Listening in On the Confessional Drumbeat of the Common Core’s True Purpose: Jettisoning Traditional High School

Remember the classic expression to explain when something is really done of “three strikes and you’re out?” How about a new version that three insider confessions of the same real purpose constitutes an indisputable revelation that we are being lied to. Let’s face it, a PR campaign for so-called academic standards, new types of assessments, and overarching K-12 mission repurposing promoted as an effort to remake the nature of high school for all students would have led to a lot more questions and scrutiny and open public rebellion. So that has not been the pitch, but it is the real purpose. Let me tell you how I was able to ferret this out. Then we will talk about the real purpose for limiting what students know and this attempt to reliably guide future behavior without the consent or awareness of these soon-to-be adults and voters.

In last Wednesday’s hearing at the Georgia State Capitol the well-connected, long-time Super of the largest school system in the state and one of the largest in the country, Alvin Wilbanks, made a rather startling point in his attempt to minimize the federal role in education and highlight the state-led initiatives that led to the creation of the Common Core. He stated that CCSS grew out of the 2005 National Governors Association decision to remake the nature of high school. Now, in some ways this was not news to me since I was familiar from writing my book of the central role polytechism was supposed to play in the 90s version of Radical Ed Reform, but I had never heard anyone who was always at the table and behind the relevant closed doors saying high school transformation was the foundation for the Common Core.

Sure enough a bit of research now that I had the tip-off led to the role of the new 3 R’s of rigor, relevance and relationships and the new type of ‘engaging’ career-oriented high school for all to Jeb Bush’s ed reforms in Florida in 2006  http://www.floridatrend.com/article/10686/splendor-in-the-class and the same confession in Illinois by Willard Daggett in 2007. http://archives.iasb.com/journal/j050607_02.htm Daggett has been providing a great deal of the very expensive professional development training for school districts getting ready to implement the Common Core. His professional background before catching a ride on the taxpayer-funded Midas consulting express was as a Vocational Ed specialist in New York State.

Now I located that additional proof AFTER I found confirming clue number 2 in a presentation I read as I was following up on Innovative Lab Network states piloting competency-based learning as the post-CCSS vision for K-12. Remember that stealth ILN initiative that lines up with the global vision being advocated for by the Global Education Leaders Program? GELP was two posts ago, but it has its own tag now. So I was not really looking for a high school reform confession, but I found one anyway and the GELP ties mean this is part of the international template for the countries in the Anglosphere especially. The places that have historically reverenced the individual and put personal liberty ahead of government druthers of coercion.

One more link to previous posts, the #2 confessor, a Paul Leathers from New Hampshire, was also a speaker at the Rethinking Accountability conference this title came from and covered. www.invisibleserfscollar.com/not-going-to-let-the-us-constitution-stop-us-from-using-schools-to-enshrine-global-social-justice-and-human-rights/

Leather, in a 2012 Colorado Summit on Blended Learning in a presentation titled “The New Hampshire Story,” laid out that all the cutting-edge reforms now being advanced under the banner of Competency to be a beacon for other states and districts, stemmed from the desire to ‘revitalize’ New Hampshire high schools. He revealed that these efforts went back tellingly to 1995 and that “focus groups showed students and educators want schooling to be more relevant and more rigorous.” As a side note, many of the participants must have since moved to the Atlanta area because that is the precise same sales pitch Fulton County is using to sell its current remake of high school around technology and ‘problem-based learning.'”

Even more confirmation that this same vision being sold as ‘locally-inspired’ is actually a global vision is the name of New Hampshire’s 2007 Vision for Redesign–Moving from High Schools to Learning Communities . Precisely the term that ties to what is planned now for Fulton and your community as well in the near future. Crystal Ball Alert! In this redesign, the “primary acquisition of knowledge and skills” will occur “outside the traditional classroom” or using a different, non-traditional means of instruction. Explanation for the  shift? To eliminate high school dropouts by 2012 per the NH Governor’s Top Priority. Most places now are selling this as a means to increase the graduation rate.

