Fulfilling the Long Ago Prophecy and Boast on Conquering the West Quietly Thanks to the US Senate

Antonio Gramsci definitely claimed that the way to subdue the West was through changing its culture and manipulating its institutions. My recollection is that Nikita Khrushchev said something similar about subduing the US while making us love what we were ignorantly advocating for. Hard for me not to view the proposed Bipartisan rewrite of the No Child Left Behind federal K-12 authorization statute as anything but the great enabler with this as its new stated purpose (I bolded the especially troubling code words and phrases):

“to ensure that all children have a fair, equitable, and significant opportunity to receive a high-quality education that prepares them for postsecondary education or the workforce, without the need for remediation, and to close the achievement gap between high-and low-performing children, especially the achievement gaps between minority and nonminority children, and between disadvantaged children and their more advantaged peers.”

Elsewhere, the ESEA Rewrite being called the “Every Child Ready for College or Career Act of 2015” states explicitly that the advantages and disadvantages to be focused on are economic. In other words, factual differences in parenting like a family’s vocabulary, willingness to let a 2 year old play videogames in the grocery store cart, children’s travel opportunities, and other toddler experiences that affect whether a child is low-performing or high in traditional academics can no longer affect academic outcomes. It means that K-12 education in the US can no longer be about academics in the traditional sense or that purpose cannot be met. Not exactly a huge revelation to anyone who has read the details laid out in my book and the explanations why, but about to be enshrined in federal law.

Seeing everything through results in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, and class used to be acknowledged as using a Marxian analysis. Now it is to guide the results of what can occur in K-12 education. I want to go back though to another Term  of Art used in that purpose: quality education. That term has a very special defined meaning in the world of the UN System that we just keep running into that ties to its vision of a sustainable global Human Development society. How did an analysis grounded Karl Marx’s vision of categories that would guide consciousness to see the need for transformational change end up in that ESEA Rewrite Statement of Purpose? I think I’ll abbreviate it NCGA–No Child Gets Ahead. No matter how talented they are or how much care and time their parents offered them.

The UN’s vision of quality is grounded in John Dewey’s work http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/ and thus fits with this emphasis on pushing the intuitive, holistic Right Hemisphere while hobbling the analytical Left that we keep encountering. Creating a search around “UNESCO quality education” will pull up a great many consistent powerpoints and reports. The one in particular I am quoting from is from the EFA Global Monitoring Report 2005 and was called “Education for All: The Quality Imperative.” It explains precisely how those pesky achievement gaps will be made to go away. Schooling concentrates on helping “children develop creatively and emotionally and acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary for responsible, active and productive citizenship.”

Think of it as practical knowledge for what the Institute for the Future calls our “new participatory economy” and the UN CIFAL Network calls a sustainable society and the UN System calls its Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development. In every case quality education is viewed as a “prerequisite for achieving the fundamental goal of equity.” Equity is yet another explicit term in that new purpose of US K-12 education, which makes sense since the unacceptable differences that rewrite mentions are precisely those laid out by the UN for understanding, monitoring and improving education quality–learner characteristics like “socio-economic background, health, place of residence, cultural and religious background and the amount and nature of prior learning” are all to be noted and monitored. No wonder we are hearing about “testing in preschool.”

So Quality Learning is experiential, social and emotional, relevant, constructivist, and is to fit the criteria of “Quality in the critical tradition” like Paulo Freire that “equates education that prompts social change,” encourages “critical analysis of social power,” and lets learners design their own experiences. Precisely what we keep noticing in the required implementation and had been hoping were out-of-line administrators just trying to get a promotion. Not enshrined into the federal definition of what K-12 must now become, like it or not, with virtually no recourse.

Rather than dwell on quality education per the UN and its declared intentions, let’s pivot to the five witnesses scheduled to appear at the first committee hearing on the rewrite on Wednesday, January 21. Several are names we recognize. There is civil rights advocate Wade Henderson whose vivid statement became the title of this post. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/not-going-to-let-the-us-constitution-stop-us-from-using-schools-to-enshrine-global-social-justice-and-human-rights/ We also have Jia Lee, a teacher at the Earth School in NYC who shows up in links as wanting to Opt Out of standardized testing because it interferes with the progressive education vision. That would be the one created by John Dewey as my book also detailed extensively so let’s give Jia a check for on board with quality education in the UN vision.

Next is the Denver School Super Tom Boasberg whose School Performance Framework   is being touted http://spf.dpsk12.org/ as a model for other districts and states to use. Make that another check. Then there is Paul Leathers from New Hampshire that is piloting the Competency focus for high school that is also mentioned in the language of the rewrite. We met him here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/listening-in-on-the-confessional-drumbeat-of-the-common-cores-true-purpose-jettisoning-traditional-high-school/ Now, the last listed witness is a Marty West, listed as a professor at Harvard ed school. He also teaches though at the Harvard School of Government and was an advisor to Mitt Romney in 2012 and Lamar Alexander, the Republican committee Chairman, now.

Looking into his education writings I found this “Global Lessons for Improving US Education” http://issues.org/28-3/west/ that so fully misrepresents the nature of the OECD PISA and its emphasis on pushing a Competency focus (it’s described in Chapter 4 of my book with plenty of cites on intentions) that Professor West is either a sloppy researcher or interested in pushing the global quality education agenda via stealth. Asking myself what his connection was to Quality Education pulled up this Gates Foundation-financed 2014 vision for putting the K-12 emphasis on “non-cognitive skills” as a means for closing the achievement gap. http://cepr.harvard.edu/cepr-resources/files/news-events/cepr-promise-paradox.pdf

Those “non-cognitive skills” also go by the names of “social and emotional learning” or “21st century skills” says the paper. They are important traits “for success in school and in life.” They are “more amenable to direct intervention than cognitive ability, particularly beyond infancy and early childhood.” Sounds like quality education so far, doesn’t it? The paper’s intro that “disparities in so-called non-cognitive skills appear to contribute to the academic achievement gap separating wealthy from disadvantaged students.” Sounds just like that new purpose again. It’s not then just the use of the term “quality education” and its well-documented purpose that is the problem, but the declared interests of those first chosen to testify.

