About me

My name is Robin Eubanks and I am an attorney. Not the sort who represents or defends people in a courtroom. I figure things out. Usually about what drives a business or industry, how it makes its money, and what the risks are to its revenue model.

I started off in Big Law doing corporate work and then helped start a legal department for a small healthcare company that grew to be a New York stock-exchange traded company. Healthcare turned into an excellent background for my current work in education as government regulation and special privileges drive the everyday dynamics of what raises money and creates costs. A background in Law is also excellent preparation for determining precisely what the terms commonly used actually mean. Especially in an industry that is consciously using language to hide the actual intended goals. My experience allowed me to recognize that education in the US and globally has been, for decades,  engaged in a massive Newspeak (as in George Orwell’s 1984) campaign that creates a public illusion on what is being promised and what is coming to the schools and classrooms that are this country’s future. I know what the words and terms really mean to an Ed insider and how it differs from the common public perception. I have documented what was really behind the reading wars and math wars. I have pulled together what the real intended Common Core implementation looks like. And it is wildly different from the PR sales job used to gain adoption in most of the states.

For me the English language is both a sword and a shield. I have documented what is really going on, written a book describing how and why education became a weapon, and now we are going to talk about what the real Common Core implementation looks like in various communities in the US in this busy Summer of 2012.

Because this time I have treated the American taxpayer as if each of you were the client and gathered everything we need to know going forward. If you want to think of Common Core through the image of the Titanic hitting that iceberg, this blog’s purpose this summer is to slow us down so we can negotiate the icefield in the daylight with accurate information and make it home safely. I do not want to be left describing why we sunk. If we can avoid the iceberg the book can then get us safely to the kind of schools we really need and the 21st century economy  that will allow as many of us as possible to prosper just as far as hard work and imagination will take us. It’s what made America great in the past. Unfettered by government seeking to restrict what any American can know or do, we can prosper again.

 

Recent Posts

Classrooms and Congregations: the Bullseye Once Culture Becomes Seen as History’s Driver

When I came up with the title “Everybody In!” I had hoped to cover more of the groups who had come up with a similar vision, but time grew short and the last post grew long. With Irma gone, power back on, and the Internet back working, let’s get back to the story that helps explain why faith-based institutions appear to be an integral part of where education wants to go. Last week the Convergence Center’s Pioneering publication mentioned a  book called Healing the Heart of Democracy: The Courage to Create a Politics Worthy of the Human Spirit by Parker J Palmer. That same issue had stressed that Alamo Heights ISD in Texas was engaged in an education vision called “Transformation of the Heart” that complained that:

“As a nation, we are addicted to high-stakes testing, grade point averages, and class rank. This makes it easy to forget our real purpose: to help young people grow and develop into honest, kind, and compassionate citizens…Resting on the laurels of our district’s academic accomplishments was no longer enough…the Strategic Plan called for us to aggressively confront the social and emotional issues of our community.”

When I ordered the Palmer book I thought I would find another political transformation vision tied to an education vision. It was that, but the book also laid out why “Classrooms and Congregations Converge” if a Transformation grounded in new morals and values is desired. They converge because in “both settings, there is power to form us inwardly in ways that can undermine or enhance our capacity to play a creative role in a democratic society.” Palmer used the term “democratic society” as a euphemism for what I shorthand as the MH Society. The Marxist Humanist Society, where all human needs are to be met out of the collective wealth of society empowered by technology, simply takes too long to write. So the MH Society, in order to finally arrive as a historical reality, needs to alter and guide each person’s so-called “inner search.”

It needs a view where “Educational institutions have at least as much impact [as religion], and arguably more on our basic assumptions about what is real, possible, and meaningful.” Any group with aspirations of going from “Inner Liberation to Outer Transformation,” as Palmer called it, needs some kind of “community of congruence” that will provide the “dispositions, knowledge, and skills that will allow them to enter the political fray and make their voices heard. So communities of congruence [schools, workplaces, or churches as examples] help people develop the habits of the heart that agents of social change and all engaged citizens must possess. They help people master the information, theories, and strategies that will allow them to advance their cause. And they offer people small-scale opportunities to become the kind of leaders that a large-scale movement demands.”

In my last post, I mentioned that Davidson College had issued an MH-oriented vision that they attributed to the ‘Reformed Tradition’. I related my experience that a comparable vision had been justified under many other names and faiths. Months ago I also noticed the Pioneer Institute’s recommending that the new Catholic Curriculum Frameworks would also work in Jewish schools. Since I found that compatibility to be rather curious, this footnote in Palmer’s introduction was rather telling:

“‘Congregations and the Human Heart’ [explores] what congregations can do to help create ‘a politics of the human spirit’. For an example of how an interfaith group of congregations  has put those ideas into action, see our ‘Season of Civility’ project…this 2013 project [in Wisconsin] trained more than four hundred people of faith across the state to facilitate civil discourse in their communities. Leaders of six traditions–Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, and Unitarian Universalist–translated the five habits of the heart …into their own theological language, supported by texts from their traditions, creating study guides for their members.”

