Tearing Up the Fabric of a Free Society: The New College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework

I did not say impair. I did not say damage. I said Tear Up. Why such a dramatic statement? Because the week AFTER Obama was reelected (Nov 12) and then quietly put out more publicly during a holiday week, the CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers, the heads of State Departments of Ed which is funded by many of the same businesses who benefit from its edicts including many tech companies and the accreditor AdvancED) issued a Framework that appears designed to create Homo Sovieticus right here in the USA. Seriously. Taking the political theories developed in the USSR to change mindsets there and making them the required perceptual “lenses” for students to confront daily life here going forward. Treating long-held aspirational visions of collectivist decision-making as established “evidence-based” fact. Treating metaphors like BEST, Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Thinking, as factual descriptions of how the world works. Oh. My. Goodness. So yes, I stand by the words “Tear Up the Social Fabric.”

Free societies recognize that different individuals have different interests and goals. It leaves them free to each pursue their own perception of reality. Their respective visions of the good. Characterizing that as selfish as the Statist schemers love to do when they are not disparaging it as the Ego-Driven Society is merely an attempt to target the legitimacy of Individualism itself. Amitai Etzioni complains of Egocentrism without Mutuality and Civility Obligations precisely because he wishes for a Communitarian mindset to be imposed via education, K-12 and higher ed. And as we have talked about already that is precisely what the definition of College and Career Ready was already doing by Stealth. In fact, that appears to be a key purpose of Common Core–to gain Etzioni’s long sought reorientation of the nature of relationships among self, others, and the environment. With the government, which is also composed of “selfish” individuals, creating and carrying out edicts as the enforcer of this mandated Realignment.

Free society is actually not just another theory of what might work. Let’s jettison it and see what happens in the 21st Century. No matter what type of government or economic system you have–Communist, free markets, mixed, Republic, authoritarian, Whatever–there are essentially only three ways to get another person to help me or you or a cousin, ANYONE, achieve their desired ends: love, trade, and force.

I am going to borrow David Friedman’s analysis on this fundamental reality of how the world works. Always has. Always will. We ignore at our peril analysis.

“By love I mean making my end your end. Those who love me wish me to get what I want (except for those who think I am very stupid about what is good for me). So they voluntarily, ‘unselfishly’, help me. Love is too narrow a word. You might also share my end not because it is my end but because in a particular respect we perceive the good in the same way.”

You get the point but unlike the Common Good being held out by Statist Schemers, making someone else’s end yours requires knowing them personally or knowing their policies if they are a politician or public figure. It is a free decision. It is not imposed by others.

The second method of cooperation is trade. I cannot do everything. Not enough time in the day and I am not equally good at everything. No one is. Trade then and free markets are all about me agreeing to help you achieve your end if you help me achieve mine. Steve Jobs wanted revenue and to show what technology could do. You love his ideas and voluntarily relinquish your money to get an I-Phone or I-Pad. No coercion.

The third method for achieving ends is force. You do what I want or I shoot you. Or, in the case of these education reforms we have been describing, you get denied the education credentials that are to be necessary to move on. To gain entry to a well-paying Job or prestige college. Common Core has a very curious vision though of the future workplace. Employees participate in it. Collaboratively problem-solving with other employees in a most impractical way outside a bureaucracy or Business with a state granted Monopoly. Which is clearly the whole idea. Classic Dirigisme as we have seen. Little Economic Growth is sought (although that part of the vision is currently being left out for obvious reasons). An official push for a Quality-of-Life Society where the Well-Being of All is to be the source of Psychic Satisfaction for All. Just like the Belmont Challenge lays out.

What. Are. The. Odds.

All this again requires a new Mindset. A New Mode of Consciousness. A New Sense of Being Human as various schemers we have profiled have called it over the last several decades. And that is precisely where the “Vision for the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Inquiry in Social Studies State Standards” comes in. Think of it as using Option No. 3, Force, to mandate each student make the Majority Decided Consensus Choice or just the Crony Choice Their End. And to hopefully come to see such a mandate as altruistic. Born out of their Love for others. You know, they don’t say catch them while they are young without good reason.

