Obscuring Coercive Control and the Active Society Launch: Heralding Lethal Arrows as Rays of Light

To appreciate just how much our beliefs guide our perceptions and actions, let’s assume that we know something is coming at us in the sky, but we cannot know precisely what until we are at risk. At that point it may be too late to duck or put on armor and use a shield. Safety requires we make assumptions beforehand. If we are fully armed, we risk deflecting truly helpful rays of light. If we believe nothing bad can happen, the lethal arrows can slay us while we remained unawares until the last moment. Perception matters, especially when the expressed desire is for wholesale social, economic, and political change without any recognition in time. To avoid timely and effective resistance, the architect for the global transformation blueprints to what was described in 1968 as the Active Society, sociology prof Amitai Etzioni, insisted on a need to “rely less on direct coercive control.”

Control needed to be indirect and out of sight and especially embedded in situations where its presence would be binding but unappreciated. I wrote Positive School Climate in the margin of the book at that point and administrators insisting that all classrooms use Restorative Justice Practices as part of an obligation to practice positive behavior tenets. It’s coercive and intended to control future behavior. Desired attitudes, values, and beliefs get practiced until they become unconscious Habits of Mind, but what parent would be tracking at this level? What lawyer would follow the statutes, regulations, orders, and case law declarations to figure out the binding template if they did not have a school district for a client or work in the public sector? It was a good plan, but what is created to be binding has threads that can be followed authoritatively.

To anyone who has ever called me a conspiracy theorist, I do not theorize, except in my kitchen when I am winging a recipe. I am, however, a very able Tracker of Openly Declared efforts at Colluding to use Political Power to bind people and places against their will to a vision of the future. Here we go again describing events that have occurred within the last week that have kicked the creation of the Active Society into high gear. Professor Etzioni wrote that the Active Society, in order to sell the necessary collectivism, would need a guiding vision. He asked “which creeds have sufficient transcendental force to overcome tribalism?” Tribalism had nothing to do with the Apache nor is it an excuse for a casino in a non-gambling state. Tribalism was a belief that the pertinent community to which a moral obligation of care and meeting needs was one’s family or at most the nation-state.

That was unacceptable during the height of the Cold War, when Professor Etzioni sought to make the moral community the entire globe–all of humanity. Education needed to become about creating values that would extend to “all men” and creating an authentic consensus around the need to act to create the desired transformations–locally, sub-nationally, nation-states, and then globally. This is the so-called Third Way superseding both capitalism and socialism and last week the transition began in earnest. For once, let’s move chronologically. On Thursday, October 22, the OECD released “Schooling Redesigned: Towards Innovative Learning Systems.” It launched with this rather graphic admission of transformative intent:

“In the past, education was about teaching people something. Now it is about making sure that individuals develop a reliable compass and the navigation skills to find their own way through an increasingly uncertain, volatile, and ambiguous world…how well education systems develop knowledge, skills, and capacities and of what kinds, is increasingly centre stage in public debate.”

I am not sure using duplicitous terms like Rigor, Higher Order Thinking Skills, Student Growth, or College and Career Ready is what I would call a center stage debate. I would call it an attempt to declare something to be the subject of consensus when it would not be at all if the true goals were accurately described. Remember that the useful Authentic Consensus can be as false as can be if the point is for defenses to be down as the lethal arrows approach. I cannot cover the whole report but number 6 of the 7 Learning Principles laid out for this vision of coordination among “global and local players” was to use assessments that had formative feedback mechanisms to create the desired knowledge, skills, capacities, and values. Number 7, by the way, was “promote horizontal connectedness across learning activities and subjects, in and out of school.”

That is one way to describe guiding the student’s perception of the real world and how it works. Let’s move to Friday’s news dump with the White House and fed ED announcing a November summit to redesign American high schools. That is the day after the OECD Redesign Schools paper and several weeks after UNESCO released, on September 29 just after the official approval of the Post-2015 agenda at the UN’s opening, a vision to guide the redesign of secondary schools globally. Called “Unleashing the Potential: Transforming Technical and Vocational Education and Training,” TVET in all schools and for all students “must be the master key that can alleviate poverty, promote peace, conserve the environment, improve the environment, improve the quality of life for all and help achieve sustainable development.”

