Coercing Teachers to be Social and Political Saboteurs–What Can Be Done?

One of the greatest falsehoods, OK I’ll say it, Outright Lie, about the Common Core has been the repeated insistence that no one would be telling the teachers How. To. Teach. It seems like virtually everyone is. That’s the Whole Purpose of these New Teacher Evals and weakening Tenure. That’s why the NEA goes along. Well, at least its leadership who know the real long-term game. The delegates and members? Not so much.

There’s a reason that the teacher evals to be used now track back to people like Charlotte Danielson, Ray Pecheone, and Robert Pianta who were involved in forcing the related Outcomes Based Education (OBE) on classrooms in previous decades. Same goals of changing the student at the values and attitudes level. Just different language and different enforcement mechanisms so this national and international effort at student and teacher subjugation can be touted as “state-led.” Or the New Super’s Idea of Excellence and Quality Learning which seem to be Benign terms, right? Long time readers know better.

CCSSO (the political interest group that represents the chief state ed officers in each state and is financially sponsored by all sorts of businesses with a vested interest in its policies in a first rate example of Cronyism to the core) came out with Model Teaching Standards in 2011 after most states were on board. is a copy if you have never seen it that mandates student-led and new assessment driven (funded in that 2009 Stimulus Act to the tune of hundreds of millions).

By the way, both the SBAC and PARCC assessments to change classroom practice and what gets measured as the results of all that expensive K-12 schooling use the OBE-influenced Norman Webb Depth of Knowledge template we have already talked about. explains why Texas classrooms look like the actual Common Core implementation in other states. All mandating student-led, Depth of Knowledge, and the also OBE-tied Understanding by Design as the means to measure the results of the classroom.

Two more housekeeping matters teachers and parents and then I can get to the juicy part of this story. What is being mandated for the Common Core classroom also is called Standards for Teaching and Learning. It was developed in Chicago and has ties to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Bill Ayers, and someone even more famous from back when he was less well-known. Finally, President Obama’s 2008 Education Adviser, Linda Darling-Hammond, just came out with a report (with Ford and Sandler Foundations funding) classifying Effective Teaching and what evals should be measuring in light of the behaviors required by those Model Teaching Standards linked above.

Now that’s a lot of legwork to change classroom practices without it being apparent. Why? Would you believe it goes back to the height of the Cold War and the early 70s and the Soviet Union and China and a very tense world? Yep. And the UN and trying to get everyone in the world during that tense time to change their education practices. Knowing perfectly well that changing education practices would only matter in free societies. In dictatorships, not so much. Which is why this report and its recommendations are so troubling. Not only does it tie to everything going on and being recommended for K-12 and higher ed all over the world right now. But it is clearly education to make one fit to be a subject. Tolerant of being told what to do.

This so-called “right type of education” for the global future was to be a revolution in man’s “inner space also; a new union of science and spirituality.” Yes I was laying a path in those last several posts where we started with Alice Bailey’s From Intellect to Intuition and there is even a listed Ford Foundation adviser who was officially a member of the panel issuing this early 70s UNESCO report. Again, what are the odds?

But to get this “interior revolution” that will lead to a “subsequent social revolution” requires a rejection of traditional instruction and pedagogy to one focused “above all” on developing “personality and attitudes.” Doesn’t that sound just like OBE?

See if this quote sounds like what is being mandated in the classroom and imposed on teachers and students by the accreditation agencies and eval criteria and Cambridge Education’s Quality Reviews and models like Spence Rogers’ Teaching for Excellence?

“Democratizing education will only be possible if we succeed in shaking off the dogmas of conventional pedagogy, if free and permanent dialogue is set up within the educational process, if this enhances individual awareness of life, if learners are guided towards self-education [sounds like the learner-centred classroom to me] and, in short, change from objects to subjects. Education is all the more democratic when it takes the form of a free search, a conquest, a creative act; instead of being, as it so often is, something given or inculcated.”

That’s the type of education the Communists wanted the West to adopt at the height of the Cold War. There was even a Soviet delegate on the panel and he admitted the new desired pedagogy was based on what the Soviets called psychopedaegogy. Which would explain its bloody history upon transferral to free societies like the US.