Fascinating admission, isn’t it? It shows how an overarching political and social transformation vision can be translated into an article of faith and what it means to adhere to a particular tradition. Both universal and personalized. It gets at that level of inner transformation that could become an invisible serf’s collar. Now let’s shift to an even more revealing book from 2000 called The Ambiguous Embrace that is dedicated to “those in faith-based schools, social agencies, and other organizations who provide loving care with high expectations, in the name of a loving and righteous God.” The book was financed by the same Bradley Foundation that financed so much of the faith-based agenda in the 90s, the New Citizenship Project, the Council on Civil Society,  Hardwired to Connect and so much else we have covered in 2017. Bradley is also the chief funder of the School Choice agenda and, in my personal experience, invariably tied to people misleading the public about the Common Core, social and emotional learning, and competency-based education.

The Ambiguous Embrace provided insights into why all those potential tools in education for inner transformation work more effectively if no one much accurately understands their true function. The Foreword laid out that “throughout the Western world it has become clear that the modern welfare state…must be modified if it is to continue being affordable. A very plausible formula for such a modification has suggested that functions of the welfare state (including education) should be devolved onto institutions of civil society.” When I read this morning in a weekly newsletter from a state public policy think tank that more than 80% of the relief aid that had already reached hurricane victims was delivered via faith-based organizations that is cheerleading for this vision. After this past week I am all for that aid. Here’s the part that gets left out and may be the reason for all the deceit.

Apparently in November 1996 an international conference was held at Boston University that “explored the possibility of a ‘remoralizing’ of society through institutions with the authority and integrity to overcome excessive individualism and inadequate socialization.” The interest was in creating institutions, especially schools, that would “nourish opportunities for children–and adults as well–to develop the sense of moral obligation and the settled disposition to act virtuously.” The vision is to have “publicly guaranteed benefits” so that all human needs are to be met, but to use non-governmental entities like faith-based organizations to “deliver education and social services because they are better than government at generating the sense of moral obligation that is essential to both.”

Hopefully the vision being instilled will be a good driver of future behavior because Habits of Mind and complained about personality manipulation can barely hold a candle to an expressed aim that “intends to inform and form the very being of their students, to mold their identity and agency–who they are and how they live.” That passage was talking about a Catholic high school, but the goals of education are not really different than what public schools are doing now in the name of personalized or competency learning according to this recent post http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/08/creating-change-agents-the-intersection-of-critical-thinking-and-student-agency/ That book passage also wanted to make students into “responsible decision-makers” so maybe the point is that all types of education these days are devoted to the formation of students, not just faith-based schools wanting access to taxpayer money.

Maybe it’s the breadth of the vision of what now constitutes “religious understandings” per The Ambiguous Embrace–” a set of beliefs, values, and sentiments that order social life and create purpose for human activity.” Sounds like an internalized common core, doesn’t it, of the type I found and covered in Chapter 7 of my book Credentialed to Destroy. Sounds just like what the MH vision needs to target for transformation and the area where the Battle for Human Nature is being waged. It’s the area that will be targeted now with required Charlottesville Conversations. “Civil society institutions are able to have a more powerful effect in changing character and giving direction to lives than can institutions that must comply with bureaucratic rationality”

It turns out then that the phrase ‘limited government’ is government being the planner, financer, and steerer of people, society, and economies to see to the “human care of human beings…with government playing a watchdog role on behalf of the vulnerable.” There apparently will be no discussion that we must transition to the MH vision as a matter of indisputable public policy. Transformational education and a new vision of the role of faith is to get at the desired inner transformation without hardly anyone apparently being the wiser.

I will close with a quote from yet another book tied to a faith-based vision and transformation via education. It is called Building a Healthy Culture: Strategies for an American Renaissance and came out in 2001. Edited by Don Eberly, who joined Bush 43’s faith-based agenda, it opened with the Moral and Intellectual Framework that hopes for educational programming of “hopeful images of a society filled with meaning and opportunity, where everyone was committed to service to humanity.” No wonder Marx himself described the MH vision as little ‘c’ communism. Think maybe I am quoting out of context? Well, our title came partly from this book because its “thesis…that it is increasingly the culture that is the preeminent force of history, helping to shape the attitudes and the choices of the young, the overall ethical tone of society, and even America’s role in the world.”

The book went on to state that “the debate now is about what kind of society we intend to build as we move into the future, and we believe that this should be one which embraces important principles from the past, but which is nevertheless geared towards advancing individual and collective health in the context of today’s economically dynamic and technologically advanced world.”

The latter context just happens to be the preconditions for the MH vision. Its 21st century open advocates are all dedicated to what can drive historical change. But we cannot have that debate as we ought to be entitled to as long as everyone pretends that this new vision of education in the 21st Century is about math or how to best teach reading.

Let’s debate away now that we have collected a few more pertinent confessions of intent.

  1. Everybody In! Instilling the Proper Mode of Human Conduct to Capture Hearts 25 Replies
  2. Battle for the Mind and Who We Ought to Be: Portrait of a Graduate in 2030 Thanks to Charlottesville 40 Replies
  3. Shocks, Stresses, and Yokeability: Resilience as the Balm Masking Total Control 56 Replies
  4. Priming the Springs of Action: Reconstituting We the People Via Internalized Habits and Values 23 Replies
  5. Subterranean Fundamental Glue Holding Humanity Together Instilled Via Education 33 Replies
  6. Reliable Compass: Wiring a Neural Noetic Keel without Popular Outrage or Scrutiny 68 Replies
  7. Inside-Out: Redefining Student Readiness to be Internal, Neural, and Psychological 48 Replies
  8. Embody or Perish: Unmasking the Communitarian Motto Behind Student-Centered Learning 59 Replies
  9. Revolution of the Heart–Right Actions, Good Thoughts, and Correct Intentions 20 Replies