Center of the Storm: Requiring Data Collection on Continuous Improvement to a Student’s Full Personality

I started Chapter 3 of my book with a quote that has been haunting me ever since we first confronted the DiaMat theory dead on two posts ago. Professor Jeremy Kilpatrick was speaking at a 1987 Psychology of Mathematics Education international conference. In the book, I was illustrating that there were other intentions involved with what became known as the math, science, and reading wars. What Jeremy said then was:

“We need to determine the moral, social, and political order we believe to be desirable, then set out our educational purposes, and in light of those purposes choose curriculum content and objectives.”

It haunts me because I now realize that quote is a fairly concise definition of DiaMat and how its advocates see education as a means of deliberately changing the culture and altering prevailing perspectives. All this manipulation is to create Mindsets that perceive the world in politically useful ways. Well, useful if you belong to the class that plans to be among the manipulators. For individuals, such mind arson cannot work out well. In the last post, the book I mentioned Imagine Living in a Socialist USA ends with a scifi type essay called “Thanksgiving 2077: A Short Story.” In it, the character Les comments that he doubts that “many folks would have gone for socialism if they had known it meant downsizing.” Ahh, the pertinent parts of the story being left out of the sales pitch.

If conscious evolution along a designed pathway seems a bit scifi to us, it is nevertheless behind the designed to be influential ecosystem STEM metaphor of where all these education reforms are actually going. is another report from a few days ago. That’s education to create a new reality, not education to appreciate the world as it currently exists or what great minds have pieced together about how it works. That STEM Ecosystem vision is driven by the DiaMat vision, but it gets to hide under language about Equity and Success for All.

Both the UN and the OECD have detailed their Future Earth and Great Transition and post-2015 plans and I have covered them in various posts. I have also detailed Gar Alperowitz’s vision of the Good Society and Harry Boyte’s for the cooperative commonwealth as other examples of future visions of transformation. So the moral, social, and political order desired by the public sector and their cronies globally or its links to what is called the Common Core now in the US are clear and no longer in doubt. Now Jeremy’s quote is the truth, but not a good PR strategy for a politician or School Super to sell to a community. Well, at least not one who has not had education, K-12 or higher ed, already nurturing for years at a time both a sense of grievance and an attitude of ignorance despite adequate coursework and degrees.

What’s the way in then? How do we get to what the book describes as the goal of accessing a student’s full personality so it can be monitored and manipulated to fit the believed needs of the people with political power? You do it obviously with euphemisms like making “continuous improvement in student learning for all students” the new federal goal. Then you take the work of a Professor like John Bransford and write books and hold conferences where the term “learning” encompasses what became the notorious aim of outcomes based education in the 90s: changing values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors.

That’s what ‘learning’ actually means in 2014 to an education ‘professional’ who is on the lucrative insider track and that’s the information to be gathered by the schools through assessments. Most people hear ‘assessments’ and think examinations of knowledge and hear ‘learning’ and think of the acquisition of knowledge and useful skills. Most people would be wrong, but sticking to duplicitous terms means most people will never know what is going so wrong in education. I have been around school board members who have been led to believe that the phrase ‘continuous improvement’ is also about ever increasing knowledge. Instead, it comes out of the PBIS, Positive Behavior psychology work, and also seeks to cause and then monitor changes in the now-proverbial values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors.

That’s what makes Monday’s release by the well connected iNACOL and CompetencyWorks of “A K-12 Federal Policy Framework for Competency Education: Building Capacity for Systems Change” so fascinating. If you are troubled by revelations about the level of personal monitoring being conducted by the NAS according the Edward Snowden’s leaks, how should we feel about schools and school districts becoming primarily personal data collection devices that go to our innermost thoughts and feelings and motivations? About schools using that information and providing it to states and the federal government to chart whether the desired changes in values, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings are occurring? That the idea of protecting privacy becomes a matter of not detailing who is being changed, but requiring and monitoring and guiding wholesale, full personality change nevertheless. And determining what practices and curriculum best foster such change and what type of students they work particularly well on? That’s customized leaning. That’s what personalized education actually means.

The phrase the document keeps using is student-centered accountability, not compliance accountability. Here’s the big idea that all K-12 is now to evolve around. Highly useful remember with DiaMat as the goal, teacher classroom behavior being seriously circumscribed (last post), and that obuchenie mindset being the goal of ‘teaching and learning.’

BIG IDEA: Student-centered data systems should collect, report, and provide transparent information on where every student is along a learning trajectory based on demonstrating high levels of competency [  explains what competency really means and how Milton Rokeach created it as an obscuring term for its actual purpose], to help educators customize learning experiences to ensure that every student can master standards and aligned competencies. Data should provide useful information for improving teaching and learning, as well as for accountability and quality purposes.”

