Making Man Moral through Integrative, Holistic Education Focused on Purpose

Sometimes these days I feel like I am a part of that old musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” not because all these machinations via education and deceit are funny, but because suddenly between posts something happens that proves just how correct I am on how this fits together. Last week, the blog Cafe Hayek run by George Mason economic profs mentioned a January 24 piece by “my colleague Peter Boettke on the late economist Kenneth Boulding.” Now that may seem innocuous and even dry, but there cannot be a more seminal person other than John Dewey to the sought transformation of education. Boulding laid out its purpose and how it could be used to control other social systems. Is this further evidence of a Convergence of the Right and Left Pincers we can see so much evidence of? Confessions, after all, are so much nicer.

http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2017/01/kenneth-boulding-on-the-task-of-interpretation.html is the post and it tied in my mind to why everyone suddenly wants education to be about moral values, guiding principles, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Classical Concepts, and other ideas first that can then guide a child’s perception. How they interpret their daily experiences and what they never even notice. This is the end of the Trilogy so let’s pull all this together so we can appreciate How to Invisibly Control Future Personal Decision-making with No Need to Admit It. Bolding (without the ‘u’) is mine.

“Themes without facts may be barren, but facts without theories are meaningless. It is only ‘theory’–i.e., a body of principles–which enables us to approach the bewildering complexity and chaos of fact, select the facts significant for our purposes and interpret the significance.

Indeed, it is hardly too much to claim that without a theory to interpret it there is no such thing as a ‘fact’ at all…what, then, is the ‘fact’ about the wart? [Boulding’s example that should be read in full while thinking about the meaning of Disciplinary Core Ideas or Enduring Understandings] It may be any or all of the above, depending on the particular scheme of interpretation into which it is placed.”

When I was a student, part of what made for A+ work was the ability to develop an appropriate scheme of interpretation by myself, in the privacy of my mind, using what I saw as the pertinent facts. Something that made the prof go “That’s it! Wish I had expressed it that way.” This is something else. These are essentially presupplied ‘constructs’ designed to guide perception and future action in a way that makes a person likely to desire and instigate transformational change in the circumstances we all live under. If they cannot do it, they can organize together so politicians will implement the changes. That’s why I created the term Politicalism. What Boulding was known for was “incorporating the ideas, concepts and tools from the natural sciences into social scientific analysis.” Why?

His good friend Bela Banathy, who also has a tag and was involved in the creation of the concept of charter schools and what now goes by School Choice, told this story that his close friend Boulding shared with him in 1983. In 1954, at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) where so much else was hatched:

“four Center fellows–Bertalanffy (biology), Boulding (economics), Gerard (psychology), and Rappoport (mathematics)–had a discussion  in a meeting room. Another Center Fellow walked in and asked: ‘What’s going on here?’ Ken answered: ‘We were angered about the state of the human condition’ and ask: ‘What can we–what can science–do about improving the human condition‘ Oh!’ their visitor said: ‘This is not my field.’ At that meeting the four scientists felt that in the statement of their visitor they heard the statement of the fragmented disciplines that have little concern for doing anything practical about the fate of humanity. So they asked themselves, ‘What would happen if science would be redefined by crossing disciplinary boundaries and forge a general theory that would bring us together in the service of humanity?'”

That overdone analogy to the ‘outmoded factory model of education’ is actually a cloaking metaphor to mask this complete change in the purpose of education that drove the education reforms in the 60s, 80s, and now covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy. It’s also why Tranzi OBE and Competency needed to be deliberately misdefined as we saw in the last post. Why do we keep coming across an emphasis on Character or Moral Dispositions and Attributes? Because social and political scientists like Boulding came to recognize “that the universe of ethical values is a driving force in human life” and can be altered to drive a transformation in what is acceptable in the future.

If you want to drive cultural change, alter human consciousness by instilling new ‘active principles’ that people must now use to organize their lives and institutions. Then have them practice it in the classroom or workplace or even their church until relying on these principles becomes a Habit of Mind. In his 1969 AEA Presidential Address, Boulding informed those economics professionals that “any system contains the seeds of its own transformation or future genesis, and that this works through a learning process.” See why education had to change away from an emphasis on facts? Economics was just one of the human social systems that interested Boulding and he knew change had to start with the very mental models each person internalized:

“All these social systems are linked together dynamically through the process of human learning which is the main dynamic factor in all social systems.”

That’s such a useful quote for anyone who wonders why I cannot stick to just writing about education. Because it’s a tool to a transformation for a different purpose and a new, unlikely to succeed well for most of us, vision of the future. When should we talk about it? After the carnage is more advanced and even more resources depleted in the name of education? I am going to shift away from Boulding for a moment, but his vision was covered in the Trilogy begun here with his book The Meaning of the 20th Century and its effect on the Commission on the Year 2000 covered in the post that followed. Rereading those yesterday almost took my breath away because it fits so closely with what was in the Roadmap for the Next Administration and the Architecture of Innovation on what data can be made to now do.

http://invisibleserfscollar.com/reimaging-the-nature-of-the-world-in-the-minds-of-students-alters-future-behavior-and-social-events/

This post’s title comes from a book Robert George–Princeton professor, Bradley Foundation board member, well-known spokesperson for Catholicism, and founder of the same American Principles Project that did not want to define certain terms accurately in the last post, wrote in 1993. If ‘common guiding principles’ and shared meanings are in fact what makes people and organizations act as ‘systems’ as Boulding and systems science generally believed, it makes perfect sense not to concede that is what ALL Competency-based education reforms, and what I nicknamed Tranzi OBE, are about. The aims are no different then from the Catholic Curriculum Framework although some of the offered concepts, principles, and the justifications for the changes may differ.

Like Boulding in the quote Boettke chose or in my quotes from his 1969 AEA address, George in his making men moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality wanted education to provide “first principles of practical reason…to guide choice and action.” Fascinating, huh? Everybody seems to want to carve that rudder that will guide future decision-making without being forthright on the connection. All we get are School Choice!, Federal Misedukation, and Autonomy to the Locals and parents. Some autonomy as both education and “laws have a legitimate subsidiary role to play in helping people to make themselves moral.” Then sell it to parents that way and admit Classical Education IS designed to create a steerable rudder both parents and students are not being told about.

Character is a wonderful thing, but not when it operates at an unconscious level as a Habit of Mind and parents are not told that their children are being steered in the name of Goodness. Truth. and Beauty or Equity and Justice or Sustainability or other Guiding Principles to guide practical reason and likely future action. The same Spiritual and Moral Framework that can be used by New Agers like the Ross School from the last post or Social Justice Warriors grounded in Paulo Freire Pedagogy for the Oppressed aligns with the aim of instilled Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions from the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks. They ALL want to provide the ideas, emotional motivations, and values students internalize as their guide to future decision-making. School now wants to provide their purpose for living and the vision of what the future might be.

To truly get the dangers of this personalized, student-centered, transformative vision of education perhaps it will help if we follow those Moral and Spiritual Frameworks (as well as the cited Ron Miller’s “What are Schools For?”) right straight to a School of Education and Psychology in Isfahan, Iran. If “Holistic Education: An Approach for 21st Century” from 2011 is okay with the mullahs and their tyrannical vision of people, we really need to quit using the word ‘autonomy’ to describe the student when this vision of education is through with them. Yes, they have a purpose, but is it really theirs? I will quote from the Abstract because it fits with the vision I have described in this Trilogy. Think of the implications of that.

“Holistic education encompasses a wide range of philosophical orientations and pedagogical practices. Its focus is on wholeness, and it attempts to avoid excluding any significant aspects of the human experience. It is an eclectic and inclusive movement whose main characteristic is that educational experiences foster a less materialistic and more spiritual worldview along with more dynamic and holistic views of reality.

It also proposes that educational experience promote a more balanced development of–and cultivate the relationship among–the different aspects of the individual (intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and Aesthetic), as well as the relationships between the individual and other people, the individual and natural environment, the inner-self of students and external world, emotion and reason, different disciplines of knowledge and forms of knowing, holistic education is concerned with life experience, not with narrowly defined ‘basic skills.'”

Doesn’t that life experience/basic skills distinction sound just like the erroneous definition of Competency from the last post? Isn’t the US goal of College and Career Ready just another euphemism for this holistic life experience vision that seeks to control what gets internalized to guide the adults our children will become?

How is it not authoritarian for any government at any level to make education holistic or integrative using those aims?

How on Earth can this really be “education for humanity” when the type of human we become is subject to undisclosed political control?

Preemptive Authoritarianism: Governed by Our Monitored and Redesigned Brains

I almost added “21st Century” to Brains in the title, but it made it too long. Please do me a favor though. Every time a politician or anyone else mentions the need to transform K-12 education because the current vision is based on an outdated factory model, or any other justifying statement, to mask what is in fact a desire to control how our minds work for political purposes, remember this post. If anyone was worried I was missing in action or had finally decided to simply shut up about the real intentions behind education reforms, no such luck. Some posts though have no business being written during the traditional period of joyful merrymaking and family gathering. With the confirmation hearings for the proposed new Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, being in two days and her repeated statements and connections tying her vision to what I am about to lay out, it is time to get going again.

Back in the late 1980s the ASCD (tied to NEA) created a framework for what would become better known as Outcomes Based Education, “standards-based reforms,” or “brain-based learning.” Turns out these terms have always been interchangeable if we cut through the deceit and go back to the creators of these theories for educational change. The intent was to link education to what was known about human neurobiology. The framework would have ‘bottom-line integrity”, which today we euphemistically call evidence-based policymaking in education, effective schools, or just research on best practices. To qualify the education practices mandated “must integrate human behavior and perception, emotions and physiology.”

Remember astronomer Carl Sagan? The ASCD quoted him to provide the reasons they wanted to “significantly reprogram and redirect old brain propensities…the potential of the neocortex is that it can find new ways to survive because it is capable of profound learning. And that, we will see, requires us to use our brains in ways that they have never been used before on a large scale.” See what I mean about waiting to write this post out of fear some of us would be tempted to try to drink the entire punch bowl of spiked eggnog? Sagan’s 1977 book The Dragons of Eden is then quoted at length. No solar systems or stars are involved here:

“As a consequence of the enormous social and technological changes of the last few centuries, the world is not working well. We do not live in traditional and static societies. But our governments, in resisting change, act as if we did. Unless we destroy ourselves utterly, the future belongs to those societies that, while not ignoring the reptialian and mammalian parts of our being, enable the characteristically human components of our nature to flourish: to those societies that encourage diversity rather than conformity; to those societies willing to invest resources in a variety of social, political, economic and cultural experiments, and prepared to sacrifice short-term advantage for long-term benefit [whose?]; to those societies that treat new ideas as delicate, fragile and immensely valuable pathways to the future.”

