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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

57 thoughts on “Dwelling in a Void of Unknowing Within a Sculpted Narrative Designed to Manipulate

  1. I think that paper by Rob Abel “Creating a Shared Vision for Assessment Reform: Building on the Common Core” has gone bye-bye. There’s a link on the site to that paper, but it resolves to some random website that is for sale.

    That was fast.

    • David–Rob’s original degree is in computational physics from Carnegie Mellon. Next to MIT, that is probably the 2nd biggest home to systems thinking and what I term cybernetics.

      He has excellent credentials and I have no doubt he knows what he is doing. I found the involvement of Korea and the Netherlands with IMS interesting given my Hans Freudenthal work described in the book and the UNESCO papers I have on Korea and education.

      I am guessing someone at IMS can read all those Russian papers on cybernetics that have never been translated. All the ones that have been translated are graphic enough. Just a teaser from my next book, from the beginning, the people in the West working on this vision worked hand and hand with Russian and East European scientists, educators, and psychologists. Let’s just say I have a copy of the list of participants at the organizational meeting. It’s also why I found Mary Catherine Bateson’s involvement in that 1987 WOMP meeting in Moscow to be fascinating.

      You may also enjoy poking around in the ISSS archives of conferences interesting–International Society of Systems Science. I have.

  2. Yes, Abel’s paper was off the original link but by searching title / author it comes up on another site. Print it while you can! That is some report, Robin. Gotta love that there will be a standards aligned grade book embedded in SBAC’s platform. This level of tracking is the stuff of science fiction. Between what is actually being assessed, the intervention system & the moment to moment record keeping, there won’t be a single kid who isn’t conditioned to value the common good and work to bring about a sustainable economy. Yay! for global ed and a citizenry made up of useful idiots (sarcasm).

    What should be alarming to folks but isn’t (mainly because so few are connecting the dots) is the level of collusion between government and business. As usual thanks for a few more (very explicit) dots, Robin. I hope you’re feeling better!

    • Thanks JT. Yes, I had screen grabbed the Consulting Board with the quote from my school district’s CIO that I used Saturday in the comments on the previous post. When I went back yesterday I got a “Denied” notice.

      I knew that paper was obtainable still with name and title. Giving it like that makes it harder to take down and delays the vanishing. Since multiple readers now have that paper it can no longer vanish. Reading it I was also reminded that it was a seminar on the Shared Learning Collaborative that first tipped me off to this a few years ago and then another reader has followed Diny Golder since she helped Ken Kay start P21.

      That paper and other sources I have now related to the Reinventing Schools Coalition and what performance standards do a la Chugach really does make it sound like they are designing a system and the system is actually a human being. That fact gets ignored in order to get the keel needed to now allow governments at all levels to steer and their cronies to benefit. I guess from the underwriting fees and the construction costs of all that infrastructure to create “good paying jobs” for America’s diverse population. It reads like the in-laws who want to live well so they take nice annual vacations, which they finance over 2 years and then wonder why they can never get ahead financially.

      I am better. I really was miserable, but it also gave me a chance to consolidate all I know.

  3. How upset would parents be to know that from all the online activity as the Abel paper says “meta data describes the student” . Then it is stored and used to remediate the child.

    How is Asn different than the learning registry ? Oregon has had a grant since 2008 for a data project called OFAR. Housing formative assessment. Most of it comes from EasyCBM.


    • Department of Labor has released the WIOA regulations on integrating education, workforce development, and economic development in every state. http://wdr.doleta.gov/directives/attach/TEGL/TEGL_19-14.pdf

      Notice all the references to the regional economies. Those are the same as what is mentioned repeatedly in the Inclusive Prosperity document. Here’s an example of such a Regional Plan. It’s the one for Seattle area where Gates lives and MS is based. http://www.psrc.org/assets/8558/RegionalEconomicStrategy.pdf

      Look also at page 6 of what Labor just released: “it is important to review state legislation and identify areas that may conflict with WIOA to develop plans and strategies that resolve these conflicts. When state and federal laws conflict, federal laws take precedence.”

      Since I have read WIOA that means the vision for all students as workforce ready and what that entails, which is on page 504 or so, binds all these K-12 systems all over the country.

      That fits with ASN’s definition of content standards, which is italicized just like that, as describing “what students should know and be able to do”. That is also a description of Competency. Think of the Learning Registry as a database created by the feds in connection with their ConnectED digital learning work, that provides learning activities that have been shown to effectively create the desired missing Competencies in students with similar personal characteristics like race, SES, etc.