Quality as we know does not mean academics. It means desired personal qualities and an outlook on the world and ties back to John Dewey’s vision. Notice though that competencies and standards are NOT being used here as synonyms. In the paper standards refers to standards for college and career readiness. Since we have tracked the standards for college readiness first to a David Conley 2007 paper for the Gates Foundation and discovered generic adult non-cognitive skills and then on back to Maslow and Rogers humanist psychology work that benchmark doesn’t exactly merit peals of joy. We can see though why ALL students can get there with time though and how much time this standard leaves for all that personality manipulation.

Career ready we actually have tracked back to attitudes and values embracing communitarianism. Again highly useful if transforming the moral, social, and political order has become the actual point of K-12 and higher ed. Especially if information on precisely where all students are at any given point in the process of desired consciousness transformation is being monitored constantly through data collection.

Ready to reach for something to relieve heart burn and nausea at this point in the post? Here’s the problem with avoidance of these troubling intentions. Then nothing can stop them except perhaps an investigation after all this personality manipulation leads to a tragedy. I think that has already happened and this expansion will only make it even more likely in the future.

We have to focus on what is really being monitored and changed. Next time we will talk about how all the previous safety valves in the education system are being turned off so that there is no one really to complain to about what is intended. I also want to talk about that report’s determination to put some type of deceitful zone of privacy over Georgia’s actions in this area of pushing competency as the new focus of education. The report has it classified as having “No Policies in Competency education.” That’s not true as I know from repeated personal experiences in plenty of meetings with public officials or their advisors. I made Chapter 4 of the book about Competencies as the ultimate end game and the ugly history. I used a troubling Georgia statute nobody seemed to want to acknowledge passing.

Why the deceit and cover up? It’s not because there are no connections between Knowledge Works and what has been going on in Georgia. How many other states have similar deceit going on with so many people in the know having unexplored conflicts of interest that guide their behavior? Talking to people elsewhere it does not seem unique, but the obfuscation here does appear deliberate. Knowing why I believe it is deliberate should be helpful to all of us looking at inexplicable actions in our states and communities.

Maybe I should call the next post Tracking Techniques 102 or “How to tell when someone is lying to you about public policy.”



32 thoughts on “Center of the Storm: Requiring Data Collection on Continuous Improvement to a Student’s Full Personality

    • I suspect this prof wishes he had kept his mouth shut.

      Sposnored by the Center for American Progress. They were involved with the conference and book I just finished to disempower school boards and have money follow child. When I point out that aslong as the accreditors can then standardize anywhere that money goes so there would be no choice, I get silly explanations that go to the accreditors being the strong central authority desired without it being visible. So good to know they in turn work with UNESCO.

      Page 15 of the CompetencyWorks report even mentions this new framework “enables states and districts to continuously improve the system by piloting new methods of accountability and quality assurance.” Quality assurance is UNESCO’s term of art for global education in compliance with its vision with the accreditors as the enforcers.

      Plus Competency is the OECD’s term for its goals and its director Andreas Schleicher works closely with UNESCO. Not coincidental.

          • Actually, from a manufacturing perspective, it’s really inefficient to concentrate the production areas. It’d be much better to distribute production across the country with small, highly versatile, production units. That way production at each unit can be focussed on the goods wanted in that area of the country. It requires a special breed of production and support systems to make something like that work, but it potentially eliminates most of the infrastructure needs. A scheme like this would easily fit into the scenario they present, but eliminate the need to move finished goods outside the zones.

            Otherwise, they don’t really seem to explain where they got the information to do the dividing. I don’t agree with the high-speed rail concept here. I don’t care if it takes 8 hours or 2 for the goods to go from one zone to the other. Most things aren’t that time critical, as long as delivery time is reliably established.

            On the other hand, I live near Kansas City. I’ll wait until the East Coast needs gas/oil or food from the mid-West and I think they’ll come around eventually.

    • Wow Robin, The week you posted this, I bought the book “Center of the Storm”; John Scopes own memiors of the monkey trial. I plan on showing a talk on this in the next week or so. I haven’t met one person who knew the Scopes trial was a media stunt between politicians in a little town and the ACLU to bring in more tourism dollars. You can read this in Scopes memiors which appears to be getting hard to find. I just bought the book because my kids’ friend was telling me about the plot in the movie and didn’t know it wasn’t true since his history teacher was teaching the movie “Inherit the Wind” as the true facts of the event. The presentation explains that is common:

  1. I just finished reading your book and 5 months worth of your blog, very informative. Unfortunately, I wish it was sic-fi, it would be a great sic-fi novel.