It’s about redesigning existing institutions and systems via changes in how the student’s mind works and what motivates him or her to act. No wonder there has been so much deceit around education reform and a desire to pilfer from my book Credentialed to Destroy, while also repressing its central insights. Let’s go over the Atlantic to see what the UK meant by “high standards” and “raising standards” in the early 90s. Instead of using the graphic term “brain-based” changes to the neocortex, we get regular references to altering how the “central cognitive processor”  or the “central processing mechanism of the mind” works. No mention that this physical target belongs to someone’s children.

“We would rather aim for an even higher road, the unconscious development of a central cognitive processor that would produce far-transfer effects by a mechanism invisible to the learner (perhaps we should say ‘developer’) and thus far more powerful and generalisable than anything restricted to conscious processing.” Monitoring and manipulating the operation of the human mind via K-12 education at a level invisible to the learner sounds rather authoritarian to me, but we cannot rebel against what we are unaware of, can we? In November 2016, the publication Neuron published the article “Neuroethics in the Age of Brain Projects” that was, unfortunately, quite upfront that the BRAIN Initiative (now funded for ten more years by legislation passed by Congress in December supposedly about opioid addiction) and learning standards generally “have the potential to affect the essence of who we are as humans.”

Apparently though we no longer have a say in that fundamental arena of what it means to be human. That article mentioned that one of the funded research grants had gone to a Professor Nikolas Rose. A little research uncovered a 2013 book of his published by Princeton called Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind. My copy showed up just in time to be read while I ate my good luck black-eyed peas, which I knew would be especially needed this year with the book’s ubiquitous references to “governing through the brain.” The planned and taxpayer-financed “conversations between the social sciences [like education] and the neurosciences may, in short, enable us to begin to construct a very different idea of the human person, human societies, and human freedom” ought to be something discussed openly with taxpayers and parents.

I am not sure who ‘us’ is, but giving Congress, a state legislature, or even a school principal such transformative power to transform the human mind and how it works on a biological basis is not a hallmark of a genuinely free society. Especially when the vision is brought to us by professors who are looking for “the basis of a radical, and perhaps even progressive, way of moving beyond illusory notions of human beings as individualized, discrete, autonomous, coherent subjects who are, or should be, ‘free to choose.'”

“Acting on our brains,” “this new topography of the human being,” and the touted “passage of neuroscience from the seclusion of the laboratory to the unruly everyday world, and the new styles of thought concerning the intelligible, visible, mutable, and tractable brain that characterize the new brain sciences are beginning to reshape the ways in which human beings, at least in advanced liberal societies, are governed by others” should all be front and center for discussion in a free society. Instead, we get the deceit surrounding the real purpose of School Choice and misrepresentations on what competency-based education is really intended to modify and change.

Back in December, Jeb Bush had the Director of the Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) Program at Harvard as one of the keynote speakers at his annual summit, sponsored by his foundation (that Mrs DeVos was on the Board of prior to her nomination). I happen to have a copy of an MBE philosophical paper downloaded from Harvard’s website on the morality of the MBE methods and theories. It calls for public debates on the “ethical limits that should be placed on use of biological and psychological technologies in education” and the “kinds of communities and individuals that ought to be fostered.” That Bush foundation states that competency-based education, School Choice, and educational technology are its priorities. Which of these does MBE relate to then or is it all of them is a fair question to ask a Board member at the time the invitation to speak went out.

That cannot happen though because of all the organized misrepresentations that have surrounded learning standards like the Common Core, what its true purposes and history are, or what practices get hidden behind titles like School Choice, high-quality assessments, charters, or classical education. We went back in time and overseas precisely because I wanted to show that this shrouded neurobiological bullseye that the law and ‘public policy’ seeks to invisibly impose is both global and longstanding.

Everything is now in place, except a genuine public recognition of just how much we have all been lied to about what is really intended for our children in the name of education. In the Foreword to the GEM 2016 Report released in early September, the head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, stated:

“Lastly, we must fundamentally change the way we think about education and its role in human wellbeing and global development. Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to foster the right type of skills, attitudes and behavior that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth.” That openly declared repurposing of education cannot be discussed when a false narrative pretends that School Choice and competency-based education does not have the precise same aim. Did you know that the term Neuroethics does not necessarily mean the ethics of using a transformational vision of education to redesign how the mind work and then lock it in biologically? It actually also means how to use Neuroscience and brain-based to impose an internalized ethical vision that puts the so-called common good and responsibility for others above individual choices.

Isn’t that something that should at least be discussed if we are still in fact a free society? Is the vision of the future that Marx called the Human Development Society really something that deceitfully imposed educational changes and legislation and regulation can impose as long as the enacters are “duly elected” or appointed?

Is my term “Preemptive Authoritarianism” just a pithy way of getting attention or the biggest understatement so far in 2017?

Linking School Choice and Third Party Government: Escaping Requires We Recognize the Incarceration

This marks the end of the Trilogy about declarations (insufficiently recognized) to use the powers of governments at every level to close the gap “between the current state of the world and what would be ideal…perfectionism ought instead to inspire a constant striving to make things better. Democracy, in other words, should be viewed as a work in progress.” That vision of making human wellbeing the new purpose of governments needs a particular type of citizen who is a useful mixture of malleable, aspirational, and reliable in their likely future behaviors. That of course is what all these education reforms have really been about and why there has been so much deceit. That quote is from the upcoming inaugural issue of U-Penn’s Journal of Law and Public Affairs on using law and regulation to force societies to provide for the general welfare.

Rule of Law, in other words, needs to join the terms ‘public policy’ and ‘standards-based education’ as transformative tools that few seem to sufficiently appreciate. Let me quote from a second paper that is also cited in books and papers citing the 1990 Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools where we began this Trilogy. It is by two poli sci profs, Jack Knight and James Johnson, but it said not to cite without permission. We will simply discuss it then as it pointed out in 2005 that the ‘problem solving approach to ideas and institutions’ holds that “our ideas, principles, practices and institutions and so forth simply are tools for navigating a social and political world that is shot through with indeterminacy…a pragmatist stance encourages us to place pressure on our cherished beliefs, institutions and so forth. It encourages a broadly experimental approach both to inquiry and, more importantly for present purposes, to politics.”

Now, most of us with experience in adult life and a solid grasp of history, who are not on the Gravy Train to get revenue from being a provider of stipulated services, can recognize that such aspirations will not end well. Maybe that’s why we are not supposed to know what K-12 education reforms have always really been about. After all if someone has an actual aspiration that “political debate must impose restrictions on the structure of individual preferences,” that mischievous, authoritarian goal is best achieved in secret and masked with duplicity if anyone does notice something is up. Tiptoeing through the footnotes of all these papers, pulled up repeated references to a John Hopkins prof, Lester Salaman, and a textbook called The Tools of Government: A Guide to the New Governance .

I guess the students who went through this kind of unappreciated inquiry-oriented assault on their values and conceptions of knowledge when they were younger want to study the theories used on them once they get to university. No wonder they have been so childlike in their responses to the recent US Presidential election. Many have been taught that the “role of government in the twenty-first century” is “more important than ever. The growing complexity and integration of social, economic, and political life virtually guarantees this, as does the need for a keeper of the rules of engagement among various institutions and sectors.” That was me boldfacing that integration since it has been way too unpublicized as well.

Before I explain what Third Party Government is, since the textbook says it is quite advanced in the United States, and that the “last fifty years have witnessed a remarkable revolution in the basic technology of public action in the tools or instruments used to address public problems,” let’s remember that K-12 ‘education reform’ and School Choice are merely tools to effect the desired transformations without any need to get our consent. No need to risk our saying “No Thanks” either. If we wonder why so many supposedly ‘conservative’ and pro-market think tanks have been created at great expense, the language about “bring a wide assortment of social actors into the business of responding to public needs” is a most helpful clue.

Education reforms are definitely needed if the view of government and “the role of public management is not to deliver services but to promote community, to help citizens articulate shared interests, to bring the proper players to the table and broker agreements among them, and to function as ‘proxy citizens.'” Just this past week Greg Forster of EdChoice put out a vision of Accountability that stated what he called the “real goal of education.” It sounded remarkably similar to what is supposedly needed under the requirements of the New Governance and Third Party Government:

“nurturing individuals who achieve and appreciate things that are true, good, and beautiful as faithful citizens of a free and diverse community committed to living in harmony.” The typical family couldn’t even pull that off over an extended Thanksgiving meal and that’s to be the real goal of education that students must “genuinely internalize?” Faithful to whom we could ask? Let’s go back then to the textbook that is being so forthcoming.

“the breadth of the problems government has been called on to address coupled with prevailing antibureaucracy sentiments make this [governments as the dominant supplier of public services] practically, as well as politically, impossible. Government needs its third-party partners both to legitimize and to execute the responsibilities it has taken on. [Note that this is NOT Free Enterprise whatever the Heritage Foundations writes].

On the other hand, however…government simply lacks the authority and independence to enforce its will on other actors the way this concept [monopoly on the legitimate use of force] implies.”

