming at us all over the country is to make school activities and experiences mirror this digital reality. The digital reality that actually weakens mental functioning.  And of course we conveniently have Systems Dynamics computer modelling available so that classes can reenvision what will happen to various sub-systems if only you shift a variable here and an assumption there. Utopia via software Transformation.

There is a dangerous assumption permeating all these documents on ed reform and digital literacy and even the values accreditors want fostered in K-12, colleges, and now even grad schools like law and medicine. That employers and private sector businesses and our economy and professions will all need to change fundamentally to reflect the types of Minds and Values and Beliefs and Feelings the educational institutions intend to produce. (And as a former client I would not pay for lawyers who prefer to do Group Work.) Plus we have been at this long enough to recognize that was the whole point of attacking the Noetic system in the first place through education.

Education is a means of both getting at future voters and targeting the ultimate control and direction of markets and the economy and production and consumption. Processes that work best as individual decisions. Schools were the undefended, already socialized, part of the US and all Western economies. They give easy access to Hearts and Minds and in they come. On our Dime. Lying to our faces if we are prescient enough to discern this is not about how to best teach desired academic content to students.

Everything I have written on this blog to date lays out various ways and means and goals to use education to Transform, in the most radical sense of the word, the US and the rest of the West. Starting at the level of the human mind and motivating Values and Beliefs and Feelings and coming outward. ALL of it. Community, Environment, Economy. All redesigned and subject to the guidance of a cadre of Leaders who are quite sure that this time they will not be among those devoured in pursuit of a Communitarian-first Ideal. Because Leaders who would push such schemes on an unsuspecting, trusting public, will be so much better at creating and guiding the future than independent individuals who get to keep the upside and live with the downside of their personal decisions. Because governments and their coercive powers NEVER get captured by selfish people.

I am going to close with the vision of the values and capabilities to be fostered with digital devices in pursuit of democracy with a small d. Which sure does function like a 21st Century version of Communism with a small “c” unless, I suppose, you work for one of the Connected Businesses or the Government itself.

“Its goal is to provide all students with equitable opportunities to learn, participate in society, and further social change.”

To be a Cog in the redesigned sub-systems. To accept your assigned role. To glory in the dictated Values and Beliefs.

To be a modern day Serf to a 21st Century Nomenklatura. That’s the real vision behind these ed reforms. Everywhere. Not just Texas. They were just arrogant enough to write it up.

Thanks for that by the way.

 

Constructing an Alternative Vision of Either the Natural or Human World As the Basis for a College Degree

Somehow the Beatles song “Say You Want a Revolution” just popped into my head as I was typing that title and preparing to give you the full quote from “The Degree Qualifications Profile” published by the Lumina Foundation in January 2011.  http://www.luminafoundation.org/publications/The_Degree_Qualifications_Profile.pdf is the link if you want to give this egregiously bad idea a good look. The quote I am about to give you is on page 13 under “Intellectual Skills, Engaging diverse perspectives, bachelor’s level”:

” Constructs a cultural, political, or technological alternative vision of either the natural or human world, embodied in a written project, language, political order, or technological context, and explains how the alternative perspective contributes to results that depart from current norms, dominant cultural assumptions, or technologies–all demonstrated through a project, paper, or performance.”

Perhaps performing a Dance of Despair of what will happen if fossil fuels remain in use and we remain a consumer-oriented society that values economic freedom. Art students could show the lovely Green World that would exist if we returned to an agricultural economy that used windmills and water wheels for power. Oh, that’s right, no artificial damming. Make that just windmills and solar cells and lots of back breaking labor as we return to washing our clothes in streams and drying them on rocks.

I wish I could say I am being facetious but that is close to the vision in these books and speeches (they do leave out the details about laundry but I remember those Little House books well) that underlie this supposedly new economy for the 21st Century that needs a new way of thinking. One that is not very keen on thinking as it has been traditionally understood in the West from the Enlightenment on.