    Did you know that the history of whole word methods actually goes back another century and that there was a period of whole word teaching from 1826 – 1876? I first read about this in Geraldine E. Rodgers’ History of Beginning Reading, she names all the names you name and more going even further back. For example, Voltaire, Diderot, Robert Owen, Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, Chalotais, Condorcet, Fichte (Inspired by Condorcet), Abner Kneeland, Horace Mann, Thorndike, Josiah, Holbrook , Samual R. Hall, Dwight, Colonel Parker, G. Stanley Hall, Louis Agassiz,
    William James, James McKeen Cattell, and that is just the first half…

    I have some of Rodgers’ better quotes on my website, I will post a few and the last half of her names after I finish my homeschooling duties. I can e-mail you the associated quotes if you like, she doesn’t mind. She also doesn’t mind extensive posting of her quotes, I always check with her first and the more of her quotes I post, the happier she is. (She is amazingly sharp for an 80+ year old woman, I still correspond with her!)

  2. That should have been Sci-Fi, sorry!

    Here is a key quote from Geraldine E. Rodgers’ book, from page 1789. (Yes, her book has many pages, but it is well worth reading.) “The change-agents’ cures have always moved towards more centralized control of education, through the use of at least one of the three “T’s”: Teacher education, Textbooks, or Tests.”

    The second half her list: G. Stanley Hall, Edmund Burke Huey, Dewey, Farnham, Henry Suzzallo, Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations, B. Skinner, Columbia Teachers College, Ernest Horn (Any relation to Michael Horn?), Ernest Ashbaugh, E.L. Thorndike, F.J. Schonell, W.F. Bagley, William Scott Gray, Gates, Charles H. Judd, Frank Smith, Kenneth Goodman

    And a few pages on my website with quotes from her book:

    • Thanks Elizabeth and welcome to ISC.

      I appreciate your links. I was thinking of Kenneth Goodman this morning. He is one of several people who have written about “where they went to keep their heads down during the McCarthy hearings.” Before I understood the connection I kept wondering why all these advocates of radical instructional techniques seemed concerned about being called out as having connections to CPUSA. Do not know why Goodman thought he was at risk, but it came to mind because James Becker did the same but he sought his hiding place at the NOrth Central accreditation agency based in Chicago.

      I had not heard of Geraldine, but the Carnegie Corporation provided the funding for this Competency Works paper I am writing this post about. Michael Horn is listed as an advisor to report, and his co-author on Disrupting Class, Curtis Johnson, is heavily involved with pushing Regionalism and Agenda 21 with Rockefeller Foundation funding and sponsorship of the conferences.

      I think the accreditors this time are the means of centralized control without that being apparent. I will explain why I think that in the next post. In my mind it all reads like a No Way Out scheme. Except no one was supposed to comprehend on the front end.

      I have always been passionate about reading and horrified by these attempts to limit the mind. If you can corrupt the ability of words to mediate a person’s perception of reality, you change what they believe without it being apparent to them.

      Monitoring whether such a shift has occurred will be easy though with data becoming the center of what the schools are producing.

      • Thanks for the welcome!

        Not many people have heard of Geraldine E. Rodgers or read her book, unfortunately. She has a lot of interesting facts about the history of reading and spelling instruction all together in one handy 1808 page book.

        Before reading her book I just thought that the people pushing bad educational methods were all naive and misguided. Her book showed that while some were, there were some change agents who were purposely pushing bad methods for their own ends.

        Interestingly, Dolch, whose sight word lists are a large part of the reading problem, appears naive and misguided if you read his works.

        Spelling scores declined, on average, 2 grades from an identical test given in 1922 and 1953. In the 1953 book with the 1953 results , there is a quote “Very special indebtedness is felt to Dr. Ernest Horn who unselfishly made available important data from his personal and confidential files on spelling vocabularies.” [Hmm, I wonder why they were kept confidential? The 1922 data is now in the public domain, and I own the 1953 book, with all the data, but the 1953 spelling data is still copyright protested.]

        • Oh, I’m so glad someone else has found and enjoyed Geraldine E. Rodgers! I don’t think I have them all but she has done very solid work in the ones I have. It’s a shame she didn’t have a good editor, because her work could be so much more accessible with one. I’m glad to hear she is still going strong.
          The other person I’ve read is Nila Banton Smith. A fascinating character, she was a reading historian, but seems to have been actually a whole-word fan. She documents several instances going back centuries where some bright light came up with the whole word idea, sold it, and then the teachers or clients found it didn’t work and dumped it. She doesn’t say this, but shows it, that it was not until publicly-funded compulsory education locked everyone into top-down practice that the whole word idea became stuck in practice – common sense was no longer able to assert itself against bureaucratic rent-seeking.