This C3 Framework Vision interestingly enough also reflects the Hewlett Foundation Vision of the Deep Learning implementation of the Common Core. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/when-deep-learning-and-systems-thinking-radicalizes-the-student-factual-reality-ceases-to-matter/. Which is further confirmation of our Common Core Ruse, Bait and Switch, Theory. Students in the C3 Vision are to spend their school days “developing questions and planning investigations” of “societal issues, trends, and events” of relevance to them. The better to emotionally imagine a Utopian Vision for an altered Future.

Secondly, they are to “apply disciplinary concepts and tools” to be the “lenses students use in their investigations, and the consistent and coherent application of those lenses throughout the grades should lead us to deep and enduring understanding.” Yes, this is where Homo Sovieticus comes in because the required lenses are not evidence based as CCSSO asserts. In fact most supplied are not even true.

For example, the US is in fact NOT a “constitutional democracy” whatever the Educrats declare. And the day it becomes a democracy it will not be based on the US Constitution. There are also no such civics requirements of the kind CCSSO aspirationally lays out. Apparently trying to shoehorn John Dewey’s Vision of a Participatory Democracy by credential fiat. Then there is the desired Economic Beliefs to Serve as a Permanent Filtering Lens. What do you think will be the effect of teaching students to “understand” the:

“ways in which individuals, businesses, governments, and societies make decisions to allocate labor, capital, and natural resources among alternative uses. This economic reasoning process involves consideration of costs and benefits with the ultimate goal of making decisions that will enable individuals and societies to be as well off as possible.”

Thus priming the mindset to legitimize Central Economic Planning and Industrial Policy as Natural and Useful instead of their historic norm of Wasteful and leading to Stagnation if not worse.

If those examples are not bad enough, somehow Geography gets morphed into mandating Thomas Berry’s Ecological View of the World as Man is Just Another Species. Called the “Environmental Perspective” it is to train students to view “humans as living in interdependent relationships within diverse environments among the planet’s many species.” Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness there you are. BEST comes in under Geography as well as the required comprehension for students “that the world is composed of ecosystems at multiple scales interacting in complex webs of inter-relationships within nature and between nature and societies.” That’s also Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory to create the Soviet Man with his new human nature. And Peter Senge’s Systems Thinking to boot.

Quite a web of collectivist theories against Individualism or Genuine Freedom. So, yes, I stand by my declaration that this Framework to be mandated on US classrooms constitutes a full-frontal assault on the entire concept of a Free Society.

Under this vision, the US will not actually be a Free Society. But students will be kept too ignorant and emotionally-driven to know they are perceiving reality with a deliberately created False Filter.

Now you know why Knowledge itself is under attack. We are dealing with an organized attempt to impose political ideologies and dogmas that would be unacceptable at the Ballot Box by stealth. Via a Coup by the Credentialed Educrats and Politicians and Cronies hoping to benefit from such a centrally managed economy. Classic Rent Seeking.

That’s a lot of power. Certainly worth lying about. But again, we get back to the reality that no one is honestly willing to assert that there is any mass prosperity in this vision.

Talk about forcefully imposing ends. Accept diminished consumption, lower standard of living in most of the West, a different kind of mind, and mandated “all in this together” whatever the work ethic or ability.

Isn’t this just a renamed rerun of history’s most tragic notions?

 

7 thoughts on “Tearing Up the Fabric of a Free Society: The New College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework

  1. I was just surfing around the web, looking for various ideas and organizations relative to contemporary public education, and found this:

    http://www.teachingquality.org/sites/default/files/Teaching_2030_Visual_Handbook_Online_sm.pdf

    I’m sure you may have already seen this, but I just wanted but it to point of just a couple of things here, just two put out my two cents, that immediately stood out to me upon my first glance at the first several pages.
    The first thing one sees here is a cartoon of three children, each with a modern electronic gadget that, of course, has something to do with “information.” NO BOOKS. As you have been very effectively pointing out for sometime here, much of modern education is immersed in instrumental competence (how to negotiate a computer keyboard, the buttons on an Ipod, and surf the web) and limited, vo-tech oriented technological expertise with the artifacts of technology but has little if any interest with actually knowing anything – with intellectual substance, and especially with knowledge in the all-important areas that explore and study the nature of the human condition and what it means to be human.
    This is reinforced when we look at the the statement directly below the cartoon:

    “Students of today and tomorrow do not just think about different things, they actually think differently.”