TVET will go wonderfully with the WIOA federal legislation on July 2014 that no one still wants to talk about, even as the State Plans come due within the next several months. The required local workforce boards, development around sector strategies, and which groups are in line for special treatment also dovetails with the TVET/UNESCO vision. Probably not coincidental that UNESCO calls for A Shift in the Development Paradigm and cites Amartya Sen who in 1989 helped Amitai Etzioni found the Society for Advancing Socio-Economics going forward. Sen’s approach is declared to be the UN’s approach to rejecting the “economic and material view of development that dominated the past century.”

This more “holistic and humanistic view of development…presented human development as a process of enlarging people’s choices and enhancing human capabilities and freedoms.” One is not free, in this view, if one’s needs are not being met and this TVET reimagining of high schools and call for planned economic development is all about economic justice and social equity for all. Now it is Saturday, October 24, and fed ED has embargoed its Testing Action Plan for release at noon that day. Since I am pretty sure that timing was not to provide reading material for bored football fans with long drives ahead, it appears to have been timed to make it to the Sunday edition of the New York Times. The Times hyped it as directing states to stop overtesting.

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/campaign-k-12/Assessment%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf is the actual plan and as you can see, it calls for the very kind of formative assessment that the OECD laid out as the desired mandate for School Redesign two days earlier. The Plan, of course, also limits states from much testing of substantive knowledge anymore and thus prevents much chance of a well-stocked mind of the sort UNESCO began criticizing back in 1968 (two posts ago). How are these federal ‘guidelines’ for contextuating what must go on and doing it at the local level? Global mandates coming out of the UN and the OECD and being put into place by federal directives of what is desired, but unappreciated because of the slant of the news coverage even for those with some awareness.

I could say on Sunday the political authorities rested but apparently GEFF advisor Tom VanderArk was busy tweeting that a 2014 paper called “Accountability for college and career readiness: Developing a new paradigm” fit the fed’s Testing Action Plan perfectly. It, too, was all about formative assessment of meaningful learning (likely to guide perception and future behavior) and using activities that would help create the desired perceptions, knowledge, skills, values, and capacities that would create a likely motivation to act and act as  desired. These get called ambiguously assessments for learning. Notice that the fed’s action plan gives no parent any right to see all the data flowing from all these to be required formative assessments. Also notice that the NYT story I saw admitted that the Common Core initiative was really about specifying desired ‘skills.’

We are up to Monday, aren’t we? I was planning to write about all this dovetailing and how it fits with the launch of the Active Society and the reengineering via education of people to be the malleable desired systems yesterday. Then I discovered that October 26 was the opening in Paris of UNESCO’s Youth Summit to follow through on the “UNESCO Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development.” Another lost invite where we could have cruised the Seine. That Roadmap opened with this chilling confession of what is really intended:

“Political agreements, financial incentives, or technological solutions alone do not suffice to grapple with the challenges of sustainable development.. It will require a wholesale change in the way we think and we act–a rethink of how we relate to one another and how we interact with the ecosystems that support our lives.”

Now who needs to theorize about global conspiracies with these kind of explicit confessions?

I will cover the implications of what is going on this week in Paris in the next post.

In time hopefully for us to take precautions against what are clearly lethal arrows.


Quoting Che Guevara and Importing Personalizedategic from Russia Seems Odd for a Cold War Victor

Buckle Up. Once again we are being played now in a way that fits the Blueprints from decades ago. Let’s look together so we can shield ourselves and our children from the deliberate assaults on our very Consciousness. In the last post, when I chose the “Incarcerated by their Minds” quote, I knew it fit with the expressed goals for what a Whole Child emphasis and Student-Centered learning were really designed to do. What I did not know yet was that ‘Consciousness as a Prison’ that needs to be broken out of was a favorite metaphor of many of the New Age writers and Systems Thinkers we have encountered. The 1968 SRI study we began looking at in the last post recommended a 1978 book New Age Politics: Healing Self and Society. In a Chapter on how to see through to the prison, it laid out what needs to change and why as follows (my bolding and comments in brackets):

inner structures, to deep-seated changes in states of mind, points of view, custom and routine, personality and consciousness…this is the level where the Six-Sided Prison can be found.

This third level of history isn’t impossible to change; but it is the hardest to change. It is…a ‘transformation of culture so large that it isn’t an event any more.’ No wonder most political activists have chosen to ignore it! [but not education, sociology, psych, or poli sci profs].