But it’s actually worse than that. Remember when the federal DoED issued that awful “Grit Tenacity and Perseverance” report and critics were told it had no connection to the Common Core? The psychologist known for pushing the Grit and Perseverence sociocultural emphasis, Angela Duckworth, is a co-author of that cepr paper. When you follow a different co-author, Amy Finn, http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=78313 on how to turn off “effortful learning” and the adult “prefrontal cortex using a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation.” I have warned that there is a real interest in locking in psychological transformations at a physiological level. Following another co-author, Rebecca Martin, turned up that in 2008 SANS–the SocioAffective Neuroscience Society– Lab Network was set up globally to trade research. More checks for Quality Education globally then.

Another author, John Gabrieli of MIT, turned up the McGovern Institute for Brain Research with a goal to “understand the organization of memory, thought, and emotions in the human brain. By combining brain imaging with behavioral tests, he studies the neural basis of these abilities in human subjects.” Gulp. Another co-author, Christopher Gabrieli is the Director of the National Center on Time and Learning, where 90s Outcomes-Based Education primary architect Marc Tucker is an advisor.

It’s all back. It is the UN’s workforce and change the child’s values and personality vision and it is about to be quietly enshrined again into federal law like WIOA. But nobody is hitting their shoe against a UN lectern trying to get everyone’s attention on these intentions in time. Writing is the closest I can get in this Paul Revere effort of mine announcing that the transformation is planned, coming, and hiding in laws, charters, executive orders, and regulations no one is supposed to read.Well, I have and we all need to sound the alarm or we will be encased into a vassals and fiefdoms view of citizenship primed for a collectivist future.

On that note, I did get a timely kick this morning when an article quoted Benjamin Franklin as noting “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.”

Quality education and the purposes of this NCLB rewrite and the entire actual Common Core implementation should be seen as government officials at all levels insisting that the lamb must come to lunch unarmed. Armed lambs will be checked via benchmarks and then forcibly disarmed.

Just say no. To every politician you know and everyone they hire or appoint.

Remember our motto–Not Serfs Yet.



63 thoughts on “Fulfilling the Long Ago Prophecy and Boast on Conquering the West Quietly Thanks to the US Senate

  1. Are We WANSYs?

    Going back to the early days of Invisible Serfs Collar in 2012 — even before the BOOK came out — I’ve seen the concept “serfs” used over 50 times, both in the posts and comments. It was in the July 4, 2012 post that Robin said: We are not serfs yet.

    In today’s post we read: Remember our motto–Not Serfs Yet.

    That would make a good bumper sticker — WE ARE NOT SERFS YET

    • Tunya–this may be in a US Senate draft bill http://www.help.senate.gov/imo/media/AEG15033.pdf with me quoting from pp 2-3 (even though I read much more), but this quality education as you now is intended to bind Canada too.

      Because of the way accreditation works, the nature of ed degrees in administration, and the regulatory apparatus that does not care what the current Prime Minister wants, this is all on automatic pilot until it is accurately perceived for what it intends to change.

      • Just flipping thru it, I noticed on p.25 that they want to be able to disaggregate student achievement data by

        ‘(VI) migrant status

        and I wonder how they are going to do that if they don’t even let the schools ask for that information from students. It’s like this:

        “You must not discriminate against illegal immigrants. To make sure of that, we will not allow you to ask whether someone is an illegal immigrant. Furthermore, you must provide testing data to show that the illegal immigrants in your school are being well served.”

        • Originally I noticed those disaggregating criteria, including economically advantaged, disabled including learning disabled, migrant, race, major ethnicity and closing the achievement gap and was taken aback by the factual differences being ignored. The Quality Imperative paper says out right that the assumption is that all differences are environmental. It was when I downloaded the actual link to the bill and started on page 1 more systematically that I realized the actual purpose was being held to be closing those gaps.

          The witness list showed up over the weekend in the Leadership Council’s newsletter, which is the same place I first learned that WIOA was pending. It too was trumpeted as an economic justice/human rights victory. http://civilrightsdocs.info/pdf/education/ESEA-principles.pdf is the statement of all these civil rights groups that Arne Duncan is also backing. No one though is contesting that purpose, just the frequency of measuring what is changing in the student’s mindset.

          Notice in Footnote 1 that these groups all insist that the statewide assessments must “assess higher order thinking skills and understanding”. So understanding via the phronetic, right-brain sense of the word and what rigor actually means in an Arational way is seen as a necessary tool for transitioning to an economically just society.

          http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/muzzling-minds-all-over-the-globe-while-trumpeting-higher-order-skills/ is the post where we first looked at that 1987 report that Marc Tucker’s New Standards Project partner, Lauren Resnick (who has a tag) laid out what Higher Order Thinking Skills are really about. It plays into the mentions in the Lucis Trust paper that the factual reasoning mind was classified as “lower level.”

