Evolutionary Epistemology: A Mouthful Term that Euphemizes a Wholesale Education Shift

In the last post we looked at Professor Cabrera’s DSRP template. I laid out its connections to current curriculum practices that get euphemized as ‘rigor’ or ‘high-quality instructional materials’, but left out a curious quote about targeting the human conceptual system via learning standards so that DSRP “provides a mechanism for the memetic behavior that must exist in order for evolutionary epistemology to be a viable proposal. For these reasons, DSRP should be considered a more robust alternative to logic where complex cognitive systems are concerned.” I am rather fond of logic myself, but apparently that’s no way to get a theory of how things might be different in the future into practice. Recognizing that the mouthful term obscures the reality that seeks to change prevailing culture by systematically prescribing new values and beliefs via poorly understood ‘standards’ in K-12 and higher ed, I looked up the term.

It turned up this 2018 Abstract https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29199093 from the same US government agency funding Science of Virtues and the BRAIN Initiative to create a Research Programme for Distributed Biological Intelligence. No wonder logic needs to be jettisoned. Suddenly the reading, math, and science wars and the focus on ‘close reading’  and ‘conceptual frameworks’ click into the appropriate context when we read:

The concept of ‘information’ acquires a new meaning because information processing is at the heart of biological intelligence. All biological systems, from bacteria to Gaia, are intelligent, open thermodynamic systems that exchange information, matter and energy with the environment. (v) The organism-environment interaction is cybernetic. As much as the organism changes due to the influence of the environment, the organism’s responses to induced changes affect the environment and subsequent organism-environment interactions. Based on the above principles a new research agenda can be formulated to explore different forms of biological intelligence.

I bolded those references to changes because they too get euphemized as student learning, even though the desired changes are not really about passing on a body of knowledge as in the historic conception of education. EE, as I am going to abbreviate it, “aims at understanding the complex relations between biological evolution, especially the biological evolution of human cognition, and the cultural evolution of scientific knowledge.” Because federal laws, mandated learning standards, accreditation criteria, and curricular materials and online activities are all aiming to change the nature of that cognition and then prescribe it for the masses, this is not a matter of speculation. Let me read a passage from a Norbert Wiener biography called Dark Hero of the Information Age that should make what is being stealthily targeted and why more clear:

As he made clear from the outset, the universal processes and principles of cybernetics–information, communication, feedback, ‘circular causality’ or reciprocal influence, and ‘teleology’ or purposeful, goal-directed action–apply equally to technology, biology, and all the complex systems of society. The biological and social dimensions of cybernetics were widely overlooked in Wiener’s day and in the decades since his death, as technology loomed ever larger. Yet those neglected aspects of Wiener’s science hold some of the most powerful insights cybernetics has to offer, and they are as important as any technical tool for understanding the complex forces that shape and influence all our lives.

The conceptual tools of cybernetics can help people think in more effective and productive ways, to create, innovate, and perhaps even begin to envision at the levels to which Wiener raised his most talented disciples to ‘see over the fence,‘ as he did, and down the road to the end result of any effort. Cybernetics, its sister sciences of information theory and systems theory, and their descendants in the new sciences of complexity and human communication offer scientists and nonscientists alike new ways to think systematically and strategically, to solve problems, paint scenarios, and identify potential trouble spots before disaster strikes…[It is] the next step on the learning curve of the global society.

Wiener and his colleagues could ‘see over the fence’ because they had huge stores of factual knowledge that allowed their brilliant minds to make connections that could then be proved in experiments. Prescribing the methods of seeing over the fence to evaluate the future for all without any ‘vast stores of knowledge,’ or even much in the pantry beyond the prescribed conceptual frameworks, means there is no safety catch between what is factual and what is a politically useful fiction. Now before I get to the curriculum I mentioned from Developing Minds in the Digital Age, I want to mention one more book, from 2015, called The Cybernetics Moment or Why We Call Our Age the Information Age that was funded by the National Science Foundation. That matters because that Developing Minds comes from the NSF Science of Learning Centers, as have so many of the curricula involved with the reading, math, and science wars (covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy).

The book’s author, Ronald R. Kline, who is a Professor of History and Ethics of Engineering at Cornell, where Derek Cabrera and his DSRP work is also based, has the Cybernetics Moment as ending in the 1970s despite its promise. I maintain that is not true since it migrated to education ‘reforms’. It thoroughly saturates the actual Common Core implementation and now what is known as competency-based education, correctly construed (which so few do these days). See if this sounds familiar from the discussion above.The NSF/OECD conception of a “Science of Learning for 21st Century Education…encompasses complex changes in the learner from his/her dynamic engagement with an equally ever-changing environment.”

Now I promised last time we could recognize the DiaMat/cybernetic intentions in the OECD/NSF DJEM–Designed Joint Engagement with Media. Since I initially read that report I also learned that some of the cited researchers are involved with the now 20-year old Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition that is a joint project of Carnegie Mellon and the University of Pittsburgh. That matters because Carnegie Mellon gets NSF funding to create a great deal of immersive online learning curricula. U-Pittsburgh was involved with the New Standards Project, which is the forebear of the Common Core from back in the 90s. Both are in a position then to implement DJEM as:

purposefully created, shared experiences where individuals interact with one another while simultaneously attending to a media. DJEM can take many forms, including viewing a video, playing a game on a mobile device or reading a digital book together. DJEM grows out of the idea that joint attention or the coordinated focus of all interacting individuals on the same phenomena, is a necessary condition for joint engagement and is fundamental to human learning from an early age.

Now, if you have a goal of fundamental transformation in social, economic, and political systems, which the OECD and its affiliates in the UN make no bones about as in Leave No One Behind by 2030 and Equity for All, the Number One prerequisite is to get people to “common forms of sensemaking”. Precisely, what DJEM is designed to do so that:

Both the speaker and the listener play an important role in establishing, monitoring and sustaining joint attention during interactions, drawing both on non-verbal communication (e.g.-pointing, moving to share visual perspective, etc) and on meta-communicative verbal comments. The use of such strategies helps create a ‘between-person state of engagement‘ that draws on both the cognitive and the social dimensions of communication and helps partners develop a shared conceptual structure in which they collaborate and learn as they engage in media together…These shared conversations-joint social engagements–serve as sites for knowledge construction and meaning making.

So the purpose of these  prescribed learning experiences is not to learn math, science, history, or to become a better reader. It is to instill a common internalized conceptual structure about some real-life phenomena in each of the interacting students. And the NSF is simultaneously financing books saying the Cybernetic Moment is over, while funding online curricula and activities that use cyberneticist Gordon Pask’s conversation theory. No, they didn’t cite him in their Science of Learning push, but they did describe and use his Conversation Theory. We do get to recognize by function, not assigned labels, since I am still driven by logic and a vast storehouse of facts instead of an assigned conceptual framework. Anyway, the Center for Curriculum Reform’s recent book on Artificial Intelligence in Education happened to mention that the desired AI platforms to be used with students were based on Pask’s theories.

Cybernetics is not dead as all these links show. The new Science of Learning wants us to accept that “Expertise lies not so much in the number of facts an individual can state but in the way in which that knowledge is organized and the ability to apply it flexibly and appropriately in new situations.” My book and this blog exist because I have a highly organized understanding of where education is going, how it intends to get there, what the likely impacts are, and how the theories of cybernetics matter to all these efforts. It does not represent an Approved Conceptual Framework though, which sometimes makes me a persona non grata to discussions. Imagine instead that your child is in this Sid the Science Kid animated programme for preschool children from the Jim Henson Company that “explores everyday phenomena and provides models of science practices and science talks…to deepen and reenforce target concepts.” Tell me this doesn’t sound to you like Code the Kid at the Level of the Mind and Start Early to create Binding Habits of Mind.

To test the feasibility and promise of the DJEM theory, we developed and refined a curriculum supplement…[that] comprised an eight-week experience on change and transformation, foundational concepts across science content areas. Modules were two weeks long and included two to three days of instruction each week that integrated video episodes, classroom discussions, teacher guided book readings, and hands-on investigations. The curriculum supplements four modules targeted types of change that children likely observed in their daily lives: decay, growth, reversible change, and irreversible change.