And yet–and yet–if it’s true that governments and economic systems determine the nature of events, as the Marxists say, then it’s also true that the third level of history determines the nature of the governments and economic systems, and the context, the atmosphere, the quality of events. [Remember the omnipresent PBIS and Positive School Climate with only the rationales varying].

If we simply ignore the third level of analysis until ‘later’ we’ll end up with no social evolution at all, in any deep sense. And we may end up with a stronger Prison.”

I mentioned the Cold War, a theme I developed extensively in my book, but Mark Satin in 1978 cited that Alexander Solzhenitsyn and the other Russian dissidents were actually pushing a “material limits to growth” and “calls for political and economic decentralization” that sounds much like what the UN is now calling Localization per the last post. Turns out someone has planned a Local/Global spin for a while because Chapter 16 of Satin’s book was called “Localization: Celebration of Diversity” with a vision for community-based decision-making that could be something Amitai Etzioni, the Ford Foundation, or the Brookings Metropolitanism vision would call for today (because they are). The Russian component of the New Age Politics book ended with this vision–

“Once understood and adopted, this principle diverts us–as individuals, in all forms of human association, societies and nations–from outward to inward development…”

There’s  a rather constant drumbeat for this now apart from all the social and emotional learning and restorative justice practices in schools and classrooms we have looked at. This is bigger and from every direction as adults and all institutions get targeted. Last Thursday I was at the “Wisdom, Moderation and Opportunity” put on by an Atlas Network affiliate, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, with speeches with ties to other Network members. The Luncheon Keynote Speaker, Arthur Brooks, president of AEI, insisted that to be a Conservative required having the Heart of a Servant. A true, little c conservative, would probably know from history that telling people what must motivate them is authoritarian, not conservative. Those systems thinkers we met in the September 28 Menticide post pushing how to force Creative Altruism into future human personalities would have loved that speech.

Call it Conservative and then describe a long-pushed Progressive, Internationalist, or Communitarian Idea seems to have been a common theme among speakers. From citing constantly an obligation to meet people’s needs and aid their well-being to the audience hissing when a questioner asked Nevada legislator Scott Hammond, about the actual student choice in his touted “near-universal Education Savings Account legislation,” there was a decided emphasis on a vision of the future that fits perfectly with what Uncle Karl called the Human Development Society. Which is fascinating timing as Friday, the Great Transition Initiative (has a tag as I have previously tied this to the OECD and what the PISA assessment is really driving) released this jaw-dropping paper.  http://www.greattransition.org/images/GTI_publications/Foster-Marxism-and-Ecology.pdf

If I covered everything in that confession that tied to these various programs and education initiatives I have been describing, it would turn this post into a book. Instead, let’s go to the section called “The Great Convergence” and remember the Re-Imagining Education link from two posts ago from the Bipartisan Convergence Center. In the GTI link we are told:

“Development, particularly in the rich economies, must assume a new form: qualitative, collective, and cultural–emphasizing sustainable human development in harmony with Marx’s original view of socialism. As Lewis Mumford argued, a stationary state promoting ecological ends, requires for its fulfillment the egalitarian conditions of ‘basic communism,’ with production determined ‘according to need, not according to ability or productive contribution.’ [Footnote is to Marx and his Gotha Programme book].

Such a shift away from capital accumulation and towards a system of meeting collective needs based on a principle of enough is obviously impossible under the regime of capital accumulation. What is required, then, is an ecological and social revolution that will facilitate a society of ecological sustainability and substantive equality.”

That agenda is the UN’s Vision 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals that our political leaders have already signed us up for. They are not citing Marx or basic communism, at least to us, but this is the grounding nevertheless. As Foster admits “In this Great Transition, I believe socialists will play the leading role, even as the meaning of socialism evolves” [Required Heart of a Servant, perhaps?] as we all are shoved, with deceitful definitions and government programs no one tells us about, for “establishing more egalitarian conditions and processes for governing global society, including the requisite ecological, social, and economic planning.”

