Propitious Timing: A Book, Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became A Weapon, is Born

I have now discovered that when Amazon says it will take 5-7 business days for a book to be listed for sale not to take them literally. More like two hours actually but then the journey to bringing a book to print is an odyssey of twists and turns. In my case the book was written and then put aside as I started this blog in response to alarming developments as the actual Common Core implementation took on an increasingly psychological and communitarian focus. I took on the role of Paul Revere and have been writing away, instead of riding, to spread my concerns over what I was seeing in current documents as I monitored all the announcements and reports that continue to come out weekly. When concerned people would ask me why I was giving away the book, I would always say that I wasn’t. The blog was and is a separate creation.

In many ways it turned into a second book told in a serial fashion as I reacted in horror to whatever I saw coming at us. But early this summer I picked the manuscript back up knowing the story needed to be out this fall. Although I did use the knowledge developed from the blog’s research to reframe slightly how I presented the story weaving through the book, by and large, the book had simply become even more relevant while it sat quietly on my hard drive. Here is the link to Amazon where anyone can now find it . Those hoping for a Kindle option, that will be available in a couple of weeks. Lots of citations require specialized professional conversion.

I named this announcing post “Propitious Timing” because I have had numerous reasons in just the last week to recognize how many nefarious things that relate to what I explain in the book would still be going invisibly forward otherwise. Now at least we have some chance of putting it all into proper context. Giving us an opportunity to fight off the kind of visions I have laid out in recent posts. Education Week was on a roll on October 9th alone. It posted “Racial Equity 50 Years After King’s Speech” and then “Transforming Our Schools Requires Building Our Democracy” which stated rather preposterously that “only public institutions have the capacity to be rigorously accountable to the interests of communities.” That may make a nice pitch to increase power in the public sector but it is nonsense to anyone who has visited the DMV or a tag office.

But the real shocker to me, consistent with what was clearly building up as the drumbeat for social change, was this article “Our Nation’s Schools Remain Contaminated with Inequity.” It was a reminder on why it has mattered so much that someone telling this story is also a lawyer. We tend to recognize when someone arguing that the “law requires” is actually just hoping everyone will take that assertion as a given. And not recognize that current laws do no such thing and the writers are arguing aspirationally. What they wish the law said. I have seen that more and more as the law is seen not as a set of agreed-upon rules common to everyone but a tool for advocating social change. That is especially the vision of the book Contesting the Myth of a ‘Post Racial Era: The Continued Significance of Race in US Education written in 2013 by that article’s co-authors.

Race and ethnicity and inequity then get used as the excuse to push the idea that “the purpose of P-20 education is active social change.” And not in just any direction mind you but towards Relational Pluralism which:

“runs counter to the American Dream meritocracy by locating the individual as a member of a community, an individual who will succeed or fail as the community succeeds or fails. I believe that a commitment to relational pluralism is important for teachers who want to disrupt notions of meritocracy based on individualism and self-reliance, and thereby engage in the struggle against racism.”

That essay’s author, Judson Laughter, says this is “the social vision espoused by President Obama” and that it is time for it to spread. The mere fact that Education Week is now promoting the book and its point of view and Harvard developed it as part of its Black Studies & critical thinking series tells me we are about to have a real problem on our hands in terms of policies designed to ensure:

“Ending racism through education is not about every person having an equal chance. Ending racism through education is about letting go of the desire to be individually successful, and taking up the call to be the keepers of my sisters and brothers.”

Our political transformationists with their visions of a communal future have real plans for all of us and they see education as their premier weapon. But we are right up there with them and ready to follow in real time what is being sought. As I said: propitious timing. And yesterday Ron Radosh and David Horowitz issued a story and and old letter about one of England’s dedicated radicals, Ralph Miliband. I had never heard of him but apparently his son Ed Miliband is the current head of the British Labour Party and a possible future Prime Minister there. Apparently on October 1, a British writer said that Ed wanted to bring about his father’s vision of 21st century socialism. Up arose a dispute as to how radical the father was with Ed disputing what had been written and Horowitz responding with the old letter he had written. Asking why Ralph Miliband continued to push socialism in the early 90s after so many tragedies.

