Chocolate Cities Strangled by White Nooses: Hacking Out the Rights of the Citizen

Isn’t that the most graphic metaphor you have ever read? I would say it has nothing to do with last night’s riots in Charlotte, but since I am quoting from a 2007 biography of Martin Luther King on his sentiments about urban areas and the suburbs, I am not sure that is true. What I do know is that the post title was already written up before last night’s events because I was struck by the anger in the statement. The sentiment there reveals a huge disconnect between what most Whites have been told about what King stood for and what Blacks and other minorities believe they are entitled to and have waited for too long. The book is From Civil Rights to Human Rights and it was cited in a footnote recently as I continue to piece together precisely what the synthesis is that public policy think tanks across the spectrum are coordinating around.

If the synthesis is actually what King called a Third Way where governments at all levels “would sponsor poor people’s activism for social and economic rights guaranteed by government,” everything that is going on now begins to fall into its true role. Interesting isn’t it that it was MLK who wanted “metropolitan wide-planning in housing and economic development [that] would break down city-suburb divisions of power and privilege.” In other words what is going on now under the Obama Administration is less his overreach in many people’s minds than finally fulfilling “King’s decision to build a nationwide coalition capable of empowering all poor people and moving the nation toward democratic socialism” as the book’s author, history professor Thomas F. Jackson put it.

Fascinating biography, but the point of this post is how much of a difference powerful images created by words can make in guiding perception about a person or an issue. That’s probably why that quote is not better known. It would have upset the narrative. Here’s another quote from someone at that Oxford Conference we covered in the last post, Eldar Shafir, writing to support a new book by Cass Sunstein called The Ethics of Influence: Government in the Age of Behavioral Science.

“We typically consider ourselves rational actors, whose dignity derives from our autonomy. In fact, our behavior is easily shaped by other actors and by external factors, often outside our awareness and control. When government intervenes to influence our behaviors, often to improve our lives, we recoil. But if government remains uninvolved while other interests are free to shape our world, how autonomous are we then? Sunstein confronts our naivete with a penetrating discussion about how to balance government influence against personal dignity, manipulation against autonomy, and behavioral facts against political ideals. The book is an engrossing read.”

I’ll bet it is, but like our lost invite to Oxford in May, how many of us know this book exists or that Ivy league professors are busy creating degree holders in public policy and other areas ready to impose these visions into what now constitutes education in the 21st century or the ‘rights’ written into laws and agency edicts? Beyond being a prof at Princeton and Harvard, Shafir has been tapped to serve as the first director of the Daniel Kahneman and Anne Treisman Center for Behavioral Science and Public Policy at Princeton. It was created with an anonymous $10 million gift in 2015 by someone who particularly admired Anne Treisman’s work in psychology. I found a bio on her at The History of Neuroscience site so let’s look at a shift she noted that is very important to governments wanting to control each student’s internalized capacities.

“Ulric Neisser’s book Cognitive Psychology was about to be published in 1967, definitively marking the end of behaviorism and its taboo on concepts such as imagery, mental representations, and cognitive models. Contrary to the behaviorist idea that stimuli activate responses to produce behavior, the cognitive revolution saw stimuli as conveying information-reducing the uncertainty about possible states of the world by modifying mental representations–a major conceptual change. Attention [think of the ubiquity now of the word engagement] was central to cognitive psychology from the beginning, in part because it involved a purely mental event that changed what people perceived.” Daniel Kahneman is Ms Treisman’s husband and the winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics.   is a good link explaining why the Economics Committee decided psychology had become an important element of the discipline. Kahneman was and is a psychologist known for creating a means for calculating the way in which “irrational actions can be predicted and quantified.” Very useful, in other words, for governments wanting to control and predict just that. Predicting and quantifying that, it turns out, makes it important to know what Values people have and what Concepts and Principles frame their perception. If that sounds vaguely familiar now it’s probably because it is another way of restating what the new federal education legislation–the Every Student Succeeds Act–requires every school in every state to assess regularly using the euphemism Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings.

That would also probably be why Getting Smart’s Tom VanderArk on May 27, 2015 reviewed Kahneman’s book Thinking Fast and Slow: How We Process and Respond to the World. When we find a report “Words that Change Minds” on what phrases, concepts, and framing should be used to push public policy issues   that is using Kahneman’s insights. When the Common Core Social Studies C3 Framework wants students to practice with the provided ‘lenses’ in role playing classroom exercises, that’s again Kahneman’s work. When we are curious about precisely what lawyers are being trained to do in seminars that blend Law and Economics, it is important to know that the Nobel Committee thought it important to recognize psychology work that gives insights into decision-making in ambiguous situations where there is no single correct answer.

If that also sounds familiar it is what P-12 education now calls rigorous coursework and assessments. Interestingly Dr Kahneman thanked DARPA for helping fund his work and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, where he and Professor Treisman were fellows in 1976-77, for its role in these theories. Yes, that’s the same CASBS where all these other still guiding us templates were developed, including charters, General Systems Theory, Amitai Etzioni’s Active Society, and School Choice just to name a very few. I sometimes wonder if anyone has started selling “Behavioral Science Can Rule the World!” t-shirts yet. After all, this new Princeton Center expects “that the research conducted at the center will directly influence local, national and global public policy, identifying new approaches to address social problems and improve lives.”

