Pitching Personality Predation But Redefining It as Student Success, Achievement, and Learning

Nothing like a little mental break to help clear out the cobwebs and blow away the fog impeding clarity of thought. As is typical for me when I recognize the connectedness of initiatives that have been announced since my last post, I went back to my bookshelf for a little perspective. In this case it was to a short story Ayn Rand published in 1970 called “The Comprachicos,” where she wrote about the effects of the progressive education in the 60s grounded in John Dewey’s philosophies. This was education designed to cripple the mind and undermine its ability to accurately deal with reality. Sound familiar? Rand created a superb metaphor for what this type of Competency/Ideas first, instead of facts, education could do to the mind of a high school graduate by comparing it to the faculty of sight.

“Try to project what you would feel if your eyesight were damaged in such a way that you were left with nothing but peripheral vision. You would sense vague, unidentifiable shapes floating around you, which would vanish when you tried to focus on them, then would reappear on the periphery and swim and switch and multiply.”

Now that is a good example except this type of manipulation of Ideas, beliefs, values, and emotions starts in preschool now so there would be no memory of any other way to see. Peripheral vision would become each student’s idea of what it meant to “see”. Likewise, a mind taught to use ideas first to filter experiences is being trained “to use concepts, but he uses concepts by a child’s perceptual method. He uses them as concretes, as the immediately given.” [Italics in original]

It is a bit unnerving, isn’t it, to know that Rand was worried about where the behavioral sciences wanted to go with the mind even back in 1970? She even had a term for it–the student’s “psycho-epistemology.” So our student would be trained to use words and concepts like a parrot and believe they had ‘understanding’. To be willing to transfer those ideas and concepts to new situations where an expert would know their use was inappropriate–the Inapt Analogy we can call it. Without facts though, the student will not.

In the Trilogy I just finished I argued that it appears to me to be a consensus about what education should be in the future and that politicians and think tanks from the so-called Right and Left, admittedly Progressive or declaratively conservative or “for limited government and markets,” seem to be describing a common vision. That vision again takes us back to John Dewey as Steven Rockefeller described his vision of Democratic Humanism. It would act as a religious faith best implemented through the schools and other social institutions. So when someone pitches education grounded in Conceptual Understandings, Guiding Ideas, Cross-Cutting Themes and Concepts, or other ways to describe the same general instructional practice, remember why John Dewey wanted this technique to become the core of education. This is true even if the pitch person insists this technique is actually a form of classical education or intended to mold character in desirable ways.

Dewey “proposes that ideas are guides to action in concrete problemmatic situations, that is, ‘plans of operations to be performed or already performed.'” The antipathy we have found towards lectures and textbooks makes far more sense as we switch to education where “ideas are not correctly conceived as reproductions of what already exists, but as plans of something to be done and anticipations of some result to follow. They are tools, instrumentalities.” Fits with the Maker Movement and Project-Based Learning now, doesn’t it? Especially when we add on this quote: “The validity or truth of an idea can only be determined empirically by putting the idea to use and observing the consequences of the actions to which the idea leads.”

Remember all the current emphasis on relevance and real world problems? Evidence-based policy making using data? In Dewey’s vision for an education that can lead to a reconstruction of society, emphasizing moral issues plays a crucial role. Students are expected to regularly identify “the causes of moral and social problems in concrete situations and on framing ideals with reference to the available means for overcoming such problems.” So ideals need to be connected to real world action. Otherwise, “ideals that are framed apart from the study of problems and possibilities in concrete situations are dreams, wish-fantasies, and useless as instrumentalities in directing practical affairs.” Anyone unclear as to why the new federal Every Student Succeeds Act requires not tests per se, but that states use performance assessments that involve activities and tasks to see if the stipulated learning is occurring can simply reread those two sentences.

If it’s not action-oriented it may not guide or motivate future behavior. Likewise, if school is merely intellectual, the desired future behaviors may not occur. Social and emotional learning, whatever the given rationale, a Whole Child emphasis, Head, Heart, and Hand, as well as soft skills, are all consistent with what Dewey also recognized–the Role of the Heart in Moral Life. That way “prizing and appraising unite in the direction of action.” Dewey and every other progressive since culminating now in where Deeper Learning (pushed by the Hewlett Foundation as part of 21st Century Learning) is going recognizes that “Reason divorced from emotional involvement has no moving power.” Can you say student engagement as a necessary 21st century classroom practice to be an effective teacher?

Dewey’s conception of education and learning fits perfectly with what ESSA now requires and Competency education generally. It fits with the kind of effectiveness that will get a school charter renewed and allow a CMO (Charter Management Company) to expand. It fits with what will make online learning an example of Best Practices for Student Growth. In none of these instances though is the Learning about the transmission of knowledge in a traditional sense. No, it’s about what kind of person the classroom activities are helping to create. “Growth means reinforcing those habits that contribute to human well-being and reconstructing those habits that do not.” Since none of us can even get an honest answer from most of the advocates for the Common Core as well as against it as to what they really envision for 21st century education, do not expect to be the arbiter of what constitutes your own or your child’s well-being.

For Dewey then and for any school or other education provider wanting access to taxpayer money now (federal, state, or local), “learning means an increased perception of the meaning of things that leads to a modification of character (i.e., of basic dispositions and attitudes). In short, growing and learning involve the reconstruction and transformation of the self leading to an improved capacity of the self to adjust to its environment and to control and direct subsequent experience.

The concept of habit is the fundamental idea in Dewey’s psychology of the development of the self or character. Dewey insists that the self is essentially identical with its active interests, purposes, and choices. There is no self apart from these activities. The core of the self is formed and defined by the concrete things about which it cares and by the choices it makes in pursuit of these things.”

Guess what? If, like me, you are an expert on the actual implementation it is easy to read that biography of Dewey and recognize the actual current significance. For those of you with more of a life than I have managed since I started researching and writing on all this, first of all I congratulate you. Secondly, let me call everyone’s attention to two examples in just the past week quietly putting Dewey’s vision into widespread effect without even using his name.