Learning as creating common conceptual frameworks tied into emotion and the visual to guide perception and the interpretation of experiences in predictable ways at the level of a preschoolers mind. That is a vastly different realm to be standardizing than measuring weight or distance. Cybernetics requires common goals and learning standards are a means of dictating goals without that shift being readily apparent to the typical parent or student. It is up to those of us with Unapproved Conceptual Frameworks to grasp where these learning standards really seek to go. This is not a discussion on the metric system vs miles. There the chosen standard has no impact on the distance being described. Here, the purpose of the learning standard is to reimagine the mind and then turn it from the open system it can be to the closed system that will behave predictably. Which will change the environment, which will impact the mind and personality, which will then change the now altered Environment. Etc. Etc. Etc.

We need to wake up to how many of our young people are to be in this EE Research Programme. Anyone think it is coincidental preschoolers are being instructed on transformation and change? Me neither.

Invisible Designed Neural Coercion: Controlling Guided Missiles and Misguided Men

Since it is summertime and the living is supposed to be easy, I wish I was off on vacation or taking a break from the blog. Instead, I have been dealing with a tsunami of corroborating research materials from all over the world on this neural emphasis in education. When I was writing my book Credentialed to Destroy and documenting what the required classroom practices would be under a Competency-focus, the Common Core, or any performance ‘standard’, I came to accept that what was being mandated would have a clear neural effect. It would alter how students’ brains functioned going forward. More research assembled in various places subsequently on this blog has made it clear that those neural effects are both known and desired. It is easier to rule people with little recognition they are being coerced.

The age demographics of who voted for BREXIT seem to show that as well as a desire to be coddled. As Bandura put it in our last post, the young people in the UK believe in proxy agency and institutions instead of individual achievement. What I have now had to come to grips with though is that the neural manipulation is the purpose of education reforms and standards-based education. It is the goal precisely because it makes a person amenable to manipulation without either recognition, resistance, or protest. Surely I am exaggerating, right? On Friday, the OECD linked to this paper  http://oecdeducationtoday.blogspot.com/2016/06/understanding-how-brain-processes-maths.html on “The Neuroscience of Mathematical Cognition and Learning.” It has pictures and graphs of the targeted areas as it is now clear that education intends to use “the scientific study of the biological substrates underlying cognition, specifically the neural basis of mental processes.”

Oh, c’mon, lighten up with seeing bad motives when all anyone really wants to do is help everyone learn to read fluently and be good at algebra, I can hear a few of my readers whispering. Except that is not the purpose and it is more than what is detailed at length in Credentialed to Destroy. The desire is to get everyone to ‘on-level performance’ and only to there. The hope is simply to get everyone to literacy and numeracy so they can understand and work with print, visual images, and numbers in ‘everyday life’. Prescribe a theory of classroom practices that creates “changes in neural pathways and synapses due to changes in environment and behavior.” Now are we beginning to understand the real implications of the federal ESSA law stipulating that all states must have ‘challenging academic content standards’ where behavior is the means to show ‘achievement’?

Please remember what I explained about Constructivism in Chapters 2 and 3 when you read this passage from that OECD paper’s conclusion (my italics and bolding):

“Research in cognitive neuroscience has allowed the possibility of exploring the neural basis of complex and sophisticated cognitive processes such as numerical cognition. Using an expanding range of tools from single-cell recording to brain stimulation, progress is being made in not only localising brain regions involved in overall functions, but also mapping the complexity of networks engaged in mathematical learning.

Overall, advances in cognitive neuroscience research is beginning to shed light on the ontogeny [physiology or neural formations are synonyms for that $100 word] of mathematical cognition, how cognition and behavioral performance can be modulated based on the knowledge of neuroplasticity, and how such findings can be used to understand the workings of the brain as a whole. Collaborations between scientists and educators and professionals relevant to the field of mathematics learning promises further advances in the understanding of not only mathematical cognition, but also learning in general, with long-term implications to enrich the mental wealth of mankind.”

That blog link also cites a 2007 OECD paper that came to my attention earlier in the week–“Understanding the Brain: The Birth of a Learning Science.” It outlined with numerous graphics precisely what the term Transdisciplinary is to alter and should be viewed through what UNESCO had in mind when it piloted this curriculum shift in Queensland, Australia covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/opting-out-as-the-remedy-may-mean-accidentally-accelerating-nonconsensual-transformations/ Since what is going on in education in the name of brain-based learning was not news to me, I went quickly to the chapter called “The Ethics and Organisation of Educational Neuroscience” with its cover quotes that “Science without conscience is but the ruin of the soul” and HG Wells’ belief that “Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.”

The chapter opens with a Martin Luther King Jr quote that–“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” Anyone detecting a theme among these quotes on the need to force internalized shared beliefs and values via education? How about if I further quote the authors acknowledgment that “traditionally, the ethical rules concerning biomedical research on human beings follow the Nuremburg Code of 1949 and the Declaration of Helsinki of 1964.”  See what I mean about purpose and aim? The bi-directional exchange between Trans-disciplinary Research on Learning and Mandated Classroom Practices and Required Assessments of what a Student has Internalized at a Neural Level are not the only reason I linked to that Queensland post.

When I first located that 2007 paper, I followed up on the Bibliography telling me that the US NSF had established Science of Learning Centers in 2003. I pulled up those materials and presentations and recognized numerous relevant professors and institutions. We have the creator of the 1987 HOTS report and the co-director of the New Standards project in the 90s–Lauren Resnick and Roy Pea of Stanford who is also now tied to NSF’s Cyber learning initiative and Charles Fadel’s Center for Curriculum Redesign at Harvard. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/drawing-back-the-standards-curtain-to-discover-the-global-coordination-to-redesign-the-very-nature-of-curriculum/ I knew back then these machinations were global, but not yet that we were looking at education research involving the physiology of real students in actual classrooms to “integrate insights about ‘micro-level’ mechanisms with evidence about aggregate, ‘macro-level’ outcomes that emerge from processes of implementing these mechanisms.”

In less stilted English (which I am capable of when I don’t have to quote for accuracy about indisputable aims), that would translate into monitoring the student’s neural network and which brain regions fire on prescribed tasks and how all that fits their shown behavior and how it changes. Data, data, data. Personal Identifiability is so NOT the needed area of focus in the Era of Sought Educational Neuroscience. I also wanted to go back to Queensland because there is a new Journal called the Science of Learning there and the Director of the SLC program at NSF wrote a letter to the Editor about two weeks ago. http://www.nature.com/articles/npjscilearn20169 See how real time we are here at ISC in tracking what is planned for us?

I started to write that Soo-Siang Lim was with the US NSF or the US SLC Centers with their declared emphasis on the “internal world of mind and brain” since so much of the prescribed emphasis has made it to all US classrooms in the name of the Common Core standards, but yesterday when I put her name into a search engine, I found out NSF has an office in Beijing and does Science of Learning work with jetsetting PIs at the University of Hong Kong. I found out Dr Lim sued for gender discrimination after she did not get tenure for an Anatomy Professorship at Indiana before joining the NSF and beginning her tour of the world. Found videos of interviews in Rio and dubbing into other languages. Perhaps most crucially though I found a January 23-24, 2012 OECD/NSF SLC conference in Paris called “Innovation in Education: Connecting How we Learn to Educational Policy and Practice.” http://www.oecd.org/edu/ceri/49382960.pdf

Notice the presence of Dirk Van Damme. We met him when I wrote about Global Education Futures Forum and Redesigning the Future and the presence of Alexander and Kathia Laszlo as Co-chairs of the Silicon Valley event.  http://edu2035.org/pdf/what_is_GEF.pdf  I could be sarcastic and say that coincidences abound but none of this is coincidental. The neural transformations being sought are the common glue that allows control without effective opposition and every wanna-be planner in the world seems to know it. It’s time we all knew it too. Also remember the quote from the head of the OECD in the Conclusion to my book that all of the OECD’s education policies are to pursue their desired plans of social, political, and economic transformations.

I must admit these last several weeks have produced many “Oh. Wow” moments in my research so I decided to go back to earlier works from decades ago, as well as now, where these aims were both clearly hoped for and sought. Turned out that in 1989 Paul Ehrlich and Robert Ornstein in New World New Mind called for governments to “make new ways of thinking and new ways of handling our problems immediately available to society’s decision-makers. And while changing the form and content of education would be a major step toward conscious evolution..” They go on to state that “there is a new understanding of the human mind, developed from modern brain research and studies of thought processes.” I have never thought it was just coincidental that under President Obama the NSF and all these education initiatives like the League of Innovative Schools report at the White House to a close Ehrlich associate–John Holdren.

