Rip Aside the Mask: Society Becomes an Existential and Experiential Lab for Students to Become Citizens

That title comes from combining two different confessional quotes on the purpose of all these education reforms now hiding as the Common Core, Competency, or 21st Century Learning. We are sticking with Marcus Raskin’s book The Common Good we met in the last post. That initial phrase came as Raskin laid out how to “Reorganize the government for the common good. ” The “first task in a program of governmental reorganization which asserts social reconstruction [just like I described in my book Credentialed to Destroy] and citizen participation [no wonder we keep encountering the National Center for Deliberative Democracy] is to rip aside the mask of concern for efficiency to determine which group or class is being served by a particular way of organizing the governmental process.”

Wondering why all of a sudden the word Equity as an obligation is everywhere? How’s this for an open declaration? –“the criteria which are used to reorganize government should be consistently and deliberately discussed according to specific value standards: equity and caring, egalitarian interdependence and cooperation.” Now before I switch to the other quote and the vision of democratic education to create the necessary citizen to get there, some people may be tempted to ignore these declarations as from decades ago. In one of those serendipitous occurrences that remind us just how thoroughly we are tracking what is really coming at us, since I wrote the last post, Raskin and many others from the Institute for Policy Studies signed on to and published http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/NSPReport1_Digital1.pdf .

“The Next System Project: New Political-Economic Possibilities for the 21st Century” features many of the radical names we have already covered on this blog. http://thenextsystem.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/nextsystem_ForWeb.pdf is the list for those who want to play Recognize that Name and Contemplate the Implications. Since everyone can read those for themselves, let’s get back to the source for the second part of the title.  I also want everyone to keep in mind the ubiquity now of CTE for All (last post again) and authentic, real world, active learning for all students.

“For most students a practical, concrete and non-abstract education encourages their productive and imaginative side. [Think of Creativity as one of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning] If schools pursued this course the society would become an existential and experiential laboratory for students. Schools would become the central place to bring one’s personal experience, other people’s experience and findings together with human needs. The experiences themselves, the way they were described and understood could and should include the ethical ought and the nurturing of the artistic.”

“…the way they were described and understood” sounds precisely like what the Frameworks Institute from our last post does in education and beyond. Minimizing facts makes perfect sense for anyone who believes “the educational process becomes the central way to bring forth value considerations in relation to actual situations in the lives of people and their institutions and in the way human beings relate to nature.” If we did not already know that the phrase Democracy is usually no longer about candidates, voting, and elections, this should do it:

“Democracy’s project is the sharing of responsibility between the citizenry, finding common uses and ownership of property where that benefits the whole [in whose opinion?]–while continuously recognizing the needs of the person…A modern democracy recognizes the need to generate situations and relationships which simultaneously recognize similarity in the Other…it moves beyond individual and group interest to hammer out shared values which can be located in the whole, the group, but which cannot be found in the individual.”

That alarming project, coming at us like pollen on a spring day in Atlanta–fast moving and everywhere–views education as the means for how “skills…where people share their public and private lives and where problems of everyday life and abstract problems are considered.” That sharing and consideration gets masked behind the non-dictionary meaning of yet another 4C–communication. And if that communication is ultimately about “social regulation which needs and demands alternative modes of thinking and living,” values, beliefs, and thinking itself can be changed and molded with few parents being the wiser as long as “the grades are OK.”

I have mentioned that I have learned enough political theory in the last few years to recognize Marxist Humanism whether it uses the M word or simply attributes the change to sociology or brain science. Yet sure enough, there was Raskin quoting “the Marxist philosopher Roger Garaudy” to hype his point that “authentic esthetic education is also the cultivation of the senses that have become atrophied in our Western tradition as a result of the exclusive emphasis of logic and discursive reasoning.” New modes of thinking indeed. Those who wish to dramatically transform society and the economy hate “the cold, abstract madness that parades as reason and ‘objective reality.'” We can each  contemplate where the madness truly is in this vision.