First, many of the elite institutions of higher education have joined together to redefine what they intend to look for in an admitted student. The initiative is called Making Caring Common and it looks for non-minority students for whom acting on behalf of others and for the common good and to transform existing institutions and local environments has been shown to be a way of life. http://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/16/01/turning-tide-inspiring-concern-others-and-common-good-through-college-admissions

How’s that for an effective means to change the behaviors and practices at every high school with aspirations of of Ivy League admissions? Anyone reading that report can recognize it will result in a change in emphasis to what Dewey wanted for the schools. The creation of a “free person who is able to form his or her purposes intelligently, evaluating desires and goals by the consequences which will result from acting on them, and one who is able to select and order the means necessary to realize chosen ends.”

A similar end result comes from this paper http://asiasociety.org/files/A_Rosetta_Stone_for_Noncognitive_Skills.pdf except it admits it wants to restructure the emphasis in primary and secondary schools. The omnipresent rationale, as usual, is that this personality and psychological emphasis is necessary for future success in college, career, and life. The real reason, as is true of anything emanating from a Rockefeller-funded philanthropy like the Asia Society, is to advance the vision of the future Dewey called Democratic Humanism and others call Marxist Humanism. As Dewey, Ayn Rand, and Uncle Karl all knew and we need to recognize to protect ourselves and our children, collectivists need to target the emotions and personality to realize their plans for us.

Why? Dewey insisted that “unrest, impatience, irritation, and hurry that are so marked in life are inevitable accompaniments of a situation in which individuals do not find support and contentment in the fact that they are sustaining and sustained members of a social whole.” That’s what education that targets the personality and forces regular practices of altruism and actions grounded in provided ideas can all be manipulated to do. That’s why we have such a coordinated push now.

We have a sustained push from the Left and the Right, from the religious and atheists, from the global bureaucrat or ex-politician to the local mayor or city council member. All pushing practices that, whatever their personal beliefs and expectations in advocating for them, were nevertheless developed to “generate the sense of shared values and organic interconnection needed to harmonize society and to integrate and set free the personalities of contemporary men and women.”

If terms like Marxist Humanism seem off-putting, let’s just translate it as Dewey and his biographer Steven Rockefeller did and ask “Can a material, industrial civilization be converted into a distinctive agency for liberating the minds and refining the emotions of all who take part in it?” If a politician claims to want Quality Education for All Students, you might want to inform him or her as to what that actually entails.

When I get upset about the 2014 Bipartisan and Bicameral piece of federal legislation known as WIOA that all the candidates running for President who are US Senators voted for, it is because it fits perfectly with Dewey’s insistence that a planned economy would be needed for democratic socialism to be achieved and it was best implemented at the local level. After all, what is WIOA but legislation with the effect of controlling the ends of education as well as allowing for “social control of industry and the use of government agencies for constructive social ends” just as Dewey sought.

Let me close by pointing out that those of us not employed by the public sector or businesses getting taxpayer dollars are unlikely to find any of these desired ends particularly constructive.

 

 

 

 

49 thoughts on “Pitching Personality Predation But Redefining It as Student Success, Achievement, and Learning

  1. “Dewey insisted that “unrest, impatience, irritation, and hurry that are so marked in life are inevitable accompaniments of a situation in which individuals do not find support and contentment in the fact that they are sustaining and sustained members of a social whole.”

    Ugh. Sustaining and Sustained in one sentence. And this was decades before the U.N. decreed it was our global society’s most desirable word in support of goals for Glorious Next Tuesday. Them Rockefeller boys don’t deviate from The Plan much do they?

    • No they apparently do not.

      I think this was why, in all my research, I had never seen anyone mention this book until Steven did himself as he was proud of the Earth Charter.

      Too revealing, but useful for those of us interested in tracking these blueprints.

    • New report out from the Center for American Progress on the new types of assessments needed to implement ESSA. https://cdn.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/28135807/MendIt-ESSA-report.pdf

      In the previous post I mentioned concern over a pitch person for classical education mentioning that Linda Darling-Hammond and Bill Ayers were examples of “Marxist Humanists” which is factually not true and masks what MH is. The same video also insisted that America is a country dedicated to equality of opportunity. Yet another falsehood even if it sounds good.

      Equality of Opportunity is in fact another one of the major MH tenets. This Rockefeller quote is yet another reminder of the dangers of conceding these points without a thorough understanding of these ideas. They are more than talking points and any declared right comes with substantial obligations to provide and level. Remember also Amartya Sen’s emphasis on the word ‘freedom’. It also comes out in those George readings on Making Men Moral.

      “Dewey points out that the value of this pecuniary culture and the self-seeking individualism associated with it are inconsistent with the ideals of equal opportunity and freedom for all which constitute the genuinely spiritual element in the American democratic tradition and the key to a sound American individualism.”

      Individualism that results from being resculptured from the inside-out at a neural level and drilling into personality. All so the individual now fits properly within the collective and is malleable to command. Precisely what Rand instinctively recognized and warned about from her personal experience with what the Bolsheviks wanted and needed from Russian society.

  2. Wow! Rand’s metaphor is so apt. How far will these reformers going to get this time?

    On another note, did you happen to catch the opt out survey being pushed by BATS & Ravitch, created by two profs at Columbia? https://tccolumbia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cAs2CTDZ6vKjg7b?Source=FB

    You can click through it without answering the questions, which range from reasons for opting out to political and religious affiliations. Unbelievable really.

    Even more troubling is the survey uses Qualatrics platform, whose owner left Hewlett to launch this start up. Recently, they partnered with Multi-Dimensional Education to create assessments that measure and track “the perceptions of students, educators and parents across eight dimensions historically associated with highly effective schools.”
    https://tccolumbia.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_cAs2CTDZ6vKjg7b?Source=FB

    • Both of your links are the same, but it appears to me that this Qualtrics software would fit right in with what sociocracy needs to know. http://techcrunch.com/2015/07/24/qualtrics-in-the-billion-dollar-club-but-still-an-outsider/

      Did you catch in the new CCR book where their 2016 project is to chart the essential ideas from the Eastern philosophy of knowledge and spirituality?