      If you want to have fun do a search of IEEE competency learning standards and begin to get an appreciation of how crucial the concept of competency is both to workforce development and standardizing e-learning and the data being thrown off. IMS Global is all over the place.

      Here’s the official mission from one of the reports I read this morning–“oriented to facilitate the adoption of e-learning technologies in the world. Its members include content providers, software vendors, and academic institutions from more than 50 countries. Its work concentrates on promoting open technical specifications to achieve real interoperability between technologies.”

      Our problem is that all these things are being created to develop the students who will become the type of adults needed for the future societies envisioned by the UN’s Dignity for All by 2030 society. The adults needed for what the OECD now calls the Great Transition but called Green Growth when I finished my book. It just renamed it to fits with what the UN is pushing post-2015.

      All these education initiatives are backward mapping from their hoped for societies like what is in the Inclusive Prosperity report to using classroom activities and digital learning experiences to create the necessary ‘members’ for those societies and workplaces. There is a dreadful consistency now to what is going on. It’s all grounded in the book and why reading or math can no longer be taught properly and why economies must be managed and Dewey still matters. Now at every level it is all about competency.

      No wonder last week Knowledge Works quietly released that paper urging that the ESEA Rewrite be all about Competency. Of course no one is paying attention as they worry about the House 5 bill. I told someone this morning that it is as if the language in HB 5 which is so outrageous is only there to monitor the extent to which people in the hinterlands are paying attention to this Rewrite.

      Newsflash–has to fit with WIOA. If Representative Culberson is so interested in the 10th Amendment and the primacy of states rights why did he vote yes on WIOA? Only 5 nays in the house and he was not one of them. He’s already voted to fold education into workforce development with the feds as the drivers of the vision. Hello?

        • WIOA lays out what constitutes student workforce readiness. Whatever is in the Rewrite of ESEA has to dovetail with that just like state academic standards have to.

          This is from NGA and another TOGA-National Conference of State Legislatures–http://www.nga.org/files/live/sites/NGA/files/pdf/2015/ESEAGovernorsAndStateLegislaturesPlan.pdf on the ESEA Rewrite. It’s all about aligning with the workforce development vision.

          The changed wording someone sent me and what Donna Garner referenced in an email she sent this morning did not seem to me to solve the problem. It appears to me that including the money in a state budget is the affirmative acceptance. And yes, I think that who is excited about all this and for what reasons is a bit of an opportunity to see who is watching, where, and the likelihood of “Look, Squirrel!” moment succeeding on the Senate bill and at the time of the emergence of the final bill.

          I do think people in DC and elsewhere had to have known this was outrageous language and they were wondering to what extent it would get caught.

          • I think you are right Robin. The language of this bill is beyond outrageous. Its frankly almost provocative in its borderline ( total ? ) unconstitutionality.

            I think the provocation is by design as well to see who notices or doesn’t notice what.

            LaMars final touches on his end will be sure to wrap what they all desire into a lovely package for us all.

            From some blogs I have read parents of homeschoolers don’t seem to get they are on the hook just as much as public and private schools for transformation with HB 5

            Then again that could be deliberately placed disinfo commentary. One really amazing thing about your page Robin is that based on the depth of research of the subject at hand, disinfo in commentary can’t last long at all.

            I know its been triedby a few and you have sent them on their merry way.

          • Must be why the blog has been so busy in the last 24 hours. Interestingly enough a big part of it is an old August 2012 piece where I wrote about the consistent use of Standards for Teaching and Learning instead of the Common Core by the President and the DNC and the ties to the Joyce Foundation and Chicago.

            Somehow someone did not like that the same person had the knowledge to write that and appreciate the ties described in this post.

            As we have discussed, in both the book and this blog, I treat this as the factual matters they are. This matters. Read this cfr piece from today. http://blogs.cfr.org/renewing-america/2015/02/23/why-public-investment/

            This is economically asinine, but financed by the same people who financed that Inclusive Prosperity report. Is this really all about seeing how much bond indebtedness can be issued with its fees in pockets right now before everything crashes?

    • David-I suggest you take a look at this that came out from the Davos crowd in January. http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEFUSA_DataDrivenDevelopment_Report2015.pdf

      Notice the number of times in the Human-Centred Design section there is a mention of interoperability standards. Precisely what is being created per Abel in that paper you should have by now.

      As JT has noted the CA CORE districts’ waiver that emphasized social and emotional competencies is being held up as the model for where all K-12 should be going. I have been quietly covering the Competency vision on higher ed this week and it also is focusing on noncognitive factors.