Now Raskin was definitely not afraid to call a spade a spade and used the M word as an apt description of certain beliefs and hopes and the means to get there. Hint: EDUCATION as my book laid out. He did, however, criticize Marxists by name for having “failed in comprehending the ethical dimension to political power and the role it must play.” Raskin saw the role of the “experience and process of democratic education” as a means for transcending the “type of social science that explains passivity from the dominated and control from the dominator as the natural order of things.” Raskin must be in ideological heaven with all the classroom hyping of White Privilege now as he helps roll out the Next System Project.

What happens when education is seen as the means of making some students feel guilty while others are emboldened to feel entitled to “change the political system by integrating procedural rights with political demands. The demands are meant to get the social, legal [Remember progressive, polyphonic federalism and the Constitution in 2020?], and economic systems to change so that the person forges a set of conditions that guarantees his or her egalitarian interdependence in all aspects of society.” ‘Do for me. I am owed’ has never, ever been a basis for mass prosperity. Heaven help us that this vision is to be locked into place invisibly through little known legal shifts binding all of us.

Such as revamping the nature of citizenship “to allow the person to comprehend in concrete terms the way each aspect of life is related and interdependent.” Substituting supplied concepts, core disciplinary ideas in a ‘domain’, and cross-cutting issues for facts plays right into training students to comprehend things that are not so and misattribute causes in ways that will only make the problems worse. For those of us with Axemaker Minds and a factual body of knowledge from history or science it’s hard not to imagine the tragedy from teaching future educators and their administrators and all those public policy degree holders that “social problems can be framed to yield humane and progressive solutions.” Maybe, but probably not.

Enduring Understandings, Understandings of Consequence, Understanding by Design–all huge components of the actual Common Core implementation and especially the new assessments make perfect sense if you believe, as Raskin stated, that “how we categorize can help us organize energies for the common good.”  Social and emotional learning, role playing as a slave to appreciate the Civil War, and a Whole Child emphasis likewise  makes perfect sense as a necessary component if the goal is to “bring the purpose of equity into lived reality.”

In the world of the same curriculum for all from the proverbial dimwit to the Super Nova intellect and the elimination of tracking, I want to close with how Raskin concluded his book’s vision. He saw a “great struggle” although with all these deceitful terms being used to describe the shifts in purpose, policies, and practices, who will know in time to resist?

“People are not prepared to surrender their present comforts or those knowledges which helped them achieve such comforts either for the protection of humanity, the building of a world civilization–let alone egalitarian interdependence.” That’s not just a chilling declaration of purpose.

It reminds us that a huge component of the means to accomplish these admitted transformations is to destroy fine, well-stocked minds. Anywhere they can be discovered.

What a thing to be implementing blindly while hyping the skills gap and the need to be internationally competitive.

48 thoughts on “Rip Aside the Mask: Society Becomes an Existential and Experiential Lab for Students to Become Citizens

  1. Robin,
    Off topic, sort of, but what have you heard of the PAX Good Behavior Game (or PAX GBG)? This is just now being rolled out in my school district. One chilling last paragraph of the article in the school newsletter introducing it: “Some teachers were initially leery because they have been afraid to break away from direct teaching. {BUT, IF WE CAN’T REACH STUDENTS EMOTIONALLY, WE’RE NOT GOING TO REACH THEM INTELLECTUALLY.}” –emphasis mine. Yikes!

    • If I remember right PAX is a play off of Peaceable classroom as in the Latin word. I covered it here a long time ago. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/promoting-alternative-thinking-strategies-is-this-really-mental-health-first-aid/

      Two other posts are directly relevant and written in a similar time frame as we were first coming to grips with the substitution of the emotional for the intellectual and why. They are http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locusts-of-the-mind-boring-gaping-holes-altering-wiring-and-living-on-our-dime/ and then http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locusts-of-the-mind-boring-gaping-holes-altering-wiring-and-living-on-our-dime/

      Remember that gaming like this is an immersion experience where all the elements of the environment and the student’s interaction with it are designed to manipulate and react to where the student is presently. That’s what personalized and student-centered actually means.