    So children of today – post Gen-Xers, do not think like their parents, and certainly do not “think” like me, a late boomer. If therefore follows, obviously, that they do not think like an Aristotle, a Cicero, a Marcus Arulieus, a Confucius, a Locke, a Madison, a Chesterton, Acton, Lewis, Buckley, Bork, or Heyek. I have no living idea what empirical evidence the authors of this text could put forth to support this statement. While I have no doubt that, in certain key senses, modern children and adults (the Gen-Xers) do not “think” like I do in the sense that certain cultural constraints and large shifts in values and worldview set in place since the sixties have altered substantially the way in which many of the last two generations perceive the world and their place within in, I see no reason to believe that modern homo sapiens in the grade school to mid-thirties age range – who, after all, are only about 10 to 30 years apart from their baby boom generation parents and grandparents and the technologies with which they are now dealing being not that vastly or radically different from technologies existing 30 to 40 years ago (they are smaller, more powerful, more versatile, and interactive, but are doing essentially the same thing that older technologies such as tower computers and the traditional television set and dial telephone did: bring information, data, knowledge, and sensory information from the external environment into human consciousness through various instrumentalities), can be thought of as thinking in a way that represents a sea change in the way the human brain and mind work.

    But this is the ancient socialist dream, isn’t it? The “new” man and woman of the future. The new homo sapien who, through correct ideology and applied social and behavioral engineering, becomes a redeemed if still mortal angelic being; he is “born again” as a new man and woman in a new (“revolutionary” but now more often than not “transformed” society). They “think” and “learn” in a way that represents in some way a paradigm change in some core psychological or cognitive sense. Such children have radically different educational needs from past generations, don’t they? Of course, so we then get the “iGeneration” that was born in the last 10 to 15 years, was “raised on mobile technologies and virtual reality games (NOT books and traditional libraries – this is a highly VISUALLY oriented generation, not thought and reflection oriented) and who “learn very differently from today’s parents and teachers.” I see. In just 10 to 15 years, an entire evolutionary shift of some kind has occurred in which this generation has become cognitively differentiated from their parents and grandparents to such a degree that past educational methods and forms of the passing on of knowledge and wisdom are obsolete.

    I’m telling you, Robin, if ever I’ve seen Morlocks in all their predatory glory, busy in their fattening of new generations of Eloi for future use, this is it. I haven’t read this entire text yet (due to the knotting and churning going on within my stomach, which will pass), but this is indicative of everything you and other conservative critics of public ed have been saying for many years now.
    I really don’t think the average American parent has any idea whatever of the degree and depth of this gangrenous rot and the sheer pervasiveness of this kind of ideology within western public education.
    The three “Rs” are no longer “relevant” (cue Dewey theme song…if he has one, perhaps Mussorgsky’s A Night on Bald Mountain?). Now we have the four Cs: communication, collaboration, “critical thinking” (this is, as one of your readers pointed out in another thread, nothing more than educational Newspeak that has nothing to do with “critical thinking” in the traditional philosophical and educational sense), and creative problems solving. None of these, of course, have anything to do with the development of critical, reflective, complex, sustained, analytical, abstract thought, of either the kind necessary to make an ax or of the kind necessary to think deeply and reason closely upon the core problems of the human condition that are the concerns of the serious study of philosophy, ethics, economics, and politics. They are, as with so much of Common Core and SEL (and its numerous varients), values, aptitudes, and behavioral/cognitive capacities that themselves are content neutral, as far as actual knowledge is concerned (and that rare effect of true education, wisdom).
    Oh, and we must “Connect teaching to community needs.” Dewey lives. Yes, education must be “relevant” to student’s lives. Anything that happened and anything that was said or written before the day of one’s birth is of little or no relevance or concern. The past isn’t just past – its meaningless.

    You know, at this juncture, we really are staring into an abyss. I don’t like to talk apocalyptically, if it can be avoided, but civilizations DO deteriorate and fall, and have done so not infrequently throughout human history, and I see no reason to believe that western societies, including America, are somehow immune to the recurrent lessons found in all of that irrelevant history. The next frame on “Policymakers Confronting” is just the usual stumping for more union gravy that one finds in freshman survey education textbooks and post-graduate continuing education materials all over the K-12 landscape.

    Keep up the great work, Robin.

    Loran

    • Some things are meant to be read over an adult beverage I think. I got so angry with something I was reading today because it was factually, demonstrably wrong but it had clearly been so influential. So I stopped and did some tree decorating.