Again propitious timing. Ed Miliband’s response reminded me of a quote I use in the book that if what is being pushed is accurately perceived too soon “we will have to pull back.” Plus Horowitz’s long Open Letter reminded me again of the dangers of so many of the aspirations we are now seeing everywhere. Laid out in the book over decades of influential scheming and it is clearly still coming at us in the Relational Pluralism vision above. It’s also apparent in the ideas now pushed by UNESCO and the OECD via subjective well-being and capability as a human right and a return to Scientific Humanism as Irina Bokova is now advocating.

I wish this was not all going on but I am very glad that between the book and the blog we are going to be in a position to see what is coming at us. We will need to perceive all of this accurately in order to fight for the continued legitimacy of the individual in this vision of a transformed future.

All this sent me back to a troubling book from 1993. Harlan Cleveland wrote this as part of his vision on Birth of a New World:

“Perhaps most important of all, there is a role for educators in making sure that children in all cultures grow up with, and their parents develop, a feel for the new global/behavioral issues and relate them constructively in their own cultural identities and traditions. Education about the global commons from preschool through adult learning should be aimed at patterns of behavior and value systems consistent with a sharing environment. Not only the schools but the media, political leaders, and nongovernments of many kinds will have to be teachers about human conduct compatible with life in a shared commons.”

Harlan’s vision remains current in the US and UK and many other countries. Led via poorly understood education reforms. Designed to take us all towards a vision of collectivism none of us have consented to.

I wish these stories from the blog and the book were not true. But they are and it is all well documented. I am glad that because of propitious timing we can hopefully make enough people in enough places aware in time to turn away.


18 thoughts on “Propitious Timing: A Book, Credentialed to Destroy: How and Why Education Became A Weapon, is Born

  1. Yeah! Congratulations! Just ordered my copy. I can’t wait. And yes, great timing. Thanks for persevering with the book and the blog. When I hear you write from time to time how your hands were trembling as you were composing a post I realized how determined you are. As a reader, it’s something that I really appreciate. Great work.

  2. Thirty-five years ago I realized that schools were creating peasants. I had taught for only three years and had my own child in first grade. I later found books that said as much. John Holt worked on school reform until he suddenly realized that the schools were doing their jobs. Your blog and your books describes just what their job is. Thank you.

    • Dumbing Down Plus +

      There are now tons of books on Dumbing Down about our schools, including “So Little For The Mind”, 1953, when I first met up with the malady.

      Deliberate dumbing down and shaping of the new mind is what we are dealing with now. This new book, “CREDENTIALED . . .” will trace some of the global agenda — hopefully, to help us in time. Eagerly awaiting my order.

      When John Holt dropped his school reform efforts for full-time helping the home education movement in the 70s he had become uneasy about the fascistic trend in education.

      One of Holt’s quotes from that time speaks to our present day condition:

      *** “Today freedom has different enemies. It must be fought for in different ways. It will take very different qualities of mind and heart to save it.” ***

  3. Thank you so Robin for all you do. I am looking forward to meeting you and promoting your most important work. I ordered my copy just now and I too read Horowitz’s article today. I can’t wait to tell you more, can’t wait to read the book.

    We have candidate for Governor in IL, Bruce Rauner, His wife has a global working group and deals in human capital, he is invested in the Chicago Fund which promotes the “unity” that Common Core will bring. There will be lots of millionaires and billionsaires getting rich and powerful selling weapons, of mass education.

  4. Robin, your book is on my list. It will be coming out of next month’s book allowance. I am excited to read it. Congratulations and I am so glad you took the time and effort to write this blog so we could have a little advance warning.

  5. It’s been a while. I try to keep up with the posts, as there’s a lot of concern about Common Core here in NH.
    Delighted to see the book is out at last, and I’ve ordered and (P)reviewed it on Amazon. I’ll also post it on

    Best regards from the almost frozen North.

