Change Your Belief, Change Your Behavior, Change Your Life–Tranzi OBE Again at the Forefront

Last week, we had yet another monumental school tragedy and, as always, one of my first reactions besides grief was to look at which of the poisonous behavioral science theories and models were being pushed in those schools. Transformational Outcomes-Based Education was a phrase used more in the 90s version of these same change-the-child reforms that I covered thoroughly in my book Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became a Weapon. Tranzi OBE is simply my shorthand nickname because it really is ubiquitous in its use even though the names used to describe it change. Having attended Restorative Justice programs here in Atlanta that would supposedly cure the School to Prison Pipeline, I did a search involving Broward County Schools.

This post’s title comes from the motto used by Broward’s exemplar (which got Superintendent Runcie invited to the White House in 2015) PROMISE Program. PROMISE is an acronym for Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Support & Education. According to a February 18 Washington Post “Teacher’s say Florida suspect’s problems started in middle school, and the system tried to help him,” Nikolas Cruz “was entrenched in the [PROMISE] process for getting students help rather than referring them to law enforcement.” In the previous two posts, I have been warning that the focus hiding behind phrases like Evidence-Based Policymaking needs to be on the model or theory being implemented–What is the desired change being sought?

That’s how I can recognize that motto as grounded in Tranzi OBE because it assumes the key to controlling future behavior is to get at students’ underlying beliefs and values and to ground future decision making in emotion. Get at what drives attention and intention and then provide new experiences until the desired assumptions become Habits of Mind. It is what the PROMISE Model will call “more effective coping skills and pro-social behaviors”. The e-book Eliminating the School-to-Prison Pipeline published by BCPS can be found here and I especially want to call attention to an assumption of the PROMISE model that seems tragically mistaken after Parkland. Let’s bold for emphasis– This approach focuses on the situation being the problem rather than the individual being the problem.

Translated that is a theory of human nature that assumes that people are not evil, circumstances are and that if environments can be changed and people can practice new behaviors grounded in new beliefs and values (Broward also uses Singleton’s Courageous Conversations on Race), people can change. After 17 murders and an intention to commit many more, does it make any sense to be using an education model that asserts that the individual is not the problem? I am going to quote from the beginning of that book because I truly believe there is a reason that school mass shootings always seem to occur in districts pushing Tranzi OBE as the new template of education. It is a manipulative, flawed view of human nature that fits a society where too many people want to steer people and institutions through the political process. These italics and bolding are in the original.

“Broward County Public Schools is committed to keeping students engaged in school and
out of the Juvenile Justice System. We take great responsibility towards achieving our
mission – to educating all students to reach their highest potential. We believe the
potential of each of our students is worth developing, including our youth who are at
risk of engaging in delinquent or criminal behaviors, and those already involved in the
juvenile justice system. It is for this reason that we have invested heavily, in
partnership with a number of community organizations, to provide prevention and
intervention programs and wraparound services for identified youth.
Additionally, Broward County Public Schools is a learning organization that values and
considers emerging research and is driven by the analysis of a body of data to inform
our practices. The national research and data on school discipline is clear on a number
of issues:

Exclusionary practices such as out-of-school suspension, expulsion and school
related arrests are detrimental to student success in school and in life.

School districts have a legal, and more importantly, a moral responsibility to
eliminating disproportional representation of minorities, student with
disabilities, and LGBT students in discipline.