Now I will stop the quote to point out again that this is precisely what learning standards like the Common Core and those previously tied to Time for Results or outcomes-based education sought to do. It is what competency-based education, properly explained, now does–enforce its will for this lucrative conception of Third Party Government on its citizens. Secretly and nonconsensually and hiding behind phrases like School Choice or Internationally Competitive. Under the New Governance tenets and its need for what EdChoice called ‘faithful citizens’:

“What, then, is the role that government should play in the new governance? And how important is it? The answer is that government must serve as the ‘balance wheel’ of the new systems of collaborative problem solving that will increasingly exist. Its function, as we have suggested, is to activate the needed partnerships and to make sure that public values [common good], broadly conceived, are effectively represented in the collaborative systems that result.” Let’s shift away from quoting the aspirations to how it invisibly comes into effect. Following up on all the False Narratives involving the Common Core and who was pushing them I came across numerous references to a 2011 paper I had not previously heard of called Closing the Door on Innovation that was supposedly a response to a March 2011 Manifesto from the Shanker Institute. http://educationnext.org/closing-the-door-on-innovation/ 

Education reformer Jay Greene wrote the story on Education Next and then the same Greg Forster noted above wrote a piece as well for the Public Discourse from the Witherspoon Institute that is tied to the American Principles Project that has written so many papers and offered up testimony on the nature of the Common Core.  https://app.box.com/s/s1q0hmgauyo1t9fafrbh is a capture of what the document looked like as it is now hard to find. To make a long process of discovery short, the Shanker Manifesto struck me as how both sides intended for education reform to work at the local, school level. That Innovation report seemed staged to me to create a narrative about what the Common Core was intended to do that would probably have worked better if I had not been writing Credentialed to Destroy back in 2011 and tracking the actual implementation.

What really caught my eye though was the PEPG-Harvard’s Program on Educational Policy and Governance that was behind the Closing the Door on Innovation. PEPG has sponsors from what were supposed to be two differing sides of the Common Core debate. It clearly built on the work of that 1990 Brookings book on School Choice and had all sorts of players like Greene back when he was a poli sci prof at U-Texas (Austin) and AEI’s Rick Hess back when he was a Poli Sci prof at UVa. Seriously, if education is really the best way to achieve political and social transformation, PEPG’s work and the School Choice meme generally all make so much more sense. We have former Governor Jeb Bush as the Chair of the PEPG Advisory Committee and the Gates, Bradley, Koch, and Friedman Foundations all working together. http://www.ksg.harvard.edu/pepg/sponsors_affiliates.htm

To use one of my favorite metaphors, Harvard is clearly where the Right and Left Pincers surrounding the Common Core/education reform narrative come to play and plan transformations around poli sci and sociology theories. Its first conference was in September 1996 about the same time as Fordham took over the Educational Excellence Network functions, as we saw in the last post. Ed reform can feel like a track relay race with all the exchanges of batons, but PEPG is formally a program sponsored by Fordham, Harvard, and the Hoover Institution at Stanford. If anyone thinks I am stretching, pull up the original Fall 1997 Annual Report and look at the presentation by John Brandl and his desire to “change the way we govern our schools” to “inspire other-regarding behavior in our students.” The omnipresence of communitarianism we keep running into behind the real implementation makes much more sense once we read that ‘communities is a promising policy instrument.’

Here’s the full quote and a good place to end as we mull over what is really being done to us all in the name of education reforms.

“Consequently, using communities is a promising policy instrument to attain social objectives when neither bureaus nor markets can be counted on to do so. Besides producing services, communities nurture and protect us all, cut costs, create social capital, obviate the need for government services and engender civic virtue. We need a constitutional moment, a time when those holding public office reconstruct government to align the motivations of individuals with public purposes. If they do not do so, the grand responsibilities of government, starting with education, will not be met.”

I did warn everyone that the phrase Local Control was essentially like being thrown into the Briar Patch if one has revolutionary social and political intentions.

Antithesis of the Briar Patch: School Choice as the Snare Instead of an Escape

This is the beginning of the factual stories behind K-12 educational reform over recent decades that I was saving until after the Presidential election, waiting to see who won. It was my feeling based on the false narratives being spread and the facts in my possession that both candidates would end up pushing the same K-12 education agenda for the most part. Hillary Clinton because she and Bill Clinton have been involved going back to Arkansas being one of the states that volunteered in the 80s for the little discussed, federally-sponsored (while Bill Bennett was Education Secretary and with Lamar Alexander when he was the Tennessee Governor and head of the National Governors Association) “Project Education Reform: Time for Results”. Donald Trump would be pushing the same agenda because his advisors on education hyping School Choice as the panacea do not seem to be telling him its history.

So I will don my metaphorical helmet and flak jacket and begin doing it. For those not raised on Uncle Remus Tales in the South the briar patch in the title is from the “Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby” story where the captured, but cunning rabbit, convinced his mortal enemy Brer Fox that no punishment could be as dreadful as being thrown into the briar patch.

“Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please,” said Brer Rabbit. “Only please, Brer Fox, please don’t throw me into the briar patch.” Not having string to hang him nor being close to a stream to drown him, Brer Fox flings Brer Rabbit “head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox’s fur stood straight up. Then there was silence…Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug. ‘I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox,’ he called. ‘Bred and born in the briar patch.'”

Being thrown in the briar patch was actually Brer Rabbit’s escape route. School Choice as it has been developed over the decades by think tanks and professors is actually a trap pretending to be a remedy so it can be put into place as a matter of law. Let’s move away from American folklore now that we have a metaphor for whether something will trap us or free us and move to a book published in 1990 called Politics, Markets, and America’s Schools by John E Chubb and Terry M. Moe. Both will later serve on an ed reform project sponsored by the Hoover Institution, the Koret Task Force, with one of President-Elect Trump’s ed advisors, Bill Evers, so he should be more than familiar with this history of School Choice, but the 1990 book was actually published by the Brookings Institution. Several fed ED grants funded the book along with the Olin and Bradley Foundations that have gone on to finance both School Choice initiatives and the experimental economics/Neuroeconomics work we covered in the last post.

If this convergence of what is clearly a project of the admitted Left and purported Right seems confusing, let me quote from one of the book’s footnotes since I just love to tiptoe through the cited support.

“The classic argument for vouchers is developed in Milton and Rose Friedman Free to Choose (1981)…The Friedmans’ argument is of course associated by educators with political conservatism. But vouchers have also been proposed by social democrats on the left, who seek to enlist markets in the cause of justice and equal opportunity for the poor. Perhaps the most influential of these proposals has come from Christopher Jencks, who, along with like-minded colleagues, urged administrators within the Office of Economic Opportunity (within the late Johnson and early Nixon presidencies) to take vouchers seriously and encourage experimentation by states and districts.”

I bolded ‘states and districts’ there because as we will see when I get back to Time for Results, this trumpeted shift away from the feds to making the local, with the states in charge, the focus has ALWAYS been the vision for how to achieve a fundamentally different vision of American education. To quote another admitted leftist, President Obama’s education advisor who was deemed too radical to be confirmed as an Ed Secretary, Linda Darling-Hammond, from 1990 as well, when she was still a prof at Columbia, on the need for a ‘bottom-up’ approach to reform instead of top-down:

“rather than viewing the disciplines as embodying information to be transmitted by teachers and acquired by students, the frameworks seek to present subject areas as providing ways of thinking that will foster knowledge and understandings to be constructed by students themselves. More than any other state curriculum effort to date, California’s experiment aims explicitly at the goals urged by many recent reform reports: instruction that helps students think critically, express themselves proficiently, construct and solve problems, synthesize information, invent, and create.”

Sound familiar? Even for those who have not yet read my book Credentialed to Destroy, there is nothing new about what is now being called the Common Core or the active coordination of fed ED, the think tanks of every purported allegiance, and the NGA. To anyone who has not guessed it yet, ed reforms for results will become better known and then notorious as Outcomes-Based Education. Education reforms for results embodying actual changes in the students at an internalized level in how they think, feel, and ultimately act needed a new conception of schools and how they operate. That’s what School Choice has always been about. This is from the Foreword to the 1990 book, written by the Brookings’ President (my bolding):

“the nation’s education problem, then, is an institutional problem. To overcome it, the authors recommend a new system of public education based on fundamentally new institutions. They propose a shift away from a system of schools controlled directly by the government–through politics and bureaucracy–to a system of indirect control that relies on markets and parental choice.”

That again was Brookings and it fits with the Rockefeller Foundation’s recognition in the 80s that only “systemic school reform” would allow the kind of change in American schools toward holistic human development for ALL students that it sought. So School Choice became seen as the means for ensuring that ALL schools will offer “a high-quality learning experience” and a “rigorous curriculum in which students actively participate.” Envisioned as a theory in 1990 then, but that same pursuit of active and experiential is what accreditors now require and what the December 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) wrote into federal law for the states and districts to all implement. There is another useful confession in this book that no one seems willing to concede anymore now that School Choice is not just a theory.

“Any private schools that do participate will thereby become public schools, as such schools are defined under the new system.”

That same logic also is how homeschoolers are now poised to become ensnared via School Choice’s newest Vehicle for its Theory–Education Savings Accounts. Anyone using an ESA may be forced to submit to “high quality assessments” measuring and monitoring precisely what they have internalized and what guides their “sense of self”( as Reschool Colorado recently termed it in its Framework for the Future of Learning).

Again, let’s go back to the beginning of the confessions about what Choice might do and who was involved.

“Choice is being embraced by liberals and conservatives alike as a powerful means of transforming the structure and performance of public education…At the federal level, Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush have been enthusiastic supporters of educational choice, although there is not a great deal the federal government can do on it own. More consequentially, given the primary role of the states in public education, the National Governors’ Association has come out strongly for choice in its recent report [1986] on education, Time for Results–and reformist governors, Democrats and Republicans alike, have typically been in the forefront in pressing for real change.”

Karl Marx and John Dewey turn out to not be the only ones committed to social transformation via putting theories into practice. Public policy think tanks and their political allies love to as well. Authors Chubb and Moe again: “more important [a full-blown choice system] allows us to suggest in specific terms what our institutional theory of the schools actually entails for educational reform–and to emphasize, once again, how essential it is that reforms be founded in theory.” Now, if you are beginning to feel like a theory guinea pig, or at least a funder of such experiments, hold on for this stunning admission:

“Our guiding principle in the design of a choice system is this: public authority must be put to use in creating a system that is almost entirely beyond the reach of public authority.” If that sounds like nowhere to effectively appeal for any parent or student who grasps that School Choice and the law are to be used to impose the consciousness needed for the Human Development Society, the related footnote confirmed it:

“A good way of mitigating it [state legislatures or governors trying to control schools or their new mission in the future], however, would be to design institutions around fully decentralized authority and then install them through constitutional amendment. The legal foundation of the new system would then be very difficult to change or violate once put in place.”

Now I am just getting started on what has poured out in the last month as I sought to discern why no one was being honest about the history of either School Choice or the Common Core’s ancestry and who has been involved.

