Multiple Recent Proclamations Laying Out Commitment To Revolutionary Transformation of Our Entire Society

By recent I mean within the last week.  Either as an early Christmas present or to give us cause for giving thanks at the complete lack of any ambiguity whatsoever we have explicit cites, open proclamations, overt coordination with federal agencies, a veritable cornucopia of intentions that should eliminate any dispute as to what is going on. Only an electronic color billboard in Times Square could be more explicit. It is indeed slam dunk time in our effort to show that the education reforms known as Common Core or 21st Century Skills or social and emotional learning are actually a means of gaining much broader transformations.

And to show that this is truly a bipartisan attempt to make political power the harness for anyone seeking economic power in the 21st century, the first paper I am going to cite came from a blog run by Jay P. Greene tied to a number of what are considered to be Republican think tanks. Not exactly where you think you would encounter a recommendation that would lead to a “truly democratic consciousness to guide the process of socialist development itself.”

On Monday Jay posted a cite to a new NBER Working Paper called “Fostering and Measuring Skills: Interventions that Improve Character and Cognition” from U-Chicago Profs James Heckman and Tim Kautz with a blurb about state achievement tests not getting at these types of important skills. Pulling up the actual paper since I knew what can lurk under such euphemistic names I discovered lots of troubling sponsors but especially the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Founded and funded by George Soros among others including Drummond Pike from the Tides Foundation and Amartya Sen of capability as a human right and other famous names who decidedly do wish to move economic thinking away from anything other than Statism and economic planning. Bad enough connections to be troubling when cited as guidance on what should be going on in the K-12 classroom.

But that’s actually not the big reveal. In footnote #6 if you pull up a copy you will see the cited authority backing up the statements about skills to now be cultivated in classroom and measured via new assessments. The second sentence says “the modern literature traces back to Bowles and Gintis (1976)…” Now I am familiar with that book and I first wrote about it back in February so I immediately recognized the significance of saying that the Grit Perseverance push (yes that Glenn Beck program on the DoEd report last March that raised such a ruckus), Growth Mindset, non-cognitive skills, positive behavior, character education–all the various names these mandates hide under including College and Career Ready go back to a book written by two self-proclaimed Marxist profs of their future vision of education to transform the US away from capitalism. That’s the cite and that’s the purpose of all this and the book again is Schooling in Capitalist America: Educational Reform and the Contradictions of Economic Life.

So all these programs are ultimately grounded in gaining that new consciousness that will promote Gintis and Bowles’ belief that “Capitalism is an irrational system, standing in the way of further social progress. It must be replaced.” G & B also hope that via education the sought revolution can be mostly without blood shed. So of course these intentions now get pursued stealthily with excuses like an anti-bullying agenda and Positive School Climate. How ironic.

Last Wednesday Harvard Law Prof and Brazilian Leftist politician Roberto Mangabiera Unger gave a most alarming lecture at the Royal Science Academy in London. It sent me scurrying for his 2007 book The Self Awakened: Pragmatism Unbound which sure enough laid out his determination to use education to:

“accelerate and direct the permanent invention of the new that we are able to overthrow the dictatorship of the dead over the living and to turn our minds more freely and fully toward the people and the phenomena around us.”

Oh I hope Unger is not the professor who taught US Constitutional Law to President Obama or the First Lady when they were all at Harvard Law together. Not with his expressed intentions “of ambitions for the transformation of humanity” or “direction for the development of the moral experience of mankind under the reign of democracy and experimentalism.” Although that kind of experimentation does rather fit in with a HUD presentation two days ago, November 18, by Gar Alperovitz’s Democracy Collaborative. Now don’t worry. The Annie E. Casey Foundation provided the funding for the actual Anchor Institution reports. Don’t pay any attention to the fact that the Anchor Mission Dashboard lays out a Womb to Tomb Transformative economic Vision that keeps mentioning the words “equitable” and “minority.” Nor that it fits with the Regional 21 or the new Promise Zones 2nd term initiatives. Purely coincidental.

Just like it’s entirely coincidental Unger describes his education vision like this:

“Education, beginning in childhood and continuing throughout the working life, must nourish a core of generic conceptual and practical capacities to make the new out of the old. It must also equip the mind with the means with which to resist the present. For this very reason, the school should not remain under the control of the community of local families, who tell the child: become like us.”

We could make that a goal for all students and call it a common core. Excellent means to invisibly and gradually transform the present to alter the future. And I know just the overpaid consultant who will use the School Governance Council concept and a school district conversion charter to make that vision so. While the high-achieving suburban communities with high taxes to benefit the schools remain entirely ignorant of the real aims. Perhaps if more parents and taxpayers read this Unger quote they would better appreciate the last word they may want to hear is “innovation” in connection with schools. This is certainly innovative:

“democracy grants to ordinary men and women the power to reimagine and to remake the social order. That is why under democracy prophecy speaks louder than memory. That is why democrats discover that the roots of a human being lie in the future rather than in the past.