Third confirmation was at a 2013 Grantmakers in Education conference telling the big donors that “what was really driving Common Core and the Competency agenda is the determination to change the nature of high school.” The report fascinatingly also cited to Fordham’s Chester Finn as saying in 2012 that this effort had been going on a long time, and everyone was surprised with the resilience of the traditional high school model. Funny how Fordham has left that part of the story out of its exuberant advocacy work for the Common Core.

Now I could stop this post now and we would have lots of useful facts to now drill public officials with, but as regular readers know, I like to give insights into the why. This is from a 1980 book by physicist David Bohm, a man whose views of education and what was needed were greatly influenced by his desire for radical political transformations. Bohm recognized that traditional education prevented students from having a mindset or worldview that would “seriously think of mankind as the basic reality, whose claims come first.” Here Bohm laid out the rationale that still guides so much education reform today when we chase down the real reason for the shifts. No it really is NOT about reducing dropouts. That’s merely the excuse that sounds good and just.

“man’s general way of thinking of the totality, i.e, his general world view, is crucial for overall order of the human mind itself. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.”

‘Rigorous’ curriculum, ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills,’ ‘high-quality’ assessments, and the definition now of College and Career Ready used by the National PTA  ALL tie back to looking for indications of that kind of holistic world view from grades 6 to 12. Charming, huh? Let’s just say I have really deep learning in this area in the traditional sense of both of those words. To give one more illustration of the same basic point and why ‘performance standards’ in the sense of actual physical activity and behavior are so essential to this vision of how to use education and the social sciences generally to reprogram the human brain to act at an unconscious level, let’s return to Professor Flyv from the last post. This is what competent or proficient behavior in the future is supposed to be patterned on.

“Logically based action is replaced by experientially based action.” Behavior becomes “intuitive, holistic, and synchronic, understood in the way that a given situation releases a picture of problem, goal, plan, decision, and action in one instant and with no division. This is the level of true human expertise. Experts are characterized by a flowing, effortless performance, unhindered by analytical deliberations.”

Not capable of them either under this new definition of ‘expert’ or competent performance to be practiced at for years in K-12 education. Now I told you precisely where Bohm’s vision was hiding today in the real Common Core implementation. The one that turns out to be all about high school and middle school transformation to get the needed Worldview that at least tolerates collectivism. Perhaps it will not even notice the difference.

Where’s Flyv’s vision lurking? That would be in the actual definition of the ubiquitous term Excellence. As In Equity and Excellence, supposedly a federal mandate under a rather grasping interpretation of the civil rights laws. But what school or district can afford to run the chance of being sued?

So this is how very radical visions of the personal world view needed for fundamental transformations make it all the way to our children’s classrooms and so-called ‘tests’ while we are still being told it is all about making Algebra the same state to state in case families want to move.

Common Core: grounded in deceit from the get-go because otherwise who would submit to the very real desire of our political class to insist that we are to now be Governed?

Hopefully the numbed mind will be trained not to recognize that crucial fact and fundamental shift in the State vs Individual dynamics of the 21st Century.

Anyone else want to join me in the Not Going Quietly into Submission Brigade? We do not have a lot of time to get the word out.

36 thoughts on “Listening in On the Confessional Drumbeat of the Common Core’s True Purpose: Jettisoning Traditional High School

    • I am afraid so. Darlington I know less about, but this report on remaking the nature of the middle and high school private admissions test http://21k12blog.net/2014/06/20/future-of-assessment-special-report/ explicitly talks about Lovett, Galloway, and Mt Vernon with pictures. Westminster’s Admissions Director, Marjorie Mitchell, is noted in both reports as being heavily involved in these efforts to mold private education around the 21st century Whole Child vision.

      This is the charge for the new vision http://www.admission.org/data/files/gallery/ContentGallery/Charge_Doc_for_Website.pdf and it also mentions Marjorie’s involvement from the beginning.

      Westminster is also part of the Private Schools for a Public Purpose network. Lovett has adopted the Reggio-Emilia program without bothering to reveal to parents that some of its Italian graduates went on to start the Red Brigade.

      Like the suburban parents paying large sums in property taxes, it can be hard to recognize something is so altered when the company remains upper middle to upper class with well-educated parents who belong to the local country club. In the Equity vision of the future though, those are all reasons to target the children. I have actually read how children should not be able to benefit from the parents’ success.