Could have the motto: “Finally in a position to make it so.” Let’s come back to the present and Rebecca Costas’ 2010 book The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson wrote the Foreword and is quoted as saying in 2009 that “the real problem of humanity is the following: We have paleolithic emotions; medieval institutions; and god-like technology.” Sounds just like the quotes prefacing the OECD’s Chapter on the Ethics surrounding Educational Neuroscience and its potential, doesn’t it? It should make us all very nervous that the well-connected Ms Costas thought that the way to avoid civilizational collapse was to reject thought involving “analytical processing [and] deliberate application of strategies and operations to gradually approach a solution.”

My last quote confirms just how often the phrase ‘evidence-based policy’ in education or ‘best practices’ is obscuring a sought neural transformation in the parts of the brain trained to respond and the very nature of the student’s brain itself. Frequently the sales pitch is also put out in the name of Equity as in a 2014 paper called “Neuroscience and Education: Prime Time to Build the Bridge.” It stated that “rising education inequality is among the gravest of the world’s problems.” Now, education inequality is a natural condition of humanity throughout history. Only by interfering with people’s brains and how they process is Equity possible and that very interference is totalitarian, especially when the nature of what is being targeted is the subject of so much organized deceit.

Anyone else chilled to the bones by all this global coordination with known and Proud-of-It Authoritarian or Communist States? As I mentioned to someone yesterday, individual liberty is precious and rare in the annals of history. In the era of unrecognized Educational Neuroscience it is about to become extinct within the current generation.

In the name of obscuring slogans like Choice, Higher Standards, Personalized Learning, and Brain-Based Instruction.

I’d like to Opt Out Please.

ACES: Individual Psychological Change as an Effective but Hidden Route to Ameliorate the Whole Society

Anyone wondering if we are about to play an exciting game of cards here at ISC? ACES is an acronym I just created because the phrase Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems is simply too long to keep typing over and over again. Now every time we see the phrases ‘learner-centric education,’ ‘competency-based,’ ‘personalized learning to meet needs and achieve success and full potential,’ or ‘continuous improvement’ as the world’s largest education accreditor used recently http://www.advanc-ed.org/sites/default/files/ESSA%20Call%20to%20Action%20Whitepaper.pdf , we can accurately recognize that political power–local, state governors and legislatures, Congress and the White Houses led by both parties, and international groups–has decreed that students are simply systems to be measured, monitored and manipulated.

ACES is a defined-term globally and I hope you have as much fun seeing what it pulls up as I did when I first came across it and recognized the implications. I cannot summarize all those papers on this blog although reading many of them did cause me to put this blog into hiatus as I dealt with the implications. Then I pulled a book I have discussing what were known as the Macy Cybernetic Conferences or Feedback Mechanisms and Circular Causal Systems in Biology and the Social Sciences back in the 1940s into the early 50s. That is when what is now known as brain-based learning was first discussed. Here’s a quote for an aim that gets obscured now under all these euphemisms and more:

“Granted that personality and culture could be viewed as a cybernetic system with purposes, feedbacks, and communication links, which if analyzed [think of all that glorious data now being gathered under various mandates] might lend credence to the notion that individual psychological change could be an effective route toward ameliorating the whole society…By individuals changing their ways, the culture is changed.”

This is supposedly the ‘gentle’ approach to social change. Use education as a means to alter “styles of personal relations [Positive School Climate], child rearing [mandatory parent involvement at school], family and sexual patterns [transgender bathroom edicts], and promoting mental health [now usually called student wellbeing]. However gentle, it contained a strong element of the managerial, the manipulative, and the controlling.” Those aims still do and they are now everywhere in 21st century schooling. These aims now go back to a view that “human nature is not fixed but adaptable and changeable. Human nature, i.e., personality structure, is contingent on social patterns prevailing in a culture…and can be altered by changing these cultural patterns.”

When that AdvancED White Paper above writes about “a personalized journey of continuous improvement” where the student can be improved by schools “using evidence to pinpoint what must happen in the areas of need identified through the continuous improvement process,” we are back using education and the social sciences to achieve the aims laid out so long ago at those Macy conferences. When the paper talks about social and emotional factors and the “type of additional measures it will use” so that a “school or district must support the development of its students in ways not identified in test scores, but that directly impact student learning and development,” we are actually back to the goals for the future a Macy participant, Larry Frank, laid out in 1951.

In his book Nature and Human Nature, Frank wrote that that cybernetic notions could create a revolution where:

“Today we can assert with full conviction that culture is a human creation, man’s attempt to order and pattern his personal life and to provide for orderly group or social living…This indicates that culture is not a superhuman system, final and unchanging, beyond man’s reach and control; also it shows that we can and do change culture by modifying what we think and do and feel and what we teach and how we rear our children. Again, this new viewpoint, when once grasped, brings an immense relief and a feeling of freedom we have never had before under the older beliefs in a supernaturally imposed culture, sanctioned by immemorial tradition.”

Now, if we parents and taxpayers were presented with that graphic intention for today’s ‘education reforms’ we could accurately perceive what is intended for us and appropriately rebel in time. So we get all these euphemisms instead that still utterly reek of a cybernetic viewpoint for controlling individuals and planning a society once we recognize the terminology. Here’s AdvancED again on when ‘a system is considered effective’:

* Various processes and components of the system are connected and aligned so that they work together as part of a complex whole in support of a common purpose.

* System improvements are driven by a process of continuous measurement and feedback with a focus on collecting and sharing data that informs and transforms.”

I am going to interrupt my quoting of AdvancED talking about both students and schools in such cybernetic language using systems metaphors to point out what is wrong with so much of the Faux Narrative and outrage over Student Privacy that wants to make the conversation about Personally Identifiable Information. That is a static database emphasis regarding student data that has been openly declared to be interested in constantly changing students from the inside-out to the specifications sought by political power as if they were just a ‘system.’ And the point of concern is only PII and whether it is the feds imposing it as opposed to what is really going on here? Back to quoting again:

“* System actors understand and engage each other and the system successfully.

* System outputs are of the desired quality and produced within the desired time frame.”

The system is the student in many cases and what is being tracked and manipulated is the internalized Simplex I covered in the April 4 post. http://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CW_ChugachSchoolDistrict_APersonalizedPerformanceBasedSystem.pdf is another recently released paper from another group driving what must go on in the classrooms under the synonym of competency-based education. It is also targeting students as if they were simply ACES–Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems–rearrangeable in a “Continuous Improvement (TQM) Process” just as the Macy Conference social engineers always wanted. This is how we measure, monitor, and manipulate the ACES providing whatever learning experiences data shows to be needed until political power and its Business Cronies have the malleable adult they want “upon exiting the education system in 2025.”

I have more recent declarations by connected groups with the power to mandate what must occur in classrooms that fits with what was laid out by those Macy Conferences, but I want us to go back to a 1988 conference that supplements what is laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy and that fits with both the Macy Conferences and what we are seeing now. Locating it tumbled out of my research on ACES as I played Tiptoe Through the Footnotes once again. In May 1987 Ohio State hosted a conference called “the Educated Citizen and the University of the Future.” It led to the 1989 publication of a book I found on ERIC (indicating current fedED interest) called “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge,” edited by Richard Bjornson and Marilyn Waldman. Its Introduction complained first about the following:

“The dominant patterns of knowledge in the present educational and social climate are based on linear thinking, rationalistic analysis, and the quest for generalizable simplicity. Under such circumstances, individual success generally results from the competency with which these patterns of knowledge are mastered and then utilized to bring about expected or predictable outcomes.”

Now not only is such individual success not Equitable, but that individual will be using what I am going to call his or her Do-It-Yourself internalized Simplex to decide what to do and how to do it. To perceive what it notices and what guides and motivates its actions and that is thoroughly unacceptable. Saying that forthrightly in the way that Larry Frank did above so long ago might doom all these plans to finally succeed at using education for brain-based social engineering so we get the euphemisms AdvancED and iNacol used or this from 1989 that resonates today in the required ‘systems thinking’ in the Common Core C3 Social Studies Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the WIOA economic planning legislation I have covered.

“Alternative views of reality, whether they originate in our culture or outside of it, tend to be resisted or rejected out of hand. Each contributor to the volume challenges the unquestioning acceptance of these patterns and suggests that our creativity, our capacity to understand complex phenomena, and even the future wellbeing of our society depend on our willingness to embrace new patterns of knowledge and not allow ourselves to be defined solely in terms of what has been taught in the past.”