      Yikes indeed on this Good Friday.

    • Here is one powerpoint link on the integration of the game with PBIS. http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/health%20and%20safety/PAX/Integration%20of%20PBIS%20and%20GBG_for%20SAMHSA%2011-28%20Webinar.pdf

      I started this blog and put off publishing the book in part once I learned that the PBIS was being quietly mandated for all students in all classrooms under a very creative interpretation of the IDEA-Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. That was in April 2012. I started this blog later that month because so much was happening so fast. I hoped to alert people as to what was going on using federal law and misunderstood terms and international conferences like Planet under Pressure in London in March 2012.

      My first SEL post where I talked about PBIS was http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-social-and-emotional-learning-as-the-primary-focus-is-coming-in-all-the-windows/

      That was in June 2012. On July 28, the next month, President Obama amplified this by making a Positive School Climate a federal mandate under an Executive Order. Many of the people listed in the Next System Project, like Herman Daly, have work that gets listed in the bibliographies of the positive school climate lit. Daly’s is his book for the common good.

      Tunya-when I did the search that pulled up that seattle link it also showed the Canadian Province of Manitoba using this PAX Game. http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/pax/

      Finally this link http://paxis.org/about ties the Pax Game to the federal Cradle to Grave, meeting all of citizen needs in the designated communities Promise Neighborhood program. When I wrote the story about the first ESEA Rewrite hearing I noticed that a number of the witnesses Lamar Alexander has speaking were tied to the Promise Neighborhood grants and communities. I guess it is the federal pilot for the Next System.

      • Robin,
        Are there days you wish you were still blissfully unaware?
        I have those kinds of days, it seems to hit when we talk about SEL. Just seems so troubling to me.

        • It has been so many years since I was blissfully unaware. I no longer question why the admins at my kids’ private elementary school were so awful to me when they announced the shift and I asked a question since I understood the nature of the program they were pushing.

          I am afraid when links like this come up https://www.hazelden.org/HAZ_MEDIA/gbg_history.pdf I have to be glad somebody knows this.

          I do not think it is coincidental the Paxis Institute is based in Tucson which brought us 21st Century Learning as P21, the new Ken Kay entity EdLeader 21, and so much of Peter Senge’s Camp Snowballs.

          Remember that was also the place the League of Innovative Schools chose last year for its first conference. All the hype was on competency with those graphics we talked about. Now we have this acknowledgment from that 2009 conference that mental health and education will merge into a common approach that will be preemptive, not reactive.

          • I noticed Tucson. I also noticed his involvement in mindfulness.
            The MH combination reminds me of Anita saying something related to billing for these types of services.

          • Also notice embry’s work with “first peoples”.

            I think Anita said something about medicaid billing. This all fits with the now declared “subjective wellbeing” as the purpose of government.

          • That hazelden.org link is terrifying. They have whittled down human behavior to a scientific equation. And they have already run randomized testing of the Game in various parts of the country. Maryland, Oregon, Arizona, Wyoming, California, and Illinois. (That was back in 2000.)

            No words. From that same article you mentioned above:
            “This suggests that a teacher alone,
            without a family intervention, can dramatically improve the developmental outcomes of a
            high-risk child. The PAX Good Behavior Game gives teachers power to change the
            future—even if the families do not help! ”

            This is horrifying.

          • Now you know why I have been so determined to tell this story. The thing is I am giving links (and I will cover this when I get back from–don’t laugh–from a college tour with my youngest) that the typical educator or their boss pushing this on the classroom will have never seen. We parents simply must become the knowledgeable parties on what is intended for our children and everyone else.