Existing inequalities and hype over Climate Change then are just excuses to plan and tell most of us what we can be and what we must do. When the Frameworks Institute last week put out a report “Talking Human Services” http://frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/humanservices/nhsa_mm_final_2015.pdf , they intended to reframe prevailing perceptions in ways that fit with this desired communistic Human Development Society. They simply left that part out of why something is ‘desirable’ or not. The Notorious Che Guevara comes into this vision because of a 2008 speech John Bellamy Foster gave in Australia that was published as http://monthlyreview.org/2008/11/01/ecology-and-the-transition-from-capitalism-to-socialism/

Foster made it clear that the emphasis, per Che, would not be economic development but on the “need to develop socialist humanity.” That’s the part the UN leaves out when they tout Human Development as a goal. It means “a revolutionizing practice that revolutionizes human beings themselves.” When the Georgia DoED speaker stated that PBIS and Positive School Climate were not going away, he meant that the entire emphasis of school, starting in preschool, has changed. Social and emotional learning are not add-ons. The mandated shift is this revolutionizing process that targets ‘inner development,’ internalized images of how the world works, and appropriate future goals.

The obnoxious audience response to a heartfelt attempt to bring pertinent facts to the sales pitch of School Choice was a reminder to me that the current head of the cited ESA designer–the Friedman Foundation, Robert Enlow, is just one of a myriad of figures who keep popping up with ties to Seattle Pacific University. Others were Richard J Spady and Richard Kirby. (Civilization Building Leadership and the UNESCO-tied ed vision Nurturing Civilization Builders) That latter book cited a Tatyana Tsyrlina who is now Tsyrlina-Spady and an adjunct at SPU. In 2009 she started the Russian-American Education Forum, an online journal that first came up when I was looking at Arizona charter schools. It can be read in English or Russian, which means odd words come up like Personalizedategic.

I am quoting in particular from the November 1, 2010 Newsletter http://www.rus-ameeduforum.com/ but any of the newsletters describe a supposedly Russian vision for education that is being implemented in US schools. It explains the reasons for the task emphasis that figures so prominently in the actual Common Core implementation (Chapter 7 of my book) and also the real rationale behind “student-centered learning.” As students master each task, it “has some personal meaning for each of them.” Remember inner development? Well, the Russians do because they give us the reason for Rigor and assessments where there is no single correct answer.

Under “Personality-developing model,” we finally learn that “Personality development is possible only when a student’s level of knowledge and skills cannot meet the requirements of a given educational situation.” This gap then pulls a student’s “needs and motives” into play and forces the student to “exercise introspection and stimulates their self-reflection.” The “self-reflection is a primary contributor to personal development” and gets at the inner dimension–“the inner learning process, and its interconnected structural elements” consisting of “students’ activities, personal experience, and self-reflections.”

This Personality-Development model “helps students accumulate necessary skills and experience related to self-realization, self-organization, self-regulation, self-control, and self-management.” It sounds just like what the CCSSO is calling Competency-Based education in the US and what UNESCO calls the same thing globally in English-speaking countries.

It also “forms and develops personal values and has a strong effect on both intellect and motivation.” Sounds like everything our transformational social engineers need, so what’s Personalizedategic? That’s the final model that relates to the real world and remembers that “one of the main objectives of education is to prepare students for future adult life.” Sound familiar? It also explains all the various Redesign of High School initiatives. How about “the teaching process should include a system of interconnected, complementary situations that stimulate students’ personal development and challenge them to design key life strategies.” Now remember, this is translated from Russian into English in what could hardly be a better vision for mental disarmament of a once, and maybe future, foe.

Examples of life strategies are “choosing future profession, choosing a college, or realizing personal plans. Strategies are most likely successful when students know how to identify and utilize their personal traits, I-concepts, and real life situations, for the promotion of their success in the real world.”

Big shifts in the nature of education. Revolutionary shifts. Every one of these shifts targeting inner development gets hidden by terms like College and Career Ready, Student Growth, Every Child Achieves, and Success for All.

Now look at everything the UN is pushing and the events in Iran and Syria and think about what Putin knows about the true nature of the Cold War and how to invisibly overwhelm a population without firing a shot.

No wonder he is so cocky and chose to come to New York City in September for the final rollout of what has been building up for so long.