      Here’s the Independent School article on the new role of non-cognitive factors in admission. http://www.nais.org/Magazines-Newsletters/ISMagazine/Pages/The-Role-of-Noncognitive-Assessment-in-Admissions.aspx I suggests provate school parents need to buy my book too as most of these names have their role in the overall vision explained in Chapter 7.

      • I have noticed the emphasis on non-cognitive attributes in the new Curriculum for Excellence in Scotland. Empathy, collaboration, global citizenship,creativity etc.

        At the same time, there is not a word about what knowledge children should acquire. At first I found it incomprehensible but thanks to your blog I can see there is an agenda that goes way beyond Scotland.

        • Excellence is Csik’s definition. The word Flyv and the Dreyfuses use is phronesis and it is always experiential and grounded in values.

          You can see from this link that the year after Helsinki GELP held its event in New Delhi. http://gelponline.org/resources/gelp-helsinki-report

          The 2014 emphasis is on Workforce Development. All over the globe. Just like Transformational OBE in the 90s as I explained in the book. I found the global template in the US because of inconsistencies between the rhetoric and what was required. Now I know all the Competency and 21st century skills and remake of high school and incorporating CTE for all is part of GELP and the global vision tied to the Belmont Challenge and the OECD’s Great Transition.

          At least no one needs to wonder anymore what the connections are.

        • Alice-I write about atc21s in the book. Now we know it is tied to gelp in addition to the oecd, unesco, the world bank, pearson, and the US, UK, and Finland in addition to Australia where it is located. This is the call to action created by founders Cisco, Microsoft, and Intel. http://atc21s.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Cisco-Intel-Microsoft-Assessment-Call-to-Action.pdf

          The call to action is global and in all areas of education. Interestingly I found it as I look into the Workforce Preparation emphasis that is part of the real reason to redesign high schools globally. You may want to check and see whether Scotland is also hyping Employability Skills. This is the Australian framework and it is oh-so-familiar. http://www.education.vic.gov.au/Documents/school/teachers/teachingresources/careers/employabilityskills1.pdf

          Notice this is area gelp is also emphasizing in 2014 along with engagement and personalization.

          We know why and we know how and we know to what ends. Now it’s a matter of getting the word out as this school year begins in many places next week.

          • There is a great deal of discussion about the skills and competencies required for workers to thrive in the 21st century.

            I`ve just read the Microsoft document and I might as well have been reading Curriculum for Excellence. Same language, same ideas. We are told that Scotland needs to become a knowledge based economy but they talk about knowledge the way Microsoft does. Problem solving, collaborative work, creating new knowledge.

            All of that, whilst actually dumbing the children down.

            I really appreciate the evidence for the similarities. Curriculum for Excellence has been presented to us as if a bunch of parents got in a room with a few policy makers and dreamed this up themselves. No way.

            Thanks.

          • Alice-take a look at this. http://www.policy-network.net/pno_detail.aspx?ID=4706&title=Time-for-21st-century-democracy

            It comes out of the UK, but fits with what I have been warning about as we moved through the ties to deliberative democracy and participatory decision-making. There is an attempt to use a voting majority, deliberately constrained in its understandings and with its perceptions actively manipulated via education and the media, to be able to bind the minority to its new vision of the future.

            The MacArthur Foundation, which is pushing Connected Learning so hard in order to shift to a Marxist Humanist vision (its own words, not me throwing accusations) also has a GovLab initiative. That link came from there. Also touting as usual the benefits of all that Open Data. Good thing we already know about FuturICT.

  1. Robin,

    Did you see the Op-Ed in the WSJ today? Math professional obviously confused regarding Common Core language. Argues that CC approach does not increase “rigor”. She hasn’t figured out that the word doesn’t mean what she thinks it does.

    Mike

    • Most people haven’t Mike. I will look to see if I think it’s a disingenuous op-ed. After all, Rupert does own Amplify that used to be Millenium Generation. Pretty deep into what I call the Radical Ed Reform side even if participants do not fully know the reasons behind what they are pushing.