      All of this is crucial and you will notice that Alex Pentland from MIT that I have written about is involved in this global vision. Remember I linked to a video interview with him where he talked about the economic and social justice relevance of this K-12 vision. Also gives a good reason to control the Internet as FCC adopted yesterday lest it remain a safety valve of unauthorized info like my book and this blog explaining why this vision will not work. Must allow the kleptocracy to grab all it can first.

  4. Just when back to reread the full post. I always take in more the second and third go around. I read this:
    “Dwelling in a void of unknowing” and thus quite ready to be conned while governments steer.

    Given the outrageous lying going on in congress by legislators and their henchmen out in the field about the these bills ( an everything else it appears ) it seems to me that they imagine that all of their constituents are already dwelling in a void of unknowing and incapable of discerning fact from fiction.

    They are mistaken. And what makes me a little bonkers is that they will always be mistaken about this. Yes, many more people will become dumber but many will not. And those that do not will become angry. This will not work out well for anyone.

    • Yes Mari. I have seen Rep Culberson’s response to his language in HR 5 being questioned and his revisions being interpreted in light of the language used instead of his grand intentions of being a fan of the Tenth Amendment. I will not post because I am not sure it’s public, but he comes across as a bully who is either being disingenuous given his support for WIOA and/or muddle-headed about the English language.

      I also think about the local mayor who does not advertise his day job working for a law firm (as a nonlawyer) seeking to expand its bond practice for all this recommended infrastructure spending as well being a ‘steering’ lobbyist.

      Yesterday Brookings, involved via EJ Dionne with this Inclusive Prosperity report, had a program on the new role of local governments in a new vision of economic development. No one is actually disputing all this is related once people ask, but no one is going out of their way, besides me, to trumpet all these pertinent connections.

      I did a short radio interview last Friday on Sam Sorbo’s show. Longer one tomorrow scheduled for 11:30 Eastern time. I made that point. This plan will not work as envisioned. The question is how much needed treasure or more debt will be spent or borrowed as people catch on. We are all better off the sooner reality sets in.

      As hard as the truth is to want to hear, it is how we can protect our kids during this dangerous interim.

      • Did you seen this from the skills coalition?

        In looking at the revisions yesterday I seen Rep. Bonamici put in #103,104 to support the white paper with new assessments from Oregon. I read on a local blog that they are counting on her support in this to get those assessments for learning through.

        • That really is an amazing document in just what a Banana Republic we have come. It treats statutes introduced but never enacted as if they were just because they passed one house. It treats an unconstitutional XO currently on hold per a federal judge’s order as if it’s just another means and then wants to clean up missing holes to get access to all of WIOA plus Title 2.

          Immigrant integration? Have you ever noticed La Raza being for integration? They want economic justice a la Inclusive Prosperity while insisting requiring English is racist.

          I have a book by Sonia Nieto I have started, but put aside as I tracked something else. Immigrant integration has much to do with disclaiming white privileges. Speaking of which did you see that NYT story on what is going in in the tony privates in NYC?

          • My cousins went to Spence and got lots of This stuff early early. Will read article.
            They are wonderful and i love them but they got a huge dose of white privelidge smackdown

  5. http://grist.org/politics/how-dirty-media-brought-down-oregons-clean-energy-governor-and-his-activist-fiancee/

    A horribly sympathetic article but provides information on GPI roots in oregon. I did not realize that the trip to Bhutan was related to a summit on the topic. Helps explain some of the roots in this state. We are considered a leader in this progressive movement and the new economy. I suspect there is much more to this that relates to topics here. It would be nice if they would see the vision. Now we are stuck with a Soros funded replacement Who knows the vision. Love the beauty here loathe the politics and the rain.

    • Bhutain is featured in all the subjective well being pushes which both the UK and the US have called the new focus of governments. Fits right in with the Inclusive Prosperity push, which makes sense since John Podesta of CAP was part of the Post-2015 commission along with David Cameron, the current Prime Minister. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/gratitude-over-the-timely-official-admissions-that-now-leave-2014-intentions-beyond-dispute/ I guess the Inclusive Prosperity Commission is what is giving effect to those admissions I noted back in December 2013 when that report came out.

      Did you know Senge’s Camp Snowball is coming to Portland this summer? http://clexchange.org/ftp/newsletter/CLEx24.1.pdf#page=9 Last page

      Also the system dynamics illustration is fascinating, especially this statement on page 4 with my bolding: “The power of past experience rests in its capacity to provide lessons and insights for managing the future.”