Incarcerated By Their Minds: False Narratives, Compulsion Via the Law, and Believing in Unicorns

When I looked into Tim O’Reilly, whose company was touting the Haunted by Data video from the last post, he turned out to be a great admirer of a professor Alfred Korzybski. Now that was a new name on my horizon, but his point that the brain’s neural networks, coupled to available language, constrain how each of us interprets our experiences, was not new at all. It fits with Classic systems thinking as well as the reason for Whole Language reading instruction under its various names. There is a story told about Korzybski that fits right into why transformationalists want to Frame Orientation via a “Well-Organized Mind.” Here goes:

“One day, Korzybski was giving a lecture to a group of students, and he interrupted the lesson suddenly in order to retrieve a packet of biscuits, wrapped in white paper, from his briefcase. He muttered that he just had to eat something, and he asked the students on the seats in the front row if they would also like a biscuit. A few students took a biscuit. ‘Nice biscuit, don’t you think,’ said Korzybski, while he took a second one. The students were chewing vigorously. Then he tore the white paper from the biscuits, in order to reveal the original packaging. On it was a big picture of a dog’s head and the words ‘Dog Cookies.’ The students looked at the package, and were shocked. Two of them wanted to vomit, put their hands in front of their mouths, and ran out of the lecture hall to the toilet. ‘You see,’ Korzybski remarked, ‘I have just demonstrated that people don’t just eat food, but also words, and that the taste of the former is often outdone by the taste of the latter.'”

False narratives can make Dog Biscuits seem palatable and turn actual healthy practices into something we avoid at all costs. Just the tool if transformational economic, social, and economic change are sought, but being open and overt would likely result in effective opposition. In 1968 the US Office of Education awarded SRI International at Stanford an Educational Policy Research Center grant to “investigate alternative future possibilities for the society and their implications for education policy.” The resulting scenarios were later written up with this 1973 quote from a Fred Polak being a lead epigraph to frame the plans:

“Awareness of ideal values is the first step in the conscious creation of images of the future and therefore the creation of culture, for a value is by definition that which guides toward a valued future…”

If that seems a bit scifi and premeditated, the actual study stated that its specific purpose was “to chart, insofar as possible, what changes in the conceptual premises underlying Western society would lead to a desirable future.” Well, that purpose certainly puts a new spin on what the acronym NAEP–National Assessment of Educational Progress–was really planning to monitor when it was created in the same time frame. Perhaps we should just start assuming that when it comes to K-12 education, in the US and globally, false narratives are the norm and have been for decades. Last Friday I was at a False Narrative Extravaganza being billed as the Fulton/Atlanta School Justice Partnership Summit “Pipelines to Pathways: The Problem, the Solutions, the Actions.”

Transformation Ready to Proceed, in other words, and it was full of influential people from lots of Atlanta police officers, Georgia Supreme Court justices, juvenile justice judges and administrators and school district officials. The ‘incarcerated by their minds’ comment was actually from the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice about needing to shift the focus from punishment to “reform, reshape, and rehabilitate those individuals [juvenile offenders] to become productive citizens.” It was a prelude to a presentation by a Georgia DoED Deputy Super and a former school psychologist, Dr. Garry McGiboney, called “Changing the Conversation About Student Discipline” to promote PBIS  and Positive School Climate [see tags for previous posts on point] as “what it takes to heal these broken kids.”

‘Broken’ because they are growing up in “unsafe environments and unstable homes.” After all “people and their environment are NOT separate things,” according to Dr McGiboney. “Behavior is a function of the person and their environment,” and to reiterate the point, McGiboney cited notorious Frankfurt School social psychologist Kurt Lewin [tag] as having created a formula for change. To make things even more interesting, False Attribution Theory then came in (by name) as Dr McGiboney complained that too many administrators looked to “understand the behavior of others by attributing causation to feelings, beliefs, intentions, and personality” instead of the “situational contexts” kids have grown up under. “Attribution of cause” affects the “doled out consequences”.

So if someone who grew up in bad circumstances misbehaves at school, their poor behavior gets excused as due to “environment.” Children who grew up in better circumstances and behave well in the classroom nevertheless need PBIS in every classroom and a Positive School Climate in every school so their values, feelings, beliefs, intentions, personality, attitudes, etc. can all be targeted and rearranged by the school. I guess if a student is not Incarcerated by their Mind when they come to school, they certainly will be by the end of a preschool and K-12 grounded in these psychological and mental health practices. Dr McGiboney actually sold this as “school climate matters to student outcomes.” Well, of course it does since SEL is now a crucial component of how ‘learning,’ Growth, and ‘student outcomes’ are measured.