          My concern with that paper and the MIT work is that they are brain scanning, with NSF funding, to create a record of what activities fire which parts of the brain with a real interest in emotions and what sounds like a Right-Brain interest. She is describing “turning off” the sequential mind, precisely what rigor and HOTS do as well. Grit and perseverence likewise are forcing the right brain to be the interpreter of experience. Martin has left MIT and is a Ph.D student in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at Columbia. In 2008 she got a Masters from Harvard in Mind, Brain and Education before joining Gabrieli’s lab as a Tech assistant.

          Don’t forget the Obama administration has announced it is brain mapping now in a project it likens to the Human Genome. Remember I sarcastically said that with all the Mind arson I have documented there is a desire for the Left Side to look like North Korea at night or the teachers and principals will be in trouble?

  2. Good Night! How on earth can any of our representation in the Gov’t even begin to know all the tenets, moving parts and low lying profs, foundations and hiding Marxists ? We may not be serfs yet but they are growing close with the jangling chain.

    • They cannot, but that legislate ***** like this and WIOA and that HB186 I used from Ga to illustrate nobody reads this but the staffers. It binds anyway, then the staffers become lobbyists or go to work for the UN system with tax free salaries. Especially once their federal pension vests.

      Why would Lamar Alexander put this up as the Republican draft? Create this particular slate of witnesses on the first day. He may not know how all this shakes out but someone wrote this. It dovetails too perfectly to be accidental. Coupled to WIOA and the engrenage gearing pulls us all into the mesh whether known or not.

      • Robin, I got a laugh out of research of Marty West that you linked to that had the curious title of “Measuring Students’ Non-cognitive Skills and the Impact of Schooling.” The title implies that schooling is to be put at the service of developing non-cognitive skills, although the authors make a pro-forma bow in the opposite direction: “developing students’ noncognitive skills in support of academic success and long-term life outcomes.” Nevertheless, their results give the lie to this hypothesis. It turns out that 1) in the public school sample, there was a student-level correlation between academic performance and “conscientiousness, self-control, grit, and growth mindset,” but not at the school level; and 2) in the “over-subscribed” charter school sample, there was an inverse relationship (all the while that the charters beat the pants off the mainstream public schools in academics). This is tentatively explained by saying that the self-reporting of the charter kids is lower in the non-cognitive areas because the bar had been raised by a culture of higher expectations. Hmmmm……These folks didn’t notice the hole they were about to fall into. Seems to me that any true scientist would say “thesis falsified” and try another hypothesis, like maybe stronger real academics produce better academic results; no need to focus on “soft skills.” But wait, this would be very unpleasing to the Gates’s who underwrote the study. So we artfully slide out from under and conclude, “it is imperative that the scholars and practitioners seeking to improve non-cognitive skills through schooling develop new, better measures that are less susceptible to reference bias.” Notice that again they show their hand; schooling is at the service of non-cognitive skills. Non-cognitive skills and their primacy are the ideological axiom, and everything else is made to derive from that assumption. No surprise, but a useful demonstration of how they ignore the very data that they publish.

  3. John Steinbacher’s “The Child Seducers; The Most Detailed Study Ever Written About Sex Instruction, Sensitivity Training And Social Studies In The Tax Supported School System” written way back in the 70’s, just like you tell it, says this is all planned. Page 10 talks about a “cursory examination will reveal 3 movements to be connected with leading personalities in Humanist or allied organiationsions”; interesting. For the “Paul Revere” type task at hand, there is some helpful material here.

  4. I agree with you about the Marty West paper. To ignore the possible input of racial heterogeneity as a causative factor on its own in heterogeneous student outcomes, as studiously as he does, is not an accidental omission. It’s an elephant in the room he ignores as he convinces us step by step that up is down.

    For language learning I think there is something to turning off the rational mind. In my experience with foreign STEM graduate students who are not native speakers of English, their English language skills did not improve much in the five or six years of study among an extremely literate and well-spoken sub-population of Americans (and foreigners such as Indians who typically speak very good English.) The rational brain was always on, the childlike opportunity to learn English right was never available and certainly never encouraged. Even having to lecture as Teaching Assistants didn’t help with the accent.

    So I think the MIT research is correct. But this doesn’t mean we should diminish the analytical content of our school systems, just keep this stuff in mind when teaching foreign languages.

    • David, you are right about foreign language acquisition. Oral fluency depends on training as contrasted with analytical process we used to consider the bedrock of education until the progressives got hold of it. This is why the oral-aural methods of the sixties were so effective: they gave students drills in language structures, using a language lab with tapes, and having students repeat the structures to a level of fluency and then having them manipulate them with increasingly challenging substitutions or transformations (ie, plug in these different noun subjects, at the easy end of the spectrum; change the subject pronouns through the conjugation, affecting the form of the verb, mid-level difficulty; change the tense of the verb, advanced transformation). With abundant practice, these forms began to come naturally to the student, without having to translate every word before every utterance. And there was the continuing opportunity to perfect one’s accent by listening to one’s own response compared to the native speaker on the tape.

      I was the lucky beneficiary of a perfect balance of aural-oral and traditional grammar-based analytics, composition, and reading of literature. As a result, with five years of French, I read the major classic works, wrote essays about them, and discussed them — all in the original, all in French.

      Notice that aural-oral does NOT mean full immersion. Not enough time on task for kids to be floundering about, “constructing” their own knowledge of the language like little Rousseauian Emiles learning it “naturally.” This is where the progressives go wrong — as usual. It is highly intentional, structured and directed oral practice. Whether it is left brain, right brain, or left brain that becomes right brain, I don’t know, but it worked. And boy, did it work. That’s why the ditched it.

      • They don’t do that for language any more? I have two kids learning Spanish and French in school, and they seem to be doing OK. But like my high school, there’s not much language lab time.