In fact to read Peter Senge and the systems thinkers he represents who aspire to shape K-12 via Common Core or the Lumina DQP I am talking about today or Deep Ecologists like David Orr and Thomas Berry from this post   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/we-need-a-radical-change-in-our-mode-of-consciousness-even-a-new-sense-of-being-human/ is to constantly be assaulted with an insistence that the 21st Century must embrace radical new minds, mainstream Eastern spiritual practices in everyday life starting in K-12, develop a communitarian economic system that would destroy prosperity, constantly teach and monitor whether students, K-12 and college, are regularly demonstrating that they put others and the common good before their interests, etc.

I have written about the consequences of these initiatives before but the Lumina DQP really is an assault on how little of the past any student is to be allowed to know. And if you think the colleges and universities can escape this noxious mandate, the accreditors got on board almost immediately to “test” Lumina’s framework.  And the accreditors control who gets to participate in the federal student loan program. That’s a lot of leverage for the entities behind the 8 Year Study and developing “objectives” and “outcomes” and alternative assessments to distract the typical taxpayer or parent paying the bill that the focus of first K-12 and now college is shifting away from the transmission of knowledge.

Truly if someone in the Soviet KGB had hatched a scheme during the Cold War and afterwards on how to take down the US specifically and the West generally via its noetic system it would be hard to top the very policies and practices the accreditation agencies have imposed. Whatever their actual intentions or rationales accreditation has been and continues to be a highly effective and lucrative means of national and international cultural destruction.

Finishing up Peter Senge’s 2005 book Presence and its description of an integrated science I found horrifying but that I also recognized from recent carpool comments as I drove, it hit me how much Senge’s systems thinking reminded me of Marx’s famous quote:

“It is not thinking that determines being, but being that determines thinking.”

I think that is just as wrong as can be and I imagine you do too. After all we are essentially having a mental conversation through this blog to discuss some very troubling and potentially tragic ideas. My thoughts and all those private conversations I have had with amazing minds, some long dead, are a large part of the adult I have become. And that’s precisely the problem. That’s not a factual quote or something Marx and Engels and their admirers believe to be true so much as something they want to be true. It is aspirational.

Add in the reality of the K-12 monopoly and who may teach and what and how.  And now all of higher ed, public and private, is subject through the accreditation agencies and their powers to penalize noncompliance via the student loan program. Greedy schemers or political idealogues or just naive ignoramuses making a living as Professors or Principals or Supers and pushing whatever is required are now in a position to realize that Marxian aspiration from so long ago.

To make sure that nothing in education, K-12 or higher ed, public or private, occurs that bolsters the independent, abstract thinking capacity of the individual that would disprove that doctrinal statement. To try to undo the belief system and any Axemaker Mind attributes that came in from home or via religious practices. Instead, if you look at the math wars and reading wars and values clarification and SEL and implementing Dewey’s vision and systems thinking and 21st Century Learning, it is all about the Being side of Marx’s political aspiration.

In fact that is also one of UNESCO’s primary visions for education and Education for All–Learning to Be. Coincidence? I rather doubt it given what historians who have tracked UNESCO practices and preferences have written about which side they empathized with in the Cold War. Do you think celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Ho Chi Minh’s birth is a good reason for an official celebration?

Back to the DQP now that we have put all of these previous posts in a firmer context of where this is all going and why it matters so much. To each of us. Anywhere. It is clear that the DQP builds on the “standards for teaching and learning” ruse version of the Common Core we described here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/ . Every description either mentions “learning” or “outcomes” as the goal. The DQP even says explicitly that (their italics, not mine):

“beyond what graduates know, what they can do with what they know is the ultimate benchmark of learning. They emphasize a commitment to analytic inquiry, active learning, real-world problem solving, and innovation–all of which are vital in today’s evolving workplace and in society.”