            I think your link is a nice way to once again step away from what is intended to how it makes it all the way to the classroom. I am sorry for your angst in understanding what is sought, but truly factual knowledge is the only way to protect our children.

      • Yes, I my ears perked up at the Promise Neighborhood mention as well. I also found it interesting how they are using ‘non-words’ to describe parts of the Game. The article I read stated: ‘Using words that are either made-up or unrelated to regular speech is purposeful so that positive or negative connotations students may have with ‘real’ words are avoided.’ So in other words, traditional behaviors that parents instill in their children are being redefined so that creates an even wider gap between school and families.

  2. http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2015/04/this-culture-war-were-in.html?

    Wednesday, April 01, 2015
    This Culture War We’re In
    Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog 43 Comments


    We no longer have a culture. We have a counterculture that occasionally masquerades as the culture.

    But it’s not over yet. A culture war destroys the culture of the other side because that is the source of its values. To completely destroy the other side, its values must be destroyed as an abstract, its organization must be destroyed to prevent those values from being conveyed and the individual’s own values must be destroyed, in that order.

    Destroying the values of every single individual is the most difficult part of this project. Destroying values as an abstract idea is the easiest. That’s why the left has made its greatest gains there.


    The left is not fighting this as a war of ideas. It attacks the area of least resistance with whatever slogan or argument is most convenient at the time. Don’t debate its ideas. Indict its hypocrisy. It mocks the values of others, but demands that what is sacred to it be off limits. This is a weakness. Don’t defend your own values. Attack its values. You aren’t the establishment. You lost. You’re the rebels. Be rebellious. They are the owners. Wreck what they have made without counting the cost.

    The left is not an organic entity. It is a pyramid of organizations and institutions. It needs the support of billion dollar entertainment and media industries. Its community organizers need jobs with six figure salaries. The left is destroying a civilization that it cannot survive without. It is an artificial entity that is weak and vulnerable in ways that the organic systems it has declared war on, such as the family, are not.

    The left is not human. It is a system.

    It is a system of control. A system of organization. A system of indoctrination. Destroy the system and the left dies. Destroy the flow of wealth and the control of ideas and it withers.

    Like every system, the left seeks to control organic human institutions. It fancies itself superior to them when it is actually a parasite living on their backs.

    [more at link]

  3. Robin,

    1)
    Are you mapping your research & connections into ‘the brain’ or similar software?

    2)
    Have you done a ‘big picture’ summary presentation on film?

    3)
    Is there an index / list of posts by date?

    • Joe:
      Good questions. They triggered my comments below. The underlying thoughts have been there for some time.

      1. Dealing with the material Robin is dealing with is mentally exhausting just to read, much less do the original research. Robin is hacking her way through a jungle.

      2. One difficulty is that common words have been ‘redefined’ by the CC people for their own use. This makes even discussion of CC difficult. E.g. how could anyone be against ‘rigor’ or ‘competence’?

      3. Another difficulty is that the same or similar CC ideas are re-labelled every few years making discussion difficult. E.g. ‘central planning’ is an old term and is easy to discuss. if it was re-labelled every 5 years for the past 100 it would be very difficult to discuss the underlying idea.

      4. Another difficulty is that many of the CC ideas Robin discusses are not actually found in the ‘black letter law’ of CC so critics can point this out. They may be tied in through other regs but that tracing is difficult.

      5. I think a glossary would very very useful. It might be hard to keep each word explanation from turning into a chapter in itself, although that might not be all bad. E.g. what is ‘rigor’? ‘Competence’? “Internationally bench-marked’?

      6. I learn best from concrete examples. The word ‘rigor’ does not mean much to me, especially when I suspect it has been co-opted. Given me 5 examples or more, in actual use. To prove my point: The starting point for many parents is when they see concrete examples being used on their children. Perhaps the best examples are before CC and after CC daily classroom activities in a particular class. E.g. 9th grade English. (‘Language Arts’)

      7. Another area where concrete examples would help in the explanations are real examples or perhaps simulations of what happens next when teacher X teaches using method A instead of B. Where in the black letter law/regs/contracts does the rule being enforced come from and where does the authority to e.g pull federal funding after a reg is broken come from.?