      The Workforce angle I started in this post has taken a truly definitive turn. Lucky me read a 495 page doc today and have a 300 pager tomorrow. In the book I explained Beck and his polytechism grants from DoED. Now I also have the Labor angle coming from about 1986 to 2 months ago. Perfect fit across the board with the actual implementation globally. And believe it or not the authors also cite Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers.

      We are getting to the Common Core all right, but this time it is the intentions in unambiguous language, not how to change people behaviorally.

      My goodness it’s been a long day.

      Here is the link for what Mike mentioned. http://online.wsj.com/articles/marina-ratner-making-math-education-even-worse-1407283282?mod=trending_now_7

      • That is a good article.

        Now we know though what the Common Core is internationally benchmarked to–the GELP Global Ed agenda that is all about political, social, and economic transformations in any country that was ever truly capitalistic in the spontaneous innovation sense that is a free lunch.

        The emphasis on the visual has to do with how cybernetics works. It needs not just the category or concept that guides perception and the associations, but a real world visual anchor to be an image in the mind. I really should get credit for reading all those papers that left no doubt as to what was sought and why.

        The math and ELA were created to be merged with Career Tech. That’s why we keep reading references to applying in the real world. Been busy downloading all sorts of definitive proof since I wrote this post.

        • Robin-

          Can you provide any concrete examples of how…”not just the category or concept that guides perception and the associations, but a real world visual anchor to be an image in the mind.” works in the classroom?

          I think I have an intellectual handle on it but an example of what they are doing in the classroom might help me see it better.

          Reading what you have written I keep having flashes to all the propaganda AP pictures illustrating most emotionally charged political topics in the news.

          Earlier today I saw online an image portraying the death and destruction in Gaza. And while the destruction is quite real, I’m not debating that point, this photograph was quite obviously staged with dust free teddy bear and pink knit hat in the foreground amidst a tornado of rubble in the background. Oftentimes I can tell when a photo has been photoshopped as well. The agenda changes but the media images are designed for maximum reactive impact.

          I can see how a populace increasingly spared silos of knowledge will see these images and demand action in a non-thinking manner based on an education that focuses on predictive emotional and behavioral training alone.

  2. Also…Robin, Can you send your book and a letter to Marina Ratner along with the link to the Progressive Ed Dictionary so that she has a clue that what she is seeing is a slightly ginormous problem throughout the US and the globe? And not unique to math specifically?

    We need these great minds hollering mad and taking it to the streets ASAP.

  3. Yikes! Also…anyway to read that article in full without being a WSJ subscriber? Ive tried but no luck so far….Just Breitbart commentary/paraphrasing.

    • I had mine delivered. However, most libraries carry a copy you can read for free. It was the 06Aug14 edition Op-Ed on the upper right of the next to the last page of the front section.

      • Thanks Mike. Good thinking. A friend just sent me a link to read it. It was a good piece. We have all been so dang trusting.

          • Oh Dear Mother of Gawd.

            ” you can’t get out of a level until you finish it.””

            Of course you cannot. The child must demonstrate mastery of the material. She must practice inputing the correct answer and practicing the right attitude and behavior before the game can successfully conclude.

            Meanwhile, all the data collecting her missteps will be noted for the record so future teaching and learning instructors know where she is likely to make an error in her learned values.

            I finally get how the “personalized” education impacts a students progression through high school. 4 years? 5 years? more? As long as it takes for them to learn the correct way of thinking and feeling. Not to mention that an open ended graduation timeframe makes vocational training to be 21 century career and college ( guffaw) ready while still in school so much more lucrative for the corporate trainers. Why pay before they have to right?

            Thanks Robin.

            When did the world go crazier than crazy?

      • Mike-how much accurate knowledge will US students have learning science like this? http://sciencecasenet.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Compiled-draft_E-BOOK-version_30-Jun-2014_FINAL.pdf

        It fits with the problem-based learning the area high school has already announced it is shifting to. It fits with the required focus on applications, projects, authentic learning, and the P21 Common Core curriculum I described verbatim in the book. Consistent with GELP, even though this is from Singapore, it was prepared by US educators. Global template of cultivated ignorance that does translate into a steerable keel of feelings, visuals, values, attitudes, and false beliefs.