      Funny, insights from my history major tell me that the hubris that the future can be managed and insistence on a right to manage it on behalf of others will not end well. This is the point I made about APUSH in the trilogy that started with Mischievous Masquerade that is getting lost. Meanwhile this quotes the desired mindsets to be created in APUSH.

    • This just came out and also dovetails with the regional partnerships vision of the Inclusive Prosperity report. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2015/02/25-germany/lessonsfromgermany.pdf

      All the mentions of public-private-civic partnerships also sounds like the Turchenko model from the book. Notice the mention of wanting governments to take on a greater role in the economy a la Germany. No mention that’s why it is called a Social Democracy, which voters reject here.

      Notice that the Dual Pathways system of Germany is discussed, but not being imported. That would not, of course, be equitable. Same workforce ready vision for all here, which I will explain next is actually obscuring the fundamental paradigm shift I have now found defined back in the 60s all in one place by a hugely influential prof.

      Look at the attendees at this Opportunity Summit going on in DC yesterday and today. http://opportunitynation.org/opportunity-summit-agenda/ It’s all about the workforce and career pathways. Very well-connected participants and Bipartisan.

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  7. It’s funny how a blog – which seeks to deconstruct and depreciate the ways schooling creates social collectives – created a collective with a hivemind of its own! 🙂

  8. Reading the comments re H.R. 5 I went to read the “Student Success Act” I read the detailed summary, and I read information on the protection of homeschool and non-fed funded private schools. Is this the same act being discussed above? Frankly, it sounds like an improvement over NCLB. It does seem to block at least some Fed coercion, etc. Your thoughts?

    • I think, as I have expressed, that the Culberson language I have seen, does not work in the manner he insists and lets him take credit for protecting families and school districts while not actually creating barriers to the progressive federalism vision of a ‘stew’ moving us all in the same direction of governance.

      One of the things I have been collecting in recent weeks are all the books Ted Sizer, creator of the Essential Schools Coalition and former Harvard ed Dean, cited as pushing the concept of vouchers and school choice and private sector providers as the real solution to forcing the Radical Ed Vision on everyone and everywhere. Astounding collection at this point so it’s no longer just my concern from knowing the effects of taxpayer funds and the nature of accreditation.

      There are no protections at the local level in most places now. District admins in most places now lie so much to parents and board members that they would look like Pinocchio if this was a fairy tale. In many states elected school boards have been quietly stripped of most oversight power. What most of us would regard as breathtaking conflicts are rampant making ed look like a mutual looting society. Many NGOs, tech companies, venture capital companies, consultants want into this gravy train in the name of transformational change.

      The legislators acknowledge it has all turned into workforce development, but only if a constituent knows enough to ask. If you want to trumpet yourself as a Tenth Amendment person, don’t vote for WIOA and then aid its administration by pushing the local as the solution in an ESEA Rewrite. Once Competency guides the Rewrite as is likely coming out of the Senate now, we have WIOA and the ESEA Rewrite fitting like the dovetailing on a fine Duncan Phyfe piece. It would be ridiculous to break the furniture apart and destroy its intended function while we pretend the stautes and their accompanying regs were not intended to be joined.

      I have read the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium document. That simply calls for the raping of the students mind to be carried on at the school level. Some protection, especially with so much effort going into obscuring what student achievement now means. Reminds me of that affirmative Student Code of Conduct we encountered last summer. Unexpected and intended to be binding.


      The same Richard Riley who is tied to Knowledge Works, which wants the ESEA Rewrite built around Competency, including social and emotional ones, is also discussed in that post. He was Clinton’s Ed Secretary and is Vice-Chair of the Carnegie Corporation that sponsored the 2011 Competency Summit to override the Common Core. There is a consistent vision here, which is precisely what this blog and my book talk about. Ideas. What they are created to do. What effects they have had in the past. What happens when the carefully dovetailed joints of these policies and practices are fitted together as designed to guide the actual classroom implementation. At the local level.

    • Rep. Justin Amash, of MI, just tweeted that HR 5 has been pulled from consideration. I have to say I am relieved, but also know that much work needs to be done.

  9. This is all beyond idiotic.
    Meaningful Jobs.
    Middle Class Standard of Living.
    Such earnest ignorance and conniving dishonesty combined with happy to play rent seeking is truly a sight to behold.
    I stood in a long line in Chipoltle last night observing my fellow customers. Most of whom were between 16 and 30, pierced and tattooed, dressed up in various costumes representing the best in fashionable Maoist grey and brown and I thought about WIOA and happy corps and happy workers in happy jobs. And I silently concluded..
    ….In what universe?