A few pages later and consistent with my insistence that it is that internalized Simplex and a desire for individual psychological change to quietly engineer a planned Upravleniye (March 22 post) society that is and has been for decades the real driver of all these reforms, the editors complain that we need to Rethink Patterns of Knowledge in preschool and K-12 because most college students “have already internalized their guiding beliefs and assumptions by the time they enter college.” Try not to faint in horror out there upon reading that statement.

So if the purpose of education is now to create minds amenable to political coercion without complaint or even noticing and to lock that in invisibly at a neural level, is there a level of government in a free society where such aims can be regarded as lawful and permissible?

Should the accreditors be able to require it working with school boards and their lawyers? Legislatures? Trade groups like the Chamber of Commerce? Is this violation really abhorrent if imposed by the feds but A-OK at a local or state level?

See why it is absolutely necessary to confront what is really being targeted for change and why?

 

 

Harnessing the Willingness of the Populace to Fill its Role in These Plans Via Deceit at all Levels

Part Two begins with the UNESCO General Conference meeting in Paris that last week enacted what it already abbreviates as FFA–Education 2030 Framework for Action: Towards inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all. UNESCO is celebrating its 70th anniversary at this meeting and fully intends to use “Quality Education” to achieve its long time agenda of “Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women”. That’s what Rapprochement of Cultures and Human Rights Education were about from the last two posts. I happen to have the up-to-date official definition of Quality Learning at the ready for us:

“there is an acute need to foster skills, values and attitudes that will enable people to overcome religious, linguistic and cultural differences, to coexist peacefully, and to discover shared human, moral and ethical principles…we attach great importance to enhancing quality in learning by..raising awareness of shared moral, ethical and cultural values, and promoting tolerance of differences [at least certain kinds of differences as the Oregon bakers discovered].”

It is that internalized belief and value system we all have that is being consistently targeted, isn’t it? They do intend to build peace at the level of the mind, or at least prevailing perceptions that it is possible. To discover why let me introduce you to a new definition of ‘culture’ and something I had never heard of–Cognitive Anthropology. See where footnote surfing gets us? To quote a cited book, Cultural Models in Language & Thought, “this school of anthropology came to stand for a new view of culture as shared knowledge [hence the boldfacing above]–not a people’s customs and artifacts and oral traditions, but what they must know in order to act as they do, make the things they make, and interpret their experiences in the distinctive way they do.”

Sound familiar? That’s what Competency gets at, what Higher Order Thinking Skills assessments evaluate for, what the Maker Movement and Project-based Learning have students emphasize, and what the local school administrators mean when they hype ‘quality learning experiences’ for all students. When the White House Summit this week on reimagining American high school showed a film Most Likely to Succeed   touting High Tech High in San Diego http://mltsfilm.org/ they were pushing a vision of education developed by cognitive anthropology research. The title of this post tells us why. Education–preschool, K-12, higher ed, and adult–is looking for “insight into those conditions under which cultural models [what Quality Learning internalizes. See above] are endowed with directive force and hence with ideological potential.”

Gulp. The essence of the phrase “sustainable development” is finding cultural models that can be internalized as values, beliefs, and attitudes that will reliably guide and prompt desired future behaviors. If that sounds authoritarian, it is. It fully intends to rely on ‘statutory enactment’ and ‘political regulations’ to be binding, but those things and ‘financial incentives’ cannot carry the load fully. Education for All throughout a lifetime, from cradle to grave, is needed to always be malleable and subservient to political power. No rebellions and no resentment, at least not overtly. In what may be my all time favorite phrase taken from a 2006 book Learning Cities, Learning Regions, Learning Communities: Lifelong learning and local government,  written by a professor and UNESCO consultant Nicholas Longworth:

“Top-down authoritarian structures are no longer in vogue and leaders in cities and regions will need to know how to harness the creative energies of thousands of people for the good. Shakespeare’s ‘tide in the affairs of men’ becomes also a tide in the affairs of local and regional authorities.”

Remember this as your Congress Critter or Senator Lamar Alexander hypes the ESEA Rewrite returning power to states and local districts and schools. Remember it as your State Governor files his WIOA plan, with its state and local boards, with DC. This is all consistent with the UN vision for achieving its 2030 Dignity for All agenda via Learning Cities and Learning Regions. The FFA mentioned above says so. We may not know any cognitive anthropologists or behavioral scientists, but the UN does, and it knows:

“Social life depends on the fit between what is socially required [see above and previous posts] and what is individually desired [Quality Learning games this]. So, too, the designs of those who would rule society and those who would benefit from this control over others, depend upon the willingness of the populace to fill its role in these plans. Therefore, states and other agencies promulgate ideology [Equity for All; Catastrophic Global Warming] persuading people to do what they otherwise might question or resist…To be successful, ideologies must appeal to and activate preexisting cultural understandings [Quality Learning again]…to be convincing, an ideology must pose as either legitimate or inevitable.”

Now we know why Outcomes-Based Education just keeps coming back as my book laid out and as a speaker from the well-connected Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education confirmed just last night. The stipulated outcomes are what can ‘grip us’ and act as an internal compass as Human Rights Education called it. That FFA stated that “Education is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and essential for the success of all SDGs.” Front and center and running through everything, crucial to education, beginning ‘at birth’ and continuing ‘throughout life’ is the ‘concept of lifelong learning.” This time it is FFA bolding that phrase and luckily for us the footnote is on that page and not at the end. It was all-encompassing though and sent me scurrying for the cited technical paper. That’s when the Learning Cities and Regions came rolling out so here’s the quote:

“In essence, lifelong learning is rooted in the integration of learning and living, covering learning activities for people of all ages (children, young people, adults and elderly, girls and boys, women and men) in all life-wide contexts (family, school, community, workplace and so on) and through a variety of modalities (formal, non-formal and informal) which together meet a wide range of learning needs [what new state funding formulas all seem to emphasize] and demands. Education systems which promote lifelong learning adopt a holistic and sector-wide approach involving all sub-sectors and levels to ensure the provision of learning opportunities for all individuals.”

I was a history major and I recognize a variant of Mussolini’s infamous definition of Fascism, even if the State force is divvied up at multiple levels from the global to the local all the way to an insistence on student-centered learning: “All within the State, Nothing outside the State, Nothing against the State.” Remember authoritarianism is not rejected, just any perception of a top-down, centralized imposition. When I found that Lifelong Learning Technical Paper, it revealed a supposedly binding set of documents from 2013 called the “Beijing Declaration on Building Learning Cities” and ” Key Features of Learning Cities.” Locating these and reading through them it became apparent that I had been living through and attending meetings clearly implementing this Learning Region agenda. No wonder I accidentally learned so much as my book pulled together in alarming detail.

I now know that for sure and not just by inference because a few days ago the San Francisco region issued what it called the Roadmap http://www.bayareaeconomy.org/report/a-roadmap-for-economic-resilience/ that fits with every tenet aspiration of a UN Learning Region down to wanting to create a public-private partnership of elected officials and civic and business leaders to guide an Economic Development partnership that would be qualified to access federal funds as one of the 380 duly-qualified Economic Development Districts. Lots to build Learning Cities and regions on, huh? The report thanked those that have gone before and listed Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, DC, and Los Angeles.

Between the last post and this one I went out of town and part of that trip involved driving Interstate 75 through Dalton, a reminder of the Aspen/fed Communities that Work Partnership http://www.aspenwsi.org/communities-that-work/overview/ that just commenced. WSI is Workforce Strategies Initiatives because in Learning Cities and Learning Regions, we all know that K-12=Workforce Development=Economic Development=Living itself under that definition of Lifelong Learning. Get enough physically juxtaposed regions and cities in one federal program or another, including Community Broadband that the close-by Chattanooga just issued bonds to finance, and our Learning Regions start knitting into a Learning Society committed via the law and education to Lifelong Learning–everyone, everywhere, all the time.

Quickly as I am running out of time, at the end of September 2015 a Second Learning Cities Summit was held in Mexico City and it set out the above as Guiding Documents for cities and regions to formally join the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Maybe our mayors or city council members do not plan to tell us though and simply go to conferences like PolicyLink’s October Equity Summit in Los Angeles where the principles are all asserted with federal officials mixing with local and with community organizers, implementing a global agenda without telling us officially.

Maybe the recognition comes from something like an ASCD Whole School Whole Community Whole Child Poster http://www.ascd.org/programs/learning-and-health/wscc-model.aspx once we know about the Lifelong Learning/Learning Region formal agenda and seeing how it fits like a jigsaw piece to a puzzle. When we read about “more collaboration and partnerships with families, industry and business, voluntary associations, people active in cultural life are needed,” we need to recognize this is not just some random public spiritedness and desire for collaboration. It derives from official global policy for a new kind of cultural model internalized within the mind and personality.