The audience would not know that though and simply listening to the presentation they would believe that PBIS and Positive School Climate were nifty Georgia ideas and not federal mandates and requirements under Georgia’s NCLB federal waiver. Not to pick on Dr McGiboney, but I was down at the State DoED the day after they got that federal waiver. State officials that day did not seem too happy I knew that the School Climate Center guidelines required schools to have a social justice emphasis. What can I say? I read a lot. That is also how I know that all the hype about how PBIS and Positive School Climates will help reading achievement contradicts Georgia’s NCLB waiver. As I noted in my book, it explicitly made sure that an inability to read would no longer be a basis for holding a student back from promotion.

That’s one way to increase graduation rates, huh? Dr McGiboney closed with a truly poignant story about a potential suicide incident at a high school that was physically in terrible shape–dirty, broken windows–, in other words, a terrible physical environment. He related that the girl asked him if “he believed in unicorns” and he said yes, because he believed she needed to hear that. Years later, she reached out to him and talked about how she had pulled it together and lived a successful adult life. Her turnaround and the importance of environment then once again became the pitch for PBIS and Positive School Climate.

PBIS, Restorative Justice, Positive School Climate, and social and emotional learning generally are all targeting the personality and values. Tragic story and lots of false narratives used to sell something as a good idea that is actually another way of pushing the UNESCO vision we met in the last post without admitting that. Few in the audience understood that these measures are not in addition to an academic focus. They are actually a substitution for it as the new purpose of school and education. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3744335/pdf/nihms-493001.pdf , supported by multiple federal agencies and grants, confesses the intention to blur the distinction between student learning and mental health outcomes. All are deemed part of student success.

In 1987, then Princeton Professor and now President of the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann, published a book–Democratic Education. It laid out a new vision for K-12 and higher education and worried about the still prevalent and “well-intentioned misperception that [teachers’] obligation is to impart knowledge, not to develop the moral character of their students.” It is my belief that all these various rationales we keep encountering on why all schools must use PBIS as a core component in each classroom and Positive School Climate practices in every school attempt to stealthily use the law as an enforcer. The required agenda is actually the UNESCO vision as well as what Gutmann laid out as the necessary right of the State “to shape the political values, attitudes, and modes of behavior of future citizens.”

Hide it under the alluring title of “Character development” as well. http://character.org/  Everyone knows too many kids now have deficits in this area. Selling this political agenda honestly would create objections. So we get all these false narratives and problems where the offered solutions are always headed in the same direction. Change the student at the level of their mind and personality. Call it conscious social reproduction and insist that it is about altering the future, just like SRI also had in mind. If the phrase Incarcerated by their Minds still seems a bit strong, how should we describe this intent: “To cultivate in children the character that feels the force of right reason is an essential purpose of education in any society.”

This is Guttmann’s vision of conscious social reproduction and its ties to education. Every child must be educated “to be capable of participating in collectively shaping their society.” She does believe in the ability of the majority to bind everyone as long as each person gets to participate in policy deliberations. Public policy directs society and the economy. People have a human right to have their needs met. In Dr. McGiboney’s vision where environment is all, there should then be no more ‘disruptive behaviors.’ Back to Gutmann, we have all schools, public and private, with an obligation to create “a set of secular beliefs, habits, and ways of thinking that support democratic deliberation …compatible with a wide variety of religious commitments.” Parents have no right to object either.

I am closing this post with the disclaimer I do not know who at that Summit was aware of the broader agenda I have covered in this post. Because the vision though fits precisely with where the UN has said we are all going by 2030, my guess is a few are aware this is all a sales pitch backward mapping from desired transformations to get to a new vision of the future. It is also Atlanta, home of the new Civil and Human Rights museum, so it is probably not a coincidence Gutmann’s vision ties so tightly to what Martin Luther King called the “Beloved Community” [tag] vision for the future.

Pipelines to Prison and School Discipline Problems in 2015 have been worsened by these previous educational reforms that had no interest in teaching reading or math properly. Now tragic bad individual behaviors are selling a vision where school and education are not really about knowledge in the traditional sense at all.

I simply want all of us to be able to recognize a Dog Biscuit, whatever it is being called, before we take that first bite.