In a democracy, the school should speak for the future, not for the state or for the family, giving the child the instruments with which to rescue itself from the biases of its family, the interests of its class, and the illusions of its epoch.”

Honestly I think Professor Unger should be the last person criticizing people led by illusions.

Can’t you see now why it is so important to create no effective recourse to a local school board or politician from all the initiatives coming in as education reform?

I don’t go looking for these things. Just monitoring the actually required classroom changes keeps turning up all these self-proclaimed radicals hollering the whys behind  their policies and practices to anyone who will listen or read their words.

May enough parents and taxpayers recognize all this in time.


19 thoughts on “Multiple Recent Proclamations Laying Out Commitment To Revolutionary Transformation of Our Entire Society

  1. I’m going to assume there’s never been a study on how long the effects of brainwashing of this type would continue if applied over 12+ years. I wonder how long it would take for real life to counter this type of assault or if they’d just continue bouncing into the walls are not realize the trap they were in?

  2. I’ve been reading for a while and am about 2/3 of the way through your book. I find myself wanting to crawl into bed and not get out some days!
    What I’m struggling with is HOW to go about getting people to see this stuff. People aren’t willing to look at it all and connect the dots even though you’ve made it easy enough for them to do so.
    And then there are the “useful idiots” who can hear about this stuff but think it sounds like unicorns and rainbows.
    So what I am wondering is if you have sent your book to people like Glenn Beck or someone? I know people write him off as a conspiracy theorist, so I don’t know how much that would help, but my piddly handful of recommendations of your book to people isn’t going to cut it. 🙁

    • Thank you Macey.

      People keep saying do you know anyone who knows Glenn Beck. No, but if we can ever get his or anyone else’s attention I am no where close to extinguishing my layers of proof.

      I know it is pff-putting so I try to use humor and put into context and give proof. We have had the discussion that it frequently works better for me to cite but not give hot links. My readers have found the cite stays up indefinitely and hot links do not.

      But word of mouth is still helpful. One of these days that person will have gone to college with ….

      I have to believe I figured all this out in time with proof and the ability now to decipher in almost instantaneous time for a reason. Maybe this is about us learning to appreciate what we are about to have taken away from us.

      • From your fingertips to God’s ears. There is a low rumble happening all over the country…a big one in NY right now. 🙂
        I have to believe it’s all for a reason bigger than us. We’ll just keep on keepin’ on. In the meantime I will try to get your book in the hands of someone with a large platform.

        • Thank you Macey. Plugging myself even when apt gets a tiny fraction of the push from readers just logging in to any mention of the Common Core or Agenda 21 or any of these now known to be connected initiatives and just saying, “if you want to really know, read this book and blog.”

          Until people read book it is hard to appreciate how complementary but completely distinct the projects are. The blog has always been me reacting to the current push. When I went back to manuscript after about 15 months late last spring, I simply used the knowledge from the blog to reframe a few of the chapters and help with the story I was telling. My editor said “it’s not likely to be your last book given what you know. People need this info now.”

          This isn’t about me. This story mattered more than my desire to stay in shadows. Since you are about done with book Unger classifies himself as a Social Reconstructionist and disdains perennialism by name. So knowing about him and the speeches and interviews he is giving in recent weeks or days just updates from the book to real time.

          • Have you considered social media? I know it’s awful, but we have been able to get the word out about Common Core in our state quite well. I understand your need for privacy as well. Perhaps a nom de plume!

          • LL-I have but timing has been a problem. Not enough hours in the day as they say. Will talk to child in college when she is home. Also starting to speak some which helps word of mouth.

            She is supposed to be helping me to do a power point so I can give people some of the visuals that make what is intended easier to grasp.

  3. Robin, I’ve had a Facebook group up for sometime known as The Title of Liberty, and I’d like to start another group there based on analysis and criticism of the CCSSI, using your blog here as the basis for our discussions. I’d like to give your blog and concerns some visibility among the LDS (Mormon) online community that has been attracted to my page and similar pages on Facebook.

    I just wanted to ask you if it would be alright with you to use large portions of your blog posts (or use them in their entirety as they are posted) as a basis for discussion there. I’d like to just post “updates” to your blog and use those texts as a springboard for discussion.

    • Loran,

      You can use excerpts for discussion but then provide a link to full post so that user comes to blog for remainder. I care about the copyright as I may pull some of the blog posts and incorporate into a different book with an index knowing areas of concern. I discovered when we were finishing the interior of the book that indexing is completely different software and would have greatly delayed going to publication.

      Plus you will find as will your group that I am almost always building up a train of thought over several posts. That makes the previous and next functions and search of great use. I would never move forward if I kept having to tell people what the Belmont Challenge is. If a reader to blog does not know at some point they can just look at tags to right of blog or search function to find the posts where I had previously dealt with these concepts.