We will close with the aspiration laid out by the Chinese Vice Premier at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo that this UNESCO agenda of Lifelong Learning is to “facilitate the comprehensive and personalized development of each and every individual.” Now take the top-down authoritarianism rejection and marry it with the bottoms up intent of Human Rights Education. This is Part 2 of a Trilogy, remember?

The Key Features Framework has a Greek Temple graphic with Sustainable Development across six pillars that basically summarize elements of the vision as the Major Building Blocks of a Learning City and three steps laying out the needed fundamental conditions. The left side of the pediment at the top is “Individual Empowerment and Social Cohesion.” Get it? The collective is what empowers the individual, even if it is only an entitlement to basic skills. The right side joining it is “Economic Development and Cultural Prosperity.”

Now would be a good time to remember it does not say Economic prosperity. It would also be a good time to remember that new definition of Culture the Cognitive Anthropologists created set out above.

 

 

 

 

Rapprochemont or Civilization Surrender? How to Force Global Solidarity Starting with Preschool Education

In case anyone wonders how that UNESCO Roadmap to the Global Action Programme even came up in a discussion of what might be applicable in your neck of the woods, the just-ended Connected Educators Month touted that Youth Summit in Paris last week. Anyone unaware of CEM might want to know it ties to fed ED, virtually all the ed trade and professional groups, and the tech companies involved closely with the to-be-required digital learning. Poking through that Youth Summit and its materials taught me quickly that there is an EDC/HRE global initiative. That stands for Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education and it declares the “decisive role of school in shaping the young generation, transmitting cultural, moral and civic values and creating the premises for new social change.”

Initially I had written “wanted us to know” but let’s face it, none of these planners, summit attenders, UNESCO or OECD employees, etc, actually plan to tell us anything. We were certainly not going to be told that preschool through high school needs to provide a “shift in mindset and social responsibility” to deal with the peoples and cultures of the world and that this “holistic approach to rebuilding and reconciliation” and “integral human development”  cannot “be achieved effectively without unhinging the idea of nations and cultural communities from the nation-state.” And we wonder why APUSH does not want to glorify American exceptionalism or our Founding Fathers and is now promoting the concept of Dialogue around an Interactive Constitution.

Those were quotes taken from something else being kept quiet from us that was promoted in a session at the Youth Summit called “Mobile Cultures for Dialogue” that announced that in 2013 the International Decade of the Rapprochement of Cultures commenced. Think of that name as you look at the hordes now from Syria or North Africa in Europe or the arrivals in the US from Central America or the resettlements of Somalis and others from certain parts of Africa. Yes, all those migrations/invasions, depending on your perspective, do appear to be a part of the UN’s Post-2015 plans for all of us. UNESCO has now put up a Summary from its first Expert Meeting held March 24-25, 2015 in Paris to create a framework to implement the RoC agenda.

I know everyone will be shocked, shocked, not that there is gambling going on in Casablanca, but that UNESCO views “Citizenship education in a plural and interconnected world” as the means to implement this agenda. “Key message to be instilled: Human values drive a dynamic process to develop responsible citizens.” Apparently citizens who have divorced themselves from fealty to that evil nation-state. Before we examine what is coming at us unbeknownst and without our approval in the present, let’s go back to an interview Amitai Etzioni gave in 1999 that was uploaded by the University of Goettingen in 2013. Not only is Germany the destination of choice for these Migrants in search of a cohesive society to meet their needs, it, like the US, also appears to be Ground Zero for finally bringing the Active Society into fulfillment.

Since we all love a good confession from the politically connected, let’s just listen now to these past declarations of intent and methods of choice. “I was very connected to cybernetics. So the social cybernetics [science of control, remember?] which I tried to develop stated that one of the four conditions for successful social change is the support of the people. Therefore it was not a top-down concept. [or must not be perceived to be since we have tracked to the UN and the OECD]… Because the good society is communitarian [people] believe in shared virtues…you need true participation to set new mores…eight months is not a very long time for reaching shared understandings.”

Although media can help and UNESCO and Etzioni both have called on it to do so, education remains the primary tool for creating these values of solidarity and all this must be done at the local level as early as possible. Last week two papers came out in the US seeking to accomplish precisely what the Active Society needs and the UN entities and the OECD all want. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/30051800/StandardsAlignment.pdf is tied to Etzioni as one of its co-authors is a JD/ Masters in Ed Policy candidate from GWU. Now that’s how you get to both recommend transformative practices for education and also create the legal mandate to make it bindingly so. Just what the Active Society and UNESCO recommend.

Doesn’t everyone want Standards for Nonacademic Skills that cover Preschool through Third Grade and start with Sharing, then “self-control, and then “building relationships with peers and adults.” Fits well if the community and collective action, instead of the individual, is to be the required means of political action. Notice too that the Early Learning Outcomes Framework was changed in June 2015 to add ‘perceptual development’ for the little tykes and to delete ‘general knowledge’. Might get in the way of pitching all these false narratives.

The Achievement Gap Institute at Harvard wants to move “Beyond Standardized Test Scores: Engagement, Mindsets, and Agency” http://www.agi.harvard.edu/projects/TeachingandAgency.pdf that in the name of Excellence, Effective Teaching and what will be measured to keep jobs, and Equity manages to make the new classroom focus creating the very kind of personal characteristics needed so that everyone feels their responsibility to others.

Since not everyone is as click happy as I am when I see a link, please notice that the cited mindset scholars network combines Growth Mindset, Grit, Perseverence, and Civil Rights expectations as a matter of law into what is slipping in there. Clicking further we find the National Mindset Study that is funded by Carnegie and is involved with the “brain’s ability to restructure itself” and for the students “to internalize those messages [provided] via writing exercises.” Ding. Ding. Ding. So the human brain will neurologically restructure itself over time in response to manipulative reading and writing exercises. This is thus a known way to create false beliefs and acceptance of carefully cultivated narratives that promote social and political transformation.

Etzioni wrote about the need for ‘authentic consensus’ and spoke of the need for the bottom-up support of the people and this is how it gets created. Early Learning Standards wanting to target Perception and social and emotional learning. That Harvard study seeks to focus on developing student’s ‘purposeful initiative’, Why does that matter? Because that bridges the gap between what the students have internalized as values and beliefs about the world and motivating them to act to change the world. That’s what now constitutes Effective Teaching. It’s not about knowledge. It’s about cultivating the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors needed to either push for, or go along with, transformative social change.

Now we can go back to the Rapprochement of Cultures, which oddly enough is being financially sponsored by the same Saudi Arabia with no desire to take in any of the North Africa or Syrian refugees. It is formally sponsored by Kazakhstan, one of the world’s most notorious dictatorships, which is rather a tip off that this agenda is actually not about a goal to “enhance dialogue between cultures based on dignity, tolerance, and respect.” It’s only certain cultures, religions, and beliefs systems entitled to such deference and respect. For an idea who, we can look at the backgrounds and previous initiatives of the invited experts listed at the back of the summary or we can see what President Obama, Jeh Johnson, and a Merkel spokewoman said here http://linkis.com/dailycaller.com/2015/de8UL

When I originally outlined this post I actually mentioned a Tripod of needed false beliefs and narratives that this Rapprochement plans to push that refuses to listen to any facts, no matter how provable they are. Before I knew the background of the ‘experts,’ it was clear this initiative intended to impose a one way Affirmative Claim against the West to protect certain cultures and religions and to provide endlessly for any adherents that managed to physically make it within the borders. If you wonder why I went back to the Etzioni quote on not being top down, Recommendation # 6 calls for “ensuring civil society [Etzioni’s preferred term] is paramount in recognition of their pivotal role in transforming social norms, attitudes, and behavior, as well as nurturing peace from the ground up through promoting positive principles and ideals.”

That’s what those two cited papers do from just this week. It’s what the new required PBIS, Positive School Climates, and Restorative Justice practices do. Since Harvard and the state of Massachusetts are listed partners, and the location of, the UNESCO/OECD Center for Curriculum Redesign created by Charles Fadel, it is very unlikely that the paper is not part of the RoC vision for the “creation of a sustainable, socially-cohesive society.” If anyone thinks I am somehow just trying to pull at the heart strings by tying terrible visuals of the hordes in Europe or crossing the Mexican border to the education agenda, Common Core, and competency based education, let me close with a few more quotes. Not my bolding.