Disguising the Rise of the Oligarchs Via Competencies, New Values, a Thinking Curriculum and Other False Narratives

Unapproved personal knowledge is a meme-buster. If you are not sure why I say that think of the images of the South Carolina flooding and then attach the descriptions of “freak weather-related” vs “caused by climate change.” One affects us emotionally and makes us want to do something. Known, unassigned stores of fact can destroy a given narrative. Let’s use two examples from just this past week. Has anyone seen a picture of the Oregon shooter’s mother? If we simply got our news from the evening networks, we would not know the mass murderer was mixed-race, just like our first Black President. Facts in the way of the narrative.

Part of the research into the sequel to my first book Credentialed to Destroy means that I have had to become an expert on Big Data. Let’s just say I have a lot of unapproved, demonstrably true facts at my command. So when this video  https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/haunted-by-data came to my attention as a touted solution, I immediately knew it was a tactical keynote. The speaker misstated the nature of the problem to get a solution authorized that would actually make the problem of personalized data even worse. Words to the Wise: with behavioral data, it is the ongoing flow that is crucial to insights that allow neurological rearranging. Remember we have Learning Progressions to stipulated outcomes or Competencies. Once there and locked into place at a psychophysiological level to prompt and guide future behavior, the Oligarchs do not need to keep monitoring.

After that Big Data works just fine for social and economic planning purposes. That last one comes from a report on Rewriting the Rules of the American Economy that just came out from Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. http://www.rewritetherules.org/ Once again actual knowledge of what has transpired in the last several decades and what impairs and helps create prosperity is a tremendous obstacle to accepting the prescribed actions by the politically influential. Finally, the US is embarking on adopting Qualifications Frameworks just as I warned about in my book. Only the names are changing to create a better narrative I suppose. On Monday the first ever National Credentials Summit was held in DC. http://connectingcredentials.org/summit-recording/

Like Stiglitz, this is a group of people interested in redesigning and planning a ‘fragmented system’–this time in the name of those who want a credential that will guarantee them a good job. Once again factual knowledge impedes the panacea being spun, but it is a chance to see Anthony Carnevale [see tag] as more than just the author of those Workplace Manuals for the Bush 41 Labor Department that still guide the admitted to vision now of K-12 education as workforce training. We get to see how much former governors just love to go to work for trade groups pushing a politically planned economy or education reforms. Even former Prime Ministers like Gordon Brown find post-office full employment via the Rise of the planning Oligarchs.

Last week the GEFF connected advisor Tom VanderArk linked to the final version of the Bipartisan Convergence Center’s vision for us.  http://education-reimagined.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/A-Transformational-Vision-for-Education-in-the-US-2015.09.pdf It is just full of both false narratives justifying the need for transformation, as well as true declarations of intentions to change the children so that they are adaptable to the kind of changed social and economic systems Stiglitz and the Lumina Foundation (that called for the Credentials Convening linked to above) had in mind. In that planned, collectivist economy and society that still intends to use nonprofits and private companies to fulfill “the needs” of the people, unauthorized knowledge is in the way.

That report explains how the “learner-centered paradigm for learning functions like a pair of lenses that offers a new way to look at, think about, talk about, and act on education.” I bolded that part of the phrase because the ‘pair of lenses’ analogy is what the last post said was a means of framing an individual’s orientation at an unconscious level. Unapproved, personal facts get in the way of our simply putting on the prescribed ‘pair of lenses’. That report confesses the intention to use K-12 education to prescribe the specific core knowledge, skills, and personal dispositions ALL students are to internalize. Did any dictator in history ever aspire to more intrusion, unless we count keeping everyone but a designated elite (the oligarchs) completely illiterate?

Complete illiteracy is easy to notice. Prescribed ignorance, tied to useful false beliefs and regularly manipulated emotions, and then all coupled to doled out allowed core knowledge and practiced, approved behaviors, is what we are really looking at here. Unapproved knowledge impedes the Rise of the Oligarchs in our Vision 2030 UN-led world and it must not be allowed. http://www.iclei.org/details/article/advancing-sdgs-at-the-local-and-subnational-level-input-to-un-negotiations-on-post2015-development.html is a confession that the UN, mayors, city councils, and school administrators all know that most of the 2030 vision will be carried out globally at a local level. They have even coined the term ‘localization’ for this deliberate disguise for planned global control via local administrators and politicians.