    • This is interesting. Late afternoon EdWeek story on HR5 quotes a former Republican staffer Vic Klatt now with the Penn Hill Group complaining that without a Rewrite the waivers remain the default. He points out it makes no sense to defer to Arne Duncan for the Reps. I knew I had seen the name Penn Hill recently because they are the advisors to KnowledgeWorks on bringing competency into the Rewrite, So I pulled the Building and Consensus doc again http://knowledgeworks.org/sites/default/files/policy-political-landscape-k12-competency-education.PDF to see if Vic was one of the names. Yep.

      Next question is whether the other name from Penn Hill invoved with that report and the convening in Dallas in February 2014 was tied to the Dems. Yep. http://pennhillgroup.com/about/team/alex-nock/ To the right side you can click Klatt’s bio too.

      So the Penn Group advisors urging the Competency focus and involved with all these people have a history for two decades of being involved with all these ed bills and the 1998 Workforce Investment Act, the predecessor of WIOA. Competency is the Bipartisan fix.

      I was actually going to write today and had sat down with that report to reread it one more time when I kept noticing all the references in the paper to student success. That of course is the official name of HR5.

      One more interesting thing, especially in light of what locals like the Texas High Performances Schools Consortium or Reinventing Schools have outlined wanting to do at local levels. If I read it right the Heritage Foundation and the NEA were supporting the local option. The story commented on the strange bedfellows on the amendment.

      I think, truth be told, that there is so much money flowing into connected coffers out of education and the now related workforce and economic development pushes, that there is no longer any such thing as a conservative position on education. People want access to the trough and they want the citizens and the federal vision laid out in the US Constitution out of the way. We are barriers to this power play at all levels.

    • A few interesting statements from that piece.
      -Rather, the science of SEL has the potential to alter how we view ourselves as human beings and hence, our purpose of education.

      -In schools, for example, testing practices, punitive teacher evaluations, and university admissions processes fuel our competitive self-interests.
      *we can not have competition or self interest, not good for the collective.

      -This is when we will begin to see a paradigm shift in the purpose of education. Instead of using education as a tool to satisfy our self-serving, competitive needs–such as making as much money as possible, particularly through unethical means and to the detriment of others–education will be seen as a tool to serve the greater good
      *working hard and earning a good salary is to the detriment of others? I doubt it’s viewed ths that way by the IRS. Like Robin has said before, that is a view that the economy is a fixed pie. If I have more you have less. Did you notice that’s the theme?

  10. Catching up. Have not seen the graphic yet. My oldest decided to injure the same leg that broke in 3 pieces last year. Keeping him company on the sofa, dualling laptops. Nice to have him home during the day.

    The data event is invite only. Darn.

    • I have noticed that the equivalent of (co)lab in other cities now is invite only.

      Enjoy your time with him. I am back from the event you wanted to attend.

  11. Dwelling in a void of unknowing won’t matter according to this effort by Google:
    Not only will all the facts of life, the great store of known knowledge, be at our finger tips, but we won’t have to question the veracity of any of it. We won’t have to think.

    “If you found it on Google it must be true.”

    I’m reading a fascinating book called “Brain Chains” and the author, Theo Compernolle, does a wonderful job delineating our three brains, as it were. The reflex, the reflective and the archiving brains. I see a lot of parallels between what you have shown us about the outcomes sought through ed reform and the reflex brain, which is the one that we share in common with all animals. I also see a lot of parallels between the reflective brain and the axemaker mind, the brain that separates us from all animals and makes it possible for a handful of enterprising and brilliant minds to invent the internet and whoopee cushions among other things. And, then there’s the archiving mind, which with Google’s fact checking Knowledge Vault, we won’t need anymore. The apparently unlimited capacity of the human brain’s long term memory will become unnecessary as we rely on the 1.6 billion “facts” that the Knowledge Vault has already assembled, and are being added to by a trustworthy algorithm every second of everyday. Our 50 watt brain only has 160 billions cells and 8 quadrillion connections. Obviously it’s time for a redo.

    Interestingly, Compernolle points out that the only thing that today’s super computers do better than the human brain is the massive data crunching that can be done at lightning speed. As I read this I immediately thought of your many references to Big Data and how that has become the default go-to for all important decision making.

    Makes me want to be a caveman with a sharp axe.

    Look out Knowledge Vault.

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