” 7. Promote the respect for the inherent human dignity of migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers and enhance societal understanding of their value and contribution [to, sic] the impalpable dynamics of ideas and in enabling the rapprochement of cultures. Achieving a better balance between migrant rights and duties could result in peaceful coexistence and cultural diversity.”

Notice that ‘could’ because UNESCO is granting a human right to come anyway and an obligation for us to provide and change our existing culture via ‘quality education’ to change prevailing beliefs and values. Notice that the Rapprochment, said to be the biggest initiative UNESCO has ever undertaken, is intimately tied to that physical presence in nation-states that are no longer to have border or cultural primacy themselves. Now as I finish think of the NEA and their CARE Guide and the Southern Poverty Law Center and its Teaching Tolerance initiative that teachers are being taught to implement as part of the Common Core training.

” 8. Strengthen existing and nurture new forms of global solidarity, including through the media, which foster mutual understanding and tolerance, and counter hate speech, racism, xenophobia, radicalization, violent extremism and genocide. Voices of tolerance must be stronger and they must be better supported to maximize impact and reach.”

Education under RoC, that is in fact coming to your local schools with the force of law, “can be a means to resist and overcome political forces, in particular, identity politics that seek to counter pluralism within self and society.” Got that? Only a bigot would refuse this RoC agenda. If you think the hostility to existing nation-states is just in one place this is how Rec #2 ended:

“Social responsibility with respect to safeguarding and promoting culture also needs to be extended beyond the realm of the nation state in favour of its universal value for humanity.”

I am not jingoistic nor bigoted, and I did not go looking for this agenda of Rapprochement. It has a trail that leads to fed Ed and others involved in what goes on locally.

We no more have an obligation to ignore this Suicide of the West by Menticide than most of us would ignore the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife if we could stop it by speaking up.

So I am.

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.

 

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.

 

Meaningful Learning or Internalized Hammer and Sickle Style Habits of Mind and Behaviors?

Let’s go back to that Herbert Marcuse book from the last post. In making a point about a desired new Soviet rationality Marcuse stressed that if certain ‘attitudes and behaviors’ can be successfully internalized, they will provide unconscious “pragmatic directives for action.” That effect has nothing to do with physical geography. Instilling desired habits of mind and practiced behaviors would have the same effect in the West as was recognized in this old post where Soviet psychologist Leontiev called it the Great Experiment. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/imitating-the-ussr-in-striving-to-discover-how-the-child-can-become-what-he-not-yet-is/ Funny how no one told us about the Great Experiment being conducted on us starting in the 60s with our tax money and education facilities, but filter everything I described in Chapter 6 of my book through that open admission.

I think the “Nation’s Report Card,”–the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP–was always intended to monitor the progress of the Great Experiment. I think that is why the Carnegie Corporation began to finance the development of NAEP back around 1964. Before we talk about the poorly understood, designed always to manipulate, NAEP, let’s get back to the why. Here’s what Marcuse and others believe: obviously false statements about the present do not matter because if people can be made to believe them anyway, they can still become those desired attitudes and habits of mind. People can then be counted on to reliably act in a way so that the “historical process in which the commanded political practice [in the West this gets hidden mostly invisibly in education objectives and little-disclosed mandates like the now omnipresent Positive School Climate] will bring about the desired facts.” (italics in original)

Now if someone actually wants to believe that current reality and the facts about what works is in the way of a desired transformation, it is no wonder we now have education where facts and right answers are to be minimized and concepts and ideas emphasized instead. Sure sounds to me like what Marcuse said was practicing with “the original content of Marxian theory as a truth that must be believed and enacted against all evidence to the contrary [exactly like President Obama and the UN now on Climate Change]: the people must do and feel and think as if their state were the reality of that reason, freedom, and justice which the ideology proclaims, and the ritual is to assure such behavior.” Until it becomes an internalized habit of mind practiced from preschool to high school in an active, engagement-oriented new kind of educational emphasis?

Let’s shift back to the Breakpoint and Beyond book from the last post because it made a similar point. A new kind of society was possible if people could learn the “art of changing one’s mind…After we have put together a new frame of mind, we then rebuild our society by reinventing our organizations.” Without a solid base of historical knowledge, how many people will be aware that we are trying to redesign social institutions around theories? That’s how we get lots of people willing and primed to act with an inability to comprehend the foreseeable consequences. It’s where we are now because none of these pursuits is new as we will see. We have been creating educational objectives around a desire to “devise the means to change our minds about what is real: from a belief in the limits of a rational, past-driven world to belief in the limitless potential of a creative world.”

No one asked us, did they, before embarking on this Bipartisan vision of Creativity, Connecting, and Future Pull? Do the politicians and their all too important staffers actually know why we are now pushing education where the “processes shift from logical and straightforward to innovative and discontinuous. The basic human strategy moves from ‘solving problems,’ by attacking them piecemeal and getting back to normal, to formulating broad and original opportunities. [Maybe by using that appointed regional planning commission so that its edicts are binding and there is no one essentially to complain to]. Attitudes shift from finding and applying the ‘right,’ tried-and-true, traditional answers to energizing the production of unique advances: major breaks with the past. The system moves to creating the impossible [or at least trying while the architects of all this are well-paid with taxpayer funds or foundation grants]; not just doing things differently, but doing different things.”

When NAEP was first being created from 1964 to 1968, Ralph Tyler chaired its development committee. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/is-common-core-a-catalyst-to-dramatically-alter-system/ reminds us of why that matters so much. The 1970 “What is National Assessment?” report made it clear that NAEP’s ultimate goal “is the measurement of change (progress) in knowledges, skills, understandings, and attitudes as they relate to meaningful education objectives.” The emphasis is on “objectives rather than content.” In a 1972 paper “National Assessment: Measuring American Education” Ralph Tyler was interviewed and he made it crystal clear that NAEP was about “helping schools get rid of the right-answer syndrome and replace it with learning how to learn.”

I am the one pointing out that this statement fits with what Marcuse laid out as well as the creative mindset amenable to change that the Breakpoint book had in mind. Tyler stated that the NAEP is not a test. “They are exercises that children, youth and young people are given” that show the “public both what children are learning and how many are learning each thing.” The exercises sought to remove any middle class bias and “attempt to measure the youngsters’ thought processes or their ability to perform [behave] in some way.” Making my point that standards are ‘goals’ and are not about content as traditionally understood, Tyler revealed forthrightly back in 1972 that “the objectives or goals represent a kind of standard which is considered desirable to achieve. The exercises, if they are good measures, tell to what extent the goals are being achieved. This approach tells very specifically what a person knows or can do.”

For anyone unfamiliar with Tyler, he was every bit as much an advocate of transformational collectivism as John Dewey or anyone else we have looked at. From looking at the NAEP reports from that 1970 one coming forward, I do believe that the Washington Sunday Star warning that “What the Kinsey Report was to American sex, the National Assessment may be to American education” is an understatement. I could say something more here, but best not in case my mother or children ever read this post. NAEP was intended to radicalize American education and then monitor which groups were changing, by how much, and where. It was chilling then when this NAEP research pulled up a National Education Goals (NEG) Panel report from the March 3, 1993 meeting where then Education Secretary Lamar Alexander was presiding. Apparently Richard Riley had not yet been confirmed.

To bring us up to the present context, that would be the same Lamar Alexander who has now created the Bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act that we looked at in the last post and especially in the comments. It would also be the same Richard Riley who is now Vice Chair of the Carnegie Corporation that is also working with CCSSO in pushing Next Generation Learning and Competency-based education in addition to the Common Core. Back to 1993 though, the notes show now-Senator Alexander as wanting to get the accreditation agencies “engaged in the dialogue about standards.” He wanted a meeting set up between them and the NEG panel. He also reportedly waxed nostalgic about heading the National Governors Association and getting all the nation’s governors to work with him for the entire one year period from 1985-1986 on just the one subject of education.

He was proud of creating a way for Democratic and Republican governors to work together and was pleased that the NEG Panel was continuing the same tradition. The Senate’s Education Committee apparently continued the Bipartisan selling out of America by approving ECAA last week without dissent. Probably best then for those Senators to now remove the American flag from their lapels. They may not be aware of the Hammer and Sickle ancestry of what they are mandating, but that does not change the lineage of these ideas, practices, and objectives in the least. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/transcending-the-individual-mind-as-the-analytical-unit-of-learning-while-still-guiding-how-we-will-act/ is another good primer for a Congress that is forcing collectivist traditions whether they know it yet or not. We certainly do.