      • All these things take time I currently do not have or dollars I do not have given what my monthly used book purchasing bill currently runs.

        The tags on blog do some of this. When I tag the blogs I know why I classified the post as i did and clicking on the tags that interest and reading in chronological order should help.

        The next book I have arranged to deal with the index upfront as the book is being laid out so the two different types of software can talk to each other. As my editor pointed out as I was upset there would be no index with the first book, the footnotes are so detailed in what I cite that they work as an index.

        I just wanted everyone to know I do recognize the things I would change as I have time and a budget not committed to research as currently. Or when book sales make expenses less relevant.

        This link http://www.eschoolnews.com/2015/04/10/technology-behavior-054/ and the conference it references make it clear that digital learning is not about a better way to acquire knowledge. It’s a more effective way to manipulate the child psychologically and these conferences admit that.

        • Robin:

          I certainly was not criticizing your work. I read your book twice, the second time on paper which I preferred because I could scribble and underline etc. I am very good at analyzing abstract political ideas. It took me a while to understand why understanding all of this CC stuff (not your work) was hard for me.

          I think it is because words are used to discuss the CC matters and the ‘educators’ have attached different meanings to common words and change the words used to describe their concepts every decade or two to obfuscate any tracing or analysis.

          I can’t imagine how hard it is to identify an idea then trace it back over a hundred years as it changed names often to hide its bad reputation. I get tired just thinking about trying to do that.

          Now that I think about it, a glossary might well turn into a chapter on each term as its lineage is traced and examples given.

          Please keep up the good, exhausting work.

          • I did not take it as a criticism. I get frustrated by the combo of logistics coupled to figuring this stuff out and the time it takes.

            I just wanted people to know I do listen and appreciate advice. I am back. Fighting some crud after effects but winning I hope. I am contemplating the bipartisan new federal legislation and the implications of what is being admitted to.

            I may get something up tomorrow. I know what I want to draw attention to next. I am not sure how I got to where I am, but I do know I have got this story. My book turns out to be only the beginning and this blog the tip of the iceberg.

            I am a tough broad and I do learn from people telling me something is not clear.

            There’s a reason when I speak I get to a point when I tell people to just ask me any question they want. It lets me trace up from their understanding to what I know is the big picture and the interconnecting links.

  4. Robin, Here in New York, where a new law evaluates teachers on test scores and outside evaluation (strangers in elementary classrooms–imagine!) where lesson plans and artifacts of teaching don’t count, it is hard to reconcile this affective, gaming vision. All we see is a bludgeon and a boot on the throats of teachers, students and parents. Help those of us living with the little f (think Italy) reconcile this with what you see with the little c. Teachers must report to the government if they move. Teachers with permanent certification just had it revoked with the stroke of a pen. Outside evaluators (credentialed or not) have more power than principals. And parents and local constituents have no say in what government has imposed. Help us connect the dots, because if NY has gone down, Maryland and California are next.

  5. Nimbus:

    When I hear the issue of considering teacher performance in layoffs instead of just seniority my knee jerk reaction is to say “of course.” But then I wonder and worry some. This could be used to purge the schools of good teachers.

    Also, just in general, I found this post today and thought at least the link and cite belongs here. It reminded me of Robin’s material on modern ‘education.’ The “private languages” phrase made me snort and think of many of the ‘educational’ and ‘progressive’ papers Robin links to.