Sorry but Toxic Social Goals call for Graphic Language if we are to have any chance of halting a Massive Social Engineering Project to remake the national psyche through education. In other places this “non-directive pedagogy” is also referred to as providing “psychotherapeutic data ‘centred on the client.” Given how much of Common Core is about using gathering, and responding to, data on actual student learning. Which is (elsewhere) defined as Changing Student Values, Attitudes, Beliefs, Values, and Behaviors, the acknowledgment that this is psychological data and based on Carl Rogers’ and Kurt Lewin’s work should give everyone involved in education pause.

Teachers being told they can no longer be the “Sage on the Stage” can relate to this passage decreeing that (italics in original):

“the teacher’s duty is less and less to inculcate knowledge and more and more to encourage thinking; his formal functions apart, he will have to become more of an adviser, a partner to talk to; someone who helps seek out conflicting arguments rather than handing out ready-made truths. He will have to devote more time and energy to productive and creative activities: interaction, discussion, stimulation, understanding, encouragement.

Unless relations between teachers and learners evolve accordingly, there can be no authentic democracy in education.”

And authentic democracy in education in the West would help the early 70s Advocates of Evil prevail in the Cold War. Such a psychologizing of education amounts to unilateral intellectual disarmament. Why? To prevent people who can accurately piece together a plan even though no one ever told them what was going on and how it related. There was and is supposed to be no whistle blowing in time.

So the Cold War is officially over despite Putin’s recent sabre rattling and war gaming, why is this still being pushed in 2012? Well, I believe UN Climate Chief Christiana Figueres gave the answer at the end of this recent interview with Yale’s Environment 360. My italics this time.

“It is the most inspiring job in the world because what we are doing here is we are inspiring government, private sector, and civil society to [make] the <i>biggest transformation</i> that they have ever undertaken. The Industrial Revolution was also a transformation, but it wasn’t a <i>guided transformation from a centralized policy perspective</i>. This is a <i>centralized transformation that is taking place</i> because governments have decided that they need to listen to science. So it’s a very, very different transformation and one that is going to make the life of everyone on the planet very different.”

The Cold War may be over. Aspirations of politicians and bureaucrats from the international to the local level to plan society and dictate what individuals are to do (or not) and how economies will work while living at taxpayer expense. Not Over in the Least.

Now that greedy reality appears to be perpetual. It survived the Cold War and is alive and well in 2012. And trying to force teachers to be Agents of Change in a social revolution that will not turn out well or as planned.

This is a good time to talk about this. On the front-end.

10 thoughts on “Coercing Teachers to be Social and Political Saboteurs–What Can Be Done?

    • Widespread awareness of what I described today seems like a good start.

      Among teachers and parents. Even administrators who are gung ho on this stuff, possibly because feeling and believing fits the way their minds are most comfortable, will hopefully have second thoughts about “implementing with fidelity” as the motto goes once they are aware of these facts.

      They can come on here and tell me I am wrong and defend these policies and practices. Except I am not. But maybe some teachers, in some places, will now have more leverage than they did yesterday before I wrote this post.

      Others who had an inkling something was wrong will now have solid info on why what is being pushed “feels wrong.”

      And some grounding in history of precisely who does not want us to have Axemaker Minds anymore.

      Do you have any suggestions on how teachers can use this post to fend off this planned assault on the integrity of both teachers and students?

      • The challenge I see to using your essays and analysis is that they are comparable to the results of a CAT Scan or high powered microscope when examining cancer. They provide excellent detail and provide information on the pathology and the extent of the infection. They don’t provide an actual tool for attempting to turn back the tide. I’m not saying this to be discouraging- I consider this work you’re doing to be the equivalent of military intelligence.
        I’m not yet sure how to use your material for pushing back. For anyone who already knows that there is a totalitarian agenda in the curriculum, your articles bring it into focus. For anyone who is skeptical of that, I do not think that they would be willing to invest the time and focus to examine and review your work. They may well understand that something is “wrong” with the system, but that does not imply willingness to take the time to read your analysis. (In this web-world, the attention span has declined dramatically. Unless the reader is highly motivated, there is a very limited window of attention to persuade someone. I have two small kids. I am motivated as hell) I do sometimes see individual pieces which you’ve singled out of the agenda that snap into focus for me, but the language they are written in DOES (as intended) make it hard to distil into something that one can show to others and produce buy-in that “There’s something wrong in the way they are doing this system”.