        • Robin,

          This type of material is always difficult to wade through. Most of the basics always sound so good: critical thought, experimental design, etc. Then you get things like Table 3.2, with sustainability, climate change, extinction of species that just makes my toes curl. An earlier references to use of computer models and simulations as data sources is also painful. You don’t know if they’re talking about this as a training tool (perfectly reasonable) or actually using those items for “data” as is typically done with climate modeling (a waste of time). Case module 1 was an interesting (note I don’t say good) example of blending history with science. There are some good sections and the general theme is sort of science based, but the amount of preaching, history, and generally touchy-feely material seems unworkable and unnecessary.

          • Did you notice how often the students are asked to role play and then area asked how they would feel if…?

            If the case materials are not factual, students have no way of knowing that. The ‘concepts’ get reenforced to guide perception going forward. I have also seen this use of physical human systems that are predictable and closed like circulation or pulmonary. They get called human systems. Then there is an open ended question involving an open human system supposedly involving independent human systems like an economy and the students are urged to see it as another human system to transfer their ‘understanding’ on to.

            I also found the stated reasons for a science education going forward and how to make it easily accessible to be fascinating. Know just enough where the media can manipulate around the cultivated ‘understandings.’

      • GAWD! I feel vindicated …as well as pissed as hell.

        10 years ago despite my pleas to admin. and the obvious intelligence and desire to advance mathematically that my daughter demonstrated, they refused to let her advance in the offered curriculum. IN A PRIVATE SCHOOL. Noooooo they insisted she make lattices to multiply numbers and draw pictures…….And help her peers if she finished her work early.

        All of which she did to please them and then completed the workbook on her own time at home by Thanksgiving. Using actual math.

        They provided all sorts of nonsensical, doublespeak reasons that made no sense to me. It was at that point that I smelled a rat. But it was not until two years ago when I stumbled on your blog looking for answers that it all began to make perfect sense to me.

        I wish more people would understand at this point that many ( most? ) of the Private Schools, though not all, have in essence been teaching elements of CCSS crap well before it was mandated for the public sector. All the Ivy league educrats trained in this garbage speak to the Private School Administrative Hoi Polloi hustling the newspeak in advance of the big roll out elsewhere.

        In fact one of the areas I have seen that private schools lead the public schools in is in the Rules Of Civility brainwashing. Most parents have no idea what they are witnessing taking place. A few think it just means good manners, and once in a while someone will tell me they feel like their kid is being trained to be a junior maoist, but by and large parents in private schools think they are safe.

        They are not.

    • Bad Ass Teachers and Social Justice Education get to attend that conference and get all psyched on what they are going to use the classroom for as it will be ‘engaging’ and involve attitude change so it will be learning and thus the essential Student Growth to be an effective teacher under evals. Then all this can get masked under this new view of what civics means. https://medium.com/@elle_mccann/the-myth-of-everybody-85e4004be1f6

      Parents and taxpayers remaining blissfully unaware.

      • Have you seen this letter ? Many are praising it. I see key wording that would suggests she may not know what is behind some efforts in what she’s pushing. Inadvertent change…. ? She could use a copy of your book.
        http://t.co/xnnbselhq0

        • LL-there is so much active duplicity in that letter that I suspect the Super very much wants to keep from all Vermont parents the accurate template in that book. She just told Vermont parents that, like the EDLeader 21 suburban districts like Cobb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Greenville, SC; Charlotte, Va Beach and Montgomery County and Fairfax in the DC area, Vermont is using the concept of projects and personalized, experiential learning to quietly shift ALL students to a vocational, career track. That letter is supposed to keep the UMC professional parents in line while their children get their minds and personalities manipulated via the K-12 process.

          That’s what constitutes continuous improvement in the sense used in that letter. Vermont is simply holding out until the standardized, objective testing falls away completely. Then as it already states group projects and ‘high quality assessments’ that are not about knowledge can be the ‘performance assessments’. Remember proficiency is another word like Competency on Flyv’s ladder of social science behavior grounded in intuition instead of analytical thought.