      But I appreciate your wanting to use all this for discussion. There is much to be concerned about and discuss. I worry a great deal that people have no idea where money actually comes from or how crucial knowledge actually is. I do not want this to all finally sink in after the metaphorical seed corn has been consumed.

  4. Robin, I too am about to blog on this matter. I hear your answer to Loran and will comply as well. You are a true font of knowledge and I have just loaned my one copy (I will now get #2 and more to come) of your book to a former teammate and if he asks to pass it on I will encourage it. Again, keep on truckin’ with grace, speed and alacrity. You are awesome. And tell your children that we, and our children, appreciate their sacrifice too.

    • I wouldn’t write all this if it was not important to get this info out there but I had to learn about IP in connection with the book. It is ultimately in everyone’s interest to know where this info ultimately came from. I am already hearing reports of sources vanishing as I assumed would happen or being rephrased (as has happened with UDL). I have the originals and can still prove and know the context and usually have additional as yet undisclosed sources. That is another problem. At the moment my outflow as I continue to track down sources as used books that will be important for me (and others to know they still exist in friendly hands) still frequently exceeds on a daily basis what comes in.

      I just secured 2 more books this morning trying to delegitimize the suburbs as intrinsically an outgrowth of segregation and racism. It is important I have the precise language so we can rebut the fallacies that then become part of the degree programs for so many education or public sector administrators. I have been thinking about the first book in the series White Flight and what it asserted. Much of the so-called secession of the suburbs I am familiar with is a rejection of the idea that the purpose of govt is to be a jobs program where anyone lucky enough to get a sinecure gets to live at public expense. And that all sources of wealth must feed that dragon. That’s today’s mulling.

      Yes I do want all the publicity I can get as this info needs to be widely disseminated but the blog and book represent years of uncompensated research with lots of out of pocket costs.

      But isn’t it good to know how many of the World Order Models Project books laying out the hoped-for vision of the 90s I now have a copy of?

      Or the Task Force book in the 70s that incorporated WOMP as the new future focus for American students?

      I cannot write about anything controversial without first securing undeniable proof. So that is what I do.

      My family would just laugh Tina. To them I am mom. A good cook, voracious book reader, planner of great trips where I research what’s important about where we are going. The possessor of a truly ridiculous number of lovely Christmas ornaments that I strive to purchase at half price on the 26th. They like knowing I can slay dragons but do not want to watch or read me doing it. That’s part of who their mom is but that’s not the part they typically see.

  5. Shift To Student-Led Education ?

    Surely, students won’t be taking over as such. They will be “led” or “guided” or somehow wheedled into it. They will look for “meaning” to their lives first, then “discover” content and go searching for knowledge. Teachers are to refuse to supply “factoids”. Or so it goes.

    I feel it’s irresponsible to dump this on kids. Parents should object, shouldn’t they?

    When I as grandparent despair, and see meltdowns from such dumping I keep wondering what parents, grandparents and students should do to stop this psychological torture. Teachers are not themselves prepared for these imposed shifts, and furthermore, they may internally not endorse them but are forced through prescribed “packets” or administrative order. (BTW, I’ve seen some “packets”. They are “aligned” materials that are “turnkey”, with free support available by email or free phone.)

    I never thought I would see a conservative magazine endorse this shift. But this month’s “The American Spectator” had this to say: “We’re on the cusp of a revolution that will blow up the education system in America, top to bottom. It’s going to be a revolution that puts students in charge.”

    To ease my mind, and communicate my unease with my contacts I thought I would try to use a visual — some comics — to get the message across. This is the blog post I put out today: THE BIG DISGUISED SHIFT IN EDUCATION

    • Tunya-

      Much of this revolution is being pushed by people who are given a sales pitch and it makes sense to them and they do not think of the underlying motives. The shift to visual from mental or the assault on beliefs and values.

      I also think that it is not an accident that even at self-proclaimed conservative think-tanks that push programs that turn out to be proStatism and anti-individual while quoting Hayek all seem to have poli sci graduate degrees, especially doctorates. It’s as if someone wanting to nurture political science as a social science said “we need to have representatives of dirigisme and Statism and public sector centric economic planning” at all levels of government and across all spectrums of political thought.

      Most people are busy and will defer to the labels in whether they question what they are told. That natural response appears to me to be being actively manipulated by people now.

      I will go into this some in next post as it plays into what I am mulling in anticipation of the post.

      But yes I am thinking much about ruses this morning.