Adults, in and out of school buildings – school leaders, teachers and support
personnel, law enforcement, court and juvenile justice leaders, behavior
health professionals, advocacy groups, policymakers, parents and students,
all play an important role in addressing this issue.”
So despite all the incidents we now know about, Nikolas Cruz could buy an AR-15 gun because no one wanted to be detrimental to his life chances? Because his school district believed that the situation was the problem, not the individual, right up until its former students like Nikolas Cruz or Trayvon Martin suddenly become notorious for their behavior? Because “punitive measures such as suspensions, expulsions, and school-based arrests” are viewed as “harsh policies [that] disproportionately target students of color and those with a history of abuse, neglect, poverty or learning disabilities and related behavioral problems.”
This link from the BCPS area is called “Building Sustainable Communities through Restorative Justice” . It lays out the decision to use Civil Citations and Diversion alternatives to those ‘punitive measures” so that “Individualized, culturally competent delivery of restorative justice services addresses harmful incidents while allowing juveniles to make amends to their victims, communities, and families–in ways that do not sabotage their futures.”
If the Restorative Justice or Tranzi OBE models for education are harmful and push social theories with deadly results, adhering to them is still evidence-based policymaking. That’s why appreciating the errors in the underlying theory or model is so important. There are 17 fine people who have had their futures more than sabotaged by Nikolas Cruz’s intentional behavior and the flawed template being used to supposedly obtain Equity in education results cannot be ignored amid cries of gun control. I believe that’s also why we have seen so much conflation in the last week as if gun violence at schools and intentional mass murder in schools to kill students and teachers are equivalent and synonymous.
That second link states that in February 2014, Broward County, Florida became the “first county government in the US to earn certification as a “4 Star Sustainable Community.” It achieved this recognition that other school districts and counties are now supposed to emulate for its “violence prevention programs and strategies and best practice human service delivery.” In particular Broward “deserved this certification” because of its “Using Restorative Justice and other best practices to: ~Disrupt the ‘Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Pipeline,’ ~Address minority disproportionality, and ~provide alternatives to juvenile arrest and court involvement.”
Shouldn’t these practices grounded in behavioral science and flawed assumptions that people can be treated as ‘systems’ be reexamined instead of blindly calling for gun control? The same Behavioral Scientist publication that wanted to force Charlottesville Conversations that were all some how created before the August tragedy on all K-12 schools and classrooms insisted yesterday that we remember that mass shootings are NOT a product of mental illness. That’s reality getting in the way of a useful theory for social change, isn’t it?
Parkland and the media manipulation of this tragedy to support an existing agenda means that the existing agenda should be the focus of our attention. Why must the Tranzi OBE template always be protected as the new focus of K-12 schools? Why is no amount of innocent blood ever enough to force a reexamination? The same learning models that created Tranzi OBE, PROMISE, and Restorative Justice practices have been quietly embedded in every state plan I have looked at under ESSA, the new federal education law. We must be able to address what is wrong with these theories of behavioral and social science in a society with genuine aspirations of freedom for each individual.
Contrary to what too many professors in higher ed are teaching too many students, the 21st century should not be an experiment in social transformation if only the correct public policies can be enacted. If education to implement “a new, transformational theory of change” keeps coinciding with mass school shootings, why on earth are we refusing to take a hard look at that underlying theory of change and the techniques it is using?



24 thoughts on “Change Your Belief, Change Your Behavior, Change Your Life–Tranzi OBE Again at the Forefront

  1. I was at work when I first heard about the incident. Went looking right away. I wasn’t shocked. It was interesting to see the superintendent as more of a business mogul. Thought of our conversations here when students began protests. Good little activist soldiers. BATs are setting up a walk out and organizing students. The mainstream anti CCSS movement seems to have caught on that their movement is about something entirely different. That only took 4 to 5 years.
    Hope you are feeling well these days. Slogging around in 14” of snow here with more expected tonight.

    • Yes, this is the American Association of School Supers making Broward’s approach one of their exemplars.

      If you use that e-book link you will find signed copies of the November 5, 2013 Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline signed by so many of the same people we saw being interviewed last week who said they had no clue how this could have happened. That starts on page 27. PROMISE gets hyped as the “opportunity to gain new skills, talents, behaviors, and attitudes to create goals for your future.” Making plans and acting on goals and judging the gap between where you are and where you want to be as the focus of education for everyone is just a shame. We are also deluding ourself insisting there is no true evil in the world.

      My guess is Cruz has fetal alcohol syndrome and the problem really is in this troubled, malevolent individual and not in the ‘situation’.

      I am off crutches for short distances and I use one to get to and from PT. Apparently it is better to walk normally with a crutch than to limp. Tendon is knitting nicely, but I had some underlying issues in my knee that I am also going to work through. My head is clear though and no longer has that fogged by pain feel to it. It has given me plenty of time to gather my thoughts while watching who was pushing which narrative. There have been quite a few times in recent months when I watched people climb out on a ledge they were probably unaware of being on. There seems to be a great deal of spouting certain talking points without understanding what the memes actually do or where they lead.

      Speaking of new terms for Tranzi OBE, did you see that this site had launched while I was ailing?

      Stay safe and warm. I think spring is here in Atlanta. In the 70s this week. Maybe I will get some vitamin D tomorrow while resting leg.

    • According to this Everytown, that Bloomberg group that he put $50 million into, was already working with students. also came out yesterday wanting to regulate what will be regarded as Fake News and what the evidence-base will be to decide what is fake. Notice the antipathy to the individual making thir own determination. Instead, we get ‘communal sense-making”. Fits right in of course to Enduring Understandings and Conceptual Frameworks and Understanding by Design.

      Yet that father with a daughter shot 9 times by Cruz has every right to be in unbearable anger. Someone as repeatedly and demonstrably troubled as Cruz should not have been in a position to buy an AR-15 because the schools wanted Equity in discipline fot various demographic groups.