      When I was reading through the Robert George materials he kept using the term ‘interiority’ and that is precisely what is targeted by this new view of education and also the workplace.

      Here is more http://www.outcomes4youth.com/Outcome-Systems.html Note that this intends to get at all elements of ‘subjective well-being’. Building Bridges is also already on the radar.

      This short video is also on how that platform can empower educators using the multidimensional data being gathered.

      • Also lines up with the intent of the Center for Curriculum Redesign’s Character Framework. Everyone I’ve shared it with thinks it’s insane and that it would never be allowed in schools. Except it is. Btw, thanks for so clearly articulating the distinction between Marxism and HM. Softening the edges won’t produce better results.

        Here’s the link on Qualatrics partnership with MDed. http://www.qualtrics.com/blog/empowering-educators-qualtrics-partners-with-multi-dimensional-education-inc/

        • Thanks JT. The CCR Framework aligns perfectly with what ESSA prescribes, especially when what is contemplated by the 7 states implementing assessment innovation gets dialed in.

          This is the desired recommendations sought from fed ED in the clarifying regulations. http://www.competencyworks.org/policy/inacol-submits-recommendations-to-ed-in-open-comment-period-for-essa-request-for-information/

          CCR fits perfectly with this INACOL vision for the future http://www.inacol.org/news/rethinking-accountability-for-continuous-improvement-of-next-generation-learning-models/ from December and there’s not a state out there not involved with INACOL. I first heard Susan Patrick speak at a meeting for legislators sponsored by Georgia’s Atlas network affiliate.

          MH assumes that it is a zero sum world and that all this levelling, personality predation, and mind arson does not affect what is available to meet ‘needs’. History makes it clear that is a bad bet.

          You and I both know that the California CORE districts are effectively already implementing the CCR vision, with the desire to expand.

          The CAP link says that focus groups of parents on testing were hosted in Westchester County, NY, Boston, and Dallas, Texas. Again the Texans are playing a dangerous game for their children in not acknowledging accurately what their state has been piloting, especially as they are also involved with the national Growth Mindset study that Stanford and UT-Austin are the prime researchers for.

          Your Qualtrics links are very helpful, especially since the vimeo says explicitly this is all about a developmental perspective, not knowledge in the traditional sense.

    • Oh well well well…JT, Isn’t your timing with Qualtrics just sublime. Wouldn’t you know a BULLY survey is being foisted upon students and teachers and parents ( although I do not consent ) at my kids school to meet accreditation purposes, created by A Dr. Swearer of the Empowerment Initiative of the University of Nebraska. And said Dr. Swearer has explained that Qualtrics is the platform that they use.

      Oh Joy.

      • Well we do try to offer Just. In. Time Information for the Attentive Parent. Speaking of which http://www.middleweb.com/27688/marrying-self-regulation-and-the-common-core/

        Self-regulation is indisputedly a euphemism for a cybernetically designed mindset that functions as programmed. Nice admission on how CC makes it easier.

        Has your snow melted yet? My youngest did learn she will need waterproof boots given to what happens to that snow by a curb very quickly. Bet ISC readers would have loved to watch me fall in the snow drifts Sunday am trying to navigate Third Avenue for a place open to get hot tea.

        • Oh Man..we are gonna have snow for weeks yet!..Its melting but not soon enough for my tastes. My almost half century old bones reject the cold a little bit more with every passing year.

          And Yes! appropriate footwear, sturdy and waterproof is a must for glorious Northeastern winters.

      • Robin,

        Look who is partnered with Dr. Swearer and Univ. of Nebraska. I was digging into the bully interventions offered by Dr Swearer/Empowerment Initiative/University of Nebraska ( once their survey shockingly determines a school is hotbed of dysfunctional bullying- egads! ) and found this under their project H.E.A.R. which involves speakers from the National Guard coming to teach “respect’ at high school. http://project-hear.us/our-partners/

        I may just scream. Maybe. Perhaps Loudly.

        • …and this blurb below comes is from one of the H.E.A.R. pages. The actual hyperlink included in the text which I can l cannot locate at the moment sends people here. http://mcc.gse.harvard.edu/?keyword=making_caring_common&pageid=icb.page583073

          …( caps mine )

          In addition to advising students on how to react safely and responsibly when encountering
          bullying behavior, THE PRESENTATION OFFERS A LIST OF QUESTIONS THAT STUDENTS CAN ASK TO FACILITATE
          COMMUNICATION, RAISE AWARENESS AND ENCOURAGE MEANINGFUL ACTION AMONG TEACHERS AND SCHOOL
          ADMINISTRATORS.

          “That students can ask” ..but nothing else..limits imposed. Sounds like Project Zero. Thinking Scripts.

          • Okay, last comment before I partake of an adult beverage. Reading over the documents regarding bullying and Making Caring Common and and all of the other supplied frameworks I see how planners believe we have officially arrived at at Kurt Lewins 3rd stage of Freezing the personality.

            Having reduced student populations to a sufficiently primitive, atavistic and barely literate level ( unfreezing ) and ensured that a critical number of youth are deprived of enough academics ( change ) to believe in a future reality not grounded in fact, they are now hellbent on freezing ( locking in ) the desired self- regulated /cybernetically instilled behavioral expectations.

            There is a special place in the nether world for these people. Hope they pack light. It is hot I H.E.A.R.

          • Wow. I am reacting to all 3 posts. I knew Making Caring Common fit, but did not know it was already formally hooked into K-12. Thanks.