I guess we can just call this the Briar Patch Trilogy enlightening us all on why there has been such an insistence on false narratives.

I have been warning that the law and education are viewed as the ways to alter culture and the prevailing individual consciousness to something deemed appropriate for the ‘cooperative commonwealth’–another term frequently used.

If President-elect Trump is going to get us out of the Paris-climate accords (thank goodness!), can we please also cancel the attendant cultivation of a Comrade Consciousness via education reforms?

 

 

 

Chocolate Cities Strangled by White Nooses: Hacking Out the Rights of the Citizen

Isn’t that the most graphic metaphor you have ever read? I would say it has nothing to do with last night’s riots in Charlotte, but since I am quoting from a 2007 biography of Martin Luther King on his sentiments about urban areas and the suburbs, I am not sure that is true. What I do know is that the post title was already written up before last night’s events because I was struck by the anger in the statement. The sentiment there reveals a huge disconnect between what most Whites have been told about what King stood for and what Blacks and other minorities believe they are entitled to and have waited for too long. The book is From Civil Rights to Human Rights and it was cited in a footnote recently as I continue to piece together precisely what the synthesis is that public policy think tanks across the spectrum are coordinating around.

If the synthesis is actually what King called a Third Way where governments at all levels “would sponsor poor people’s activism for social and economic rights guaranteed by government,” everything that is going on now begins to fall into its true role. Interesting isn’t it that it was MLK who wanted “metropolitan wide-planning in housing and economic development [that] would break down city-suburb divisions of power and privilege.” In other words what is going on now under the Obama Administration is less his overreach in many people’s minds than finally fulfilling “King’s decision to build a nationwide coalition capable of empowering all poor people and moving the nation toward democratic socialism” as the book’s author, history professor Thomas F. Jackson put it.

Fascinating biography, but the point of this post is how much of a difference powerful images created by words can make in guiding perception about a person or an issue. That’s probably why that quote is not better known. It would have upset the narrative. Here’s another quote from someone at that Oxford Conference we covered in the last post, Eldar Shafir, writing to support a new book by Cass Sunstein called The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science.

“We typically consider ourselves rational actors, whose dignity derives from our autonomy. In fact, our behavior is easily shaped by other actors and by external factors, often outside our awareness and control. When government intervenes to influence our behaviors, often to improve our lives, we recoil. But if government remains uninvolved while other interests are free to shape our world, how autonomous are we then? Sunstein confronts our naivete with a penetrating discussion about how to balance government influence against personal dignity, manipulation against autonomy, and behavioral facts against political ideals. The book is an engrossing read.”

I’ll bet it is, but like our lost invite to Oxford in May, how many of us know this book exists or that Ivy league professors are busy creating degree holders in public policy and other areas ready to impose these visions into what now constitutes education in the 21st century or the ‘rights’ written into laws and agency edicts? Beyond being a prof at Princeton and Harvard, Shafir has been tapped to serve as the first director of the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton. It was created with an anonymous $10 million gift in 2015 by someone who particularly admired Anne Treisman’s work in psychology. I found a bio on her at The History of Neuroscience site so let’s look at a shift she noted that is very important to governments wanting to control each student’s internalized capacities.

“Ulric Neisser’s book Cognitive Psychology was about to be published in 1967, definitively marking the end of behaviorism and its taboo on concepts such as imagery, mental representations, and cognitive models. Contrary to the behaviorist idea that stimuli activate responses to produce behavior, the cognitive revolution saw stimuli as conveying information-reducing the uncertainty about possible states of the world by modifying mental representations–a major conceptual change. Attention [think of the ubiquity now of the word engagement] was central to cognitive psychology from the beginning, in part because it involved a purely mental event that changed what people perceived.” Daniel Kahneman is Ms Treisman’s husband and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics.

http://www.gametheory.net/news/Items/088.html   is a good link explaining why the Economics Committee decided psychology had become an important element of the discipline. Kahneman was and is a psychologist known for creating a means for calculating the way in which “irrational actions can be predicted and quantified.” Very useful, in other words, for governments wanting to control and predict just that. Predicting and quantifying that, it turns out, makes it important to know what Values people have and what Concepts and Principles frame their perception. If that sounds vaguely familiar now it’s probably because it is another way of restating what the new federal education legislation–the Every Student Succeeds Act–requires every school in every state to assess regularly using the euphemism Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings.

That would also probably be why Getting Smart’s Tom VanderArk on May 27, 2015 reviewed Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow: How We Process and Respond to the World. When we find a report “Words that Change Minds” on what phrases, concepts, and framing should be used to push public policy issues http://www.frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/chroniclephilanthropy_wordsthatchangeminds_2016.pdf   that is using Kahneman’s insights. When the Common Core Social Studies C3 Framework wants students to practice with the provided ‘lenses’ in role playing classroom exercises, that’s again Kahneman’s work. When we are curious about precisely what lawyers are being trained to do in seminars that blend Law and Economics, it is important to know that the Nobel Committee thought it important to recognize psychology work that gives insights into decision-making in ambiguous situations where there is no single correct answer.

If that also sounds familiar it is what P-12 education now calls rigorous coursework and assessments. Interestingly Dr Kahneman thanked DARPA for helping fund his work and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, where he and Professor Treisman were fellows in 1976-77, for its role in these theories. Yes, that’s the same CASBS where all these other still guiding us templates were developed, including charters, General Systems Theory, Amitai Etzioni’s Active Society, and School Choice just to name a very few. I sometimes wonder if anyone has started selling “Behavioral Science Can Rule the World!” t-shirts yet. After all, this new Princeton Center expects “that the research conducted at the center will directly influence local, national and global public policy, identifying new approaches to address social problems and improve lives.”

Now, knowing what is really going on in K-12 education with personalized learning, virtual reality, HOTS mandates, social emotional learning standards, and authentic assessments embedded in real-world problems, let’s read about the behavioral “approach pioneered at Princeton, [where] policies are developed with a focus on what really drives people in decision making–the idiosyncratic and sometimes surprising ways in which they view their choices, perceive the social, economic and political world around them, and decide whether or not, and how, to act.” In other words, the behavioral approach the Center intends to build its public policy insights on and then recommend using the law as the means to force implementation in real world settings is precisely the same psychological arena, perception, that ESSA in the US and student-centered learning generally and globally has decided is the focus of 21st Century education.

What are the odds? Notice just how much more clearly we could recognize the aims of Martin Luther King once biographers quit filtering his quotes to prevent us from recognizing precisely where he wanted to take the US to achieve his vision of economic justice.

Time to truly appreciate the power of frames and conceptual lenses to guide future behavior and make it very predictable.

Just like no one is inviting us to these conferences where these plans are hatched, no one is asking our input into the frames to be fostered in our children as internalized mental models and cultivated via emotions. I have seen many of the lists though and the real MLK and his vision of democratic socialism would approve.

Did I mention that his biographer noted that the vision looked precisely like Marxist humanism? See that phrase is a real aspiration and not just some fetish I keep wanting to bring up. I see it because it fits even though now it has new names like Opportunity Society or Innovations in Poverty Alleviation.

Maybe the t-shirts should read “Framing: What Works to Create Sturdy Houses and Manipulable Minds.”

Rulers, Regimes, Managed, Governed: Public Policy Demands Democratic Equality and Mind Arson

Those descriptions are just a few I pulled from the 2015 book of the Roadmap co-creator  called Smart Citizens, Smarter State. Its view of the role of governments, at all levels, is that they are in charge of planning and managing social systems, like cities, people, and the economy. Citizens have a right to participate and be consulted, but as individuals they are bound nonetheless. Honestly, this vision made me wonder precisely what classes the author took at Harvard undergrad and then Yale Law, but somewhere she learned to have a very lofty view of institutions and their function for the 21st Century. (my bolding).

“differences in economic growth can be traced to one thing…It is not culture or the plague, but institutions: institutions that are inclusive and promote the use of citizens’ talent, ingenuity, ambition and ability. When rulers become extractive, seeking to oppress their people to the end of achieving economic gain, they guarantee decline. But when regimes advance human capacity, they progress.”

I am a little old to have to be exclaiming “you’re not the boss of me” as if we are on a playground arguing over toys, but no, these stakes are so much higher as we saw in the Roadmap from the last post. Where does mind arson come in though? A couple of places actually. Noveck introduces us to a new word–epistocracy. That’s the idea that people who know more will be in charge. She points out that “If some have significantly better epistemic capabilities–relevant knowledge and skills–than others, this creates a tension with democratic equality.” They might also read that Roadmap, authored books, cited documents, and then piece together what is actually being contemplated in an unapproved way. That will not do in a vision where public policy wants to steer society and “Governments aspire to be the brain of their societies” as the report from an annual Oxford conference on policymaking sponsored by the same McKinsey Consulting that helped fund that Roadmap.

Another lost invite in other words, but the authors of the Roadmap touted that conference last week after the previous post and we can take a look too. http://www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/sites/www.bsg.ox.ac.uk/files/documents/BSG-OxfordGovernmentReview.pdf 

Before we discuss that conference that should have a subtitle “there’s nothing governments cannot do once they marry public policy and the behavioral sciences,” I pulled a quote from George Orwell that one of my cybernetics books. It was used to explain that no governmental authority with aspirations of complete power over people and social systems can afford not to manipulate the news and permissible everyday knowledge. Here’s Orwell: “freedom of the intellect means the freedom to report what one has seen, heard, and felt and not be obliged to fabricate imaginary facts and feelings.” So what a wanna-be steering government in the 21st century needs is to control those perceived facts and feelings via the type of education available, without that actual intent being recognized.

My analysis is that this is what School Choice does when its documentable history is followed through and its declared goals are actually tracked. My insistence that there is in fact a Left/Right Pincer action going on has been based on what is actually being said in articles and books too few read. We can thankfully get beyond that now as Ms Noveck tweeted on the blog tied to her book to a September 9 article called “A Revolutionary Toolbox” that a Costa Rican think tank had launched that thanked her for her help as well as a number of listed officials identified as being with the Atlas Network. If, like me, you search out those individual names you will find several are also tied to executive positions at the World Bank. Ding. Ding. Another cited influence is an MIT poli sci prof, Nazli Choucri, who is the Director of the Global System for Sustainable Development.