  2. I knew immediately it was a false flag with crisis actors, David Hogg’s father former FBI in 2014 and mother antiTrump. Dr.Lubin, shooters doctor is heavily into Military Intel as well every young shooter in the last 20yrs has been on mass anti-depressants which alter brain function….this is global communist govt at work. Hope this author realizes over 100 million in our country are well aware and over a billion worldwide are with us

    • Dawn-I debated letting your comment through as quite frankly I find it bizarre. This post is not about a false flag operation.

      I am an expert on these education theories and how they are intended to work in a classroom. That operation frequently correlates with mass murder school shootings and the question is “is there a causational link?” We cannot examine that terribly relevant and tragic question if we cannot examine the overall template.

      I let your comment through in part because it seems to be an attempt to align this factual post with cites to people who allege things without doing their homework first. “Global communist govt at work?” -who writes like that? I wish 100 million people in this country accurately understood what is really going on in the schools.

  3. Robin,

    I concur with your statement-

    …..”the problem really is in this troubled, malevolent individual and not in the ‘situation’”

    It’s been decades since I was in junior high. I attended Memorial Junior high the year we landed on the moon. The assistant principle of the 500 student school was tasked with administering corporal justice on behalf of the student body, teachers and local community (as directed by the school board) for behaviors defined as being detrimental enough to warrant a rapid reprimand. The speed of the reprimand was fast enough to remind the transgressor that certain behaviors are wrong no matter what the situation and they will not be tolerated.

    The troubled youths noted in your post would never of graduated (9th grade) from Memorial without a few swats and likely a few suspensions. The rights of the many were given higher priority back than and the security of the students and staff were priority #1. Safe spaces had a different connotation back then.

    My uncle was a principle at a large High School back in the 70’s. I would of liked to asked him what procedure(s) where in place before “troubled’ youth were allowed to rejoin the community of learners at his school after a suspension. I imagine some behaviors would of been deemed egregious enough to trigger a psychiatric evaluation before the trouble youth would be allowed to return to the community of learners.

    • These kind of programs pushing mindfulness therapy as the solution with Broward County school counselors as speakers should be better recognized.

      Richard Davidson was also a speaker at the recent World Government Summit as was Goldie Hawn. They released the Global Happiness Policy Report on February 10, 2018 that made positive education and mental health for all front and center of the global plans. It had Martin Seligman who we have covered and his Templeton-funded Positive Neuroscience work as the head of their education panel. Link to that report is here.

      Relevant to this post is its pushing of cognitive behavioural therapy as a solution for troubled teens and as an alternative to incarceration.

        • Cool and thanks.Do look at those Global Dignity planned learning experiences and appreciate just how much virtual reality and conceptual understandings can be used to create a firm and motivating belief system that is not factually true in the least.

        • Not sure precisely where you are, but in addition to the spin on Parkland, this announces that Texas is going to learner-centered ed on a statewide basis. Learner-centered ed is about changing the child at an internalized neural level. It’s simply a more updated term for what used to be called Tranzi OBE per this post.

          You can steer pretty reliably likely future behavior via controlling the student’s belief and value system along with the images they have internalized tied to the provided concepts, topics, and themes. Too many of the Douglas students are behaving like the preprogrammed systems their curricula and provided ‘learning experiences’ have fostered.

          • Robin my youth was spent in Northern Ohio. These days I am in Northern CA.

            By chance did you catch D. Mitchell’s post on the tragedy in Florida-

            I “liked” his post. I was going to leave a comment, but I thought you might want to leave one instead;).

            PS When I was at Michigan State way back when (70’s) a student was shot on campus by a wacko (her former husband…..).

            I had completely forgotten about the event until responding to your current comment. Funny how the mind works.

          • I used to be able to comment on that site, but am now blocked. It is always interesting to see which sites really do try to keep the message within confined narratives.

            AEI is a listed partner in the PEPG program along with Heritage. My ability to discern the underlying connections is not popular in certain areas. I do like Dan Mitchelle’s work though.

            Were you at Michigan State then when they rolled out the Effective Schools research? I think the name was Lezotte.

            I took my elderly parents and my daughters to San Francisco several years ago and then we drove up to Mendocino and then southbound on PCH all the way to Bodega Bay and then on to Pointe Reyes. The elephant seals were out in all their noisiness.

  4. Finally, many days after Robin’s insightful report on the PROMISE program at Broward County Public Schools, other media are starting to ask the hard questions about this latest school shooting.

    • Breitbart News, 26 Feb – Broward County Likely ‘Inspiration’ for Obama School Discipline Policy to Report Fewer Arrests, Suspensions,

    • American Thinker, 26 Feb – How federal funding kept Nikolas Cruz from getting arrested . . .