    Jonah Goldberg in National Review quoting W.H. Auden from, the Herod section of For the Time Being:
    http://link.nationalreview.com/view/551d55103b35d017108c13eb2gfux.3ur/fef2aaed
    :

    Reason will be replaced by Revelation. Instead of Rational Law, objective truths perceptible to any who will undergo the necessary intellectual discipline, Knowledge will degenerate into a riot of subjective visions . . . Whole cosmogonies will be created out of some forgotten personal resentment, complete epics written in private languages, the daubs of schoolchildren ranked above the greatest masterpieces. Idealism will be replaced by Materialism. Life after death will be an eternal dinner party where all the guests are 20 years old . . . Justice will be replaced by Pity as the cardinal human virtue, and all fear of retribution will vanish . . . The New Aristocracy will consist exclusively of hermits, bums and permanent invalids. The Rough Diamond, the Consumptive Whore, the bandit who is good to his mother, the epileptic girl who has a way with animals will be the heroes and heroines of the New Age, when the general, the statesman, and the philosopher have become the butt of every farce and satire.

    • The defensive comments about the highly paid Oregon ‘educator’ indicated the usual disturbing lack of thought. They went on and on about what degrees he had. So why pay more for those degrees? Is anyone saying they could not pay half as much and still find someone to do the job?

      They did not ask why anyone should be paid more for having those degrees. In the non-govt world it is rare (and becoming rarer) to pay someone more because they have an additional degree.

      The private organizations I have worked for pay as little as possible to obtain the competence they need. If there is a glut of candidates they may require an additional degree simply to reduce the number of applications they have to weed through while not paying any more because; there is a glut of applicants.

      When I grew up the school principal likely had a BA. And the guidance counselors were called that; not ‘deans’ (like my kids school LOL). When schools automatically pay more for masters degrees there is always a local diploma mill to grant those diplomas. There is a race to the bottom to require as little work as possible. Teachers effectively send in box tops.

      • Also ….
        In WI, after Gov. Scott Walker stood up to the public employee unions one school board announced that going forward, they were no longer automatically paying teachers more for having a masters degree. They did not reduce existing pay.

        • Unfortunately, the “ability to get rid of bad teachers” may very well backfire. As Robin has explained, Common Core doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It may look as though teachers still have some autonomy and decision making power. However, the new assessments look specifically for constructivist implementation and will give poor ratings to anyone deemed “old school”. These will be the ones pushed out of teaching–not the truly bad ones.

          And, no our pay wasn’t decreased. However, the cuts to the schools show up in ways that those who wanted the cuts wouldn’t necessarily want them implemented. The fact is you can cut funding but you still have constructivist-minded liberals in charge of school budgets even at the local level.

          • As anon mentions from experience and as I point out in the book and anytime I speak, it is the revered, changed my life teachers that are actually the most at risk in this model because they still value knowledge for its own sake. In the updated vision that CC is a part of but which the old outcomes-based education laid out more fully (see Chapter 4 of my book) there is a belief that knowledge is only useful now if it can be used as part of a transformative mindset. We get the loss of a legitimate personal sphere without acknowledging that is what is really going on.

            As I laid out in the book, there is a reason the radicals keep coming back to the phrase -a common core. It allows the First Amendment “government may not infringe on freedom of thought” to remain on the books while abrogating it in practice. Government institutions and private entities that take government money must assess to determine if the desired attitudes, values, and beliefs are present. If not or if not secure, curricular activities will be modified until they are.

            Why do we think it is so important to keep the assessments annual?

            While I was travelling last week, I was reading many of the articles on the Atlanta Cheating scandal. I am really hoping I never actually muttered “Liars, liars, pants on fire” to myself as I rode the trains through the ne but I certainly thought it. Atlanta was the poster child for constructivist practices and the New Standards Project’s dreamed implementation and the need to move away from any objective tests in this vision. Using it as proof that high stakes testing does not work is ludicrous.