          Our local Super’s Back to School letter yesterday seemed homey and talked about his own children and that he desired that everyone have wonderful ‘learning experiences’ this school year. Most parents will not pick up on the euphemism for activities created to alter values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors via education. Yet the letter did technically announce that shift even if most parents lack the knowledge to accurately interpret it. Moreover, and I guess that is why I have been thinking about EDLeader 21 as a means to quietly shift these suburban districts to the Career Tech model without parents seeing it in time, was that the CTE/polytechism/vocational education for ALL reformers who control the real implementation have always loved to use that famous Dewey quote.

          It is seminal to his entire philosophy of Marxist Humanist social change obtained by changing the nature of education. That what each parent would want for their own children is what society must provide for all children. We see references to that same insistence in the Vermont letter and in Louisiana’s 2009 adoption of this report on Addressing Internal and External Barriers to Student Achievement. http://www.doe.state.la.us/lde/uploads/15044.pdf

          I don’t think it is coincidental Fulton’s Super chose to evoke an image so close to Dewey’s famous declaration, nor is the Vermont letter making the same point. Education, human services, economic development at the state and local levels, and workforce development are all being combined into the same programs. The initiative comes from the feds as well as trade groups like the National Governors Association wanting the power to boss around people and resources within their states. Basically everybody is lying. Proving that with docs from the states, cities, federal agencies, philanthropies, etc. has kept me busy all week. Now it is time to write it up, but it is why academics in the traditional sense has to go in favor of CTE for all without parents really recognizing the importance of slowing down the talented kids with financially successful parents to this Equity for All vision.

          It’s why the NGA wanted to alter the nature of high school as described in this post. It’s why as I noted in the book P21’s skill focus dominates the real implementation. I just need to write it all up using a fraction of the proof I now have.

        • I also find the attitude in that letter that if a parent disagrees with what a teacher is doing they should feel free to share “their perspective” to be appalling. The fine teachers are being harrassed and threatened with dismissal. The Bad Ass teachers determined to achieve social justice via the classroom is NOT just a different perspective on what should be going on.

          One gave birth to the child and absorbs the consequences of all the evil planned for the classroom. The other lives at taxpayer expense and gains promotions to ever more lucrative positions based on fidelity to do evil via the classroom or simply to be oblivious to it.

          Those are not comparably situated adults entitled to equal deference in their ‘perspectives.” A word I have come to despise almost as much as rigor or Whole Child.

          • Funny you mention those Bats, they are the ones pushing the letter around. Now with a plan to send to every Senator and Representative in the state along with the big players in the state department of Ed. The letter is getting praise as if it is some huge effort to protect students from “test and punish”. Here is a way to keep up with their movement.
            http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/2014/08/education-reforms-and-sociopathy-guest.html

            Great ending to your note here. Zing!

            How do you manage to get all the reading completed, there are piles of it.

          • Yes, it is why Fair Test aligns with those wanting to make education all about Dewey’s vision.

            The Learning Supports requirement ties back to Adelman and his mental health project.

            There is piles of it, because I am reading books too to make sure I can align what no one ever wanted aligned. Most days I start about 6 in the morning. Take a break to get all off to school and work and keep at it until my brain feels mushy sometime in the afternoon. There is no dispute as to what I am saying, nut none of this was just lying on the ground waiting to get picked up. In reading much of it, I am relying on what I already understand. It’s part of how I know something has to be significant or can look at x initiative, for example Skillworks in Massachusetts, and supply what they are not wanting to admit to–complementary binding K-12 initiatives adopted by the MA BESE.

            At the moment the college kid has called to ask me to bring a buttered bagel to her job. I told her it would have to wait in between chapters. Obviously I decided to check the blog while I was at it.

  4. Robin,

    Sign me up for the Not Going Quietly into Submission Brigade! I just finished your book and have lost many hours of sleep of late reading your and your readers’ links here.

    Please don’t feel obligated to respond this question as I know you’re busy! I’m forcing myself to speak up at our local county school board meeting on Wednesday, and I’d like to make a point about how odd it is that the 21st century skills being pushed are so closely related to 20th century radical ed reforms. Because there are so many in my area who are unaware that the water is simmering, I don’t want to come across as a tinfoil hat lunatic…BUT I want to shed some light on the fact that this reform has been tried, yielding disastrous results. So here’s my question for the expert: if you had two minutes to make an elevator pitch to the walking dead, what points would you hit?