    We learn a lot more about the PROMISE (Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Interventions, Supports & Education) and how the intention was to prevent the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline. The many comments to both above articles provide more insight.

    However, some of the basic issues raised by Robin are still not being addressed.

    • Thanks Tunya. Both sides want the future control over consciousness the Tranzi OBE template, by whatever name it uses in a given decade, provides. That;s why there is so much deceit and why, once you understand the template from CtD, you can recognize it in the charter contractual language hiding behind School Choice. You can also recognize it in the new Catholic Curriculum Frameworks that Pioneer said would also work in Jewish schools. I can see it in the terms of what constitutes Quality Learning that make one eligible for funds from an ESA. I tell the whole story and go where it leads.

      It helps I have books dating back more than 60 years laying out how and the reasons for shifting from a curriculum grounded in subject-matter to one grounded in ‘first hand experience’. Being able to control the mind as a system has been a powerful pursuit for a long time. Speaking of which, the true goals are not in dispute when :inda Darling-Hammond is at this event yesterday and this morning , Notice Kent McGuire and Diane Ravitch as well.

      Reminds me too of the Convergence Center pursuit and the NEA curriculum to create a Purple America that I wrote about in the early days of the blog.

        • Must strip out my reference to Tranzi OBE. Ace of Spades is touting this story with a link to this one using my links and the Restorative Justice story with nary a mention of my work.

          Conservative Treehouse did not know about Restorative Justice or that Broward Prevention site.

          [UPDATE] Now it makes sense. The author of that pilfering piece of supposed journalism is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, which is of course part of that Harvard Program at the Kennedy School of Government along with Fordham. No wonder they want to hype the federal link and strip away links to systems thinking and Tranzi OBE. Like your link, Hoover is at Stanford and does programs with CASBS.

          • puts restorative justice where it belongs as an adjunct tool tied to PBIS, the Good Behavior Game, Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, and other behavioral modification by changing internalized beliefs and values programs. It is tragic for the kids to be hyping PROMISE itself as just about federal overreach when these are globally pushed programs.

            This 101 page from the State of California touts a comparable programs in California.

            Of course the net effect of all these sudden stories about PROMISE and pilfering cites without attribution, as Anita Hoge did with Pavel Luksha and Jane Robbins does for her presentations and Pioneer Institute reports, is people do not realize they are being misdirected because the people, program, or idea do exist. It’s the interpretation that is wrong. The factual analysis in this post and in Credentialed to Destroy becomes far more difficult for a casual internet inquiry to turn up.

   for School Leaders on Positive School Discipline makes it clear that without federal mandates this template will remain in place because a generation of leaders has been fed the idea in their degree programs that there are evidence-based practices that allow all children to thrive.

        • A TED talk on the Neuroscience behind Restorative Justice.

          Remember when Anita sent out a mass email belittling my assertion that evidence-based in education is about neural rewiring? She also made it clear she may have read Luksha’s Neuroweb work, but she did not accurately grasp what its intentions were because she was missing the background on systems thinking that uncovered him in the first place back in 2015. This is not about being right. It is about the implications of these intentions as even the commenters at that link grasped. They thought it was unethical with prisoners, much less students.

        • Now we can officially tie the Paul Sperry story to the School Choice deceit and the Harvard Kennedy School’s PEPG–Program on Education Policy and Governance that Hoover is a partner in and whose publication Education Next is financed by the Bradley Foundation.

          Remember Greg, in addition to being at ED Choice, wrote a post for the Witherspoon Institute back in 2011 pushing that perfidious Closing the Door on Innovation that appears to be an attempt to mislead about the Common Core by the Right Pincer think tanks. Jay, like AEI’s Rick Hess, has been involved with PEPG since the beginning according to documents in my possession. It goes back to when Jay was a poli sci prof at U-Texas and Hess was still a prof at UVa.

          Notice that hat tip also to National Review. The Right Pincer sure does want to manage our consciousness via values and controlling beliefs as well, doesn’t it? We are going to talk about how controlling the media on both sides of the supposed divide is the outside-in means to control consciousness next. Learning standards like competencies and the related Tranzi OBE are, of course, the inside-out means. Probably just as well adding low weights in PT set off my leg last week as it gave time for this PROMISE onslaught that seemed to start Sunday at American Thinker. It has been interesting to watch what gets emphasized and what must be ignored in these stories to keep the narrative going in the desired direction.

          Conceptual knowledge is no match for encyclopedic knowledge. Interesting, isn’t it, to note the common sources of financing among all these ‘Right’ media sites and where they want to steer us using which narrative?

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