        I think there are benefits to full immersion after at least a year or two of structured study to learn the basics. Preferably with some lessons as well.

        (1) At that point you start needing to learn about 20,000 vocab words. You are getting the grammar then but you need sheer vocabulary. You can’t figure it out, you just have to absorb it. Floundering around, using a dictionary, ordering food in a cafe and seeing what comes, seeing it all around you speeds the acquisition of vocabulary. You really are wired to learn language this way. Some part of me never grew up because I always enjoy this experience.

        (2) And it helps with your accent. Probably your accent is incomprehensible until you work off the rough edges for real. At least mine were pretty bad after being a supposedly strong language student in high school in two languages.

        In any case it isn’t like learning math or physics. In the words of Tom Lehrer “It’s simple, so very simple, that only a child can do it!” (ignore that that was from his song entitled “New Math”.)

        (Nodding to Robin, yes we know this is veering off the thread topic.)

        • Yes, I know this exchange is inside baseball for language geeks, and I thank Robin for her indulgence as we lounge in her bandwidth!

          I agree that total immersion is best (pace the Asian science students who just couldn’t get it). The problem is that trying total immersion in the classroom is ineffective because it’s not really total immersion; it’s just five hours a week or so. Yes, after the basics are in place, there is nothing so effective as living in the environment and taking advantage of it linguistically. That was my experience with Spanish.

          I’m glad your kids are doing well with Spanish and French. They may have lucked out, they may be very adept. I am a coach for those languages in the high school of our charter school, and I can tell you that the textbooks are just as awful as they are for other subjects, mind-scrabbling for the MTV generation. The absolute opposite of systematic. Not enough practice. Therefore, everything the students do they have to do “in first gear.” Exhausting and frustrating.

        • I am going to interrupt the foreign language discussion by pointing you to the confessions in this article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steven-cohen/how-governmental-sustaina_b_6506794.html on how we do not know how I new sustainable economy will work but we are mandating it anyway. New York State is repeatedly touted as a leader in how it gets put in place at the local level.

          Makes that Global CIFAL Network and its links to K-12 education all the more crucial. There’s also a new paper out on energy democracy and Energy 3.0 out that suggests none of the policymakers understand physics. Me either honestly but hubby and son like it a lot. Yikes! So I do understand when I am reading someone without an acquaintance with why fossil fuels are a much more potent form than wind and solar apart from cost.

          • Yes that’s pretty funny. We don’t know what we’re doing, but we do need to act aggressively.

            I was hoping “sustainable government” meant a reduced government that didn’t damage everyone it touches. Heh no such luck.

        • Since you have a child learning Spanish I wanted plug for speakshop because it helped my son SO much. You can tell them the material you are learning, the verbs you are to learn, etc.


          My son use them as a supplement to raise his Spanish grades. His tutor was Milvia Vásquez.
          The cost a couple years ago was $12 per hour via Skype (audio visual or just audio your choice).

    • I realize I forgot to say something here that I really intended to include.

      It may be great to learn in a relaxed and nonintellectual manner, but the right way is not transcranial stimulation (TMS). TMS is a method used in mental health settings I am aware of to treat depression. It involves a big chair and a cap that goes over your skull with electrical probes.

      It is not something that anyone in their right mind would approve of for standard curriculum for healthy school children.

    • Yeah PA Momma!!

      I was out at a lie fest to a schoolboard member, which is what I guessed was going on. That’s how the affluent suburbs are remaining on the bus as their kids are being driven towards the cliff.

      My favorite was a slide about formative assessment and summative assessment so I asked what the planned mixture would be going forward and how it varied among elementary, middle, and high schools. He nodded his head and said “first of all, you probably have an erroneous understanding of what formative assessment is.”

      I looked at him hard and said “that’s really not likely.”

      The poor parents also believe that Georgia Milestones is a test of subject knowledge. One mom wanted to be able to Opt Out and have her child be treated respectfully and simply allowed to read. A black administrator (her race is important only because of that civil right link above insisting that state assessments must measure higher order thinking skills) insisted that she was glad the board member had not simply replied that the parent would be able to opt out of the new assessment.

      The switch to a Right Brain, Arational, phronetic type of understanding where the categories are provided and then applied to a context has clearly been put out there in programs we are not invited selling a HOTS focus as essential to economic and social justice.

      Sad since if it were correctly understood, many minority parents would be angry over what is really happening.

      • I was in a similar meeting today, Robin, only on the west coast. I had a district superintendent try to explain that CDE purchased SBAC’s Digital Library merely as an option to give teachers more choices. The interim assessments and formative tools are also just options to help students succeed. Well, if that’s the case (which of course it’s not), they are pretty expensive bells and whistles. The two testing consortia will operate like a closed circuit. Knowledge will be strictly limited to what is measurable, not what is actually knowable. Further, SBAC’s digital library neatly lines up with the Learning Registry. So not only are cirricula materials embedded in the testing, but also they add up to a National Curriculum, which is currently being packaged as optional, FREE open sources, (yay!). But soon these free options will be the limits within which classroom teachers must remain. Watch out, Finland, we’re catching up! Between SBAC’s partnerships with the federal department of ed, WestEd, AIR, and Data Recgonition Corporation, the intrusive, experimental assessments will monitor and measure every aspect of a child–mind, body, soul. It sounds extreme but considering they’re after an equitable society working side by side to produce a sustainable economy, this level of control will be necessary. How convenient that AIR’s research arm CALDER has been studying longitudinal data systems to track students from cradle to the “labor force.” Got to love that AIR calls it what it is…labor–plain and simple. The SBAC’s claim of producing “college and career ready” assessments and tools amounts to a pipeline that will churn out warm bodies with soft, malleable minds–the next generation of workers will be convinced that working hard for less is indeed the new American, oops I mean, GLOBAL dream. A simple historical understanding of aptitude tests easily reveals the dark insanity of what’s being done to prepare our children for the 21st century. In a mood to take down SBAC. Not. Serfs. Yet.