    Thanks again for all of your knowledge and your sense of humor sprinkled throughout the book. There were many moments when, reading on my iPad, I felt the need to hit the like button–if only there was one. You’ve saved me years of research…

    JT

    • JT-one of the reasons I have been able to essentially master, both vertically and horizontally, what is really going on in education and what it is trying to shift us to is because previously there were other industries, tied to special favors from governmental bodies and regulators, that I also really understood. For the record I was General Counsel of a small healthcare company that grew into an NYSE-traded company before being bought out. I had to really get what was driving healthcare in order to successfully draft the contracts and disclosure agreements that protected us while buying up our less savvy competitors. Before that it was savings and loans.

      The favored line that it is easier to learn in the fast-changing future if you don’t have much actual knowledge is 180 degrees from the truth. Because education now hands out doctorates obtained online that state that the coursework was created to make one “competent to be a change agent” these rhetorical lines just get repeated. A growing company does not want a workforce where it takes a team to have the knowledge and skills one decently educated, not just credentialed, high school grad used to have. IBM is on the list of companies DoED says was involved with creating that Employability Skills Framework. The book shares their system of systems vision of ed where they sell the consulting time, hardware, and software to crunch all the data to have planned smart cities globally. Cisco sells the sensors for the now required by the federal government Smart Grid. Their execs saying they will need collaboration in the future or creativity in the sense of the rational mind not being in place to be a barrier to reimagining the future means nothing. It’s just part of the sales pitch for their real primary customer: governments at all levels.

      I would print out one of the P21 reports described in the book or this last post and point out it is factually untrue or that it is propaganda. I am hoping that parents will show up at school board meetings this fall and read a book passage on what the real Common Core implementation looks like. Ask the school board if they are on board with the stated purposes behind what they are now requiring.

      This is what the now ubiquitous phrase learning to learn and its new sibling for the same idea–Growth Mindset–really mean. The italics are in the 1968 original.

      “Educational systems must undergo a shift of emphasis. The new stress must be not so much on producing an educated person as on producing an educable person who can learn and adapt himself efficiently all through his life to an environment that is ceaselessly changing. If an educational system itself is not adaptable to changing environmental conditions, how can it expect to produce people who are?”

      That’s the philosophy behind 21st Century Skills. It’s wrong and as is typical for the originators of these talking points that soon get parroted as short misleading slogans it was created by a political radical.

      Ask the school board if ‘content’ in the state’s content standards means actual knowledge as parents and taxpayers believe.

      ‘Content’ now means the Orwellian phrase of “the essence of what students are intended to acquire” to obscure the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behavioral adjustment reality. Respectfully ask which it is in your school district. Ask how an education degree or any other degree including a law degree entitles people to mandate such shifts on children without their parents knowledge or consent.

      Start piercing through the obfuscatory rhetoric to get acknowledgment of what no one really believes is OK.

      • Thank you, Robin. I will print out a page of quotes from your book to use and leave with each board member. (Next meeting, I’ll bring them all a copy of it! )

        Your previous experience is invaluable. As a result of hearing your expert voice, the research I’m doing is now much clearer. I see more readily how the pieces fit. Proof that a skilled lecturer filled with facts woven with critical thought is the surest way to educated someone. I teach at the collegiate level and each year, I see freshman students who lack the ability to think abstractly–without content knowledge, asking students to think critically is like asking them to grow a garden in a darkroom!

        Reading up on Curriculum Associates’ iReady, assessment being used across the country, I saw the founder Frank Ferguson was a big fan of…Lev Vygotsky. Conveniently, his company is ready to role with the new common core course work. So many concerned parents are now starting to ask about the switch to a digital curriculum, and every single ed tech company I’ve researched is working diligently to assess non-cognitive skills. http://www.curriculumassociates.com/aboutus/our-executive-team.aspx

        Thanks again for the suggestions–I’ll put them to good use.

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