Until we begin to better appreciate the Newspeak straight out of George Orwell futurist satire, we will remain subject to having words like Excellence and Quality Learning and Growth and School Improvement masking terrible things. Tragic behavioral and psychological practices being pushed in schools and classrooms right now despite a tragic history. I wrote this post back in early August recognizing where the announced facts were leading, and horrified that ambitious Principals and Supers and naive politicians and greedy professional development vendors are forcing this all again on an unsuspecting American public. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-much-innocent-blood-will-it-take-to-stop-sel-manipulation-for-political-gain/ The saddest post I ever wrote. Maybe until this one.
Back in November 1992 in the last go-around of national radical ed reform to try to create Transformational political, social, and economic change via education, an essay “How Systems Thinking Applies to Education” described what makes a systems approach to ed reform so different than previous piecemeal attempts at reform. It announced that the World had moved to a new evolutionary paradigm Stage 4 while schools erroneously acting as “pattern maintenance institutions” were stuck at Stage 3. That schools needed a new paradigm. The essay then goes on to describe what we now recognize as Transformational Outcomes Based Education as that new paradigm. Now, not to pat myself on the back but I have a real love for both history and economics. Passionate lifelong interests and if I were a professor I would give the essay author at best a D+.
The education schemers like to talk about designing backwards from the actual goals for behavior and desired values and beliefs and emotions to what should be taking place now in the classroom to get there. That’s what was going on in 1992 to sell a new paradigm. The real aim was to create Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness and remove the Axemaker Mind as we have discussed before. That November 1992 date meant that article would have gone to press about the time of the original Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992. The one that created Agenda 21 and laid out the blueprint for reorganizing the global societies politically and economically around the Environment and Sustainability. Education was explicitly to be a recognized tool in this Transformation.
That’s the end goal driving the so-called new paradigm for education then and now. It’s aspirational. It’s to justify an attack on the noetic system in the name of history. Evoking a myth of existing transformation as a means of actually gaining a real transformation by attacking values, attitudes, and beliefs and limiting factual knowledge and opportunities for abstract, logical analysis. That’s what was going on in the 1990s and all the public knew was that there were “reading wars” and “math wars” and “science wars.” The myth was that it was a dispute about instruction. No, we had a political coup being attempted surreptitiously via student minds. They are young adults now and likely have no idea how much their minds have been subject to attack all of their lives.
The 1992 article cites a book Systems Design of Education: A Journey to Create the Future by Bela H Banathy as its support for this new paradigm and a systems approach to education. Guess who happens to have a copy of this 1991 book? So the book acknowledges that it aspires to design schools in order to change people from the inside-out so it can then change society. Officially a Scheme with a capital “S.” The book was trying to design a complete education system to do that which would perform as predictably as your body’s circulatory system or gravity. To perform that predictably, humans need to be deprived of much of what has historically bolstered rational, conscious thought.
The always busy ed lab in Aurora, Colorado, McREL, that is still pushing these ideas as Second-order Change to be part of the Common Core implementation, used Banathy’s book and a systems approach to design (Checkland’s 1981 Systems Thinking Systems Practice) to create A*chieving Excellence. Because a well-stocked, capable of reasoning mind is an obstacle to the sought manipulation, McREL developed a list of what it wanted from each student in this new paradigm. What each student should be able to do, not know. See if these described attributes look familiar–
Interpret or decode that information so as to produce understanding.
Process that information so as to reason and solve problems.
Produce a broad range of outcomes and use technology.
Develop his/her own “executive” or “self-regulating” function to: make decisions about himself/herself, set goals, create a positive self-image, monitor and learn from his/her past performance, experience enjoyment, pleasure, excitement, accomplishment, etc.
Work well with other people and things in his/her environment.
Feeling like an officially programmed robot yet? Does this seem like an appropriate role for the federal government? Banathy was the Senior Research Director at the Far West Ed Lab in Portland, Oregon and McREL was another federally funded ed lab. Those were and are your tax dollars funding these Mental Transformation Schemes that amount to deliberate psychological abuse for political or financial gain. For lucrative grants. For a government directed economy.
A*chieving Excellence was still being field tested and pilot tested by McREL when the book was published in1991. We unfortunately though know a lot about which districts and schools in Colorado were piloting Transformational OBE because it came out during the Columbine tragedy. That should have closed the door on such a psychological manipulation of students but it didn’t. In fact, all that seems to really have happened is William Spady went to Australia and South Africa where he was not infamous to push OBE there. And Spence Rogers took over the Vail Summer programs and lucrative professional development franchise and renamed it–Performance Excellence for All Kids or PEAK.
So now I am at a high school open house last night where the Principal sent some teachers for summer PEAK training and now wants to bring PEAK trainers to the high school. The official address to the school excitedly announced that the Teachers are to be trained in the Teaching for Excellence Program. That the IB high school operating in a “charter school system” (that duplicitous charter I have written about too) aspires to lead the way in reforming high school education in the US. That the high school will be based on the new 3 R’s: Relevance, Rigor, and Relationships that we have become so familiar with as key to the collectivist, anti-individual political coup.
Columbine is back. In more places than in just my backyard. How many other schools and districts have similar aspirations this fall but no parent trained to recognize the symptoms and rhetoric?
I have to go gather more information and I have struck solid goal on how key these charter agreements are to the systems Transformational Coup. You can just imagine how chilled to the bone I felt when I heard the words “Dedicated to Excellence in All We Do” from a Principal who obtained his education degree from a school affiliated with John Goodlad’s National Network for Educational Renewal. Goodlad created the term Excellence in the 1960s to mask the largely affective focus he had in mind to move the US to what he and John Dewey and now apparently, the current US President, called small “c” democracy.
Boy we have a lot to talk about. Any advice on how I should handle the high school machinations? See, this is not speculative. It is very real for me too.