If you have time, do look up GSSD as well as it provides yet more evidence that steering and Sustainable Development need Mind Arson. The site reads like a blueprint for the specified categories of knowledge that everyone must know and no more. Good way to keep anyone from grasping they are now being fed politically useful facts and guiding fictions with no means of knowing what is imaginary or not. So not only do “governments aspire to be the brains of their societies,” which gets so much easier if you circumscribe available information into a “knowledge system,” but another speaker at that conference, Eldar Shafir, a Princeton prof who also has ties to Harvard, seemed to have an aim that would go a long way toward creating any needed ‘imaginary feelings’ without that aim being accurately perceived.

“Leaders in the 21st century need to understand human psychology rather than make false assumptions about it. [won’t state prescribed social emotional learning standards come in ever so handy then?] Humans are driven by a richer set of motivations than economists used to assume…Better data and analytics can combine with greater empathy and better psychology to shape more powerful and effective public policy.” A different conference attendee, Elizabeth Linos,  gave even more incentive for governments at every level to actually want Mind Arson to fit with their expressed desire to plan, manage, and steer while calling such intentions–governing.

“The past few years have seen an explosion of interest in behavioural science by policymakers at local, national and international levels. The first wave of interest asked: how can we use behavioural science to nudge our citizens to follow the rules?…The second wave considered the relationship between a people and their government.” All of these visions of public policy envision a regulation of the ‘market’ economy at all levels in the name of “many of the most central moral concerns we face as a society: concerns about distribution, welfare, opportunity, and the good life. It is therefore also a central concern for us as citizens in a democratic polity.” That was Noveck and we saw precisely the same concerns in those Habitat III documents and the conferences HUD has quietly hosted. In the comments to the previous post are links to what a Right to the City will factually mean.

When the Roadmap from the last post stated that the purpose of government is now to “improve people’s lives” it means precisely the kind of public policy steering we are covering in this post. A steered citizen cannot be a genuinely well-informed, rational person because it negates the ability to construct the necessary internalized keel to control how ‘facts’ are perceived, which emotions are utilized, and what values motivate actions. After the last post I listened to this interview with Angela Glover Blackwell since I had heard her speak last January so I knew she was touting the same people as I read in the recent book The Way Back tied to the Atlas Network. http://ssir.org/videos/entry/three_questions_with_angela_glover_blackwell

The question was “what role can public policy play in advancing social inclusion?” Her answer was that it “is essential for a fully inclusive society. The society won’t just be inclusive on its own. And public policy has always been the thing that translates the values of the nation into what actually happens in that nation.” So education controls prevailing values and you cannot have a “fully inclusive society” if some people know more or have better skills than others. Remember Ms Noveck called that an epistocracy? So this public policy-centric vision assumes actually that governments at all levels are in fact the bosses of us. To quote Ms Blackwell again “So public policy allows us to be able to spend our resources and make decisions that are fair and work for the broader society as well as work for the individual.”

Honestly when I first created this blog’s metaphor of an invisible serfs collar, I only knew a part of the story. I am not sure I had ever even heard the term cybernetics before. Yikes! In order for all these plans for a fully inclusive, governments at all levels are in charge, steerable economy and society vision to work, governments have to control prevailing consciousness. To avoid opposition, that control cannot be widely perceived in time. Makes the timing of turning over the Internet to an international authority as of October 1 rather timely and propitious, doesn’t it? Unappreciated radically different conception of K-12 education and the loss of control over the Internet certainly seems like an excellent means to have “complete command over the interpretation of political concepts, which is necessary for complete steering of men from the outside” said the cyberneticians I found as I contemplated that Roadmap.

If anyone is still not convinced on the ties among what has been openly proclaimed once we know where to look and an attendant need for Mind Arson, let me close with the opening epigraph from “The Revolutionary Toolbox” link. Citing Ithiel de Sola Pool:

“People who think about social change in traditional political terms cannot begin to imagine the changes that lie ahead. Conventional reformers cast their programs in terms of national policies, or in terms of laws and central planning. But in the end, what will shape the future is a creative potential that inheres in the new technologies of electronic communication and machine intelligence.”

That vision is what governments at all levels want and they blithely use the term public policy to obscure the manipulative intentions they talk about elsewhere at conferences we are not invited to and in books and reports we are not really supposed to read. That Roadmap for the Next Administration is not for us and it’s really not for a President Clinton or Trump either. It is for the people either would appoint to a federal agency or the judiciary and the professors of the elite universities that credential them.

This aim to steer is well and frequently expressed. It is Bicameral and Bipartisan, at all levels of government, and think tanks of every purported ideology. The way out is to remember that cybernetics is all about the need to “organize the flow of information and control in a system.”

Radically reconceptualizing the nature of education with a desire for Mind Arson, putting Public Policy as the supposed driver of society, and giving up control of the Internet each goes to that necessity. Ms Noveck never used the term cybernetics or socio-cybernetics, but she did describe the essence. She also wrote about the various means “for organizing distributed information flows in biological as well as sociological systems.”

That sounds so much better that its essence of organizing what people in a society are to know, believe, perceive, and value so that they can be collectively steered. Sociological systems is just a fancy word for workplaces, schools, cities, economies, and all the other groups of humans who are to no longer be free to not submit to a “fully inclusive”, steered society.

 

 

 

Outlasting Presidential Administrations and Transcending Politics: Data-Driven Social Control

The original title ended with ‘of People and Places’ after I learned that the term ‘governance’ was actually a euphemism for ‘social control.’ That made for too long of a title though. The sudden and steady drumbeat in the last week proclaiming the need to “transform the relationship between State and Citizen,” whomever the next US President may be, quite frankly has scared me. Following up on those sudden articles unleashed a torrent of papers uploaded within the last year on ‘socio-cybernetic steering.’ Gulp. No time to get a book out to spread the alarm before the election and transition. Then yesterday my warnings from the last post about what the Rule of Law has come to quietly mean were reenforced in a very well-connected Regional Housing Forum in Atlanta.

That program involved Affordable Housing, but the assumption was ‘public policy’ controls people and places and elected officials are the designated policymakers. All that is needed to get the “kind of City we wish to have” is an “end goal of legislation and public resources.” As an expert on what is really going on in the so-called silo of education and someone with a fair amount of economics training, these assumptions that prosperity can somehow be decreed and that legislative mandates will not have consequences are wrong. All these clear plans to redistribute the prosperity that more infrastructure will supposedly bring are both maddening and saddening, if the latter is even a word. I felt like  Scrooge at a pep rally for people excited at the prospect that they will be able to fly and suspend gravity by legislative fiat.

When I was organizing my notes recently as I prepare to write the sequel to Credentialed to Destroy, I kept having the recurrent thought that the phrases ‘evidence-based policymaking’ and ‘public policy’ had become the euphemisms for what used to be proclaimed a cybernetic steering of systems and institutions. It’s the same concept I have mentioned that the Soviets called Upravleniye— the scientific steering of society. It needs legislation to put it in place, specified goals to be met, and then data to show whether and to what extent those goals are being met. I heard the assumptions of Upravleniye  yesterday even if none of the politicians, government officials, and presenters there have heard the term. Maybe I was particularly sensitive since in the last week I had seen Governing magazine do a September story called “25 Years Later, What Happened to “Reinventing Government’?” that I knew misrepresented the effect of that seminal book.

After all, the day before I had put my copy of the David Osborne/ Ted Gaebler book in a particular pile so I could explain the constant references to “all levels of government.” Sudden, common False Narratives just before a watershed Presidential election made me notice that the global consulting firm McKinsey had just put out a so-called ‘road map’ for a “societal transformative effort…fueling a movement toward evidence-based policymaking.” Issued in August and hyped last week it is called “Policy in the data age: data enablement for the common good.” That’s two. Then the Fall 2016 issue of Stanford Social Innovation Review arrived with the CEO and Co-Founder of Results For America calling for “Accelerating ‘What Works'” and writing that there “is an urgent need to expand the infrastructure for results-based policymaking at all levels of the US government.”

I know you will be as excited by this incessant drumbeat as I have been, with all these people suddenly “charting a course for improving the way that government invests in social change. Now it’s time to accelerate those efforts.” In case anyone thinks this is just a Left Pincer move to use one of my favorite metaphors for where all this policy making is taking us, http://results4america.org/press-room/works-combat-poverty-lessons-nycs-center-economic-opportunity/    shows Michelle Jolin’s entity is working with Bloomberg Philanthropies and What Works Cities putting on a program with Atlas Network member-AEI. Magically, another Atlas member, the Fordham Institute, yesterday wrote “Can evidence improve America’s schools?”

Funny they should ask that now, especially as Michelle Jolin cited ESSA and the schools as the “underpinning of a commitment to creating a What Works Accelerator is already in place…The next administration will have an opportunity to channel this bipartisan energy into the launch of a new vehicle for results-based policy. A What Works Accelerator will not restore Americans’ confidence in government overnight, but by helping officials to address problems more effectively, it will move public sentiment in the right direction. It also will transform how policymakers at all levels envision their role in driving social change. ” Now I bolded that to make sure we all recognize that clearly, at all levels as the pet phrase keeps reciting, the purpose of governments is being radically and quietly changed from what we learned in civics class, in publications most of us will never read and a forums we are unlikely to attend.

Hold on though please as this gets worse, much worse. Last Friday, GovLab released a paper called “Ready to Govern: Developing a Management Roadmap for the Next Administration” issued by the enormously well-connected (look up those partners) Partnership for Public Service and the IBM Center for the Business of Government. Now I covered IBM and its fondness for a “System of Systems” and seeing education globally as the means in my book, so you can bet I put this paper at the Top of My List of Things to Do. Even so, I was not really braced for what I found as the hurry to shift the US, whoever the next President may be, to a steered, People are systems and so are schools and cities, cybernetic, Upravleniye economy and society. It is everywhere, starting as soon as the election is over with the Transition Team of whoever wins.