  6. Would you like to see an example of what this system does to someone who chooses to stand up to it?
    I have had communication with many professional individuals during my research. This is one conversation that surprised me.
    A well known child psychologist recognized nationally for his work, with multiple awards,sent an email to me in regards to his work on outcomes based education. To me, this is a perfect example of what this system of leadership seeks to do. They have succeeded in taking this individuals will to fight. I might be naive in thinking that dedication and hard work can raise awareness. A shred of patriotism and respect for those that took on battles before us and did not give up is worth being proud of. This is something seriously lacking in my generation. It’s rare to find someone in my age bracket that cares or knows about history or even patriotism. Perhaps it’s growing up in military family that does it, perhaps it’s from parents that taught the constitution and value of freedom in our home.
    Where would we be if Benjamin Franklin sent a letter like this to another founding father? I refuse to let the powers that be take my will and spirit to fight. Here is the letter.

    “The Common Core is the new name for the same stuff that used to be called Outcome Based Education. The same concepts exist in both schemes; the Common Core is another way of packaging the “special education for everyone” approach that OBE created. Everyone can slam dunk if you lower the basket. The No Child Gets Ahead Act is another aspect of the same philosophy. After Bill Spady was sent running with lots of unpaid bills (he’s in Africa now, I think) about 20 years ago (with my help, I think), OBE went underground. It will re-emerge periodically because teachers are becoming less and less competent, so the curriculum has to become less and less rigorous (lest the game be exposed) and that means that the basket continually has to be lowered. That’s the reality of public education in America. I don’t see an antidote for it. The only hope is to instill an entrepreneurial spirit in as many children as possible so that those few can experience as much of a free and successful life in America as they are allowed to have. I’m not optimistic about our future, needless to say.

    Read John Gatto’s An Underground History of American Education if you want to understand how perniciously and deeply the infection I’m describing has taken root over the past 75 years or so. OBE and the Common Core idea are nothing new. The enemy makes its living by turning the education crank. Those of us who oppose their plans have to spend our resources to make ourselves heard. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that opposing them is a losing proposition, and they know it.

    Please don’t think you can change the education system – it isn’t broken at all from the standpoint of the people running it and making their fortunes through it. Never mistake a reporter or politician to be a friend; they are either too ignorant themselves, or have too much at stake IN the system to do anything substantive to fix it. Save as many kids as you can by showing them what is possible when you dedicate yourself to the pursuit of personal excellence and In any case, best wishes for the future.

    • Spady is back from South Africa and Australia where he fled to push OBE on them. I read a 2010 Ed dissertation that consisted of an interview with Spady. IIRC he is back in Colorado.

      I think the frustration has to do with all the mechanisms in the past that allowed some to flee or avoid OBE have been closed. Another lawyer and I were discussing the decision to use the law this time to get the desired implementation. The problem is that this time she and I are not the only lawyers who see right through the rhetoric. The idea of deferring to an assertion that “the law requires” or the regulation says means little. We will go doublecheck and note misportrayals.

      • HA ! ! ! ! ! Another Ruse ! ! ! ! !

        Robin: I hope you’re collecting all these ruses used to dumbfound and intimidate.

        “the law requires” ain’t necessarily so. Could be rhetoric. Or, could be taken to court and overturned.

        Here’s another one we’re familiar with: “My hands are tied”, says a principal regarding an incompetent teacher.

        Looking forward to a beginning list of ruses and their descriptions. We can then add to the growing list.

  7. Well-oiled Tricks Of The Trade Retain The Status Quo In Education

    It’s no surprise to find that those who aim to persuade others to their side will use any methods they consider will work. This is, of course, supported by our adherence to the principles of free speech.

    What is unacceptable, however, is when unfairness creeps in, where browbeating occurs and when squelching of the opposition is reverted to. Equally insupportable is the attitude that “winner takes all” and choice or exits are not welcome.

    This is the problem with the current 21st Century Learning movement. Basically, it is being installed — even now in many places —without consent or real consultation. They are counting on irreversibility!

    I look forward to the exposition of “ruses” being used in pushing common core and its siblings.

    The techniques and strategies, in our advanced technological era, include the barrage of TED talks and YouTube videos, that parents have a hard time escaping when broadcast by their own parent advisory groups.

    But also, as each new wave of rehashed education “transformation” sweeps through, we know that sophistication in persuasion is also incrementally being harnessed. Yes, culture does evolve and thankfully, usually for the better. But this 21st C L onslaught is exposing methods and agendas which are not “self-actualizing” but which are deliberately contrived to force a particular ideology and in the cause of self-interest under the guise of being “in the public interest”.

    Thankfully, we have already been introduced to a heavy-weight in the “influence peddling” profession. Lester Milbrath’s academic and personal convictions have brought forth a body of narratives and strategies being used today. He learned from his earliest studies in the 60s of the Washington lobby industry and the later environmental movement that perceptions are important. Thus, the social, economic and political order is to be changed — without bloodshed ! But, still forced, coerced in a totalitarian way.

    So, looking forward to “ruses”.

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