        • JT-I would like you and other readers to be on the look out for what turned up when I got home and looked up the Director of Accountability. His Linked In page https://www.linkedin.com/pub/clifford-jones/42/7b6/b6a touts his MBA with a specialty in education from the same university where CIFAL Atlanta is located.

          Beyond the Learning Registry, which monitors by student characteristics and the effects of particular activities or curriculum, is this data going to be sold to companies hoping to get at changing students’ “internal states” even more aggressively to fit the desired transformation?

          The first, from the Change Agent-oriented Center for Reinventing Public Education, http://www.crpe.org/sites/default/files/crpe-report-effective-adaptable-school-district-procurement_0.pdf is ostensibly about making it easier for school districts to enter contracts without layers of bureaucracy. When you read it though it actually appears to be about making it easier for public employees to partner with private businesses using public dollars to finance the innovations that can be used to further drive the cultural evolution. We KNOW what the desired outcomes are, which is the euphemism used throughout the report, to hide that reality of desired noetic change. They do in fact want to create and sculpt the “mindset” of a new type of citizen.

          It dovetails to this City Accelerator document that came out within the same 24 hours last week and relied on the same New Urban Mechanics for the model going forward. http://www.governing.com/cityaccelerator/blog/Breaking-Through-Barriers-to-Innovation-in-Local-Government.html

          The schools collect the data and mold the personality to fit the Human Development Model, currently renamed as the Sustainable Society. This City Accelerator is used to regulate and bind the physical community and its people at the level where they live and work based on the data as well. The City Accelerator was touted again the day after this hit my radar by Living Cities, which is tied into the Metropolitanism/Regional Equity push and the Rockefeller and Ford Foundations. The co-author of that Metropolitanism book also shows up on the list of people working with the Roosevelt Institute, RSA, the SEIU, Institute for the Future’s Marina Gorbis et al, on that Next American Economy discussed and linked to upthread.

          We have a convergence, but right now the people most aware of what has shifted are teachers, not parents. The parents truly have no idea just how intrusive a “high-quality assessment” is to everything that makes their child tick. The administrators are not going to share this data with the parents even if they know to ask. I asked that question yesterday. I love all the constant touting of how forthcoming schools will now be. Only in the Orwellian use of the word where the opposite of the dictionary meaning is the real point.

          • I guess I just answered my own as to where I thought this was all going. Mercy, this may be an indication I need to get a life but this morning’s follow-up suggests my pick-up on that procurement report is right on the money. http://www.crpe.org/thelens/cui-bono-conflicts-interest-are-eyes-beholder

            School district employees who know data best should be allowed to help create the new products as side businesses without it being treated as a conflict of interest.

          • That’s what I noticed and Jones’ immediate boos, Ken Zeff, the Director of Innovation, is someone Tom VanderArk of Getting Smart and that alarming trip to the ed conference likes to tout. Carnegie underwrote VanderArk’s most recent book on Smart Cities which is clearly what Atlanta aspires to be. The North Fulton parents and board members can just be lied to in the mean time about what “rigor” means or what a “high-quality assessment” really is.

            That relates to something Alexander Christakis wrote about when he first helped start the Club of Rome. He quit after they took a hard science approach instead of his desired framing perception approach. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/framing-then-refining-lasting-webs-of-mutual-social-understanding-to-fulfill-aspiration-grounded-in-infamy/ Framing is also what a “high=quality assessment” like McGraw Hills Georgia Milestones is looking for. We both know it is based on David Conley’s work, but too few appreciate the significance of that or why he became the one to rename “non-cognitive skills as “metacognitive skills” so they sounded better.

            Christo says one of his partners went on to Wharton to push system science in the business programs there. Want to guess where Zeff got his MBA? So there is a great deal of congruence here on what is being created and measured that is supposed to be beyond the skills of us mere parents without any magic education diploma. Interestingly, Zeff was previously the Chief Technology Officer for the Green Dot Charter Schools. Looking at their materials it is clear they are putting online that Mastery Learning where knowledge is the desired interpretive concepts, skills using them are monitored online, and then the application of both skills and concepts as desired gets checked. What a limited view of what it means to know.

            Makes sense if transformative change is the goal though. Not enough knowledge to dispute the prevailing memes put out by the media, PR campaigns, and education.

            The private school the Linked In page makes note of has now reclassified itself as a Private School for a Public Purpose.

          • LL-take a look at this deeply troubling Edutopia story on what “brain-based learning” is really getting at. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/strategies-getting-keeping-brains-attention-donna-wilson-marcus-conyers

            Notice the touting of Daniel Goleman and his 2013 book Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence. Now we know Excellence is tied to Csik’s concept of ‘flow’ and is Arational because he says so and he wants that to be the combo of what is thought, felt, and desired with action taking place at an unconscious level. We know Goleman is deeply involved with the creation of CASEL and social and emotional learning generally. Now his work is what constitutes “brain-based learning” to be locked into place at a neural, physiological level.

            Following up on some insights I found this site accidentally that reputable psychologists are deeply troubled by Goleman’s work http://eqi.org/gole.htm . It also says that Goleman co-wrote a book before he became famous with Ram Dass called the Journey to Awakening: a Meditator’s Guidebook and that they had shared the same guru in India. It also says that Goleman in 1977 published a book The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experiences that Ram Dass wrote the Foreword for. The back cover of the book says that “Goleman spent two years in the Far East with the meditation masters”. Book from 1977 is already citing Csik’s “flow” work that we now get cited as a civil rights obligation under Equity and Excellence. A civil rights obligation for K-12 education to be experiential?