I asked myself would a President-elect Trump even have any idea of the true nature or even the existence of this laid-out agenda? Especially if his Transition Team is sprinkled with people with ties to the Atlas Network, since we already have documented the misleading narrative surrounding School Choice. He appears to use the term generically when he speaks, naturally unaware it has a provable, legal definition that ties it to the cybernetic systems vision of Bela Banathy (see tag) and several education profs at Indiana University. I know that, Atlas’ members and their fellows know that, but Mr Trump gives every indication of not knowing the ancestry of the phrase. It matters because as Ms Jolin noted education is front and center to the evidence-based policy making vision. It’s also how the desired Mindset gets invisibly put in place.

As UNESCO’s Irina Bokova put it this week in the GEM 2016 report: “Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to foster the right type of skills, attitudes and behavior that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth.” Bela Banathy had precisely the same idea and created what he called a Guidance System to get there that School Choice, properly traced and understood, puts into place as a matter of law. It will be Banathy’s use of the term, and not Mr Trump’s or Ben Carson’s beliefs about what it means, that will take command as the next administration is pushed to embrace evidence-based policy making at all levels of government. It’s unlikely an accident either that one of the listed attendees at the January 2016 Roundtable that led to the Roadmap for the Next Administration is Jim Harper of the Atlas-affiliated Cato Institute. Another listed attendee is Steve Goldsmith, former Mayor of Indianapolis, a Romney/Bush 43 Domestic Advisor and author of numerous books.

See what I mean about those pincers? The paper keeps using the phrase “Enterprise Government,” which works much like what the timely-again book Reinventing Government called ‘catalytic government.’ Enterprise governments supposedly “change how governments work and improve people’s lives…enabling data-driven governance.” The final Management Roadmap is supposed to crank up during the Transition while we are all busy with the holidays and “will help the new administration successfully transition to power and improve the government’s performance throughout the new President’s term.”

It’s not just that I do not believe that governments at any level pursuing such an invasive agenda are likely to improve anyone’s lives unless that someone works for government or gets a taxpayer-funded contract. I am also worried that the nature of this agenda to scientifically manage people, places, and society generally will not even be recognized in time, given all the False Narratives being put forth by politicians and Think Tanks and their employees. Since I cannot cover the entire report let me go to some of most disturbing aspects. Does anyone else think Fascism or Cronyism when they read:

“The impact of open data can be amplified when government works directly with private business on targeted activities. This represents a new form of collaboration, beyond the public-private partnership model, in which participants from different sectors, including private companies, research institutions and government agencies, can exchange data to help solve public problems.”

Now in a steering society, where everything that supposedly affects ‘individual well-being’ gets turned into a ‘public problem,’ this coordination would certainly explain what the various funders of all these think tanks, as well as the Chamber of Commerce, would adore about this model of steering society. Troublingly it also reminds me of what was laid out deceptively as Free Enterprise in the America Next report the Atlas members were pushing that I wrote about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/knowledge-to-avoid-becoming-roadkill-on-the-bipartisan-global-road-to-dignity-by-2030/  That would also explain why School Choice as pushed by Atlas members in earnest fits with UNESCO’s vision for creating the desired ‘right attitudes’.

My experience yesterday at the Housing Forum can also be explained by what I consider to be the most duplicitous part of the Roadmap. It wants to create a “user-friendly neighborhood data infrastructure…to design better citizen services on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis.” Just imagine that dataset in the hands of federal agencies intent on ensuring Equity and Inclusion and legislatively enacting mandatory Inclusionary Zoning and Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing or Health Equity. Data gets used to try to enact the UN’s SDGs or the Habitat III agenda at the state and local levels.

Most people would be none the wiser as they, their children, and their communities get redesigned and socially engineered to fulfill a vision Uncle Karl theorized might be possible with the right kind of technology. That this is the true goal just jumps out of the bogus explanation for creating that neighborhood-by-neighborhood data base.

“While retail entrepreneurs are experts in their respective trades, they often lack access to high-quality information about economic conditions in the neighborhoods in which they operate or are considering operating…”

That is a nonsensical statement. Entrepreneurs know that. It’s the governments, at all levels, who want that data so they can supposedly use the Rule of Law and public policy to change it via a so-called scientific management of society.

To close with the inspiration for the title, while alerting American voters and hopefully someone in the Trump Campaign to this attempt to sabotage Making America Great Again, we all need to know that this desired steering is currently scheduled for us. To commence in earnest as soon as the election is over. Either Transition Team is supposed to be devoted to “continue developing an evidence-based approach to governance.”

Looking to “create institutions that can outlast administrations and transcend politics? Do we have the right arrangements?”

Right for whom would be the timely question.

False Selling of Education Terms as Remedies Obscures Real Function as an Accelerant

When a false narrative is set out with respect to education, such as misrepresenting concepts and practices like standards, School Choice, social emotional learning, or labeling NAEP and PISA as ‘tests,’ parents and taxpayers who believe they are getting accurate information from an ‘expert’ get led astray. Worrying about the wrong things and not paying attention to the real functions, they are unable to best protect their children or their tax dollars. Most never seem to think in terms of conflicts of interest or the agenda of the paymasters of the various think tanks. I want to deal with the admitted agenda of the Declared Leftist Radicals first and then show why I disturbingly keep finding language on the supposed Conservative, market-oriented, or Libertarian side that is clearly headed to the same place.

Let’s start with this paper from 2010 http://www.tellus.org/pub/GTI%20Perspective%20-%20We%20the%20People%20of%20Earth%20-%20Toward%20Global%20Democracy.pdf

It started by declaring that “we confront daunting twenty-first century challenges hobbled by twentieth century institutions.” Now I read enough Leftist sites and books to know they repeatedly call for “new forms of social organization.” What if we cannot see that schools have become a radically new form of social organization because we assume we have a choice? Then all the limitations now placed on how schools and students must interact and offer instruction would be hidden behind obscuring misdefinitions. We would have an illusion of choice, but a reality of unappreciated prescription. That same link ends with “As with any democracy, the legitimacy of global governance rests with engaged citizens who demand rights and assume responsibilities. The globalization of the human project sets the historic condition for a corresponding enlargement of identity and community.”

What if that goal for creating “a worthy planetary civilization” relies on governments at all levels stipulating performance and achievement ‘standards’, which regulate what anyone  must know or do? What if those same levels of government describe the desired values, dispositions, ethics, and beliefs that students are to internalize? What if those stipulations get hidden as social emotional learning, character, or civics education? What if parents never grasp that both NAEP and PISA are looking to assess for whether the desired internalized, prescribed attributes have taken hold at a neurobiological level? Parents might then never know that their child was being socially reengineered at school because they believe those measures are ‘tests.’ They would have been misled and might fail to recognize the existence of a PDM–a Political Disciplinary Mechanism–used to make sure that the subsidiary levels of government remain faithful to the desired national or global implementation.

Remembering my Pincer Action metaphor from the last post, let’s shift to what UK Sociologist Anthony Giddens wrote in his 1994 book Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics where he talked about shifting from a welfare state to Positive Welfare. As I have documented previously, that fits with what various members of the Atlas Network state they are seeking when you read the fine print and the declared agendas of some of their touted speakers (my bolding).

“Happiness ‘does not depend on outside events, but rather on how we interpret them’; it is ‘a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated.’ It depends less on controlling the outer world than controlling the inner one. ‘People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.'”

Grammarians will notice Giddens was quoting someone, which I will get to in a moment. What if social emotional learning and quality learning are actually designed to change how the child perceives the world just as Giddens desired and parents are unaware because they have been trained deceitfully like Pavlov’s Dogs to simply worry about databases of Personally Identifiable Information? The proclaimed needed cultivation and internalized control would be put in place through the schools to be lasting and unconscious with parents none the wiser. Giddens was in turn quoting Mihaly Csiksentmihaly, who is the creator of what Excellence actually means in education. http://invisibleserfscollar.com/excellence-means-education-putting-what-we-feel-wish-for-and-think-in-harmony/ Long time readers will also recognize Csik’s involvement in GERG–General Evolution Research Group with some of the systems theorists I have tagged to this post.

Now remember that civil rights laws are now being interpreted to REQUIRE Excellence and Equity in education. It’s just not the Webster’s definition of Excellence in play. Now I am about to introduce yet another one of those nerdy words that occasionally are necessary. This time though the word autotelic is not mine. It is once again Giddens, quoting Csik so here we go.

” A person who pays attention to an interaction instead of worrying about the self obtains a paradoxical result. She no longer feels like a separate individual, yet her self becomes stronger. The autotelic individual grows beyond the limits of individuality by investing psychic energy in a system in which she is included. Because of this union of the person and the system, the self emerges at a higher level of complexity…[this, however,] requires determination and discipline. Optimal experience is not the result of a hedonistic, lotus-eating approach to life…one must develop skills that stretch capacities, that make one become more than one is.”

Now if that development of the autotelic self is actually what social emotional learning standards and the hype over Grit, Perseverence, and a Growth Mindset actually get at, this letter to Congress http://truthinamericaneducation.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Final-Ltr-NAEP-legal-and-privacy-concerns-06272016.pdf would be setting both Congress and parents in the wrong direction. Plus the supposedly proscribed and even boldfaced for emphasis, “fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes a general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction…” would continue unabated. That’s the effect of either deliberately False Narratives in education or just confusion or ignorance about the true nature of these reforms. No need for Personally Identifiable Information to thoroughly standardize a child at an invisible level.

I want to quote Giddens one more time and then show why I am so sure that as currently set up under federal and certain state laws, money following the child is designed to get precisely that kind of proscribed standardization at an internalized, neurobiological level. I also think if parents got in the habit of reading school or district charter language and private school mission statements they would quickly discover it is not just Giddens and Csik wanting to foster an autotelic self. I think we may also have found the reason why my research into the Positive School Climate mandate back in 2012 led me straight to Professor Amitai Etzioni and his communitarian ethics (italics in original).

“A generative model of equality, or equalization, could provide the basis of a new pact between the affluent and the poor. Such a pact would be an ‘effort  bargain’ founded on lifestyle change. Its motivating forces would be acceptance of mutual responsibility for tackling the ‘bads’ which development has brought in its train; the desirability of lifestyle change on the part of both the privileged and less privileged; and a wide notion of welfare, taking the concept away from economic provision for the deprived towards fostering the autotelic self.”