            I heard the now Chief of Staff for one of the League of Innovative School Districts brag about using “kurt Lewin’s Freeze. Unfreeze. Refreeze technique” (he used both Lewin’s name and the technique to show how he deserved his ed doctorate from Central Florida. Except he was going to use it on the teachers who still wanted to keep the classroom emphasis on the subject.

            We have taken fine teachers and told them they cannot teach the subject and we have given doctorates to Muppet Minds so they can implement with fidelity to get a taxpayer salary, medical care, and pension for life. I may understand cybernetics enough that I am going back to look at the Parallel Distributed processing descriptions to doublecheck something I believe is the likely result, but the people pushing all this do not actually have to understand the implications. They only have to do as they are told. If they do, they are being told it’s a six figure salary with benefits for the rest of their life.

            So they will harm children and destroy this great nation. They have a lot of enablers among the anti-Common Core crowd like this USPIE that has been launched. I have read their materials and want to know if they are stupid or think we are.

            Who thinks abolishing fed ED is a good idea and make the states and districts the point of innovation is a good idea? The innovations are the problem. That’s what is leading us to these neurological cybernetic keels.

  3. Still find the UOO and opt out be be like the shell of a bigger movement with a rotten center. Rather interesting the large state groups that have decided that uniting with UOO and BATs groups thought the unity would help their cause. Instead the parents are being swallowed up by the other movement.

    This week I have been reading this book.
    http://www.amazon.com/Me-We-Gods-Social-Gospel-ebook/dp/B00IXPV6AM
    You might find it interesting how it links back to evangelicals for social action. The author talks about the movement being grounded in systems thinking. The author also mentions Marx. Have had to put it down due to the impulse of wanting to chuck it out the back door with an expletive.

    • Understanding what is actually being pushed under the banner of education these days can bring out the Potty Mouth in the best of us.

      Let’s face it, in most states the parents who are paying attention are much more likely to get their info from an anti-Common Core group that actually has ties to the Atlas Network and its ‘right pincer’ Corporatist agenda than to make their way to my work. I am also not offering easy answers. I am, however, offering complete, accurate information.

      Don’t you find that this Rockefeller distillation of Dewey in terms of Democratic Humanism and religious faith in terms of changing the here and now makes what had appeared to be strange bedfellows make far more sense?

      If we think of religion as the value and belief system that motivates how people act and when, then how all these groups work together makes far more sense. This is from the last chapter of the book:

      “He [Dewey] understood as few others have that, if men and women in contemporary civilization are to find the wholeness, meaning, and inner peace that are the fruit of a healthy religious life, and if the violent conflict and suffering of twentieth-century history are to be overcome in the social sphere, then religious life and social life must not only be reconstructed, they must also be fully integrated. [my bolding]The divine, he taught, is to be identified with a unified vision of the ideal, the common good, and with those forces and processes in nature and human culture that make for the actualization of the ideal. [this is why education that blends biology, psychology, and cultural anthropology becomes so dominant to this reform vision]

      God–if one chooses to use this traditional symbolic language–is the mind, heart, and body of authentic community, which finds its highest expression in the contemporary world in creative democracy. To those who in faith give themselves wholeheartedly to the life of creative democracy, this life reveals itself spontaneously as divine in significance through the grace that is the religious quality of experience.”

      I think Rockefeller understood Dewey well when he wrote that, but it also described the vision that the philanthropies have long been funding to use education and the social sciences to try to bring about ‘the faith in humanity’ and the “ethical ideals that would inspire all peoples to work cooperatively together in building a world order that will issue in the ‘reign of peace’ historically identified with the kingdom of God.”

      It takes a certain level of knowledge of human nature and its persistence through time and a whole lot of history to read such starry eyed sentiments and say that won’t work. Another good book to put the world into perspective is Michael Burleigh’s 2005 book Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe from the French Revolution to the Great War.

      I can cut most people slack but not the deceit and undisclosed financial conflicts of interest that has been so much a part of the pro-Common Core and anti-Common Core but pro-Dewey and developmental education alliances we have uncovered. These are children’s lives and way too many parents are being defrauded by listening to people who hold themselves out as having expertise when they do not.

      • You are correct on getting information from online anti ccss groups. Seeing the narrative be only about opt out, privatization and it’s all the fault of Gates is disturbing. What say you on the motive of that narrative?

        • It got people upset about too much testing when the remedy was what was sought all along. Privatization got the unions involved and Gates makes a good strawman. Remember that link from Latin America about politics by think tank and the pitch to always come up with a few talking points to be the focus? Much like Core Disciplinary Ideas and Cross Cutting Themes with a bit of the Frankfurt School Radio Project thrown in, people think they know the story because the same basis points keep recurring. Meanwhile because they believe they are informed, they disregard the actual implementation.

  4. Hi Robin how are you well I hope?

    I have just finished a book called the ” the great deceit: social pseudo
    sciences: socialist wolves in sheep’s clothing.” It is a Veritas foundation staff
    study, the introduction and epilogue are by Archibald B Rossevelt, the research
    director Zygmund Dobbs written in 1964. Here is a link where one can download
    this book,
    https://archive.org/details/TheGreatDeceitSocialPseudo-sciencesSocialistWolvesInSheepsClothing
    Dewey mentioned quite a bit in this book, and the part about law is very interesting!
    Have you read it, it really is very interesting, all about the socialization of the west? Some body on a radio programme said the other day 1984 the book is about the socialist Fabians labour party, and the book animal farm is about the socialist fascist conservative party in the UK and I think this book above confirms that. Would it also apply to the republican and democrat parties in the USA, I wonder?
    Be good cliff

      • Deborah:
        Thanks for the Orwell 1984 review link. I read pretty much everything he wrote. The book review parts about the Fabians is a very good description of the current state.

    • Thanks. I am well, but was caught in the NYC snowstorm. Sunday my youngest wanted me to get her to Central Park and then we ended up walking all the way to the Reservoir and around it. I never knew it was there. It was a nice mental break.

      Now I see that President Obama wants every student coding, knowing quite well it will shift the structure of the brain away from the areas primed to create abstractions from facts or read phonetically. Maybe I need to do a full scale neuroscience discussion next. I have the materials.