        I have been thinking a lot about this and in terms of “doing something” about it, I have not arrived at full conclusions, but I do have a number of premises that I’m working with, trying to stich into something coherent. 1: The fact that they are going from a common agenda-under many names (same material keeps popping up when defeated under one name) means that if we learn to counter their agenda ONCE, we have solved the larger part of the problem. (By contrast, if we pioneer many approaches against them, they may have to fight each one individually. They have published their playbook (and you are analyzing it) which gives us an open view into what they want to do and how they will get there. That’s an advantage for us. I think it was one of your essays that mentioned the example of a flock of geese as a story to inculate group values over individualism. If we know that story is standard across a curriculum, we can program against it explicitly. How would an axemaker mind analyze the flock-of-geese-humans-should-be-the-same lesson? How would that mind mock it in order to make it ineffective? We are not a movement of vast educational consortiums, printed textbooks and rubrics- once they print theirs- they will be largely stuck with it for a period of time and won’t be able to respond well to counterprogramming.
        The education system posesses one of the worst workforces- unionized teachers- these are the tools with which they must impelment their agenda. That has to be a weakness.
        The main premise I’ve been working with breaks down to -what if their ownership of the system is actually their biggest weakness? What vulnerabilities does their dominance give them?

        • Thanks for that comment. The flock of geese story and activities are in the November 4 “Hiding Education’s Theft of Individual Freedom Behind the Positive School Climate Mandate.” What I am working on at the moment follows up on Spence Rogers Teaching for Excellence model. Knowing he was a co-creator of the Transformational Outcomes Based Education model and reading those Educational Leadership articles from the early 90s before it became controversial is helpful in figuring out what is always being sought. Rogers recommended the bookFlow be read by all the teachers utilizing his work. The author is part of what was implicated in this post and he is being quite graphic on what is being sought. My plan is to do a wrap up essay before the weekend using that. I was literally reading it in the carpool line earlier in the day.

          I will summarize for people who write with a question. Some of that happens via email instead of comments on the blog. The blog is attracting a wide audience and the “I do know what I am talking about” needs to come across oceans and continents. I tend to write the blog at a far higher level than I wrote the book. The book really tells the story and uses anecdotes to tell why it matters. It’s quite cohesive.

          The blog came about after I finished as I realized that I needed to be able to comment and follow up on what was happening with the actual implementation and related stories on economics and the Regional Equity Movement and the CAGW/Sustainability ruse to get at both the economy and education. I am working simultaneously researching and writing all new material while also working on editing and thinking about a cover. So everything is coming together. On the blog, I am largely reacting to weekly developments, sometimes daily, coupled with teaching myself what I need to know to explain why it matters. The book stands on its own but I want to incorporate a few elements from blog as they represent additional end stages of concerns I already recognized and explained.

          I really did expect a Platinum Customer Award from some of the used booksellers. I have helped their bottom line immensely this year. Although I do try to buy cheap.

          I will keep thinking on your question of strategy. As a former General Counsel, thinking tactically is rather fun. You are right. The answer lies in what the group I call the Schemers, as they sounds conspiratorial , immediately wants to change the subject about anytime it comes up. Since they are willing to talk openly when they think only fellow travelers are listening, “they” is far too vague. Especially since so many love to collaborate together. Must be all that international travel at our expense.

          When I am in a meeting the frustrating aspect of my comments tends to come from people confused how I accurately put things together without being invited to the meetings where they were spelled out. If it all fits, look to its actual function. What were the likely consequences of that function, not the stated intentions? If I have common similar consequences, go looking for a similar cause. A corporate lawyer trying to anticipate what business risks the client is assuming vs those they need indemnification for learns to think like that. But most education administrators simply cannot fathom understanding things you are not told. That makes them sloppy about what they say once you know where to look. What I share on blog or book is just an example. Lots more detail is still available to explain as this all continues to roll along.

          I will probably take off some time between Christmas and New Years and play with my kids. If you start at the beginning of blog and go forward you get a nice history and economics lesson. I think there’s some fairly good snark tucked into most of the posts as well. The later posts are longer because I recognize that I have new readers who have no idea what I explained in June.

          Or where the Axemaker Mind metaphor came from. explains James Burke’s book The Axemaker’s Gift and his complaints about technology and the manipulation of the natural world that an Axemaker Mind is capable of. I decided it made a great shorthand for the shutdown I had already recognized.

