Neurological Social Engineering Designed for Collectivist Political Purposes: the Real Purpose of K-12 Standards

I really wish there was still some doubt on what Learning Standards or Competency actually mean or what they intend to alter. No one is openly admitting to us that in the future all that is desired are ‘existential competencies’, a ‘natural science worldview’, or a mind that can be easily read via Knewton adaptive software. We may find the aims sickening, but apparently the planning locations have been glorious. Can you believe our invite to the April 1-3, 2015 Global Education Futures-Forum California: Toward Learner-Centered Lifelong Learning never arrived? We could have stayed at the Five-Star Rosewood Sands Hill Luxury Hotel  in Menlo Park and planned the future of learning globally while hanging out with tech titans there for the Global Technology Symposium. With rooms starting at $600 a night, we too could have lived the Jet Set Life while planning how to meet people’s ‘needs’.

Since we were not invited and did not get to nestle our heads in high-thread count linens, who was there and how did this catch my eye? In early August ISSS-the International Systems Science Society-had its annual meeting in Berlin. Speaking on education were Alexander Laszlo, Ervin’s son and like him a former ISSS President, and a Pavel Luksha. Luksha is Russian but is involved with a project with MIT called Re-Engineering Futures. The California Forum was part of that work getting ready for a Kazan World Skills conference in May, the global World Skills conference in Brazil in early August, and then on to Singapore this fall. The final vision gets presented in Davos in January once again amidst the private jets, luxury linens, and foie gras This is all apparently how global plans can get marketed as local or even as something called the North Carolina Plan laid out in the comments with links on the previous post. is not a hot link because something is screwy with my computer this morning, but it is the site for the Global Education Futures Forum. What I am describing can be found there. Please pay special attention to the GEFF Advisory Board since it is linked to the Center for Curriculum Redesign because Charles Fadel is a listed member as is an Under Secretary of the OECD. Knewton has a representative which is why this week’s Wired article on the ability to read student’s minds is timely. Another listed member of the GEFF Advisory Board is Alexander Laszlo, who undoubtedly learned about collectivism’s need for a subjective mode of consciousness from his dad instead of the Grimm fairy tales most of us heard as children.

Finally, we have former Gates Foundation exec Tom VanderArk listed, which means that the Brookhaven Innovation Charter just approved in Georgia (links in comments on previous post) that says it is based on VanderArk’s White Paper and the Hewlett Foundation push around Deeper Learning is tied to the GEFF vision. So are school districts like Fulton and other League of Innovative Schools districts that we have covered as bringing him in to consult and train. The entire state of Utah and the concept of Competency (just the means to stealthily impose that subjective mode) get implicated because next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 2 and 3, 2015 there is a Statewide Joint Conference there on Competency-Based education with VanderArk as the speaker on both days. Also speaking is Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy so we also have the Common Core being shoved away as we get back to NCEE’s New Standards Project from the 90s, renamed now as Competency-Based Education.

All of this fits perfectly with what my book Credentialed to Destroy foresaw. Chapter 4 on Competency is even more timely now than when it was written. One of the themes of the California Forum apart from the death of the Gutenberg Era and divvying up the billion dollar EdTech market was “How will educational ecosystems for emerging social practices be created?” Now I can scream all day long that the new forms of assessment are not in fact tests and are looking to create and monitor desired behaviors, but there is nothing like the concept of virtual reality prisons to make the point. This is from a GEFF 2014 report called Future Agendas for Global Education .

In following up on all the intended uses of gamification and virtual reality in education of the future, the report mentions that “Besides that, gamification can be efficiently used to redesign the penitentiary system.” Now when we read the following quote, we need to appreciate that if these adaptive software and virtual reality worlds are powerful enough to remediate dysfunctional behavior, what is the effect of constant embedding over K-12 on normal minds?

“application of maturing virtual simulations can allow (within the coming decade) to create realistic virtual worlds, ‘virtual jails’ that help delinquents correct their dysfunctional behavior and acquire socially acceptable ways of conduct–for instance, re-living the criminal action from different positions (of a violator, of a victim, of a police officer who searches for an offender, etc.) and their mastering the proper way of acting [Mastery Learning?]. Such educational solutions could become a more humane way to rehabilitate criminals–and similar solutions can be applied to help re-qualify ‘accidentally alienated’ citizens, e.g. those dismissed from jobs due to skill mismatch. We believe that, since early 2020s, virtual reality worlds will be used as temporary holding places for unemployed and as a cheap alternative for vocational education & training. Also, virtual worlds that help replace dysfunctional behavior patterns with functional ones can be used to deal with traumatic experiences and improve lives of ‘clinically normal’ people that suffer from dependencies, bad habits or fears. ‘Psychodrama worlds’ where people play together and live lief stories of each other could gain wide popularity as an alternative to group therapy by mid-2020s, not only (and not so much) as a clinical psychotherapy, but as part of standard educational trajectory for a majority of population.”