            It gets worse apparently Goleman’s 1995 book Emotional Intelligence cites Mark Greenberg who was then at U of Washington. It is in the screenshot of the Acknowledgments page. Mark Greenberg is the creator of PBIS and now travels the world promoting that all schools push positive psychology. Cliff Jones in his presentation on Accountability Tuesday kept mentioning, almost reflexively, the use of that very same PBIS in the Fulton classrooms. A fact none of the parents there seems to have picked up on.

            No wonder the Super immediately brought in both Cambridge Education (that Michael Barber had recommended to Joel Klein and NYC in 2007) and Spence Rogers’ PEAK_Performance Excellence for All Kids to be consultants in altering school and classroom practices as soon as he came to reflect what had been going on already in Charlotte-Mecklenberg and Florida and its county-wide districts before that. Cambridge shuts down the lectures and worksheet practices that feed the Left Hemisphere/ Rational, analytical mind. Then PEAK forces the classroom interactions to be experiential.

            Experiential (Right-brained oriented holistic classrooms) then need performance assessments, not ‘tests’ of intellectual knowledge. No wonder Linda Darling-Hammond trumpets performance assessments as “high-quality” and “21st century”. It’s experiential, not intellectual. The farce I watched on Tuesday was designed to keep these crucial facts from the parents while the children are trained as desired, knowing once these practices become habits of mind and neurally based they will be hard to change even if parents later begin to catch on. No wonder they want to expand into preschool and Benjamin Bloom and WR Bion were behind Head Start.

            Things just keep getting clearer as I get out and about and tie what I see and hear to these declarations on paper.

          • That “city accelerator” is the best reason I can think of to starve government of resources. When they start thinking that the “public servants” should be in charge of creating the innovations and deciding how much, I want to make sure that “public servant” has to get my permission to blow his or her nose let alone doing anything more involved.

          • Well it seems that Goleman is simply a charlatan. It’s good to know that; whenever his “work” is mentioned it should be said that Meyer and Salovey have come as close to saying that as respectable academics ever do.

          • This says he is the co-founder of CASEL that is in charge of so much of the curricula being foisted to fulfill the Positive School Climate and anti-bullying mandates globally. http://www.casel.org/news/2013/10/17/focus-an-important-new-book-from-casel-co-founder-daniel-goleman

            It also points out he co-wrote a book recently with Peter Senge. Remember Camp Snowball, Otto Scharmer, systems thinking extraordinaire, and who the Hewlett Foundation hired along with Robert Kegan (also tied to New Age Thinking via his partnership with Ken Wilber) to make sure the Common Core assessments would be measuring the kind of “deep thinking” desired. That’s why it needs to be “performance assessments” as repeated witnesses mentioned last Wednesday because I read their actual submitted testimony. The performance is activity and thus the experiential brain. The depth comes from tethering the activity to supplied concepts, issues, core disciplinary ideas, that will guide how the experiences are seen. The inclusion book characterized what is now called ‘deep thinking’ as “powerful learning”. It is knowledge that guides behavior.

            All of this makes Chapter 2, 3, and 4 of the book really fall into place, doesn’t it? Mustn’t ignite the analytical mind via phonetic reading or traditional algebra or geometric proofs. Integrated math is NOT, as we in Georgia were deceitfully told and still are, about combining aspects of algebra and geometry. The integration is to the real world. A more accurate term would be tethered math so that all mental concepts are seen concretely and not as a component of independent personal mental activity.

      • Mari-you will especially appreciate the confessions here. http://www.newgeography.com/content/004830-looking-back-the-ideal-communist-city

        I thought I was just being malicious about the ugliness and uniformity of the now ubiquitous transit-oriented condos and apartments by calling it “Soviet housing.”

        It was designed to be the environment to create a “new kind of man” too, just like Vygotsky’s work in K-12 education that now guides so much curriculum and ed degree programs.

        Boy this resonates with what these CIFAL-trained mayors and city council members are ignorantly foisting on us while they work for law firms or economic development authorities.

        “Gutnov did acknowledge the appeal of suburbia — “…ideal conditions for rest and privacy are offered by the individual house situated in the midst of nature…”, but rejected the suburban model common in America and other capitalist countries. Suburbs, he argued, are not feasible in a society that prioritizes equality, stating, “The attempt to make the villa available to the average consumer means building a mass of little houses, each on a tiny piece of land. . . . The mass construction of individual houses, however, destroys the basic character of this type of residence.”

        The planner’s main concern was ensuring social equality. This was seen in their preference of public transportation over privately owned vehicles, high-density apartment housing over detached private homes, and maximizing common areas. These criticisms of suburban sprawl have some resonance in the writings by planners advocating “smart growth” today. Both see benefits to high density housing. For one, they argue it is more equitable so everyone, no matter what social class they belong too, can live in the same type of buildings. Some New Urbanists do also like the idea of mixed-income communities. In addition, they both see their ideal community utilizing mixed-use developments, with assuring people easy access to public services such as day care, restaurants, and parks, creating less of a need for private spaces. Similarly, New Urbanists also claim that their planned developments would foster a better sense of community.”

        So Smart Growth comes out of this vision. Very useful confession and from a transformation-pushing site.