      Here’s the announcement http://www.wired.com/2016/01/obama-pledges-4-billion-to-computer-science-in-us-schools/

      • Robin,

        OH PLEASE yes, write about this!!! This Coding Gar-Baage has entered my kids school already. The elementary school has adopted it into the curriculum and the High school recently had a federally inspired ” Day of Coding” fun- fest.

        “Here Johnny. Take this iPad. See this cartoon mini movie. Here is the cartoon mini-movie we want you to recreate with code. Look closely at the movie Johnny. See how the robots are working together? See them succeed together? See the robots sharing? Now follow these steps and code your own movie. You can make the robots work together Johnny. Make them Share.”

        Pure. Unadulterated. Poison.

        • Do you remember when I wrote about Seymour Papert? http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/megachange-macroshift-daily-school-experience-to-fuel-a-revolution-in-consciousness/

          I have never forgotten what Mitchel Resnick of MIT Media Lab wrote about the difference between constructionism in education and constructivism? He and Papert believe in constructivism because they want the link to real world images, just like Dewey and the cybernetics theorists.

          Knowing the coding ties to all this work, here’s a paper that will interest you and other readers. http://web.media.mit.edu/~mres/papers/educational-technology-2012.pdf

          Coding in this ed vision is actually every bit as concrete as working with a saw or hammer. Maybe I should tell hubby that he needn’t work with abstractions anymore to create software, but then he remembers punchcards to give instructions to the computers.

          In fact this heading says it is about multimedia and is for “progressive educators” http://www.stager.org/logo.html

        • Mc:
          I have written LOTS of code. When I see this school coding crap as you describe (sarcastic and funny BTW) I don’t recognize it. Google’s ‘blockly’ language might be an OK place for a kid to start. It is not really a visual programming language but a simplifying text based language. It teaches one way of thinking: structuring things in time and in space. You have to be specific in your instructions to the computer.

          Robin said:
          “This is a means of selling collaborative interaction and switching from print to multimedia images as a classroom focus. Only someone familiar with what coding actually is would recognize the difference. ”

          Robin really nailed it IMO.

          As long as this teaching computer stuff came up, here is a book that REALLY teaches about computer hardware and software. It starts simply and builds. It came out of an incredible project in Israel. The Elements of Computing Systems: Building a Modern Computer from First Principles.

          It might be OK for a driven very bright HS student but I could be way off either way. The book is also free on line and all the SW is free on-line as well.

          http://www.amazon.com/The-Elements-Computing-Systems-Principles/dp/0262640686

  5. Thanks Deborah that is a very good article, read 1984 years ago as did so many of my friends, but really had no understanding about what he was trying to explain,will pass onto them.
    Cliff

      • Cruz’s language about a right to ‘quality education,’ which we know to be a defined term and so should he and invoking the civil rights laws appears to be an attempt that fits with the long sought progressive dream to overrule the 1973 SCOTUS ruling in the Rodriguez case out of the San Antonio school district that held that education was not a fundamental right under the federal constitution.

        This is a good summary of the Prog dream in education http://www.columbia.edu/node/8247.html . It’s called “Educational Equity and Quality: Brown and Rodriguez and their Aftermath.”

        I don’t know if this is shilling for votes from homeschoolers eager for tax dollars to help defray their expenses or part of a broader agenda. Pitching this as a civil right inherently means leveling because a civil, human right cannot be true Algebra for some and conceptual for others, gaming for some and lecturing for others.

        Making education a human right has been the UNESCO dream for using education as the vehicle for social reconstruction. This is a perilous area. Homeschoolers run the real risk of believing they have choices while every eligible participating provider has invisibly committed to making sure there is no actual choice. That homeschoolers now spending these dollars anywhere but the highly unusual parent writing their own curricula will be purchasing a program designed to create the cybernetic steerable keel as well.

        It appears to me that Educational Savings Accounts fit in perfectly with these law review articles still grieving over the Rodriguez ruling. http://scholar.valpo.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1891&context=vulr

        The John Dewey/Goodwin Liu hope for education for social reconstruction is still in place but out of site. Also fits with these Classical Education online programs that are ideas first and no longer a body of knowledge. Everyone suddenly wants taxpayer money while prescribing a desired worldview.

        • Most of the homeschooling families I know want absolutely no government $, and work hard at finding unique old materials. The online homeschooling groups seems to think they are in the same category.
          Do you think this Cruz plan was truly written by him with his own ingenuity or the work of an advisor or staff?
          Off topic some, but did you notice a few months back UNESCO formally stating backing new humanism?
          http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52464#.Vq411k6IZDu
          Leonard Sweet it turns out is a futurist and follows quantum spirituality. The book mentioned the biggest enemy has been individualism. He is also from OR and a prominent prof at what was once a respectable college that is now a prog justice institution. George Fox U.

          • Cruz has said it is based on the Nevada Plan and Scott Hammond who created the Nevada Plan said it is based on the advocacy of the Friedman Institute, an Atlas member. I noticed the head of the Friedman Institute was the luncheon speaker last year at the Federal Reserve of Atlanta. That would fit with school choice originally being a vision of the Left and tied to the Coalition of Essential Schools. I find Cruz’s interest in the 9th and 10th amendment and work with George while at Princeton to be an interesting recognition that the way in had to be at the local level with its power over people and place. Cruz reminds me of plenty of superbright Ivy Leaguers I have known or worked with whose intellect makes them believe they are far more special than they are. Maybe that is unfair, but bad facts inconsistent with the pitched image would certainly explain the determination to strike out at anyone attempting to have a factual discussion on his positions.