Back to that 1993 meeting because it still affects what is being sought now. It sought to “Establish a National Education Standards and Assessment Council (NESAC) to provide leadership and oversight to the development of national content and performance standards and an assessment system.” The Panel also wanted to “support the continued expansion of NAEP.” Think of NAEP as the enforcer for moving beyond “right-answer syndrome” to assessments that could get at how students think and what behaviors they are ready to perform. Now think of the language in ECAA about “aligned achievement standards” each state must develop to go with their mandated ‘content’ standards as being about what in 1993 was still being called ‘performance standards.’ Behavioral in orientation now and then. Two different terms for the same concept.

I forgot to tell you what sent me down this particular pathway, didn’t I? It was my conclusion that there was some type of connection among the New Standards Project that fits all that the 1993 panel wanted and commenced in 1996, performance standards, and what the NAEP is actually assessing for. Guess what? I was right. Guess what else? All of this ties to what was considered ‘meaningful learning’ in the 90s and in the New Paradigm for College and Career Readiness now.

Oh, and Every Child Achieves Act also ties to what used to be called Proficiency Standards for Reasoning. Because specifying that and then practicing until it’s a habit of mind would get us back to Marcuse’s vision wouldn’t it?

Next Time then we will continue.

Dwelling in a Void of Unknowing Within a Sculpted Narrative Designed to Manipulate

Credit for the first part of our title goes to British author Peter Hitchens describing how little young people knew of his country’s recent past and that most were “dwelling in a void of unknowing.” Great phrasing for a reality we are now seeing all over the world as we wonder with him: “What is it about our past that has led it to be reformed out of existence?” Well, truthfully, I am not wondering as I have repeatedly laid out the desires for transformational change, first in my book, and now on the blog, as the calls just get more urgent. Dovetailing with that UN call for Dignity for All globally by 2030 we saw in the last post turns out to be a Rockefeller-funded report of the Commission on Inclusive Prosperity released https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/IPC-PDF-full.pdf   last month that also includes the related vision for “world-class” education.

That IP report would be the sculpted narrative designed to manipulate. Believing in what it asserts requires either being a beneficiary of the vision or being quite ignorant of either history or economics. The usefulness of people not knowing much, while being blissfully ignorant of the acute absence, was really brought home this week as an advocate of Competency-based learning excitedly mentioned that students are told that they “command the helm” of their own learning. I remembered the number of times we have encountered a psychologist or education professor speaking to fellow insiders about creating an internal “keel” within the student’s mind and personality that makes future behavior quite predictable. It seems a bit ironic to brag on one hand about the levels of behavioral control being fostered by Competency and its related “high-quality learning” and then to sell the manipulated student on how autonomous they are.

“Dwelling in a void of unknowing” and thus quite ready to be conned while governments steer. Looking for a way to explain the dangers of all this, I went back to a 1958 book called Theory and History by an economist, Ludwig Von Mises, who had the good sense to escape Europe in the mid-30s as Hitler was gaining power. He made the terribly pertinent point that “It is ideas that are responsible for the fact that the interests of people are disparate.” If we use education to control the prevailing ideas and, especially to limit them, it becomes much easier to sell visions of solidarity and the need for wholesale transformation.

Apparently the UN report on the 2030 Dignity For All vision or the Inclusive Prosperity report above follow a great tradition of not stressing over the pesky details since Von Mises also noted that “instead of dealing with all these problems Marx contented himself with the dogma that socialism will be an earthly paradise in which everybody will get all he needs.” It’s much easier, of course, to accept and act on dogma (and never even notice it is not grounded in reality) if students are now trained from an early age to dwell in a void of unknowing, while remaining blissfully unaware of that crucial fact. If Von Mises was correct when he stated:

“it is ideas that determine what people consider as their interests. Free men do not act in accordance with their interests. They act in accordance with what they believe furthers their interests.” (my bolding)

Should we be surprised at all that the year after the publication of that book, American educators and psychologists, whose work would evolve into what we now call Competency-based education, began their global push to take an emphasis on facts, textbooks, and lectures out of the classroom? Whoever controls the prevailing ideas also controls what people will believe their interests to be. Something we all need to be aware of now.

In case anyone thinks I am name calling by linking that IP report and Uncle Karl’s vision, the report keeps making statements like “While the economic mission of progressives is unchanging, the means of achievement change from generation to generation as the economy evolves.” That’s darn blunt even before we get to the statement that “we need new social and political institutions to make 21st century capitalism work for the many and not the few.” Anyone else see a problem with a goal that “nations need to ensure both that economic growth takes place and that it is broadly shared”? In order to get widespread acquiescence to that transformative vision education is devoting itself to extinguishing and controlling prevailing ideas. Throughout history, widespread prosperity can either come from plunder a la Ancient Rome (or a pirate ship with a talented crew) or it has to rely on a few hardworking people who have unique ideas–The Vital Few–as a book on the history of entrepreneurship called them.

Mind arson and manipulating what people believe makes widespread prosperity impossible. There is a revealing adjective on page 8 of the IP report that really gives away the whole game in the reference to a “managed global economy.” That’s a wish by a few, not a fact, and of course yet another reason to limit prevailing ideas and make education about specified knowledge, broad vocational skills, and lots of social and emotional training to create the desired dispositions. Oh, and since all desired transformations need a good crisis, we get to hear yet again that “employers are increasingly worried about their ability to find skilled labor.” They are more worried about better ideas and service swiping existing customers, but who needs to admit that fact when the skills gap sounds more noble? Plus the advocated alliance of “government, educational institutions, and businesses must work together” actually takes care of the long-term, keeping customers happy, problem. Governments become the real customer and stabilizer of revenue in this vision.

The IP report’s authors apparently did not have an adult in their lives when they were children telling them that “wishing will not make it so” because they simply proclaim a desire for “renewing the growth of living standards for everyone.” Well, don’t tell the high-falutin’ members of that IP Commission but Mind Arson makes that plan much harder as does the intention that “children from low-and moderate-income backgrounds need the same opportunities to fully develop their talents that wealthy children have.” Since I do not think the plan is Camps in Maine for All at 12 or Grand Tours of Europe using a voucher, school itself becomes the point of levelling and parents of kids perceived as being wealthy need to recognize they are in the line of fire.

In what may be my all time favorite confession of what will make for a “world-class school,” we are told that “education is empowering and allows individuals to become actors rather than passive bystanders in the role of the state.” In other words, we get to participate in this progressive world where governments hold the final say over everyone and everything. No wonder, “world-class schools are essential for achieving inclusive prosperity, fostering community cohesion [more reason to control prevailing ideas], encouraging a genuine stake in society, and participating in democratic structures.” People with a sense of their own unique individuality and the validity of what they know and believe are in the way. Schools are to become the “hub of these experiences” that are required to “deliver on society’s needs for social and economic development, political participation, environmental responsibility, and international solidarity.”

More reason to limit the prevailing ideas and availability of knowledge. Here’s the vision for “a broad and balanced curriculum [that] is vital for the development of inclusive prosperity.” Students in these world-class schools get to “gain the core skills needed for the world of work.” The pitch line, in other words, may be about getting each of our needs met, but the operating reality is that we exist to meet the needs of others and we are to have little input. Oh, but students also get “space and time to develop.” I guess that’s when they can be told they are actually masters of their own ‘helms’. In their voids of unknowing, most will believe it, at least for a while. Plus school “enhances the so-called soft skills–including team working, people management, civic and school engagement, and diversity awareness–to ensure that children are allowed to be fully engaged members of society in preparation for adult life.”

Control the excitement. I am sure the world-class schools all come with t-shirts that say “we are all comrades” since “I am a comrade” would basically negate all this solidarity seeking. Finally, “any curriculum must allow for economic and political literacy,” which is more than a little ironic in a report bereft of anything but the aspirational. Now, I know someone out there is saying that the IP report does not mention the Common Core or even competency by name so where’s the link? The report does call for “globally competitive standards developed through consensus, not ideology,” which is kind of funny in a document calling for education for Inclusive Capitalism to finally fulfill the progressive dream.

Now I have known for a while that the Common Core is designed to produce the data and desired changes in the students called for by a global program called the Achievement Standards Network (ASN). Financed as usual by Bill & Melinda. Yesterday I was poking around on this site http://www.imsglobal.org/iipe.html where (yesterday at least) we could still find a paper by Rob Abel called “Creating a Shared Vision for Assessment Reform: Building on the Common Core” that stated expressly that the Common Core was created to constitute the US’s participation in ASN and the Dublin Core and Metadata Applications.