Now in a world where following the misleading phrase Career Ready Practices as the new purpose of K-12 leads us straight to a communitarian obligation to others and so does the now obligatory Positive School Climate, do we really think ‘dysfunctional behaviors’ will be cigarette smoking and eating disorders? No because the next paragraph states that “any gamified practice has an educational dimension, because the game clearly defines desirable and undesirable behaviors.” That is what makes it educational in this Brave New World that is no longer a work of fiction at all. Educational Dimension=altering human behaviors. No wonder the ESEA Rewrite the US Senate passed binds all states to use performance assessments to examine academic results. All behavioral too.

Honestly I think the life of Five Star luxury being pursued to foist this education and Future Transformation vision must addle the brain at some level. How else to explain an insistence that “we now know too much” and that we need only “adequate science and technologies to be maintained and developed going forward.” No wonder we have repeated proclamations that the Gutenberg Era is over. It created the concept of the individual and liberated the human mind. Our wannabe political Overlords want to take all that away and the tech companies want to sell public officials the means to do just that.

What parent when they opt for a Charter School for their child that hypes 21st Century Learning or who wishes for vouchers to escape bad neighborhood schools understands that they are really tapping into a GEFF plan to “reorganize the institutions of cognition and knowledge management.”? Now given the sorts of facts I turn up and papers and confessional books through the decades I can appreciate why this collectivist vision needs Mind Arson and knowledge management.

Repeat after me: We will NOT acquiesce.

Please take the blinders OFF about what formative assessments and a Whole Child focus around digital learning really mean. Otherwise, these planners want to create a Neuroweb of manipulated collective consciousness that is reminiscent of what Star Trek called the Borg. When people in positions of power with access to taxpayer money at the global, national, state, and local levels write of a desire to transform K-12 education and the very concept of learning and wish to “create semantic Internet and supporting artificial intelligence solutions that will structure human knowledge, and scientific knowledge in particular,” we need to listen.

Now we know why digital learning is so crucial to all these future models of education. It’s not a better way to teach math or reading or about making backpacks lighter. It’s about rewiring the brain for collectivist political purposes and it is a Bipartisan pursuit going on all over the globe.

Thankfully we know about the agenda and the links into our local classrooms. Will accurate knowledge reach enough parents and taxpayers in time or will the manufactured hype surrounding the Common Core continue to obscure the actual story?

Knitting Binding Fidelities of Consciousness Individually and Globally Because the Test of a Knife is If It Cuts

We already knew the essence of what makes us individuals was being targeted each time the social science profs described us a a ‘system’. Now it appears the social scientists and educators are comparing us to cutlery. Assessing whether we will perform and behave reliably and as expected. That really is a translated quote from Dilthey as to what the Human Studies, or as he also called them–‘the moral sciences,’ were interested in monitoring and measuring. “Dilthey was anxious that his methods should be put to practical use. [Actual quote translated from German] ‘The usefulness of methods emerges from their use, just as the test of the knife is if it cuts.'” Since this is 19th Century Germany and the aspirations for the future, we now know that ultimately the knife could cut and the Germans would march thoughtlessly and emotionally to war.

Now remember all the data being gathered on students, the formative assessments, the open-ended questions on mandated tests, and the soon to be federal requirement to use digital technology to push ‘personalized learning’ and read this quote.

“So, how people think and feel, how they perceive the world and what they strive for, is due to a mental structure which has resulted from the moulding influence of physical, social, and cultural factors upon the innate configuration of the mind.”

Learning standards like the Common Core in the US and a Competency orientation generally seek to grasp the essence of the innate configuration of each student’s mind. Then activities, projects, or group problems can be chosen in a personalized, individualized fashion to manipulate that mind, at a physiological level, to interpret the world as desired. To act in it and on it, reliably. I will let that unfortunate social engineering reality sink in while I tell you where the first part of the title came from. In 1976 Harvard sociology prof Daniel Bell wrote a blueprint for aligning the social, cultural, political, and economic systems in the US away from the focus on individuals. Called The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, it sought to shift the US to what he italicized as state-directed economies and state-managed societies.