      That helped. I have this conversation with my kids on their generation and it came up during the holidays as well. I worry about the mentality that wants to save the world and not have to worry about making a living. Except that’s not realistic and they are letting their prime education opportunities slip away while nursing grievances about the way society is.

      I think I have said before I taught each of my kids to read phonetically and fluently without knowing it was a big deal. I just liked languages and saw the way school wanted to do it was not the logic of language. Then the subsequent kids just thought it was something moms were supposed to do.

      Thanks for your kind words. At least we are not mystified anymore as to what is going on.

      What is to be tried cannot work so first and foremost try to protect your loved ones in the interim. Knowledge, especially of history and the consistent foibles of humanity that comes out in Great Lit, is a good teacher.

      Whatever happens, nobody can accuse me of standing by while the bus went off the cliff.

    • Before one becomes overly distressed, it’s worth bearing in mind that public educators can’t even teach 2+2. Their victims are far more likely to be ignoramuses than dedicated Marxists. Which means that when the State becomes too overbearing, they will just tune it out, the way they tune out everything else. Experience begets a cynicism which will destroy the idealism soon enough.

      What’s funny is that all this is according to Gramsci: Capture the institutions of society so you can educate people to understand why they should be Marxist. And so the Left captured the universities, and degrees became worthless. They captured the schools, and Johnny can’t read. They captured the press, but who reads newspapers any more? They captured the movies, but they’re on the decline. Everything these people touch turns to ash, because they don’t understand that there is more to the world than social construct. So take heart. Things won’t be easy – they never are. But there is no danger that people who can’t even make anything real will succeed in remaking man or the world.

      • Geoff-I agree but they can destroy everything that makes economies function. And unmet expectations stemming from an education disconnected with reality have been behind many a revolution.

        I think I have been clear that this will not work to remake human nature but it will destroy a lot in the mean time.

        One of the reasons I analyze this stuff down to the supporting footnotes is to make sure there is no evidence it will work. We are jettisoning what worked if not perfectly in favor of untried theories coupled to tragic ones.

        Yikes! Contrary to the propaganda, those of us who think free markets where they exist have a great track record are not selfish. I write partly because I don’t want just my own kids to be the ones knowing what matters and what is being broadly targeted. And why.

        Ignoramuses with expectations, especially in significant numbers, can cause a great deal of damage.

        • I agree, Robin; Gramsci wanted to make the long march through the institutions in order to destroy them, and once the population was utterly debased, demoralized, and idiotized, only then the utopian creation of the new man would begin. So for the time being, cultural Marxists WANT to produce illiterates, androgynous children, etc., etc. And I’m not even so sure how interested they are in this eventual new Marxist man; the elitist impulse of Lenin’s vanguard is increasingly evident, which means that what they really want is a population of supine helots/serfs to fulfill whatever servile tasks they are assigned.

          In this arena, at least, they are performing brilliantly. It is true that in their schools, Johnny can’t read, but that doesn’t stop them from indoctrinating Johnny very effectively, indeed. In fact, producing readers at higher than a fourth grade level could interfere with their objectives. Analogously, Obama and the Democrats are bankrupting the country, but this doesn’t mean they are inept; it’s what they want to do. And they’ve created a population who applauds as they do so; 55% of the country is reported to prefer socialism to capitalism. So I would not take comfort in the fact that these people cannot build but only destroy.

          • When you see the title of my next post you will see I agree too. Found just the right term from about the same time as Alice Bailey wrote Education for A new Age.

            What I am laying out next has 3 possible interpretations. All are off limits.

            Should be interesting. I went off on a tangent this morning that was productive in how to describe the implications of what is next. But it threw off my timing.

            The C3 Framework is not really about Social Studies so much as outlining all the desired classroom activities. Including Language Arts and Science. Only politically useful concepts get taught.

            If you juxtapose C3 with the Self-efficacy, Cultural Proficiency Training, Critical Reflection, and Change Agency Development post you really can picture was is intended.

            Steve Diamond, who is a Law Prof in California, has some excellent posts from back in 2008 explaining why Bill Ayers should be classified as a NeoStalinist because he believes in social change via taking over cultural institutions. Also worth reading if you have never seen.

            I have a teenager calling. Time for my cook mode having returned from being the chauffeur.

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