            It is now being used to sell the very type of performance assessments where engaging in the activity is the assessment that was the third leg of the New Standards Project. Those CRCTs that the educators were cheating on were so weak that one of my now adult children said back in middle school when he first took one that if you were not ‘proficient’, you were actually years below the nominal grade level being tested. The kids couldn’t pass because the methods Bev Hall and her predecessors insisted on were never intended to teach reading or math properly. Without a fallback at home, the kids couldn’t pass basic tests of simple knowledge.

            That’s not an indictment of High Stakes Testing, it’s an indictment of those practices. The very ones being nationalized under the Common Core and the related vision of Competency. That’s why teacher tenure had to be stripped and licensing modified. Individual teachers must no longer be allowed to close the door and keep up the transmission of knowledge emphasis.

          • Anon:
            I agree with what you wrote. I only meant that in that school district in WI that no longer pays more for getting a Masters degree the pay for teachers already getting more for having the Masters is not cut.

            Sometimes budgets are just not increased as much as teachers would like. Most teachers will vote for a step increase even though it means laying off 5% of teachers if funding is not increased. The 95% outvote the 5%.

      • We home-tutored. (I don’t know what home-schooling is. We didn’t try to replicate any aspects of a school. Our kids got up to study when they wanted to, finished each day when they wanted to–they did have to study Monday-Saturday, generally 46 weeks a year–but they were given pretty much self-reign.

        So we didn’t do homeschooling.

        One of the things I noticed several years ago, was as a midlife adult, who took a few practice tests to prepare for the GRE, I scored a 1490 on the Qantitative and Verbal tests. I noticed that according to USN&WR, the average GRE Q+V scores for the Ivy League top education schools Columbia and Harvard, for PhD/EdD students were ca. 1200, which is to say 200-300 points below these universities’ scores for academic-field students. These ed schools were educating universities’ ed school future faculty (i.e. education researchers), US Department of Education higher-level officials, and state superintendents of education.

        What we saw, aside from the lunacy of John Dewey, was “education research” that produced ideas that were “research proved”, that experimentally produced excellent results when “field-tested” by selecting top-notch teachers to use the new curricula, that utterly failed when they were implemented in regular classrooms taught by the rank and file. And there were no video records of what the top-notch teachers actually taught, i.e. did they really strictly follow the protocols.

        I remember when high school teachers were required to have traditional colleges’ and universities’ degrees. That is, the normal schools established 1850s-1910, admitting girls with 8th grade education, to be teachers of grammar school students, renamed “teachers colleges” (named after across-the-street-from Columbia University “Teachers College”), admitted below-traditional-college/university ability students, which became region-within a state “State College” after WWII, and then “X State University” in the 1960’s, were enabled to train high-school teachers in the 1950s sand 60s..

        This corresponded to state education laws requiring students to attend to age 16 then 18, contrasted to pre-WWII norm of students ending their educations at age 12-13.

        So what has transpired? We’ve recruited blow-average students to be teachers, who produce a non-college-prepared applicant pool to colleges, and the originally normal school now state universities teaching what used to be 9th-10th-grade-level material to their first-year students.

  6. SATathrough another evening of doublespeaK tonight during school board meeting. The BATs are making themselves known. The union rep spoke of how the sbac is putting so much pressure on students. One pretended to put a gun to his temple after spending hours testing and learning the results wouldn’t be delivered until July.

    Continued sharing of how testing is contributing to the achievement gap and making the rich richer. They have the solution to this problem! Assessments for learning. These will be the answer.

    You are on target Robin. Additionally emails arrived during the week on organizing WIOA without calling it by name.

    Hope you feel better soon.

      • Makes you feel good about all the K-12 focus on experiences doesn’t it and reflection on those experiences? Also the description of intrapersonal meaning-making as a synonym for K-12 learning.

        In classic Marxist theory as laid out by Herbert Marcuse (Make Love, not War fame) he explains that the focus should not be on facts or current reality because that impairs envisioning what the future and reality might become with the right Theory and Practice. Then he translated the phrase Theory and Practice to its synonym Thought and Action and I thought I was going to be ill when I realized what that meant for what is going on in K-12. Seigel is trying to get to same place but making th focus psychological to reimagine what might be.