As a supernerd who keeps a 1962 two thousand page Webster’s in her vicinity at all times when she writes, I can affirm that the word autotelic has no entry in the version that goes back to the 1940s. Telic, however, made it in and means “directed toward an end; purposeful.” Autotelic then would mean being unconsciously directed towards ends someone else has picked out for us and may not have told us about. We might also have been given a false narrative about what standards, School Choice, and social emotional learning are really all about and falsely believe ourselves to be well-informed. Going back to Excellence, if someone has used school and instruction to manipulate what we each feel, think, and want, do we really have our own purposes anymore?

Back in early July, the publication Education Reimagined cited the Reschool Colorado: Creating a New Education System template as an exemplar. That caught my eye not just because of Columbine, but also because Colorado is where the GERG template for Achieving Excellence was first piloted in the 80s. What I found was something called the Learner Advocate Network, that is still in the design phase, but is where money following the child is intended to end up. I also was familiar with the phrase Capacity (Skill, Content, Disposition) from the Human Capabilities and Development work of another admitted Leftist Martha Nussbaum and Atlas Network preferred speaker Amartya Sen. Interesting coincidence, huh?

That recognition made the need to locate Reschool Colorado’s Framework for the Future of Learning https://www.dropbox.com/s/zz7ohda2mfetsfv/Framework%20for%20the%20Future%20of%20Learning.pdf?dl=0 all the more crucial. If that’s not another way to express an engineered autotelic self without admitting that reality and convergence of the Right and Left, I don’t have a mountain of research leading to this exact same place through the decades, across continents, and with differing declared rationales. Isn’t everyone else excited about being assessed as Academically Prepared under those definitions, being a Self-Manager, Socially Intelligent, and a Solution Seeker all under the standards put in place quietly by a state or local school district? Pertinent to the fed’s new statute mandating Success for Every Student, we have Colorado avoiding any PDM by insisting that its “definition of success should include the multi-faceted ways individuals may seek meaning in life and contribute to the world.”

Oh, joy. Maybe they too can cease to think of themselves as an individual and instead look to their membership and responsibilities to the broader systems they live or work in. Now Reschool Colorado is an initiative of the Donnell-Kay Foundation that hosted this Book Event for political scientist and educational researcher Rick Hess http://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2015/03/30/rick-hess-teacher-leadership-can-and-should-be-more-than-an-empty-phrase/ of Atlas Network member, American Enterprise Institute. If that seems coincidental, the foundation is also a major advocate of public charter schools. See what I mean about where School Choice is actually headed? In a world where Stanford’s Hoover Institute partners with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to publish Education Next it shouldn’t be such a surprise that the so-called Right and Left Pincers are herding us to the same place.

What is harder to know is that the Kennedy School of Government’s Elaine Kamarck, then Executive Director of their new Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century, was part of Giddens’ 2001 Conference and book called The Global Third Way Debate. That would tie the Hoover Institute and its work in education to that vision as well, which may be why School Choice now leads to that Framework for the Future of Learning that wants to prescribe internalized capabilities every bit as much as Professor Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, or Csik. Remember my concern about the Process Theory of Law in the last post where something gets declared to be a “matter of public policy” and then the law becomes an unappreciated hand-servant to force the vision on us as if we were all just subjects and the governed? My research journey on that point led me to a 1998  Columbia Law Review paper called “A Constitution of Democratic Experimentalism.”

Want to guess what that theory and affirmative view of a radicalised Constitution needs? It needs practices in education that get to and shape personal “identities and capacities.”

Precisely what the Left has admitted it seeks to do repeatedly.

Precisely where that Reschool Colorado Framework for the Future of Learning went as well.

That’s quite a convergence and plenty of reasons for all the obfuscations we encounter from people who claim to be education experts.

As always, Follow the Money.

 

Not Subtle Enough–Enslaving Us All in the Name of Health, Equity, and Well-Being

That was a longer break than I had intended, but sometimes real life interferes with explaining plans for the future. Luckily it did not interfere at all with documenting those plans so here we go with Part 2 of this Trilogy with even more pertinent facts from just the last week. So what’s this reference to ‘subtlety’ and is the verb ‘enslaving’ accurate or hyperbole? I will let each of us decide that when this Trilogy is complete. The reference to subtlety though comes from a February 2016 paper setting out “a means to conceptualize, regulate, and shape development processes.” Now given what I have been hammering on all summer, virtually everyone reading this can rightfully predict this refers to what a student, or the adult they become, has internalized as their guiding values, beliefs, and mental models. It also refers though to physical spaces like cities, schools, workplaces, and virtually any institution in a community.

Whole Society means precisely that. Under various UN and national pushes (HUD for example, under Julian Castro began to roll out all the Habitat III goals in December 2014. Did you get the memo?) implementing the “Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals” we find a repeated and explicit insistence on new “Modes of Governance.” Now I am quite sure all the public policy think tanks suddenly calling for a constitutional convention in the US is just coincidental, but in case it is not, let’s listen in on the nature of the shift, especially as student competencies are pitched as being about ‘self-governance in the 21st Century.’

“Governing can be considered as the totality of interactions in which public, as well as private, actors participate with the aim of solving societal problems or creating societal opportunities; attending to the institutions as contexts for these governing interactions; and establishing a normative foundation for all these activities. Commonly phrased as a shift from government to governance, the notion of governance entails a process of interaction between different societal and political actors and the growing interdependencies between the two as modern societies become ever more complex, dynamic, and diverse…In hierarchical governance the focus is on the steering role of the state in respect to governance. The state has shifted its pattern of steering away from direct legislative intervention and control to more subtle forms of regulation and oversight.”

See what I mean about not subtle enough if I am reading the plans before they are even enacted and writing books and blogs about what learning standards, School Choice, and Social Determinants of Health really mean? Let’s pick up one more quote as “Self-governance refers to the capacity of people to govern themselves, where actors come together to frame their own collective solutions.” Now when you hear the terms ‘self-governance’ or ‘autonomy’ is Priming for Collectivism a definition any of us have in mind? See how the Subtle Steering comes in? When we hear someone calling for Health as a Human Right or Equity in Outcomes for all Students, do we immediately recognize this is another subtle agreement telling politicians at all levels to mandate “positive and constructive changes in social arrangements”?

That Success for All and Excellence are about education where schools, public or private, must concentrate on the “cultivation of those habits, dispositions, required for virtuous activity and enlightened change. Furthermore, these creative habits can flourish only with the proper social conditions. This is one reason Dewey placed so much emphasis on education–education that begins when a child is born and continues through and beyond formal schooling.” That was from Richard Bernstein and is cited as “Creative Democracy-The Task Still Before Us” and is available as a Blueprint for the Planning and Public Policy set who fully intend to steer away in what is being pitched as a People-Centered Society. Oh, Joy.

When I was looking into the Community Schools mandated in the US by ESSA, the new federal statute signed in December 2015, it led me to a new acronym–HiAP. Health in All Policies was a new phrase, but following it has taken me on a global Internet journey to the rationales for the very programs now being foisted on us by various federal agencies and local governments all over the world, especially in the US. First up was the 2010 Adelaide Statement on Health in All Policies: Moving Towards A Shared Governance for Health and Well-Being” that left me not feeling very well after I read it. Like the Culture as Sustainability paper quoted above that will be covered in Part 3, HiAP is grounded in an insistence that “increasingly, communities, employers and industries are expecting and demanding strong government action to tackle the determinants of health and well-being and avoid duplication and fragmentation of actions.”

That unpublicized aim insists the “causes of health and well-being lie outside the health sector and are socially and economically formed.” Meeting the supposed demands of local employers and industries, which is after all the new role of K-12 education, becomes about a need for “joined-up government” and “another approach to governance.” I am really learning to hate that little ‘-ance’ suffix that seems so innocuous. Suddenly and out of sight we have the implementation of a ‘new social contract’ that sounds just like a Karl Marx Blueprint for where history should lead. Subtly and via education especially, we have a call where “Governments can coordinate policymaking by developing strategic plans that set out common goals, integrated responses and increased accountability across government departments. This requires a partnership with civil society and the private sector.”

Readers of my book Credentialed to Destroy will recognize that alliance as the Turchenko vision for achieving little c communism in the West. Interestingly enough we now know that the Adelaide Statement in 2010 reignited a global agenda launched in 1978 in Alma Ata, USSR. All these coincidences, huh? That Alma Ata Declaration was also trumpeted in the October 2011 World Conference on the Social Determinants of Health in Rio where we also failed to get an invite. That Political Declaration insisted that “health equity is a shared responsibility and requires the engagement of all sectors of government, of all segments of society, and of all members of the international community” to “achieve social and health equity.”

How? Glad to be asked. We have all been committed to “improve the daily living conditions; to tackle the inequitable distribution of power, money and resources; and to measure and understand the problem and assess the impact of action.” On the latter, I had never heard of Professor Donald Campbell, his Experimental Society, or Democratic Experimentalism until this past month as I tracked all these initiatives. Apparently back in 1969, social scientists decided “The United States and other modern nations should be ready for an experimental approach to social reform, an approach in which we try out new programs designed to cure specific social problems.”

Back to Rio and then on to Finland in 2013 and Shanghai this November, as we are all being bound to an agenda that insists that “health inequities arise from societal conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age” and are known as Social Determinants of Health. This agenda cares a great deal about addressing power imbalances so all the Hype about Black Lives Matter and trying to gain equivalence among the “killings in Dallas” and the “shootings in Baton Rouge and St Paul” (as if murderous intent was no longer pertinent) makes so much more sense if the only acceptable remedy is for action on the Social Determinants of Health:

“both for vulnerable groups and the entire population, is essential to create inclusive, equitable, economically productive and healthy societies. Positioning human health and well-being as one of the key features of what constitutes a successful, inclusive and fair society in the 21st century is consistent with our commitment to human rights at national and international levels.”

To bring the discussion back to just education for a moment, we have the draft document for Shanghai’s upcoming 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in its Social Mobilization Brief insisting that “Critical to success will be maximally mobilizing the unique enthusiasm, spirit, and social media know-how of youth, ensuring that they are fully engaged in social action and political processes.” Fully engaged and trained through school to help shift to what Marx called the Human Development Society with all the implementing measures subtly hidden away lest enough people rebel in time.