It’s that 2nd sentence that is the real killer because that assumed evolution is based on a rejection of capitalism and free markets and individuality and fossil fuels and personal liberty. That’s the Ecosystem redesigned and planned economy with the tech companies gathering data and running models so that government agencies can tell citizens what behaviors are deemed  Sustainable and permitted or unSustainable and forbidden. Every bit of college coursework envisioned by that DQP pertains to physical activity and experiences and projects examining and solving “a contemporary or recurring challenge or problem.” The student even “justifies the importance of the challenge in a social or global context.” No refusing to get on board with the need for a Transformation with a capital “T.”

It is hard to imagine the Soviet or Chinese thought police or the administrators of Moscow or Beijing Universities in the 1970s having more interest in limiting what their citizens were allowed to know or do than what the “standards for teaching and learning” prescribe for Common Core in K-12 or the DQP pushes in higher ed.  And then we have initiatives like AACU’s “Character Traits Associated with the Five Dimensions of Personal and Social Responsibility.” When did personality attributes become a matter for the federal government to intervene on? Or state or local?

Can someone please tell me where freedom is hiding in this vision of education? In the fact that there are no gulags yet?

Trust me, between systems thinking, SEL, and deep learning the mind will become its own permanent prison. And then what? What happens when you have expectations of a future without the knowledge or skills to back it up? What happens when the schemers finally begin to recognize central planning fails for reasons other than inadequate computing power or insufficient personal data?

See Mom. Told you I would make good use of that history major. No wonder it is being officially disallowed.

 

College Ready as a Goal of K-12 is not Helpful if First You Gut the Historic Purpose of College

That would be the Transmission of Knowledge about what the Greatest Minds in History Understood and Wrote About and Lived Through and Experimented Over until they had figured out many of the mysteries of Nature. But then that knowledge supposedly allowed man to subordinate nature and our systems theorists like Senge and Scharmer and Deep Ecologists like Orr and Berry from the previous post think we need to stop exploiting nature. Assume our new position as just another species without the magical gift of abstract reason. Rely on feelings and instinct and working on relationships with others and surely Peace will finally come. And the species will all get along just like everyone did in their natural environment before that intrusive stranger Christopher Columbus showed up in the Americas and ruined it all.

As I am reading these high on hopes and short on facts utopian schemes related to Ecology and New Minds, I keep wanting to scream at the book- “You are celebrating cultures that engaged in human sacrifice.” Often. But then my history major and Axemaker Mind are proving to be an obstacle with climbing aboard the Sustainability nirvana train.

We talked about how the President used the term “standards for teaching and learning” and “first time in a generation” and Ed Week insisted he meant CCSSI. We said not so fast http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-the-president-just-admit-ccssi-was-a-ruse-to-change-classroom-interactions/ . Well he said the same thing in his nomination acceptance speech last week. Moreover, the Democratic platform itself does not mention CCSSI by name or make any commitment to content or the transmission of knowledge. Its goal is to have ALL students “College and Career Ready.” Sounds good except we have already determined Career Ready is just generic skills of getting along coupled with a communitarian emphasis on daily demonstrating that you put others first. The primacy of the Common Good. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/birth-to-career-finally-and-quietly-creating-the-soviet-mindset-but-here-in-the-usa/ Now with that title we can be sure the platform drafters have not been reading my posts. Otherwise they would have recognized they were tipping off their real goals for American education and local schools and classrooms.

Today we take on the second half of that express K-12 Goal for All Students. What does College Ready actually mean when we put all the pieces together? Well back in January, the White House put out its vision for American higher education complete with festivities. Called A Crucible Moment: College Learning & Democracy’s Future http://www.aacu.org/civic_learning/crucible/documents/crucible_508F.pdf it contains an extremely troubling political vision where your campus activities and what you are willing to actively advocate for determine who gets a diploma in the future. Others, notably Peter Wood at the National Association of Scholars, have mentioned this report. I am going to focus on aspects that have not been covered.