To accomplish that shift without a full-scale uproar over coercion and the loss of liberty required a ‘public philosophy.’ I believe that K-12 education, first via what used to be called Tranzi OBE and now going by Competency, Excellence, and a Whole Child emphasis was picked to be the means for shifting the prevailing consciousness of each student away from “an individualist ethos which at best defends the idea of personal liberty, and at worst evades the necessary social responsibilities and social sacrifices which a communal society demands. In sum, we have had no normative commitment to a public household or a public philosophy that would mediate private conflicts.”

Now remember that imperative every time you hear Collaboration as a necessary 21st Century Skill or ponder why the targeting of new values seems to pop into every assignment.  Bell bemoaned that “without a public philosophy, explicitly stated, we lack the fundamental condition whereby a modern polity can live by consensus (and without it there is only continuing conflict) and justice.” By the time Bell wrote the Afterword for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the book, he added another way of describing the needed public philosophy: “the binding fidelities of consciousness, rooted in history and tradition, kinship and race, religion and nationality, that shape the emotional consanguinity, literal or fictive, among individuals and make them one.”

In 2015 we seem to be calling such a still desired mandate Deeper Learning and required Communities of Learners in each classroom and the entire school. Anyone hoping that the plans for economies and societies have gone stale has not read the nature of the proposed  regs under WIOA just issued by the federal government. Between what is required in each state’s plans, sought in each plan, and who must benefit from the various programs, the long-sought vision is unquestionably here. What I am also saying is that the true purpose of the ESEA Rewrite, now in Congressional Conference, is to force schools to inculcate the needed public philosophy in each student, to be instilled via ‘meaningful’ assessments and required state academic goals (misleadingly labeled ‘content standards’ to deceive) grounded in behavior.

Remember my receiver analogy from the last post? Dilthey recognized that the Human Sciences needed to assess each student because “if we wish to know the meaning of behavior we must know the meanings of the behavers.” How’s that for putting student-centered learning into its true context? Dilthey recognized that out of man’s psychological reactions and attitudes to the world (now accessible on each student via all that DATA flowing into state longitudinal data systems) “grew world-views. World-views were the result of the giving of content to the forms of the mind by the historical stream. [now the Learning Registry or SAS, Pearson, Amplify, AIR, etc] They were the primary patterns in which the sensory impressions of the external world were organized. They, therefore, basically determined the thoughts, values, and action of the individual.”

Anyone beginning to get nervous about what personalized, brain-based learning actually means?  And world-views need not be true or factually grounded. Dilthey again: “Worldviews, then, were not universally valid views of the world, but rather systems of values which were widely shared.” Wrong, but commonly believed is simply not going to end well for any of us not currently in public office at the local, state, or federal levels or working for one of the agencies pushing this. Speaking of data, Bell in his 1996 Afterword also reminded us that the essence of the Post-Industrial Society is that “information, not production, became the control system of the economy.” So all the hype about manufacturing is more to aid the transition to state-directed economies and state-managed societies than anything grounded in fact.

The employers concerned with inadequate skills are actually seeing the real effects from the pushes in the 80s and 90s to make instilling a public philosophy the primary purpose of K-12 education. Back in the original 1976 body of the book, Bell explained that the public philosophy was to be “the single overriding principle…to which all persona, as members of the community, must subscribe.” In fact, Bell sought “to find a social cement for the society” in 1976, interestingly enough about the same time as state or national think tanks hyping liberty, freedom, and free enterprise began popping up.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if part of the actual purpose in some funders’ minds was to deceitfully create a means to quietly guide, and shut up, anyone noticing a shift in values and political programs? In the name of School Choice all schools, public, private, or online, could be forced to be institutions that would force the “restatement of what is legitimate (the grounded values) in a society.” That reality sure fits the facts I personally have encountered and what teachers in private schools and charters now tell me. Bell was aware and annoyed at how much the West, and the US especially, reveres the individual. His goals were:

“Where bourgeois society separated the economy from the polity, the public household [and now WIOA] joins the two, not for the fusion of powers, but the necessary coordination of effects. The public household requires a new socio-economic bill of rights [WIOA again!] which redefines for our times the social needs that the polity must try to satisfy. It establishes the public budget (How much do we want to spend, and for whom?) as the mechanism whereby the society seeks to implement ‘the good condition of human beings.'”

We can see why politicians, university profs, and district administrators are being less than forthcoming about what is really going on. All the known facts, statutory language, regulations, and anything else designed to control the classroom implementation and the social and economic consequences dovetails with all these declarations. Our students are living in a world where education is to become a means of human study. The declared intentions are to use the behavioral sciences and data from students to instill the requisite values, behaviors, and beliefs to be the needed social cement. Grounded neurally as the prevailing consciousness among a majority of future voters.