            UNESCO’s active admission that it is now pushing what it calls ‘scientific humanism’ really dates to Bulgarian Irina Bokova taking the hem in 2010, I covered the implications here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/decreeing-the-interdependence-of-environment-economy-society-and-cultural-diversity-in-the-21st/

            The homeschoolers you speak of could only be worse off with ESAs then unless they believe they can ultimately cash it in against college tuition. I don’t think many people understand that the UN through the Bologna Process (not pastrami or prosciutto) is working to circumscribe what it means to know in higher ed as well. I think my analogy of political power and Big Business wanting to uninvent the printing press metaphorically is far off. They certainly want to cap and control the inner space of an individual that should be the ultimate private domain.

    • When I have read both the Nevada regulations and the DC Opportunity Scholarship both mentioned accreditation directly and I called attention to it. That proposed statute does not in the language, but I suspect no one makes it to the list of participating provider unless they are accredited or have somehow agreed to ‘teach’ according to prescribed rules. It is an interesting switch in the language I believe.

      We have talked a bit in the comments about Cambridge Analytica and the Cruz campaign’s use of data and behavioral science research. Looks like the Mailer controversy that ignited this weekend http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2016/01/flag-thrown-on-ted-cruzs-iowa-ground-game.php is bringing scrutiny to that data use even tough that is not where the info in the mailer actually came from. I had a neighbor who did election work and she explained to me how they know who votes early and who asks for absentee and who has returned it.

      I noticed that the PowerLine story mentions a behavioral sciences framework without mentioning the OCEAN framework or CA itself. https://cambridgeanalytica.org/about lays that out. That circumspection leads me to believe that others are also interested in using CA by the general election without bringing too much scrutiny to it.

      Scrutiny could be our missle name at ISC. It certainly fits the acronym.

    • Here is the book. http://www.amazon.com/No-Choice-Voice-Somethings-Rotten/dp/1502390663

      She is the Arkansas mom who supposedly eviscerated the Common Core in a 4 minute video that went viral. Sheri Few I met last year at a luncheon she hosted as part of the Educational Policy Conference in St Louis. Sheri does not like facts to get in the way of her planned narrative.

      I see from poking around a bit on Lamoreaux that she talks a lot about over testing, developmental inappropriateness, and the rights of the states under the Tenth Amendment. Keeping it at the buzz term level that unfortunately does nothing to stop the true shift to the cybernetic mindset being imposed at the state and local levels. I was looking at my notes on the neuroscience research yesterday from a White House conference within the last 12 months. None of that research is really being done out of fed ED.

      This proposed remedy reminds me of the renaming of Outcomes Based Education in the 90s. The real problem is allowed to go on in different agencies and under new names while a group claims victory and parents think they are now protected in their private schools and charters and with their ESAs. Never truly understanding the real aims, the drivers, or the continued presence while their guard is down.

      PBMAE would be a truly tragic acronym–Parents Being Misled About Education.

      • Was written today.

        A Letter from Karen, the Common Core Mom

        My name is Karen Lamoreaux. I am the Common Core mom activist that gave her state school board a math problem (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZEGijN_8R0)
        and author of No Choice, No Voice: Something’s Rotten to the Core.

        Senator Ted Cruz co-sponsored a bill in January of 2015 with another conservative, Senator Mike Lee, known as S306 “Enhancing Educational Opportunities for all Students Act.” In this bill, there is language that classifies home schools as private schools in the Tax Code. The purpose of this is to mirror existing laws in states like Wisconsin, and allow home school families to take a tax credit.

        Some will argue that classifying home schoolers in this bill as private schools ties into the school choice mantra of Title I portability, which then allows the US Department of Education to tie strings to home schools and private schools, endangering their freedom and integrity.

        As a current home schooler, while I share the general concern about Title I Portability and strings under school choice, I submit the following:

        • The change was in the tax code, not USED Code. His senate staff say they thought that made it safe from USED mandates (albeit a naïve assumption).
        • The bill, as written has the support of the Home School Legal Defense Association: http://www.hslda.org/Legislation/National/2015/s306/default.asp
        • The bill has not gone anywhere and according to the senate staff, is effectively dead, especially after the passage of ESSA in December of 2015. Cruz’s Senate staff have said that Cruz agrees to make sure protections are in place with amendments/language changes, should the bill ever make the agenda in the Finance committee.
        • Even if that language passed as currently written (which never happens in the sausage factory of governing), a home school parent would have the option of simply not declaring the tax credit.
        • One can also argue that since the incentive comes on the back end as a tax “credit” and not a voucher, no money is actually “exchanged” it would be nearly impossible to enforce any mandates (strings).
        • The entire GOP supports school choice and Title I portability as a platform issue. We need to educate them with lessons learned under Race to the Top and Common Core so that they can protect the integrity of private and home schools as they debate the issue.

        Why are they trying to hang our best advocate?

        Senator Ted Cruz supports home school and opposes Common Core. Please watch this video to hear more on that: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vp1TsaznHEo

        Senator Ted Cruz has openly stated for years he wishes to dismantle the United States Department of Education. Click here to hear him say it. He promises it at every event on the campaign trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2xNDkmcNsY

        During a visit with him, I pointed out that dismantling USED can only be done by Congress, it cannot be an executive action. Given that, what would he do in the meantime, if elected, until we get buy-in from Congress? His response was that he would push for block grants only and begin the process of defunding the agency on the financial side.

        ESSA Vote

        The same people who are smearing him for the tax credit are also smearing him for not showing up to vote on ESSA. While I am not excusing missing a vote, (he should have been there shoulder to shoulder with Senator Rand Paul) to accuse him of being in favor of federal education mandates as a result is ignorant at best.

        While the Speaker worked to rush the bill through with little debate in December, Cruz pushed for cloture. This means he did his best to stall it and to give it more time for debate and amendments. Congress went against him, as the establishment often does, and hurried to vote. Cruz had a previously scheduled event to attend on the day the vote was scheduled. Rather than cancel on his constituents, and knowing he was outnumbered, he went to the event.

