If our 21st Century Lives were just a televised game of Jeopardy, the title would be the answer that would be linked to the championship. The correct question would be: What are the real goals envisioned when Education Reformers, politicians, and Political Radicals use the misleading term ‘standards’ in K-12 education? When that transformative Global Partnership we met in the last post says in bold face type on page 8 that “the pursuit of deep learning goals enabled by new pedagogies and accelerated by technology” is a Moral Imperative that will “guide all of our work,” what goals are really intended? The first part of the title comes from a paper published in the 1999 ASCD Yearbook called “The Role of Standards in Educational Reform for the 21st Century.” We actually do not have to assume that there is a link since one of the co-authors, Peter Hill, is also listed as a participant in the new Global Partnership on page 2 as one of its educational consultants.
http://www.carmelcrevola.com/publications/The_role_of_standards.pdf is the paper that once again makes it clear that the word standards is now being used as an Orwellian synonym. Translating the Common Core State Standards accurately then by its real purpose would be Common Behavioral and Dispositional Goals for All American Students, No Exceptions. Put together by DC-based trade groups hoping to cash in from the attached new vision of a politically-planned economy and society. Perhaps staffers who got to go on one of those trade junkets to China and thought that vision would work better for them. Hill made it clear on page one that the role of standards is to foster “values such as equality, fraternity, and democracy” indicating he may have always wanted to participate in the Storming of the Bastille. Best not to teach why such insistences can lead to a bloody Terror followed by a Napoleon.
Standards also allow for the “flexible, dynamic, and highly-skilled workforce” unlikely to ever create that Change the World innovation that destroys the existing business of a political crony. Ooops! That was my editorializing in a snarky manner on the real purpose, just like in my book. Page 2 mentions standards as a means for countries now to “ensure social cohesion” and page 3 sees standards as a transformative tool for a “society that values equity and a ‘fair go’ for all.”
The latest book tied to the World Order Models Project, the 2008 The Global Commonwealth of Citizens: Toward Cosmopolitan Democracy by Daniele Archibugi, wants to make “prevailing world public opinion” the determinant of what governments ought to be doing on behalf of their people, the governed, in the 21st Century. That aim, of course, puts quite a premium on manipulating that opinion from the Cradle to the Grave, as the current political slogan goes. Or Womb to Tomb in another variation. Archibugi does want a radical transformation where by “virtue of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the subsequent pacts, individuals have been endowed with positive rights that they can claim from their own states,” preferably at the local level via those ever compliant mayors, City Councils, and appointed regional commissions who just love federal grants.
Now you know why that Declaration just keeps coming up now in classroom activities. Archibugi wants this radical transformation in world politics to come about by persuasion, not force, which is of course all the more reason to utilize K-12 education. All the mentions of citizenship and civic competence we keep encountering, make much more sense when we recognize the plan to “demand a role for the citizens of the world” to insist that their “human rights” be provided by their governments. Perhaps as a “moral imperative”? All the mentions of dialogue and creating shared meaning make much more sense when we read again of an intention to bypass elected representatives in favor of:
“creating better and transparent contexts for decision-making. This is why new channels of representation must open up through which the various opinions may be expressed in a dialogical rather than antagonistic fashion. To be effective these channels demand a greater willingness on the part of individuals to participate in the management of global public matters. The making of a global commonwealth of citizens requires that individuals are prepared to act on the ground of key shared values. What principles of political action must the citizen of the world subscribe to?”
That would be the real reason for new pedagogies and forms of assessment to see if the desired principles of political action, needed workforce skills to be an obedient, compliant drone, and desired personality traits are in place. Adding to the quotes from the previous post, this is why New Pedagogies insists the new “goals for education and learning” include “skills that prepare all learners to be life-long creative, connected and collaborative problem solvers and to be healthy, happy individuals who contribute to the common good.”
Now we could make a good case that I contribute to the common good by reading books on all these plans of transformation and then tying them to what is coming to a school and classroom or your business place soon, but I believe Michael Fullan, Pearson, the OECD, and the Rockefeller and Gates Foundations want it to be their idea of appropriate values and the common good. Given all the references to ‘consensus,’ ‘shared purpose,’ and ‘collective will,’ there really does seem to be an organized attempt to erase any concept of individual sovereignty capable of standing supreme against the state. I guess that is what happens when you import your instructional practices from the Soviet Union, nurture the economic vision in a place that worshipped Mao, and look to rich universities full of wanna-be political and social planners for the vision of what “We the People” is supposed to mean in the 21st Century.
The 1995 book The Electronic Republic: Reshaping Democracy in the Information Age, written by a former NPR President and head of the NBC News Division, laid out the planned transition to a participatory democracy using ICT technology. Upfront it asked “What will it take to turn the United States into a nation of qualified citizens who are engaged not as isolated individuals pursuing their own ends but as public-spirited members who are dedicated to the common good?” Why, K-12 education reform centered on the Whole Child and guiding perceptions and a curriculum focused on learning by doing and real world problems of course. Lawrence K. Grossman left NBC News to be a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and work on the democracy project that became that book. It’s where Jal Mehta of the New Pedagogies Project graduated from before moving on to Harvard’s Ed School to use its graduates as tools for the desired public policy changes. http://www.slidefinder.net/t/the_20chastened_20dream_20notes/thechasteneddream–withnotes/13854681
It’s also where the co-authors of the books in the Real Utopias Project, Archon Fung and Erik Olin Wright, are professors. The Kennedy School is also heavily involved now, by the way, with creating ties between the US and China. CELAP from our last post, in fact, is referred to as China’s answer to the Kennedy School. Real Utopia came out of an actual conference at the University of Wisconsin in January 2000, a good time to commence 21st Century Re-Do Plans I suppose. Now think for a second how a deep knowledge of history and human nature full of facts might get in the way of this purpose:
“The Real Utopias Project embraces this tension between dreams and practice. It is founded on the belief that what is pragmatically possible is not fixed independently of our imaginations, but is itself shaped by our visions. Self-fulfilling prophecies are powerful forces in history, and while it may be Pollyanna-ish to say ‘where there is a will there is a way,’ it is certainly true that without ‘will’ many ‘ways’ become impossible. Nurturing clear-sighted understandings of what it would take to create social institutions free of oppression is part of creating a political will for radical social changes to reduce oppression. A vital belief in a utopian destination may be necessary to motivate people to leave on the journey from the status quo in the first place, even though the actual destination may fall far short of the utopian ideal.”
It may also create students like what we are seeing in Denver, Colorado and what we saw during the heyday of the Occupy demonstrations who have no acquaintance with any factual knowledge from the past. Where will they be when OPM-Other People’s Money-inevitably runs out? Can they become self-sufficient as an adult or will change by force, rather than persuasion, feel like the justified response?
Is there any place in history where deposing sovereignty from the individual and placing it in a collective under political control, actually ever diminished oppression? Guaranteed to ignite would be the reality. No wonder perception and student daily experiences are being so manipulated.
Next time we will come back to the new view of politics in a Real Utopia and the Electronic Republic where we each get to be governed.