In a February 14, 2015 post I covered the just released America Next Education Reform report and its declared ties to the Heritage Foundation in particular. I just did not equate an acceptance of a welfare state as being a conservative position. Bell also called for what was laid out in that 2015 report except he attributed the same idea to economist Alice Rivlin, with an emphasis “not on public provision, but on public financing of care.” In fact, Bell reiterated his preference by saying that “what some liberals and some New Leftists have rediscovered are the virtues of decentralization and competition.” Maybe, after two failed attempts at fundamental transformation in the US, we can see why everyone with aims to steer public policy might be shouting “Local Control” in the kind of Bipartisan manner we saw with WIOA and now with the ESEA Rewrite.

I know it is quite mean of me to read what no one ever assigned to me and grasp what no one ever intended to tell me. That’s just how language intended to have legal effect works sometimes. That’s why this vision needs Axemaker Minds and to a large degree print itself to go away. Much better to embed the students in a controlled virtual reality that can be made to function in whatever way best produces the desired Public Philosophy.

I have a Public Philosophy too. It is to save as many students as possible and this great nation and other countries from a toxic vision that has already caused too much unappreciated harm.

We are now where Bell hoped to get to back in 1976 and then 1996. We had best all grasp the implications in time. Our Governors, Senators, mayors, and legislators do not intend to tell us.

It is what it is and we must deal with this head-on.


Dissecting the Carefully Constructed Plausible Narrative that Hides P-20’s Shift into Human Studies

Nothing like an unexpected injury to give us time to just read and reflect.In our category of another lost invite, there was the recent OECD “People, Planet, Prosperity” summit in Paris. Instead of a boat ride on the Seine and sumptuous food we will have to settle for the powerpoint online. I was struck by the statement of Tatiana Glad where she encouraged the attendees to “Look at government as a crowdfunded initiative for the good of the people. The question is what are the mechanisms we use. Are we using peer to peer mechanisms to figure out the answers to the sharing economy or are we using traditional mindsets and stifling it.”

Actually I have and will continue to assert that the OECD, like the UN entities, is using preschool, K-12, and higher ed globally as a means to stifle traditional minds altogether. The guiding focus appears to be what activities and classroom emphases can lock in the desired values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors in the student’s brain and central nervous system. Building on what the White House is touting as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies, the OECD is pushing and wants to assess “Skills for Social Progress: The Power of Social and Emotional Skills.” I am sure it is purely coincidental that the ESEA Rewrites mandate that very emphasis. So do charter schools under the contractual language that gets them approved now and renewed.

The OECD is a participant on the Advisory Board of an entity called Global Education Futures that has been holding alarming meetings this year in preparation for issuing a report on global directions in education at Davos next January. I suspect that will be another lost invite. We will cover GEF in a different post. I want to focus here on the active deceit going on around school choice and local control and how it directly connects to this global agenda. Also on the GEF Advisory Board is Tom Vander Ark, an education consultant who was previously with the Gates Foundation. On July 31, 2015 he wrote a story “10 Next Steps for EdLeaders: The Advanced Course” touting Fulton County in metro Atlanta as “inventing the future of learning.” Now I live in that cutting-edge district and that is not what parents are being told. They certainly are not being told that in twenty years all their precious children will be left with is highly manipulated neural structures and personalities and what GEF calls ‘existential competencies’.

Yet Fulton is a charter system the Heritage Foundation-affiliated state public policy ‘think tank’ touted as an example of ‘school choice’ ( I was there) even though the language of the charter spells out non-consensual psychological rape of the kind described in my book Credentialed to Destroy as Transformational Outcomes Based Education. I nicknamed it Tranzi OBE to keep the references shorter. It is all over Texas too as this 2010 report lays out. We can also connect it to GEF via the March 2015 P21 Summit “Patterns of Innovation: 21st Century Learning in Action” because GEF touts P21 as a global exemplar and because Kelly Young of the Convergence Center for Policy Resolution Re-Imagining Education Project spoke at both the P21 Summit and the 2015 TASA Midwinter Conference.

She spoke in Texas with Michael Hinojosa who was also part of that Project along with the NEA, AFT, Heritage Foundation (except Stuart Butler skipped over to Brookings in mid-Project), and others while he was the Cobb County Super (next to Fulton) and while he was training local Texas Supers or aspiring to be a Super admins. He is now the Interim Dallas Super again and thus brings the GEF vision there when we trace these things all the way through.  It is also Hinojosa whose picture is up on the website of the Large County-Wide and Suburban District Consortium–Success At Scale–lobbying Lamar Alexander and Johnny Isakson and others over the ESEA Rewrite and letting local districts take the lead. That meeting on February 4, 2014 was the day after the White House meeting on Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies covered in the last post. Coincidental? Awfully convenient given all these intersecting agendas.