          • We will swap links. http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1550609/The-Seven-Dimensions-of-Climate-Change.pdf

            Framing, radical reframing, creating social facts that need not be true. Isn’t that really what rigor and HOTS curricula do and then “high-quality assessment” looks for indications of? No wonder the social justice advocates say no opting out until it can be buried invisibly into formative assessment or its other name–assessment for learning. Creating changes in a student’s values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. So good of the Director of Accountability to mention repeatedly that the district was using Positive Behavior techniques now, completely unaware I was the person who first caught the ncld shift in April 2012 as well as the July 2012 Positive SChool Climate Executive Order. Plus as you know I cover formative assessment in the boom and how and why it was created for the OECD.

  5. Cannot comment back on the meditation thread. I read something interesting last night. The World Economic Forum is currently going on. The article I read last night said that they were touting mindfulness during that conference. It is taking place in Switzerland.

    • Yes, I read the World Economic Forum’s plans for K-12 education last week. It’s about a 200 page document created in conjunction with the UN and published about a year ago.

      The head of Knewton, now owned by Pearson and creator of the adaptive learning platform coming to a classroom near you is deeply involved with the global work. Definitely all tied to creating Uncle Karl’s Human Developmnt Model. Anyway, Knewton says that in order for adaptive learning to work they need access to lots of data of a wide variety of students being asked to do the same thing. In other words, CCSSI and Competency are creating the needed adaptive learning data base that can in turn creat that internal keel in whatever shape the Transformationalists think they need.

      To rule. Good we have that graphic now, huh?

      Will look for my notes on Davos doc.

      • Thanks Robin and LL for all of the links. That Seven Dimensions of Climate Change is particularly disturbing. I read a 2010 report last night by ETS, Pearson and the College Board basically admiting to using the assessments to develop that “internal keel,” though the language was less explicit. They also admit they can’t accomplish this without massive amounts of data…if parents only understood the extent to which their kids are being used and abused.

        • JT-you should add this to your brief case of facts. http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/01/21/3-benefits-of-next-generation-student-assessment/?utm_source=brief

          Having watched the dynamic this week with the anxious parents and the deceit from administrators, I recognized that this is the problem with these ed degrees grounded in Competency. It’s why the Learning Community head thought nothing of citing Kurt Lewin and his Freeze, Unfreeze, Refreeze technique to force teachers not wanting to go along. It’s why the Director of Accountability thought nothing of citing Positive Behavior several times because he’s aware that’s what is generating much of the “achievement” data now flowing his way. In neither case from what I could observe from their presentations and reaction to questions is either man’s knowledge “intellectual” in the body of knowledge analytically examined and factually interrelated sense. They have been provided information and trained to act on it and respond to additional information. That is what Competent means. Trained to do, not understand intellectually. Trained, as so many of these doctorates now say, to be a Change Agent.

          Children trained via the experiential Arational part of the Brain to act will be similar. An Axemaker Mind can understand the experiential, intuitive, emotional responses when they are pointed out. Someone with an Axemaker Mind actually can use it all. Students trained to be Competent though cannot get to the insights and analysis that a fact-filled, concepts built up by the individual mind in some people is capable of. Hobbling those minds that could come up with the out-of-the-box next great invention in the tech world, making existing patents irrelevant, or that mind that can cut through rhetoric to describe what is really occurring, is now the focus of what is, at a minimum, a global coordinated effort, going back decades.

          Did anyone else notice in one of the Nagan papers I linked to on the use of the Law globally to coerce these shifts that the “Fall of the Berlin Wall” is in scare quote just like that. Similar to the Gorbachev letter I cited in the book on the “Fall of Communism”.

          And JT, protecting our own children is where we start. It’s also why school board members who have been legally disempowered even though no one seems to have told them, are still being lied to about the crucial meaning of all these shifts. So the parents remain alarmed but not in full riot mode.

          I did also find the excuse for what appears to us to be so many conflicts of interest. They are pursuing the Common Good with these reforms so there cannot be Conflicts of Interest apart from overt criminal behavior.

          How convenient, huh? And very lucrative for a select few.

          • Well, that explains the many info-graphic videos used in the classroom to abridge rich content–it’s truly mind blowing that educators can view this and not laugh until they cry. It’s asinine! You called it, Robin, the ed schools are turning out educators who simply don’t know how very little content knowledge they possess, which allows them to believe the stupidity of the rock metaphor here–any teacher who “feels” content, facts, and knowledge are too heavy for a mind to bear, has NO business in a classroom.

          • At the same link is another link about upcoming Superintendent Summits to be held in various cities this spring, sponsored by the White House.


            They encourage Supers to make a commitment as follows to the digital style of learning in their schools — a decision that should be up to their school board instead of the option of the Super.


            These guys from Obama on down should be prosecuted for corruption.

          • One of the summits is in Atlanta where Georgia’s State School Board has already stripped the local school boards of that kind of authority without telling the taxpayers.

            The Economic Development report for the Metro Atlanta 10 county Area created by the MPO–Atlanta Regional Commission last year bound all the school districts in metro Atlanta to ‘innovative learning.’ School district employees, city council members, the chair of CIFAL Atlanta, law firms representing school districts, the Gwinnett Super who admitted the purpose of the Common Core was to jettison traditional high school, etc, are all involved with that vision.

            The Albany school district mentioned that the federal government is picking up 80% of the cost of installing broadband. That is a lot of debt being incurred to the Chinese that then flows into AT&T, Cox, or ComCast revenue apart from buying the computers. No wonder AT&T sponsored the rollout of Fulton’s “mission statement” at a gala at the Fox Theatre.

            I asked my techie husband about the speeds being touted last week at that Kansas City summits. He said few need the kind of speed that can download a movie in 10 seconds and even fewer would pay for it. Of course then it must be a government edict so that taxpayers will provide anyway, enriching the broadband companies or creating new ones as taxpayer-owned utilities like the TVA.

