Locusts of the Mind–Boring Gaping Holes, Altering Wiring, and Living on Our Dime

You know Mind Arson is one of my favorite terms for describing just what a genuine knowledge desert Transformational OBE (under its various names) or systems thinking are in a K-12 classroom. And how emotionally intrusive. But it misses the whole angle of these educators being deliberately brought in by the accredition agencies to push the John Dewey political vision on unsuspecting and uncooperative school districts wanting to return to neighborhood schools after years of busing. Or on suburban districts with a history of solid academics for those students wanting to soak up the knowledge and skills created and cultivated by the Best Minds of the Past. Gypsy Principals and Gypsy Supers caught some of that will push anything and ask no questions if there is a lucrative promotion in it. But the phrase Locusts of the Mind really captures both and it’s a reminder of how these educators move profitably (for them. It’s gradually bankrupting us, morally AND financially) across states in deliberate pushes of ever more intense Mind Arson and bring in the same expensive vendors over and over again.

Would it surprise you to know that many of the most toxic ideas we have discussed somehow miraculously all come together for an SEL campaign called Responsive Classroom for elementary students? I mean what are the odds of it being a coincidence? What are the odds of everyone reconnecting because they are each functioning as different components of our old nemesis, Transformational OBE? In addition to the stealth capabilities of such a break-up, think of all the greater possibilities for many retired educators to supplement their taxpayer paid pensions by joining one of these vendors as a consultant. And you can bet these lucrative employment after retirement opportunities to capture even more taxpayer dollars are simply not available for anyone who showed a refusal to play along with this internal mental insurrection ploy while still on the official government payroll. See how it works? Being a talented, lecturing, purveyor of knowledge and real skills in the classroom vs an Insurrectionist Administrator is the employment decision that keeps on haunting everyone. Even after retirement.

Responsive Classroom came to my attention when a Toledo, Ohio newspaper mentioned that teachers, administrators and “even a member of the school board studied … a philosophy called social emotional learning, which focuses on school climate and student behavior.” Now longtime readers know I have stood on my tippie-toes and hollered via the Internet all summer that SEL and altering fundamental student values and attitudes are in fact the real focus of what is coming to schools and classrooms via the now openly-acknowledged CCSSI ruse. is the first of many posts detailing the extent of the intentional holistic redesign of each student’s personality in lieu of non-relevant knowledge like what led to the US Civil War or World War 2.

So for us SEL is more than a “philosophy” and we are not the least bit surprised to hear the dreaded words “positive behavior intervention programs.” Probably the NEA’s Purple America will be along too as it is Ohio. But what was so telling is who shows up when you actually look into Responsive Classroom, a Massachusetts-based company.  There is the vice president of Academic Affairs at Bank Street College of Ed in NYC where Bill Ayers got his ed degree . And the managing director of Peter Senge’s Society for Organizational Learning to make sure systems theory and sustainability get their due emphasis in the SEL Responsive Classroom. Probably will make sure the SEL finds that Blind Spot that unconsciously guides human behavior. Oh, and a consultant from Cambridge Education to make sure the UNESCO Quality Assurance vision of just basic skills for all and no transmission of any knowledge likely to build up an Axemakers abstract logical mind.

There are others but the most intriguing to me was the executive director of Educators for Social Responsibility. Which unfortunately for us is not an altruistic group that works at soup kitchens and builds houses for the homeless. Nor does it go by its full name when it is brought into a school as part of a turnaround effort. You will just think it is some company called esr that does academic turnarounds, not a company with a preemptive positive behavioral program for middle and high schoolers. Just imagine your child can now have preemptive PBIS monitoring him or her for continuous improvement all through K-12 with all that data flowing to districts and the state and the national Data Quality Campaign. And people used to fret over Social Security Numbers as intrusive.

Back to the Responsive Classroom and the miracle of getting so many advocates of Dewey’s change the child political curriculum conveniently in one place. I wonder where they go for Board retreats? Let’s see how many of the RC fundamental principles you agree with:

1. The social curriculum is as important as the academic curriculum.

2. How children learn is as important as what they learn: Process and content go hand in hand. (Note: If you adhere to the Marxist theory of the mind you want all learning to be physical activity or vocational in nature. Marxists deplore and deny rational thought as too reminiscent in a belief in a human soul.)

3. The greatest cognitive growth occurs through social interaction. (This is essentially the Marxist BEST theory that denies that individuals have an innate mental disposition and aptitudes and holds that all knowledge comes from the physical environment and interacting with others. is one place that describes BEST. This is also the view that permeates the Communitarian philosophy that is so embedded in Common Core’s definition of Career Ready).

4. To be successful academically and socially, children need a set of social skills: cooperation, assertion, responsibility, empathy, and self-control. (You can ponder the manipulation possibilities of those aims in a classroom led by a teacher who has been trained or coerced into believing education is no longer to be about transmitting facts).

5. Knowing the children we teach–individually, culturally, and developmentally–is as important as knowing the content we teach. (In a movement pushing for Critical Race Theory in the classroom, you can just imagine the utter nonsense the teacher will have had foisted on her to then push on to the students).

6. Knowing the families of the children we teach and working with them as partners is essential to children’s education. ( Now you and I know that few parents want this SEL focus. This outreach simply makes the school the home based for political organizing of the parents to stroke their sense of grievance and willingness to act as a group. Alinsky’s IAF organizes schools to get at parents. )

7. How the adults at school work together is as important as their individual competence: Lasting change begins with the adult community. (I’d rather have a knowledgeable teacher over one who isn’t but “plays nice with others” any day. This is just a reminder of how much the entire concept of the individual and especially its legitimacy is under assault via education. ALL individuals. Child, adolescent, or adult.