The ‘globally competitive standards’ then and the ability to get to the Inclusive Prosperity vision are all about the data to be thrown off by digital learning, formative assessments, and “high-quality” learning experiences.

If you are like me, none of this vision sounds inviting. No chance whatsoever of it generating broad prosperity, inclusive or not. That’s precisely why we all need to know about these plans now.

I personally want to have the discussion of why a plane cannot fly before it takes off, not after it crashes.

If none of this is stoppable, no one can accuse me of not trying my best to sound the alarm.

Knowledge to Avoid Becoming Roadkill on the Bipartisan Global Road to Dignity by 2030

Sorry for such a graphic metaphor, but somehow reading all the plans to “transform the world to better meet human needs” made me think we have a global class of politicians and cronies, at every level of government, who actually view ordinary people and poverty as their excuse to be in charge and live at our expense in the 21st Century. Human needs and poverty are just excuses for Power where “change in the management of our economies” is the new rationale for Fascism. It prevents at every level ordinary individuals from making their own choices about what they want and what they value. Back in December 2014, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon issued the Post-2015 Global Marching Orders Governments at all Levels are now going about fulfilling. The report is called “The road to dignity by 2030: ending poverty, transforming all lives and protecting the planet.”

“Young people will be the torchbearers” of this vision of “inclusive and shared prosperity” grounded in a “human right” to have the State ensure that “social needs” are met, enforceable under the rule of law (reimagined just like federalism). Not interested in having the UN declare that your life must be transformed? Nobody intends to ask any of our permission. The world simply needs “more effective governance and capable and capable institutions, for new and innovative partnerships, including with responsible business and effective local authorities, and for a data revolution.” That last, of course, gets provided both by the digital learning mandates and by the Internet of Things and social media. That’s probably why how to gather and use all this data for new kinds of governments was the focus this week for yet another get together we were not invited to.   https://www.thegovernmentsummit.org/en/knowledgehub.html Ban Ki-Moon was there though and so was Sir Ken Robinson making sure the global vision of “quality learning for all” remained on track.

Expensive Consultants were there and ready to advise governments and discuss the “key role of business” in satisfying these global plans. “Companies are ready to change how they do business and to contribute by transforming markets from within and making production, consumption and the allocation of capital more inclusive and sustainable.” Nobody asked us, the existing customers and taxpayers. I guess existing Big Business knows whose hand will be feeding it in this vision for managing our economies to meet human needs. When the UN is officially calling out to local authorities and Business and stressing the desire to accomplish these plans for transformation by “aligning private action and public policies,” it’s really hard for me not to read this America Next vision of what is supposed to be the ‘conservative’ vision of K-12 education with its emphasis on the local and private providers through the broader intentions.

http://americanext.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/America-Next-K-12-Education-Reform.pdf was released this week. It is chockful of global Terms of Art like “high-quality standards” for all that fits right into Ban Ki-Moon’s Road to Dignity by 2030. All being done with language about free enterprise, a local government emphasis, and the money following the child. The UN laid out in a 2014 World Economic Forum report it co-wrote on its Post-2015 plans that vouchers were the global means for accomplishing its education agenda. We should take them at their word. To turn our young people into the desired torchbearers would be another way to put it. Seeing regulation via “one of the many well-regarded private accreditation agencies” as the answer for private schools to keep their autonomy despite the influx of public money is either deliberately deceitful by whoever wrote that paragraph or it indicates a woeful ignorance by the report’s authors of the nature of accreditation and its links to the UN System.

Talking in terms of a “public safety net, a minimum standard of sustenance beneath which citizens guarantee no neighbor will fall” is to accept the UN and Karl Marx vision of an enforceable obligation to meet human needs. In other words, in language about limited government, that report actually accepts the entire premise of the Welfare State. It’s a ‘conservative’ document that dovetails with the Road to Dignity by 2030 vision and leaves people ready to be blindsided by what is coming from the UN, local and state authorities, and in the name of progressive or polyphonic federalism. If you live in another country though, these same initiatives may be coming at you via what is being called Devolution.

http://www.respublica.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Restoring-Britains-City-States.pdf also came out this week. It’s a reminder that when the UN agenda of Dignity for All translates into a right of every geographic area at the local level to experience ‘prosperity,’ we will find lots of local politicians ready to sign up for the vision. The local emphasis makes the broader agenda of transformation harder to see and easier to enforce against both people and places. Ban Ki-Moon is probably not coming to your town to trumpet this 2030 justice for everyone vision. That will be the School Principal or District Super, the mayor or a state legislator, even if they have not yet gone for their CIFAL Network training for Local Actors created by the UN System. (see tag).

The Welfare State just put on a new outfit with different names when the rest of the UK decides that no one should have to relocate to London or the SouthEast of Britain to succeed and that local economies and their inhabitants should also have a right to success in terms of “health, education and opportunity.” Politicians apparently believe that basic needs can be met by regulatory fiat. Not likely, but in the US Detroit and Chicago really like this vision a great deal. http://www.corecities.com/sites/default/files/images/publications/Modern%20Charter%20for%20Local%20Freedom_0.pdf Have I succeeded in making everyone wary about hyping the Local as the solution with such plans for transformation swirling around us? Good.

A demand out of the UN that “we leave no one behind, ensuring equality, non-discrimination, equity and inclusion at all levels” and a mandate that “we must pay special attention to the people, groups and countries most in need” means that for the vision to have any chance, much of the focus of the actual policies has to be at the local level. The spirit of these demands and mandates is precisely what we are seeing in the ESEA Rewrite we have looked at and also the WIOA (see tag) legislation passed this summer on a Bipartisan basis. It also fits with the vision for Inclusive Capitalism and the NEW American Dream advocated by one of the primary institutions involved in creating the Common Core and the rubrics for what will count as College and Career Ready in the future.The Business Roundtable is also involved to keep the focus on Big Business and academia’s perks.

In August 2014 the ACT Foundation published “National Learning Economy The NEW American Dream: Our Vision for Living, Learning, and Working in the Performance Era.” http://actfdn.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/ACTF_BrochureRv3_LoRes.pdf Now try to control your shock as it too contains a vision that also has us on that Road to Dignity by 2030.  It also sees the answers to the future in “collective efforts” and “collective action”. Individuals now apparently only exist to have their needs met, as determined by someone else, and “their greater life satisfaction” managed for “themselves and their families.” In this Performance Era the role of knowledge is “shifting” lest it interfere with all these plans being made on our behalf. Instead we get the “interconnected factors of productivity, learning, and skills development”. Once again as determined by cooperating politicians and amenable Businessmen to the UN’s plans for us.

Beyond literally tying the Common Core now to “Capitalism evolving toward inclusion and social welfare,” that ACT/ Business Roundtable document also proclaims that the National Learning Economy will need the integration of “three critical mutually reenforcing systems: economic development (employers and policy), workforce development, and education systems (researchers, educators, trainers, etc. in K-12, postsecondary, informal, and other learning systems).” Probably a good thing it’s so chilly outside because I really am tempted to take an I Told You So Victory Lap at that open admission. Even better for those who have read the Conclusion to my book is the open admission that this is all tied to a different conception of economic growth where “sustainability and renewal are the primary goals.”

I guess meeting the human needs of all will mean no more taken-for-granted modern conveniences like disposable diapers for ordinary people. I have pointed out before that meeting human needs once a certain level of technology and overall prosperity is achieved was the hallmark of what Karl Marx called the Human Development Model. It’s the purpose of the vision of the Road to Dignity by 2030. It was there in that America Next K-12 vision and in Devolution’s insistence in using the local to “distribute ownership and agency to all.” This is how the ACT Foundation winds up its vision of the Pathway to the National Learning Economy:

“In essence, we must construct a road to success for everyone in the performance era, where every piece fits together [including people, their sculpted worldviews via education and the media, and their personalities through social and emotional learning and a Whole Child emphasis] to create a stable, dynamic pathway that continues to grow and offer unique new destinations [using someone else’s itinerary] for every working learner to explore in ways that fit their living, learning, and working needs.”

There’s that word again. Now whose needs will really be met in this Road to Dignity by 2030 vision?

The way to avoid being Roadkill is to be aware of all these created pieces and how they fit together.

Think of this post as the most useful Valentine we will ever get.