            This 21st century little c model has lots of private enterprise, but it’s all to be tethered too to providing designated ‘needs’, like ultra high-speed internet apparently. Minds capable of free enterprise or desirous of the benefits it created are being tethered to different visions from an early age.

            Tethering, like a noetic keel, are both metaphors that go along ways toward illustrating what is being sought. Think of the kind of tethers used with a zeppelin or blimp so it will not float away and act in an undirected, not pre-planned fashion.

    • Found it but cannot link as it was created that way. Name is “Education and Skills 2.0: New Targets and Innovative Approaches” published in January 2014 before the last expensive fly-in. Gordon Brown, the former UK Prime Minister, wrote one Foreword and Amina J. Mohammed wrote the other. She is a Special Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Post-2015 Planning.

      They so have plans for us and in order to work they need minds as inert as possible and values and beliefs as manipulated as possible.

  6. I have recently become very interested in our local parks. Take a look out there folks–what do you see? I would be interested in hearing your comments and observations. Here is what I see–local parks in suburban areas are largely unused. Why? You can say that parents are afraid–that is true. You can say that kids run into the house after school and get on their computers–that is also true. But, I am asking why? Will every child become a kidnapping victim? Will every park become unusable because of drug dealers? I think there is something more important in progress and I would like to hear your thoughts. My own take is this: the design of local parks is so dumbed down–so controlled that they are no longer inviting. For example I will use as one example the law about children in wheelchairs. Several years ago thanks to a federal law, every park with a swing or a slide had to have a bark like product for the base surface of these objects. The surface had to be such that a wheelchair could roll up to the swing. I don’t begrudge disabled children from having their own opportunity to play. Rather, I would just have you notice that impact on physically able children. They don’t go there anymore. Why? Because jumping of aa swing, or using a slide becomes an unpleasant, non-fun experience when you land in wood bark. Compare it to landing in sand and how much fun it used to be to jump off a high flying swing, or slide down a slide into the sand. Not the same thing. Now think about this: who wants to control every aspect of our child’s lives? Now, take a look at the lobbying record to see who pushed this new law through congress. Are you surprised to find it was the education lobby? Now tell me how do the school teachers in your community “design” and control after school play?

    • I have a 1997 book published in the UK but with all American authors on assessment and equity.

      That may well be where they want us, but it is also the True Confession Zone.

      And I have ordered multiple used books today from the cites to continue the extent to which we have accurately got this. Apparently this story really is supposed to be told as it drives towards the End Zone. Luckily there is still time on the clock.

  7. GELP Comes To Town — Vancouver, Canada

    Of course, our province of British Columbia is part of the international coordinated network accelerating and pushing 21st C Learning.

    One of the main Change Agents in this “School Transformation” movement is, we know, Michael Fullan. Recently while housecleaning, I found papers showing he has been in BC from at least 1989 — that’s 25 years ago! 25 years of relationship building, massaging the notables, passing on the techniques for “leadership” of this “movement”, etc. His keynote was “New Cultures for School Improvement” at the “International Education Conference — Enhancing School Quality: Theory into Practice, Nov 1989).

    We’ve had our share of these Change Agents — Pasi Sahlberg, Andy Hargreaves, etc. — it’s not easy for the common observer to know much about the machinations behind the scenes of “needed” education transformation. So much is stealth work, behind the scenes, with the occasional obligatory “public consultation” — not authentic, merely a pro forma exercise.

    Such is the case with the latest manifestation of “public involvement”. On January 29, in order for us to remain on the “international stage” a panel of experts will engage “influential education, economic and business stakeholders” — “Why Education Needs To Transform”. Two of the main speakers will be Tony MacKay and David Albury, Directors of GELP (Global Education Leaders Partnership). Another Director, Valerie Hannon, has been here a few years back. British Columbia, from their literature, is considered a “jurisdiction” of GELP, along with others as Colorado, Kentucky, Finland, etc. It’s as if somewhere (?) there was a meeting of contending “transformation agencies” to carve up the arena ???

    Anyway, here is the link to the news release. http://www.newsroom.gov.bc.ca/2015/01/education-forum-to-be-all-about-learning.html

    Because there was such a clamor when this came out — invited guests only — a Webcast is now to be produced for people to listen in. I’m still trying to figure out this inscrutable note, but hope to listen when the time comes: “As the Wosk Centre has a limited number of seats, we invite you to follow the #BCedForum on Twitter @bcedplan and access a live webcast of the event here beginning at 8:30 a.m. (PST) on January 29th. http://www.bcedplan.ca/” We’ll see IF it really is accessible. Two days ago I listened to the webcast from Fordham on ESEA, interesting, and I find it is still available on their site.

    I’ll prepare a checklist of frequently used words — deeper learning, competencies, collaboration, etc.

    • http://www.udir.no/Upload/4/avisglaze.pdf?epslanguage=no is for you. Avis Glaze worked closely with Ben Levin (until he became infamous) and Fullan. Now she travels the world on this World-wide quest that is not academic in the traditional sense.

      She wrote a guest column in EdWeek today that I cannot link to called “Achieving Excellence with Equity: A mandate for All Schools.” Hard not to think the timing has something to do with today’s 2nd hearing on the ESEA Rewrite.

      This powerpoint also embodies what is a “high-quality education” per UNESCO criteria.

  8. Pingback: Ed Change Agents Come to Vancouver | Parents Teaching Parents Ed Change Agents Come to Vancouver | Parents Rights & Responsibilities in the education of their children

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