Inside-Out: Redefining Student Readiness to be Internal, Neural, and Psychological

Hello again. When your livelihood is figuring things out and then explaining them and a doctor tells you to quit typing so that an injury can heal, it can feel a bit like being a Mute. I noticed though that False Narratives in print and video proceeded in earnest while I was forced to be silent. I got to recognize precisely where the attempts to lead parents and the public astray were so let’s get started back with some Fake News busting. Since I get no money from any think tank or foundation, I get to tell people what is really going on. Because I may at this point have the largest library tracking what is and has been going on in the name of education of any private citizen in the world, I have the ability to accurately tell, with backup documentation, whatever story I aim to lay out.

Given the nature of the discussions on this blog and my book Credentialed to Destroy, we all have plenty of reason to wish that I am wrong. But I’m not and if I don’t keep plugging at these stories as all the plans are increasingly put in place, it appears no one else either can or will. I will keep things shorter though as none of us wants a relapse. If I told you I can trace the hype over Classical Education and School Choice as well as many of the published False Narratives about the Common Core and Competency-Based education to this just released graphic http://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/userfiles/jubileecentre/pdf/character-education/ModelOfMoralDevelopment_JubileeCentre.pdf it would certainly make the rationale for the deceit much clearer, wouldn’t it?

We can also tie that graphic and those aims to control the internalized bases of future behavior to what is being called 21st Century Conservatism and the organized desire to mislead from 2011 called Closing the Door on Innovation. Should local governments and principals have the ability to create an educational environment and learning experiences that have a primary purpose of creating the kind of adult each student will be hardwired to become? Do officials get to lie to parents with impunity that that is precisely what they plan to do? Do we really want education to be about how “to cultivate the kind of kids you want to live next door to”? That last quote was from Henry County, Georgia and was touted recently as a national model by the Education Reimagined Initiative of the Convergence Center.

In mid-June the ultra well-connected entity Knowledge Works published “The Future of Learning: Redefining Readiness from the Inside Out”. Now each state in the US has to file a plan showing that it has goals for education that will create students who have certain characteristics of how they think and what they can do. That’s what Success means and such a student will be described as on track to be College, Career, and Citizenship Ready as an Adult. If that Readiness requirement though is actually about using education and required learning experiences to reshape each student’s “inner human core” then all the false narratives about supposed databases of Personally Identifiable Information or whether coursework is really getting students ready for textbook Algebra again make far more sense. Parents are worried about the wrong things and unaware of the true aims.

Let’s keep remedying that. Knowledge Works has a perfectly explicit graphic called “Shifting Principles in Education” that states that the previous emphasis (as CtD readers know) on Mastering Content is over. In its place the current emphasis is on “Thinking and Doing”. The desired new emphasis, however, of education is to be on “Feeling and Relating”. So your hypothetical new next door neighbor will not know much, but he will feel deeply, show empathy, and be compassionate towards others. There’s no mention as to whether they will hum Kumbayah when going down the driveway to get the mail. Keep the following passage in mind when you notice your state ESSA Plan to be filed with Betsy DeVos in DC keeps hyping the Whole Child or a desired Learner or Graduate Profile of desired internalized characteristics. No wonder Every Student can Succeed.

“Leveraging the emotion system to interface with the world and to connect deeply with other people represents the uniquely human capacity that people bring to work…Establishing a new focus on feeling and relating will help education institutions and systems align with a future of readiness in which the core social-emotional skills and foundational cognitive and metacognitive practices that we have described in this paper will be more important and enduring than specific content or job-and task-related skills.”

Children are now just another system to be rewired from the Inside-Out based on assumptions that the 21st Century globally needs a new kind of person with a different kind of mind and supposedly Virtuous Characteristics of what they believe and value and how they are to act towards total strangers. Since that kind of neural manipulation might not be popular if known, we get it lurking in misunderstood definitions like Readiness. How many people will look at the Further Reading bibliography and recognize that this new definition of Readiness and purpose of education is tied to this aim:

“rather than restructuring capitalism yet again, it is time to transcend it…[as part of] a broad-based shift to ecosocialism…Moving beyond the nightmare of barbarization and the limitations of the reformist path requires a redistribution of power downward and transformation towards a system in which social, economic, and rational planning trump private profit and the anarchy of market forces.”

Remember what I said about a big library of read resources? Knowledge Works called that desired planning “Coordinated Social Innovation” and describes a world of coordinating “organizations” like “partnerships across employers, communities, and state and federal agencies [that] use predictive analytics to project workforce needs and to provide timely skill development through adaptive career pathways. This coordinated approach helps individuals develop mosaic careers and find their niche in a constantly changing labor market.”

See now how WIOA fits in and needed to precede the new federal ed law? For this desired coordination of all of our lives and future livelihoods to succeed without effective protest in time, deceit is needed, neural rewiring is necessary, and the emotional part of the brain is to be trained to be the driver of future behavior. When we can see through the deceit though and recognize that Readiness does not mean what we assume we find the quote I will end on. We all have this kind of common core too.

“The core of the new foundation for readiness lies in developing a strong inner self that is resilient, reflective, and able to develop positive connections and relationships. Our emotion system is an important mechanism for sensing, interpreting, and communicating information about the world and other people. It affects our executive function–our decision-making, focus, and attention–as well as our memory, our relationships, our physical and mental health, and our learning. If we cannot manage them, our emotions can sabotage our goals and relationships.”

Kind, sweet, government and politicians of both parties, just wanting to control what guides our “decision-making, focus, and attention”. Lying to us about that aim and then pushing for neural rewiring to create Habits of Mind so the effects need not be immediately obvious. No wonder another book cited is on the history of artificial intelligence.

No computer has ever been programmed any more efficiently than what this definition of Readiness aims to do to our children.

Inside-Out should be Out of Bounds in a Free Society.