http://landing.deloitte.com.au/rs/761-IBL-328/images/deloitte-au-ps-education-redefined-040815.pdf from Australia is a reminder that this planned ignorance and the ties to workforce development are not limited to the US. We can also go back in time to the report UNESCO created in 1968 to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). Called “The Right to Education: From Proclamation to Achievement (1948-1968),” it made “the full development of the human personality” the new purpose of education globally just like Uncle Karl envisioned as a necessary component of his sought Human Development Society or little ‘c’ communism.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/who-knew-karl-marx-had-a-human-development-model-or-that-it-fit-our-facts-so-well/

Not to be paranoid, but when that Re-Imagined Education Project mentions its “vision of all children learning and thriving to their full potential,” it certainly sounds like a rephrasing of the ‘full development of the human personality’, doesn’t it? When it calls for a “Coordinated Network of Institutions, Organizations, Agencies, Associations and Federations, and Businesses” it is using the word ‘network’ to replace the word ‘system’ used in all these other cites. The intention to fundamentally redesign, plan and direct is the same. This Network “offers open-walled, relevant, and contextualized learning resources and opportunities to learners and creates avenues for learners to be involved in and engage with the community.”

Sounds like what the Credentialing Summit is calling for as Seamless Pathways in a no longer ‘fragmented’ employment system. It would also fit with the communitarian, promote the Good of Others in daily behaviors, requirement that we found in the definition of Career Ready Practices. Let’s stay in the present for one more quote: “Additionally, this network promotes collaboration and communication amongst entities working to support learners’ health, nutrition, safety, and wellbeing.” Since those needs can only be met if the learners’ entire family also has their ‘needs’ met (see http://www.communityschools.org/assets/1/AssetManager/Better-Learning-through-Community-School-Partnerships.pdf ) , we are back to an obligation to meet such needs for all families with children. Just like Marx laid out, as well as the UN in that 2030 Vision all of our elected leaders signed on to about a week ago.

The UDHR is already showing up in much of the curricula coming in under the banner of the Common Core and Global Competency. Does everyone appreciate that it called for “economic and social equality” back in 1948 and empowered UNESCO to achieve it via education and planned changes to prevailing culture? That communitarianism was always at the center of the imagined future global vision and that only politically connected Oligarchs thrive in such a society? Essentially everyone thriving becomes a means of ensuring there will be no unauthorized breakouts of individuality or genius innovations. Here is the Oligarch plan via the UN and now ‘localization’ from 1968:

“When liberty, equality and fraternity are achieved, so too will be achieved the free, full development of man’s personality within the community; and thus man will be considered as an end and not a means. [BS narrative alert]…Duties toward the Community (Art. 29 of UDHR) For man may claim his rights, in the name of freedom and justice, only in so far as he consents to assume his duties, and becomes aware that the members of every human community are all interdependent.

That’s why the focus keeps coming back to personality, even if the excuse is bullying, a Positive School Climate, Workforce Competencies and Soft Skills, Grit and Perseverance, or Character Education. Again to 1968: “the permanent task of education remains: to form the personality of every human being–the personality that will allow him to resist the loss of his individuality in his work and his leisure-time occupations, and to set forth, be it modestly, upon the conquest of the good things of the world. And these are not material goods only, but also intelligence, beauty and goodness.”

I guess the last three are what is hiding in the present as those to-be-stipulated Dispositions. It will not be the individual student or any of the rest of us picking them out and, once again individual, unapproved stores of knowledge impede the plans. That is why UNESCO in 1968 called for “not a well-stocked but a well-organized mind.” Organized around the designated core knowledge, approved themes and concepts, and supplied principles and values–“it presupposes a certain limited sum of basic knowledge, deeply rooted and constantly available.” Basic knowledge that creates a “capacity for action.” That would be action though along approved pathways of course.

Education then, in 1968 and now, in the US and in every other developed country, “forms men and women who will become the active agents of progress, ready to face what has never been faced before. Culture forms a close link between the concepts of education and the future…Culture, no longer the privilege of an aristocracy, is becoming the leaven of democracy. Every worker is a citizen. Specialization must on no account be an obstacle to the grasp of broader problems.”

Because broader problems should only be understood through the lenses of approved core knowledge. This ignorance and manipulated narratives of course greases the path for the Rise of the Oligarchs.

Genuine, Unapproved Knowledge–the ultimate 21st Century Rebellion of the would-be serfs.