        He published a letter explaining his opposition to the bill here on his Senate page: http://www.cruz.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=2549 saying, “The Every Student Succeeds Act unfortunately continues to propagate the large and ever-growing role of the federal government in our education system—the same federal government that sold us failed top-down standards like Common Core. We should be empowering parents and local school districts instead of perpetuating the same tired approach that continues to fail our nation’s children. In many ways, the conference report was worse than the original Senate bill—removing the few good provisions from the House bill that would have allowed some Title I portability for low-income students as well as a parental opt-out from onerous federal accountability standards. The American people expect the Republican majority to do better. And our children deserve better, which is why I cannot support this bill.”

        If people want to be angry at him for missing a futile vote that passed 85-12 so be it. But to argue that doing so was a sneaky, conspiratorial move on his part to be shady, is ridiculous.

        Cruz is the only candidate currently in the race to take education issues head on and publicly declare his loyalty to home school, his opposition to common core and his desire to see the US Department of Education closed.
        I do hope that all of you will do your due diligence and research the many accusations that will fly in this campaign season, rather than rely on click bait news headlines or doomsday bloggers. Ted Cruz has my vote and my trust and I hope you will consider him as your candidate too.
        All my best,
        Karen

        #TrustTed
        #TedCruz
        #Stopcommoncore
        #Homeschool
        #Cruz2016

        • Precisely who are the Doomsday Bloggers she is referring to?

          When I was looking into classical education and the Barney Charter School Initiative, this link fascinatingly popped up. http://articlevprojecttorestoreliberty.com/of-other-interest-education.html

          So the Texas governor wants a Constitutional Convention. Michele Malkin’s current boss, Mark Levin, is calling for one, and she is now on the Board of USPIE, which Karen cooperates with. The Atlas Network members are loudly calling for a Constitutional Convention.

          And many of the Ed Bloggers against the Common Core but wanting to control the narrative and only tell part of the story and refusing to tell all of it are the ones cited on that Article V blog. Most work for formally or have a history of cooperating with Atlas Network members.

          We have a 3-dimensional chess game going on here led by people who do not seem to be very good Chinese checkers strategists. Whatever doom we are facing is caused by policymakers and pols not being honest about their real agendas and deferring to legal interpretations offered up by non-lawyers or graduates from third-tier law schools or worse.

          Never met Michael Farris but his legal acumen does not seem particularly astute. Yet so many people defer to him. Why? It’s quite clear that ESAs will bring lots of money to certain providers, but it’s also clear those providers will have to agree to terms of how they will “do” education that are not likely to be apparent to the parents who will believe they now have choices.

          The teachers in private schools in Georgia consistently tell me that the scholarship fund the state created was the end of private school autonomy over the kind of education that could be offered to any child at the school. The parents paying on the nose in tuition are not told that though. Some choice.

          • I believe it was a reference to the note Anita wrote about cruz Ed bill that is said to be dead now.

          • Ahh, posted upthread in the comments to this post. Again, the doomsday scenario is not a by-product of factual discussions of what legislation does or does not do. The doomsday scenario is more a by-product of the massive deceit and active coordination going on around K-12 education and the purpose of the Common Core. Whatever the intentions and activities of Cruz and his campaign personally, there is no question that some of his rabid supporters and deep pocket financial supporters have been involved in the deceit for whatever reason.

            For me personally it is hard not to intuit that the same people excited to use the behavioral sciences as a tool in elections also want to use those same behavioral sciencesdesired mindset and worldview via education without being caught out. They also want to use that designed keel without admitting to anyone they know it is there or that this is where School Choice and the language in ESSA are currently taking us. Karen’s point is that all the Republican candidates support this to one degree or another.

            I believe that, which is why the way out of the Doomsday Scenario is to discuss openly that each candidate is embracing policies just like the Dems to create a noetic keel. Calling a spade a spade is the way out and the way to force political candidates to renounce unacceptable positions. Otherwise, they are merely marionettes parroting “School Choice” like it’s only a slogan. It has a clear trajectory and candidates need to be held responsible for advocating every element of that documentable pathway.

            If the candidates are on board with making school a psychological Auschwitz, then they need to have that recognized. There will be no pass because it is state or local political power or sanctioned degree holders imposing this clear psychological and neurological emphasis using nice-sounding slogans.

          • I believe you are correct about the scholarship monies Robin. That has been my suspicion for several years although it is very difficult to pin down exactly in my state.

            But I can trace the deterioration in curriculum in the Independent schools I have sent my kids to, to the point at which they began accepting Opportunity Scholarship tax monies and subsequently had to use ‘some’ ccss standard type lessons.

            Part of the problem that I can see is that the very well heeled board members use their donations to scholarship funds obviously for the tax write off purposes but also to help fund the school and meet the economic diversity mandates. They see it as a win- win. They are CLUELESS about what happens to the curriculum then.

            They become the drivers of the scholarship funds without realizing they are killing the institution they feel so proud about.

    • Also new is the head of Heritage defining yesterday what conservative policymaking means. http://dailysignal.com/2016/01/31/progressivism-throws-money-at-problems-conservatism-solves-them/

      Notice he believes that think tanks get to decide what areas are best left to private citizens. Really? This making centralized decision making the bete noire plays right into, believe it or not, what Mitchel Resnick, the MIT Media Lab, and Seymour Papert want students to get from this Coding for All using poorly understood VPLs–Visual Programming Languages. They want the students to dwell on the consequences of their actions and to learn what happens as a result of decentralized interactions. Of course there is an underlying program prescribing all the responses being visualized but students won;t know that. My in-house computer science expert had a real problem with anyone calling Scratch or Logo–Coding.

      They will be primed from learning experiences online to believe that problems in human systems can be solved and new designs implemented as long as it is done at the local level. I have said the Atlas Network seems to be intent on pursuing the MH vision as well so one of its main participants writes this and essentially confirms my point. My bolding.

      “At the end of the day, the final goal of conservative policymaking is to build a society where all Americans are afforded the same opportunities, and none experience roadblocks to prosperity or fulfillment through the careless actions of government. [Is it OK if it is planned and not careless?]