    • Spreading The News

      Thanks Mike for a good, short write-up. I used it in my post to the listserve, Education Consumers Clearinghouse. In a following post I will copy the teacher’s lament.

      Marilyn: The Dumbing Down of kids is intentional! So is the DD of teachers!

      It’s amazing that teachers, like your friend, have submitted to this shift without preparation or information.

      It’s rather poor management, isn’t it? Maybe this confusion and manufactured turmoil is also intentional? But WHY?

      We in BC, Canada, had a forum recently on the new assessments, but attending as a grandparent observer, I would say the system is very UNPREPARED. This is not something where you say — Just Wing It! It’s a form of educational abuse of the first order ! It’s inhumane !

      Sorry to be unpolished, but the thought strikes me that we need a Dr. Temple Grandin to bring her wisdom to bear. She is the autistic phenomenal intellect who designed better stockyards, corrals, chutes and loading ramps as cattle are herded to slaughter. To prevent stress for the cattle !

      Don’t our kids, grandkids, and teachers deserve better than to be dumped into all this new age madness.

      As a start I would suggest we all buy and read this new book, which is revealing some of the intentions and plans of 21st Century Learning. Basically, it is another attempt to create a New Man, except now it’s called a new person, who is collectivist-minded and to be de-individualized. Mainly it’s to expedite and smoothen future international economics.

      CREDENTIALED to Destroy – Dissecting Common Core

      • Speaking of implementing programs in an unprepared state, it reminds me of Obamacare, where the website isn’t working and sounds like it may not be working by the enrollment deadline for people losing their existing health insurance.

        Our government now just imposes changes and leaves us to figure out how to comply. If it were fiction it would be considered too implausible.

  6. A Teacher’s Lament About Common Core

    This is the exact quote from Marilyn from the ECC listserve:

    “I spent about an hour this evening with a neighbor and friend who teaches 5th grade in a neighboring district. I think sometimes for me, I wonder if things can be as bad as it seems in the actual classroom. After talking to her, I think it may be. She is not up on the politics of anything or even aware of the fact that anyone was fighting it. But when I asked her what she thought, she said, “I think we are dumbing down our kids”. She said they are told to NOT use any Direct Instruction. It’s all supposed to be small group work. Instructed not to do any memorization. Her frustration is palpable. It’s all about the data now, not how the teacher can help each individual child. The data she was talking about was all classroom/academic data, but she said it does leave out giving the teacher the ability to help each child as they see fit or to teach in a way they know will work. Lots of fun and games. One little bit of good news is that they switched to Singapore math this year for elementary school, but if they aren’t allowed to require that they know their math facts, it’s not going to get them what they need or want. She was told, just put their math facts on their desks (don’t make them know them). She gets lots of kids coming into 5th grade in a very upper middle class very high performing district that do not know their multiplication tables! The good teachers are NOT happy with Common Core.

    • Our district recently did a process of selecting Singapore Math for the elementary grades. My kids are older so they won’t see what happens there, but the selection process for Singapore Math was more local than the statewide process for Common Core. So I guess the Common Core mandate is to make Singapore Math live within the CC framework, i.e. you can put math facts on the desks but it’s basically extracurriculur, you could as well put bubble gum wrappers or My Weekly Reader on their desks.

      As I say I don’t get info now on how it’s being implemented in my district here in NY state.

  7. HI Robin
    Amazon has your book on its way here. Well done. Mercedes Schneider has a post on her site titled , THE COMMON CORE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING:WHAT A STORY” and a second one “THE FIGHT TO SAVE COMMON CORE: COUNT ME OUT” Both are well researched. Polly

    • You are welcome. Everything I have learned since embellishes the foundation laid out in detail in the book. It is a big part of why I can look at the template of deeper learning or Conley’s presentations of what will be deemed College and Career Ready and see the rest of the story.

      You will also see Christina Figueres’ admission from last weekend fits with what I pieced together.

      Enjoy is probably not the right word. So forewarned is forearmed. This is all happening far faster than I ever would have guessed. Possibly because the End Game is now thoroughly known by anyone who reads that book.

      Thanks again for the vote of confidence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.