This past Tuesday, about two weeks after I originally planned to write this HiAP post, NAS released a paper on a February 2016 Workshop called “Framing the Dialogue on Race and Ethnicity to Advance Health Equity.” Beginning to see why Michael Brown’s actual activities in Ferguson, Missouri that fateful day or what Trayvon Martin was really up to and how he no longer looked anything like the pictures chosen by the media are so useful to the True Transformational Agenda we are not supposed to get until it is too late? It calls for all institutions, including schools and universities, to “develop an equity lens.” That lens is defined as “understanding the social, political, and environmental contexts of a program, policy, or practice in order to evaluate and assess the unfair benefits and burdens within a society or population.” The workshop also stressed how to ‘frame equity’ in terms of “privilege and oppression.”

The “Reframing Communication to Advance Racial Equity” insisted that “the primary factors that shape the health of Americans are not medical treatments but rather the living conditions they experience. These conditions have become known as the social determinants of health. Our health is shaped by how income and wealth is distributed, whether or not we are employed, and, if so, the working conditions we experience. Furthermore, our well-being is also determined by the health and social services we receive and our ability to obtain quality education, food, and housing, among other factors. Health and illness follow a social gradient: the lower the socioeconomic position, the worse the health.” The Workshop was citing work from the Frameworks Institute that I first wrote about here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/quoting-che-guevara-and-importing-personalizedategic-from-russia-seems-odd-for-a-cold-war-victor/

Fascinating coincidence since this paper http://frameworksinstitute.org/assets/files/PDF/UKCJ_MM_July_2016_Final.pdf that is technically about the UK has a title “New Narratives: Changing the Frame on Crime and Justice.” It goes a long way towards explaining why all these bad actions by actors deemed from underprivileged groups get overlooked and misrepresented in the prevailing ‘narrative’ of what happened. Its conclusion is that the “most effective strategy for preventing crime may well be to strengthen other social services, such as those that relate to education, housing and mental health. Building the political will to strengthen these systems is a crucial objective.”

That’s an understatement. The political will in other words gets built via education and the hyping of Privilege, Oppression, and Inequities at every opportunity. Meanwhile the solutions compel all our modern nations towards collectivism, while reframing Marx’s obligation to ‘meet needs’ as Health Inequities that must be remedied via governmental power.

Binding but invisible was the game plan. Luckily though these mandates are Not Subtle Enough for a Diligent Parent and Researcher just following the laws, regulations, and tracking down mysterious definitions.

 

Leveraging the Information-Sphere of Society as the Fulcrum for Involuntary Change

Anyone else watching the tragic events of this summer in Dallas and Orlando and wondering why there is such a determined effort to mislead us all about the nature of what happened and why? To stir up group grievances and even hatred, even if the relevant facts have to be either ignored or lied about? Some days I think the only nice thing about understanding this program of wholesale change in people’s internalized mental models is having access to previous blueprints from my personal library of declared intentions. Today we will look back to a 1988 book The Cassandra Conference: Resources and the Human Predicament edited by Paul R. Ehrlich and John P Holdren. Recognize those two names? I thought so.

That would be the year before his book New World New Mind covered in this post http://invisibleserfscollar.com/how-disabilities-law-is-already-being-used-to-gain-ehrlichs-new-mind-and-the-future-earth-economy/ . Most people recognize Professor Ehrlich from all his hyping of pending environmental catastrophe that never actually happen, but did you know he also has a close working relationship with the very Stanford psychology prof, Albert Bandura (see tag), pushing education as a means for Resistance-Proof Biosocial Revolution in the June 14, 2016 ISC post? Pertinent to our story, in other words, so let’s remind ourselves of how John Holdren fits into our current onslaughts.

He has been at the White House https://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ostp/about/leadershipstaff/director since 2009 in the Office of Science and Technology Policy. It means that the League of Innovative Schools with its neurological focus reports to him as does Digital Promise. The BRAIN Initiative does too, as well as the NSF and thus its Science of Learning Centers. Last but not least, he oversees the nudge-oriented Behavioral Science Team and its push for a national Growth Mindset study.

Now that we have established both men’s pertinence to what is actually being pursued, let’s go eavesdrop on a chapter written by another name we should all recognize–Donella Meadows (see tag) of the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth fame. The chapter was called “How Can We Improve Our Chances?” and it was seeking a means at more effectively shaping “the thinking and the policies of our society.” Tool Number 1 listed was developing new concepts to be used to frame public perception and discussion.

Wouldn’t it be useful to know now what Holdren, Ehrlich, and Meadows said was the “primary social leverage point” in their pursuit of fundamental social, economic, and political change? That would be “the source of ideas.” All three people and, I suppose, the Conference attendees in general, declared as follows so let’s listen in: “we are a part of, though by no means all of, that elect set of people in any society who are its idea generators–the people who interpret society to itself, set up its arguments, frame its issues, define its categories, coin its phrases.”

Just the declared intentions we want from someone in a position to specify, with federal funding, what will be the Next Generation Science DCIs–Disciplinary Core Ideas and CCCs–Cross-Cutting Concepts and Themes, to be imposed and then assessed for in all K-12 education. In fact, this quote from influential, but misguided, economist John Maynard Keynes was cited approvingly in full:

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back. I am sure that the power of vested interests is vastly exaggerated compared with the gradual encroachment of ideas.”

Listening to President Obama (from yesterday’s speech that doesn’t really count as a eulogy any bereaved person wanted to hear) and the media’s portrayal of what led to Orlando, and how Minneapolis, Baton Rouge, and Dallas are somehow all equivalent ‘killings,’ it is apparent that all these events must be interpreted to make Group Equity the point. Neither politicians nor the media seem to want to give up the desired narrative, whatever the actual facts or the deadly consequences of the politically useful ideas. Useful that is if fundamental transformation is what is actually sought. This post actually starts a Trilogy to show that is precisely what is going on and how the language used fits with broader goals that track to the UN and its 2030 Dignity For All global focus.

Today though, we need to appreciate why the so-called Information Sphere is so crucial that we have politicians and the media determined not to let mass, intentional, planned-in-advance murder get in the way of their determination to Use Ideas to stir up useful group grievances and cultivate useful personal guilt. Both education and the media are the two critical components of communication in any society and we all need to understand what Ehrlich, Holdren, Meadows, and all the entities and institutions they have worked for since 1988 all knew and were relying on when they made their plans for us: “To prevail, we are going to have to use the power of ideas more skillfully than they do. That means, I think, understanding fully and profoundly, first how ideas create societies and, second, how they create our own selves and our effectiveness.”

So when http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/printgroupProfile.asp?grpid=7876 Black Lives Matters calls for ‘quality education for all’ as part of its manifesto, it’s not about facts and teaching reading properly. It has a particular meaning that makes a student amenable to the desired fundamental transformations. Quality Learning was first proposed by not defunct in the least despite decades of being deceased, political philosopher John Dewey, and his plans for education I covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy. He too wanted to control the prevailing Information Sphere at the level of each student’s mind and personality. Back to 1988: “our terribly complex socioeconomic systems are shaped by two basic forces. The first is the physical operation of the universe…”

Guess what? Cause and effect in that physical universe is not affected as “what we say or believe about them has absolutely no influence on how they behave.” In this age of deliberate Mind Arson I would add that whether we even accurately know anything has no effect. Physical laws are “the least changeable parts of a system’s structure. They are the constraints within which a system has to operate; they are not the ultimate or guiding force.” These are not my italics, by the way, and the true guiding force is precisely the reason for all the hype about brain-based learning and student-centered education. Let me quote the next paragraph to the quote we just finished as it is so explicit:

“The source of system structure, the real leverage point for change, is its information–the shared, slowly changing, often unspoken set of social beliefs, and the locally available, always changing streams of specific information [Can we say ‘Individual-in-Context’?], which together influence all human decisions, actions, technologies, and organizations. The human information system works on the physical universe, constrained by its laws, but within those laws there is scope for all the varied inventions, organizations, and cultures that human beings have produced over the ages.”

Guess what? Everyone targeting the Information-Sphere via education and media memes and narratives has plans for a new culture that is politically controlled and coordinated at every level of government. That will be the focus of the remainder of this Trilogy. Meanwhile, we have the admission that in the Information-Sphere “things are very much influenced by what is wished, believed, and said.” That’s the reason for all the lies around race, Islam, Climate Change, how to teach reading, and so much else. That’s why it is apparently OK to stir people up so they falsely believe and feel they are under attack because of race and then turn around and falsely assure people that they are not at risk from some evil-doers because they are not adherents of a certain religion. Let’s quote our influential transformationalists yet again down to what they chose to italicize for emphasis:

“Over the very short term social systems are indeed dominated by their physical setups…But over the long term social systems are shaped almost entirely by the information-sphere, within the constraints of physical laws.” In the age of constructivist math and science those would be the unknown or misapplied (via Transfer to new situations!!) physical laws, but at least there will be no constraints from facts imperiling fundamental transformations. Does this sound giddy to anyone else? “Do you begin to see how easy changing a system can be, if the right information is just put into the right place?”

Why yes I do and now so does everyone reading this post. Does yesterday’s Presidential funeral oration and national and local news coverage suddenly make sense when we eavesdrop and learn “That is our work, to shape the information-sphere of society so that it supports systems of sufficiency, sustainability, and justice, instead of scarcity and waste, degradation, and oppression.” None of us apparently are the insiders who have been designated to be the transformational Idea-Generators although I think I am establishing my reputation as an Idea-Explainer, even if it is unauthorized by the Elect Set of People described above.

Might as well then reiterate the preferred method before we move on to the admitted goals. Remember also that for the Elect Schemers, a person is just another form of system:

“Systems arise, in the long term, from information and ideas. They can be changed most easily through information and ideas. Like the atmosphere, the information-sphere flows through us, through our minds, so thoroughly and constantly that we are hardly aware of it. We take information and put it out. Every word we speak, every action and gesture either reinforces and endorses the socially shared information-sphere or challenges and changes it.”

So much of what must now occur in classrooms globally tracks back to the people who we have just quoted. Let’s all start the rebellion against the schemers using education and the media to fulfill these plans where “with every word we are literally shaping reality for ourselves and others.”

At least we no longer need to speculate on the organized desire to control our very vocabulary and the concepts and categories we are to use to perceive the world and interpret our experiences.

Or as President Obama phrased it yesterday–‘our obligation to reach a consensus.’

No wonder no one wants Axemaker Minds in the room anymore.