The “Our Values and Priorities” link at that website, which again is intended to get at and change the orientation of the schools that are actually still working and retaining an academic emphasis, is full of references to the need for schools now to be driven by student learning goals set by “internationally benchmarked standards and expectations.” We are back to the OECD again then and the various UN pushes like UNESCO, IB, and the Learning Metrics Task Force that fit with the language in Lamar Alexander’s Every Child Achieves Act. This is again how the Local Becomes the Global, while GEF admits it is really Delocalization because so much education now is digital and embedded in virtual reality. The software writer is the real source of control over what will be targeted in the student’s mind.

In Chapter 4 of my book that covers Competency and Tranzi OBE I explained how these international assessments are tied to something called DeSeCo–Definition and Selection of Competences. The Consortium then is obliquely but surely binding all their member districts to the change the child through the schools vision. Those physiological changes require the kind of assessments described in the last post. They get at the internalized “reasons and motives, which are the equivalent in the world of mind of causal connections in the physical world.” Now where did that quote come from? That quote came from a 1979 biography of a 19th century German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey: Pioneer of the Human Studies whose work greatly influenced John Dewey, many Karl Marx admirers, sociology and psychology globally, and the cybernetic vision for the mind.

It is Dilthey’s vision of creating an interdisciplinary Human Studies that is guiding so much of the actual Common Core implementation and the shift to Competency globally. It’s the why of the shift because Competency and Proficiency focus on student’s aims and interests. Students are encouraged to set goals and plan how to fulfill those goals. Student-centered Competency Learning really places the student on the menu and subject to examination and experimentation as data gets collected that gets at “real flesh and blood human beings who are in touch with reality through their sensations, feelings, thoughts, and acts of will.” That education data, even when not personally identifiable, is hugely useful and telling, and is part of a $31 million NSF ‘data-driven science’ initiative announced October 1, 2014.

All that education data gets at the internalized ‘sphere of mental processes’ so it can be known and then altered at will. The teacher need never actually know as the data flows from online assessments into district and state coffers and NSF cyberinfrastructure databases. Competency, which all these listed programs are driving at, assesses the “intellectual and creative capacity for abstract thinking, conceptualizing and logical reasoning which distinguishes man from other creatures” for each student and then begins to manipulate and change the activities to instill as few connections as is possible to carry out essential knowledge and skills.” The cyberneticians know the Axemaker Mind is an uncontrollable mind and hard to predict. That is unacceptable so we get Competency instead.

When I pulled the 2012 paper from one of the cited NSF education researchers I could recognize the intentional neural restructuring and how Core Disciplinary Ideas, Cross-Cutting Themes, Enduring Understandings, and the focus on no single correct answer wicked problems would all come into play. His paper though started off with how useful this would be to better teach reading and math and finally stop the “education wars.” He needs to read Chapters 2 and 3 of my book and recognize no one actually wants proper teaching because of the inherent ignition of the Axemaker Mind that comes from fluent phonetic reading. My point is that we are turning our students into guinea pigs in a gigantic global sociology project being administered at the local level of the school. Yet virtually everyone involved only knows a part of the story or is also being lied to.

Can you imagine if Competency and the Common Core were being pitched for what they really are–a social experiment examining what it means to be human? Administrators and politicians openly admitting a desire for neural changes at a physical level locked in for life and touted as Habits of Mind? We would have a riot at every school, including many of the privates and charters. So we get deceit, euphemisms, and redefinitions of common words and phrases no one alerts us to.

Except me. Throughout history governments have focused their desire for maintaining power and control over the transmitters of troubling knowledge–book publishers, radio, TV, textbooks, educators. Censorship and propaganda are their favorite tools. They are also highly visible tools that just reek of coercion. Invisibly instilling Habits of Mind at a neural level is subtle and effective. Making the student the focus of a Human Studies program and the Moral Sciences just like Dilthey envisioned is the best way to describe the nature of the data now mandated for collection in the various state preschool programs like Colorado GOLD.

Governments at all levels globally have moved beyond censorship and propaganda and decided, at meetings we are not invited to, to make the receiver of information their new focus. That would be the receiver better known as the student’s brain and personality.

Don’t we all wish this was science fiction written by Orwell instead of me documenting the connections and declared aspirations across the decades and continents?

We are getting the hype about Local Control and School Choice to obscure that the reality is the exact opposite.