      • One direction I’d like to see you analyze- what terrifies them the most? What actions or specific ideas have provoked the strongest reactions from them when they have been opposed? What are they afraid of?
        I think they have given us a map of what they are afraid of by the subjects they have undermined or eliminated.
        Another angle- have there been any cases where this sort of infiltration has been successfully beaten back and/or defeated? Assuming there are examples (yes, big assumption) that could provide an initial template for fighting back.

  1. I downloaded the Model Teaching Standards monograph by Steven Zemelman, Harvey Daniels, and Arthur Hyde, and all one has to do to get the gist of what these folks are trying to achieve is to take a look at this one paragraph:

    “STUDENT-CENTERED: The best starting point for schooling is young people’s real interests; all across the curriculum, investigating students’ own questions should always take precedence over studying arbitrarily and distantly
    selected “content.””

    Now, if one wishes to create another generation of Occupy Wallstreeters with no interest in anything that happened or anything that was said or thought before the day of their birth, with no understanding of economics, history, philosophy, the American and Western political tradition, critical thinking (in the traditional sense), and scientific method, this is the way to go about it. This is pure Dewey, shaken, not stirred.

    We will now doubtless eventually be treated to “Lady Ga Ga studies” K-12 just as we have been treated to similar academic bread and circuses in our colleges and universities for several decades.

    Yes, let’s let CHILDREN determine for themselves and future generations what’s important to learn and what isn’t, and what counts as serious subjects worthy of study. Let’s throw the entire 6,000 year history of the human race, and 2,500 years of Western civilization down Winston Smith’s memory hole so that we may all be “authentic.”

    I wonder if the time will come that we’ll all be able to float up to the ceiling in a drugged stupor and disintegrate in a flash of government light like in Logan’s Run? Without any history, these kids won’t really have any future, but isn’t that what the Left has been after all along? Just as in the French Revolution, every new school child gets to start out with his own “year zero.” Nothing behind it (that’s not “authentic” and “experiential”) and nothing really within it (we don’t want him to actually know very much or be able to think critically and reason closely for himself, as he might, at some point, start asking too many questions…).

    Keep going, Robin. I hope at some point you get some national media exposure and some better visibility. You have a great deal of importance to say.

  2. From the Figueres quote:

    “This is a centralized transformation that is taking place because governments have decided that they need to listen to science.”

    Certainly in this new “educational” paradigm, listening to science consists of reading an article written for popular consumption about “what science says” and respecting, i.e. obeying its message as described.

    This is exactly the opposite of the mindset of a good scientist, who wants to understand it from the ground up and (perhaps with God’s help, depending on mindset) make his or her own conclusions. Once we don’t have many people who can think scientifically coming out of schools, I suppose it will become easier to control the message of “science”. Back in the paleo times of the 1970’s or so, during which we were actually winning the cold war, I don’t recall being told what “science” said, but it was considered a good thing to learn some science and to go on to study it in college. We didn’t have to be told that “science” said that rockets worked a certain way. We could see it for ourselves, those with the energy to look and listen as scientists proved it to us.

    I used to think the song “Blinding them with science” was just silly fluff, but it’s now the educational agenda.

    • There is simply no interest in knowledge that is not subservient to political power.

      UNESCO, for that reason, has been pushing for a Unified Sciences since about 1970. Before the original 1972 Faure report.

      It bolsters the social sciences so they can be used for a cultural, or noetic transformation as the schemers say. See from last summer.

      And it diminishes the hard sciences. It also makes it highly unlikely that some world altering technology will come along unapproved by the political powers that be and their cronies. Who will write reports just full of platitudes and cites to their own previous reports as their research to get education change or Career Pathways as necessary to be globally competitive.Then all of a sudden the report will mention economist Joseph Schumpeter by name and his description of the Creative Destruction of free markets responding to what people want and are willing to pay for with their own money.

      The effect really was like bolding in red letters, “Please do not allow anyone to come up with a better or less expensive product. Regulators and politicians, help us! We have a payroll to meet. In your district.”

      I was a cynic before but all this blatant maneuvering is honing it even further. These are pure unadulterated power grabs and rent seeking while the OPM and Statist access to the currency printing press remains. And we will get debt and broken dreams and impossible expectations.

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