The first involves picking a new company formed in 2008, Global Perspectives, to essentially shepherd the Crucible Moment vision on behalf of the federal government. Paid of course. That seems a surprising and lucky break for a newcomer until we look into Global Perspectives and discover the Dean of the College of Ed where Bill Ayers was deemed a suitable prof and where CASEL is located. Social and Emotional Learning for a Political Purpose Grand Central Station is apparently an accurate name for certain departments at U-Illinois at Chicago. When we pull up the Global Perspective Inventory to be used on college students, ages 18-24, on their “journey of life.” GPI wants these young adults to

“grow, change, and develop along several dimensions–intellectual, social, civic, physical, moral, spiritual, and religious. And we develop holistically and not departmentally, i.e., we simultaneously develop our mind, sense of self, and relationships [remember our new 3 R's?] with others. . . We live in a global world, in which multiple perspectives about knowing, sense of identity, and relationships with others are distinct and serve as powerful influences in our society.”

College as a real time, experiential Cultural Anthropology dialogue. How enlightening. Now GPI’s college vision for what it calls “holistic human development” is based on two theoretical perspectives [have you noticed no one implements based on theory when they are paying, only when the taxpayer is?]: intercultural maturity and intercultural communication. GPI then cites our old friend Robert Kegan as the source of its views of intercultural maturity. You know, the Harvard prof working with Peter Senge to get K-12 school districts pushing systems thinking as part of their Common Core implementation? http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/do-you-live-in-a-district-piloting-deep-and-continual-personal-change-in-the-individual-student/ How exciting for students to have the opportunity for Deep and Continual Personal Change for years at a time extending into college. Except that kind of psychological and emotional manipulation using data and feedback and grading and credentials is not typically associated with a Free Society. At least not one that will remain free for long except on paper that few will really understand anymore.

Since students are going to be swimming in systems thinking throughout their formative years, let’s look at the college version to go along with all the posts we have done on K-12. Intercultural maturity is the theory that:

“as people grow [bolded because Growth is now the measure a number of states are using to measure what happens in the classroom] they are engaged [my Gypsy Principal's favorite word] in meaning making, i.e., trying to make sense of their journey in life. In doing so they not only rely on their thinking, but also on their feelings [there it is again, to be dominant over reason and logic and facts] and relating with others [a synonym for relationships again] in forming and reforming their journey in life. He [Kegan] has identified and labeled three major domains of human development: cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal.”

Now before you get too excited at the mention of the word Cognitive remember this is all holistic human development which is based on the silly notion of using education to promote the idea that thinking, feeling, and relating are all equally important. Two come naturally and one only kicks in with instruction and practice. Treating them equally in school and college means thinking will actually be little more than instinct and emotion itself. Sure enough Cognitive becomes about “How do I know?” and acknowledging multiple perspectives and no Universal Truths. A point that is itself I must say Not True. If you do not believe me try going out a 5th story window asserting that Gravity is a Social Construct.

So despite all the knowledge of the Ages this is a view of college that celebrates ignorance and reinventing the wheel, maybe if you are lucky which the American Native Tribes never did. The Intrapersonal domain is “Who am I?” and becoming aware of your values, strengths, and personal characteristics and sense of self. Seems like a waste of tuition to me. I can remember having those insights from studying the Great Works and having the Great Conversation. Now it is just a dialogue among representatives of various interest groups to discuss grievances. How sad.

The Interpersonal domain “How do I relate to others?” tracks how willing the student is to “interact with persons with different social norms and cultural backgrounds, acceptance of others, and being comfortable when relating to others.” Now does it strike anyone else with these definitions of what should be occurring in college, the Critical Reflection and Change Agency push we discussed here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/self-efficacy-cultural-proficiency-training-critical-reflection-and-change-agency-development/ will be the best K-12 prep for this view of college? Far more than studying Great Literature or knowing Chemistry or what led to World War 1. See the benefits of College Ready as the Goal when you change the nature of College?

Now once again I have run out of space to start another angle to College Ready. Next will be the Diploma Qualification Profile. Accessible to everyone willing to recognize and then campaign for Transformative Political, Social, and Economic Change. In the US and globally. And once again the accreditors are the enforcers for the poisonous vision.

Stay tuned.