  3. Siegfried Engelmann too has been pounding his head against the “why no one wants to listen” wall since Project Follow Through, as have many others who have effective programs that the system resolutely blocks. Terry Moe looks at that blocking behaviour, though I’m not sure he fully unravels it. That is the behaviour that first caught my attention in 1996 and set me on my analytical journey.

    • I have been using Sigs 100 easy lessons with my 4 year old. We are moving right along. A prof that speaks at meetings with us knows Sig well, Sig has been his mentor. Sigs methods have seen their share of critique. I was nervous that I had chosen wrong based on some critiques I had read. He states that the methods were designed to assist children in reading who had no basic skills, no left right, up down or abilities to follow complex directions. Telling them what to do works until they have developed the skills to move beyond the need for that. If it were not for this blog I would have not known the importance of learning by phonics instead of the combo they use in schools in my area, whole word, sight word some phonics.

        • That’s more or less what I was going to say. That is an excellent link; as well as the classroom, it describes precisely how teachers’ unions manage their members and the public at large.

          What is diabolical about the program that Robin describes is that the “teacher corps” refuses to use effective teaching methods in the classroom to teach our children the topics for which we send them to school (as parents, as society). However, they use those methods with gay abandon in the “classroom” of the wider world to teach us their utopian vision. They are, after all, teachers.

          It’s kind of twilight zoney – they won’t use the methods FOR us, but they use them ON us! And they use them to change the law so they can keep doing it, and to limit our ability to correct the situation:…-a0274699540

          So in self-defense, we can only use effective methods to teach our own children what WE want them to learn – and reading, writing, arithmetic are the basic elements of logical thinking, so in those areas, effective methods are well-applied. And Zig’s methods ARE effective. Just as dialectical materialism is, which is what the Slinn article above is, basically. What differentiates the good from the bad is on whom effective methods are used, by whom, for what purpose, at whose cost, and to what extent consent is obtained. And of course, who they empower.

          In the case of 100 easy lessons, empowering a child to read (and write, something I’m beginning to feel needs more attention than it gets) is something only those who really have their best interests at heart will do.

          • Sigh…again, an example state. The leg is in short session right now. Pushing through many ed bills. Gutting a privacy bill, and giving our Gov more control (all by exec order and emergency clauses) over community with his unelected big business investment board who cannot be deposed. I think we may be the only state that has the Gov as the SI over all of the state ed, with an enforcer from the board of epic. They are on a dangerous path quickly. I suspect that we will see attempts to consolidate districts and boards soon. In fact just read a report about consolidation, and guess who was surveyed and in favor of this? Conley of course from this area and epic, that means that if his board pres is our chief ed officer you can bet she’s in on the vision.
            Couple things that may interest you.


            Seen this today.

          • LL-

            Wyoming has gone to that model and supposedly Georgia’s governor wanting to shift to that model is what caused the existing school super to decide to primary him.

            It may be Education Commission of the States pushing the idea of consolidating both Workforce Development, which is what education is to become under this new vision of a new planned economy, and Economic Development. Few governors of either party seem to appreciate where economic growth really comes from. They all think it is a matter of getting plants to relocate in their states.

            The idea that there cannot be economic growth in the aggregate if mind arson prevents genuine innovation is not sufficiently understood. After all it does not prevent a career in politics or these bureaucracies being set up.

            Added later-this is the link showing this push is coming out of ECS and is thus being pushed on all states and legislatures.

          • LL-here are the examples Brookings is touting of what the governors in Colorado and Tennessee are doing.

            Both are cutting edge in ed reforms as well. Not coincidental, but it assumes that jobs somehow are created by existing businesses or institutions. It ignores that the best job engines are people with good ideas who have incentives to do the hard work it takes to build a business that people want to voluntarily spend their money to buy from. All big businesses started out that way, but most later become political operators to keep their markets instead of keeping their customers happy.

          • Yes all metro areas are being encouraged to prepare.

            On the despotism, honestly until you start reading these reports it is impossible to appreciate the extent to which we are essentially regarded as roadkill subject to whatever the planners determine they wish to do to us. I read the Geneva and Tunis reports yesterday from the World Summit on the Information Society in 2003 and 2005 yesterday. It was quite clear that the term Information Society was just a more politically correct phrase to cover up finally getting to that small c vision of Marx’s Robert Tucker had outlined back in 62.

            I can’t really be shocked because I have now taken that vision definitively much further back and which foundations are seen as backing it. Again thank goodness for Ivy League profs with hubris over their transformative plans. You can see why UN entities think they have waited long enough to bring the world to heel.

          • In case my link above doesn’t work, search the author’s name, Sara Slinn, and the title, “Structuring reality so that the law will follow.” Since “the people” and parents have no standing in the labour relations arena, any scrap of public policy they can pull onto the bargaining table (can you say “class size and class composition?”) is effectively removed from the public’s influence.

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