        Technology is another avenue. Accept the world as modeled by the software creator and pretend that’s an achievable reality.

        You know I got very good with trains in the ne last week. Bet I could get from nyc to that monastery.

        • “the focus should not be on facts or current reality because that impairs envisioning what the future and reality might become with the right Theory and Practice.”-Herbert Marcuse

          The future is glorious comrade. Seriously, this focus on the future is interesting because the imagined future is malleable. A cynical modern Russian-Soviet saying was “The future is well known; it’s the past that keeps changing.”

          What does the statement below have to do with designing and building a bridge?

          “the focus should not be on facts or current reality because that impairs envisioning what the future and reality might become with the right Theory and Practice.”
          1. do not focus on facts. check.
          2. do not focus on current reality. check.
          3. what does ‘envisioning’ mean? It means having a vision. People can have visions of: a 900 foot Jesus; lollipop trees; everyone in the world in a giant group hug; 1 million people in a march singing the International; all school children testing the same, etc. Such envisioning is better with LSD I am told.

          4. what the future and reality might become??? So reality is malleable? The future and reality might become the emperor’s new clothes.

          5. at some point in the future, say 1 year, ‘the focus should not be on facts or current reality’ but on the imagined envisioned future. In 5 years ‘the focus should not be on facts or current reality.’ In 25 years ‘the focus should not be on facts or current reality.’ The focus will NEVER be on the facts or the current reality.

          Instead of designing and building a bridge think green energy, etc.

          • Especially if you are Tom Steyer. Probably not a coincidence brother Jim is involved in education is it?

    • Getting there. I am also making sure everything I think is going on with the Every Child Achieves Act pans out against the materials I have. It makes no sense for me not to get into what the terms really mean since at this point I may have the finest library of ed books gathered from the decades outside of the Rand Corporation. So far everything checks out with the view of Competency I laid out in the book in Chapter 4.

      Alice Linahan asked me to do her Women on the Wall conference call tomorrow night to talk about ECAA and WIOA. I have also gone back to look at a book I have on the new kinds of performance assessments that came out of the New Standards Project. My epiphany that the so-called “Model of Cognition” talked about there is the same as what will make all students ‘achieve’=what admitted radicals in the 50s said would be the necessary internalized values and beliefs to convert individuals from private persons to members of the sought Human Development Society is too important a point for me not to doublecheck all the way through.

      So far, fortunately or unfortunately, the insight is producing a cascade of materials. It is also linking to that Lumina summit of 75 metro areas in Dallas in January I have mentioned. That in turn fits with Lamar Alexander’s previous witness list in his earlier hearings on this rewrite. Also have pulled up links to P21. By the way, did you know ISTE’s operating headquarters were in Eugene, Oregon?

      How’s this for a concession on the real role of the Common Core: “Schools and districts that have implemented key components of competency education use the Common Core or other high-quality standards that emphasize higher-level concepts and deeper learning skills over basic skills and factual knowledge.”

      I would take a victory lap except I would likely have a coughing fit. Will have to settle for a nice cup of tea as my reward instead.

        • Robin,
          I have been looking in the book and searching the blog for the source of the meaning of student growth being about changing attitudes, values, etc. Does that come from a blend of sources or is there a specific one?

        • It always sounds a bit like babble when I just read the words. It’s not until I start applying Robin’s EdWord definitions that I either get mad or really nervous.

      • Sorry to hear you’re still under the weather, Robin–and that’s quite the confession. What’s most stunning to me is that so few pause to consider the vacuous ed-speak and specious claims. I’ve read white paper after white paper written by these educrats, and I’ve yet to find a single mention of what students will actually learn. It doesn’t take much contemplation to understand that deeper learning apart from factual knowledge is affective in nature. Nothing more dangerous in my opinion.

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