So that is the sort of program that is coming to your neighborhood school and classroom at great expense in the name of CCSSI, student achievement, soft skills, an anti-bullying campaign, or a federally-funded school turnaround. Changing the student becomes the whole point of education. I will close this post with a deeply troubling story from this weekend that illustrates why recognizing what is going on and stopping it matter so much.

In my other life as a chauffeuring parent to teenage activities I overheard the 9th Graders speculating on why their Honors Lit class had to write a paper on why a Growth Mindset was better than a Fixed Mindset based on an article they had been given called Brainiology. Now I recognized the concepts and knew the other without being told. Already on my Radar of Trouble. They are quite literally based on the Soviet psychological theories designed to create the perfect socialist mindset. They are also the political theories the site deifies Dewey for originally promulgating.

I had been disturbed that was what teachers were to be taught to use on students. But making students directly imbibe and then write about in a graded paper with no one knowing or acknowledging their true nature?

That’s the sort of classroom practices and policies that get imposed by Locusts of the Mind Principals and Supers and Vendors seeking their next promotion or lucrative contract in the Impose Dewey’s Vision No Matter What onslaught. In a suburban 9th Grade Honors Lit class in the first few weeks of school. What will they be pushing by Christmas?


4 thoughts on “Locusts of the Mind–Boring Gaping Holes, Altering Wiring, and Living on Our Dime

  1. the reason for common core dropping 50-75 percent of fiction is so they can be forced to read this propaganda directly from the documents that we reseach. what are you going to do?

    some teachers will begin to fake the stats to keep their jobs and save the kids, just like the industrial managers did in Stalin’s ussr. they lied about their production numbers to save their skins and buy time before being caught and sent to a gulag. consequently there are really no accurtate data sets from the ussr, so NOT surprising. this is eerily reminiscent and it is a house built on lies just like The Bolsheviks. but history does tell us that the US has been enamoured with soviet education techniques and theories in the past.
    one of my kids was taking speech therapy provided by the county Intermediate Unit ( my research tells me they are much like the accreditation folks, pushing OBE, UbD and all that rot) which seemed to me very strange. a few 3rd graders isolated in a group being asked questions. brought home practice papers that had odd questions way over the kids head and it seemed like data mining and the pictures were definatly european, so I looked up the offending page title on the very bottom it said ” thinking speech” and guess who popped up? Lev Vygotsky, marxist soviet ” child psychologist “, a real winner.. he developed the ” zone of proximal development” scaffolding and a few other gems. basically this zone is when kids are vulnerable to accepting propaganda to change their thinking.
    the headmaster and principle of my private school denied it was related to him when I approached them, and were mostly silent and threw alot of jargon at me, which led to my research…. this was over a year ago. what I have found since has shown me that my school is in deep with this pedagogy of the opressed, interdependance and liberating theology. all bandwagon buzzwords.
    we have” wellness week ” later this month, I am taking my kids out of school, knowing the communitarian, alinsky, jargon trick of opposit meaning.
    This is my new strategy until the end of this year, take them on vacations and field trips missing school. pushing the envelope until the end of the year when I will switch the younger ones to a classical education school I just found. they were created by parents apparently who got tired of fighting this stuff , what is now being doubled down on.
    they learn Latin from kindergarten and learn history in a linear fashion, its brilliant.
    keep us posted, have you spoken to your kids about it? good luck! I mean it.

    • It is not just so they can read propaganda although creating false and emotionally laden belief systems is part of it. Remember there is a desire to create an impetus to take action.

      Non-fiction reading is also “in context.” That’s a huge part of Marxian theory and has been incorporated into UNESCO’s view of Literacy.

      It’s not a general ability to decipher print and go about your business of reading. That’s too bolstering to abstract mind as it relies on symbol systems for sound not tied to visual systems in the real world.

      Reading in context makes sight, whole word reading the pushed tool. Language is the vehicle for thought. If you dole out the desired words through Guided Reading and a sight word approach, you effectively control what concepts people are exposed to and get aroused over. I used to wonder why Linda Darling-Hammond used the phrase “just enough content knowledge.”

      She means just enough to be aware so you can be manipulated but not enough to ctreate your own conceptual understanding grounded in reason and your own set of facts.

      • Hi, Do you have any connections between Catholic schools and the ideas of Social Justice, Global citizens, etc.? With CC being forced through school choice vouchers, an unwelcome major shift is transpiring.

        • Yes and I have tried warning people pushing vouchers that unless they reform accreditation, the vouchers simply pull the accreditors into getting to demand anything they want of the private schools. And what they want is to gut the transmission of knowledge everywhere and move to the sociocultural model where interaction and new values and attitudes and dispositions are the whole point.

 and the next story will give you some idea of how this comes into every classroom. Secular or faith based. Catholic schools seem especially amenable to Ikeda and Dewey’s push to make the religious an everyday mandate to take action. The Ikeda Global Citizenship lecture from 2002 and link is in the second post.

 is Henriot and Holland’s Social Action template that is being pushed hard by the Interfaith movement and began in the Catholic Church as well.

          Several commenters here including mad mommy are concerned that the moral education emphasis of Catholic schools is being used as the Trojan horse to bring in this “Iam because we are” emphasis. Another commenter talks to me offline about the same concerns. I will ask her today to come comment. She shared a similar concern on healthcare recently.

          At the Pearson Global Education Conference 2012 that took place in Australia they had a representative of the Catholic schools there as one of the primary speakers. Possibly because Australia is now pushing the wellbeing of all emphasis so hard. Likewise I have seen a document where the accreditors bound the Catholic schools in California to this sociocultural model that would reach all children. That’s WASC’s jurisdiction but they had AdvancED as a party to the agreement and New England as well I believe. That made me think the other regional accreditors would be imposing it as well as a model agreement.

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