      We want not justfreedom from tyranny; we want every family in America free to pursue whatever dreams they’ve planted for themselves.”

      No wonder MH was misportrayed and Equality of Opportunity was treated as a given component of the American vision for education in the video I watched before Christmas. PBMAE is necessary to obscure that the right pincer think tanks also want to use education to prime us all for the Human Development Society.

      Marxism of the revolutionary or MH variety is a political oligarch’s dream because they get to be the decision-makers. How can every family be free to pursue their dreams if think tanks now presume to get to decide what is an appropriate domain for individual citizens to get to decide instead of government?

      “Overreaching Power needs Muppet Minds” may have to be a bumper sticker along with NSY–Not Serfs Yet. Much more fun than that silly EXIST with all the symbols.

      • Robin is right. This notion that conservative policymaking exists for the purpose of “building a society” of any description is a far, far cry from the original, traditional vision of conservatism as a philosophy that upholds as its supreme value the freedom of the individual. Traditional conservatism does not talk about society; it talks about the God-given right of the individual to direct his own life and to be free from meddling, whether malign or well-intended, from the government, whether local or national. If “conservatism” of the new stripe strives to build a society where “all Americans are afforded the same opportunities,” that plainly implies that affirmative action is a legitimate policy; that affluent neighborhoods can justifiably be coerced to admit Section 8 housing; that all applicants for business start-up grants must be awarded money irrespective of their objective qualifications. Etc., etc., etc. In which case there’s not a nickel’s worth of difference between left and right.

      • “They want the students to dwell on the consequences of their actions and to learn what happens as a result of decentralized interactions.”

        Robin, I get what you are saying here about students dwelling on consequences of actions with underlying but invisible lenses to guide actions. In fact I am understanding much more how PBIS and Positive School Climate initiatives work in tandem with digital curriculums or coding crap since they always emphasize the student learning to “self -reflect” on his behaviors.

        But Could you explain more what you mean by… “learn what happens as a result of decentralized interactions?”

        • Read this. http://hci.ucsd.edu/102a/readings/LearningAboutLifeAnnotated.pdf It was written by Mitchel Resnick back in 1994 with Seymour Papert’s help. I have gone back to reread some things Roy Pea, Mr Cyberlearning per NSF, wrote back in 1987 on what they hoped programming could do to the mind and how it processes. Rather stunning now. I had to go back and reread where I was fall 2014 now that I understand that the think tanks are all pulling in a common direction on education and the vision for digital learning.

          Also notice how these activities will prime the students to believe human systems acan be redesigned and planned. Of course the software is coded to heighten that impression and damn the real world consequences.

          Cause and effect and a mechanical worldview may be factual, but it’s not dialectical. Marxists and progressivists of all stripes want to be able to change people if they can change the environment and change behavior. Then that changed behavior is supposed to change people internally so that they act differently and perceive differently.

          Also remember the Director of the MIT Media Lab is Nicolas Negroponte, who is on the Club of Budapest with Ervin Laszlo and thus behind a Holos Consciousness. Changing how the mind works to go along with our ICT technology turns out to be what the Soviets wanted and progs here too. Again, I am rereading what I had now that I know more.

          • Okay… so if I’m getting this right, learning what happens as a result of decentralized interactions is all part of the” keeping it local “conditioning. Its a Middle Ages serfs “worldview’ which along with an academic lite education cripple the individual from seeing the larger actual picture or inhibits them from making actual connections about cause and effect? ( If Im missing it all or some I’m still open to explanation.)

            So we are suppose to believe, have New Religious Faith really, that we all create these sociocratic community soviets organically , never conceiving that we have been programmed by another to see this as the natural order of things.

            This paper by the way is stunning. Equating disappeared wood chip piles (as programed into a software game) with the human species is truly facile thinking. Sort of amazing in its awfulness.

            “For Callie, pre-programmed behavior, even if effective, was “boring.” Callie preferred the decentralized approach since it made the termites seem more independent”

            He sounds like an infomercial and “seem” more independent…. Yep. ‘Bout sums up the game don’t it?

          • If a student is acting unconsciously that is rigged by the emphasis on the Whole Child and the values and emotions tied to practiced action. You get Arational proficient performance. That’s why the shift to Learning Tasks id so important.

            If student believes they are planning and making conscious personal choices, the mental model they are using–the ideas supplied, the associated ideas they have learned to connect to other concepts, and the ties to the real world are all supplied. They are to be assessed annually under ESSA as the Higher order thinking mandate on states. All the funding from math, reading, social studies, 21st century schools is all about building up this desired interior framing structure that guides behavior and when deep enough actually prompts action. It guides what is perceived in the real world and what is ignored and how experiences are interpreted. IN fact it’s why to be equitable and compliant with UDL education HAS to be experiential now.

            Remember how the Soviets had a term obuchenie for the desired interiorized understanding that would be useful to being the kind of citizen they wanted? They also have a word for the desired educational activity-the externalized behaviors-that create that desired citizen–deyatal’nost. That came out yesterday as I reviewed the materials surrounding what this learning to code using VPLs will actually do.

            I need to rewatch a video and doublecheck one more thing and then I am ready to get something up today.

            I think it is important to recognize that both the so-called Left and Right think tanks and so many of the people involved with the anti-Common Core hype are pushing this cybernetic vision whether they understand that or not. Everyone seems to be interested in dictating the interiorized ideas and structural interpreting framework without being honest that they are for invisibly binding and manipulating the indifidual through education. Unfortunately that is also what lurks under all these calls for choice. It is an illusion of choice.

    • How exciting. A VP of Civic Engagement with an app designed to pilot participatory democracy.

      “But comrade, think of the greater good of our not being divided on these issues. Let’s come to a decision we can all accept. I have had some sociocracy training, let’s use those techniques and everything will be so much smoother. It will be a caucus for the ages. Maybe we should start off in Study Circles?”

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