Now, knowing what is really going on in K-12 education with personalized learning, virtual reality, HOTS mandates, social emotional learning standards, and authentic assessments embedded in real-world problems, let’s read about the behavioral “approach pioneered at Princeton, [where] policies are developed with a focus on what really drives people in decision making–the idiosyncratic and sometimes surprising ways in which they view their choices, perceive the social, economic and political world around them, and decide whether or not, and how, to act.” In other words, the behavioral approach the Center intends to build its public policy insights on and then recommend using the law as the means to force implementation in real world settings is precisely the same psychological arena, perception, that ESSA in the US and student-centered learning generally and globally has decided is the focus of 21st Century education.

What are the odds? Notice just how much more clearly we could recognize the aims of Martin Luther King once biographers quit filtering his quotes to prevent us from recognizing precisely where he wanted to take the US to achieve his vision of economic justice.

Time to truly appreciate the power of frames and conceptual lenses to guide future behavior and make it very predictable.

Just like no one is inviting us to these conferences where these plans are hatched, no one is asking our input into the frames to be fostered in our children as internalized mental models and cultivated via emotions. I have seen many of the lists though and the real MLK and his vision of democratic socialism would approve.

Did I mention that his biographer noted that the vision looked precisely like Marxist humanism? See that phrase is a real aspiration and not just some fetish I keep wanting to bring up. I see it because it fits even though now it has new names like Opportunity Society or Innovations in Poverty Alleviation.

Maybe the t-shirts should read “Framing: What Works to Create Sturdy Houses and Manipulable Minds.”

False Selling of Education Terms as Remedies Obscures Real Function as an Accelerant

When a false narrative is set out with respect to education, such as misrepresenting concepts and practices like standards, School Choice, social emotional learning, or labeling NAEP and PISA as ‘tests,’ parents and taxpayers who believe they are getting accurate information from an ‘expert’ get led astray. Worrying about the wrong things and not paying attention to the real functions, they are unable to best protect their children or their tax dollars. Most never seem to think in terms of conflicts of interest or the agenda of the paymasters of the various think tanks. I want to deal with the admitted agenda of the Declared Leftist Radicals first and then show why I disturbingly keep finding language on the supposed Conservative, market-oriented, or Libertarian side that is clearly headed to the same place.

Let’s start with this paper from 2010

It started by declaring that “we confront daunting twenty-first century challenges hobbled by twentieth century institutions.” Now I read enough Leftist sites and books to know they repeatedly call for “new forms of social organization.” What if we cannot see that schools have become a radically new form of social organization because we assume we have a choice? Then all the limitations now placed on how schools and students must interact and offer instruction would be hidden behind obscuring misdefinitions. We would have an illusion of choice, but a reality of unappreciated prescription. That same link ends with “As with any democracy, the legitimacy of global governance rests with engaged citizens who demand rights and assume responsibilities. The globalization of the human project sets the historic condition for a corresponding enlargement of identity and community.”

What if that goal for creating “a worthy planetary civilization” relies on governments at all levels stipulating performance and achievement ‘standards’, which regulate what anyone  must know or do? What if those same levels of government describe the desired values, dispositions, ethics, and beliefs that students are to internalize? What if those stipulations get hidden as social emotional learning, character, or civics education? What if parents never grasp that both NAEP and PISA are looking to assess for whether the desired internalized, prescribed attributes have taken hold at a neurobiological level? Parents might then never know that their child was being socially reengineered at school because they believe those measures are ‘tests.’ They would have been misled and might fail to recognize the existence of a PDM–a Political Disciplinary Mechanism–used to make sure that the subsidiary levels of government remain faithful to the desired national or global implementation.

Remembering my Pincer Action metaphor from the last post, let’s shift to what UK Sociologist Anthony Giddens wrote in his 1994 book Beyond Left and Right: The Future of Radical Politics where he talked about shifting from a welfare state to Positive Welfare. As I have documented previously, that fits with what various members of the Atlas Network state they are seeking when you read the fine print and the declared agendas of some of their touted speakers (my bolding).

“Happiness ‘does not depend on outside events, but rather on how we interpret them’; it is ‘a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated.’ It depends less on controlling the outer world than controlling the inner one. ‘People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.'”

Grammarians will notice Giddens was quoting someone, which I will get to in a moment. What if social emotional learning and quality learning are actually designed to change how the child perceives the world just as Giddens desired and parents are unaware because they have been trained deceitfully like Pavlov’s Dogs to simply worry about databases of Personally Identifiable Information? The proclaimed needed cultivation and internalized control would be put in place through the schools to be lasting and unconscious with parents none the wiser. Giddens was in turn quoting Mihaly Csiksentmihaly, who is the creator of what Excellence actually means in education. Long time readers will also recognize Csik’s involvement in GERG–General Evolution Research Group with some of the systems theorists I have tagged to this post.

Now remember that civil rights laws are now being interpreted to REQUIRE Excellence and Equity in education. It’s just not the Webster’s definition of Excellence in play. Now I am about to introduce yet another one of those nerdy words that occasionally are necessary. This time though the word autotelic is not mine. It is once again Giddens, quoting Csik so here we go.

” A person who pays attention to an interaction instead of worrying about the self obtains a paradoxical result. She no longer feels like a separate individual, yet her self becomes stronger. The autotelic individual grows beyond the limits of individuality by investing psychic energy in a system in which she is included. Because of this union of the person and the system, the self emerges at a higher level of complexity…[this, however,] requires determination and discipline. Optimal experience is not the result of a hedonistic, lotus-eating approach to life…one must develop skills that stretch capacities, that make one become more than one is.”

Now if that development of the autotelic self is actually what social emotional learning standards and the hype over Grit, Perseverence, and a Growth Mindset actually get at, this letter to Congress would be setting both Congress and parents in the wrong direction. Plus the supposedly proscribed and even boldfaced for emphasis, “fundamental theory of liberty upon which all governments in this Union repose excludes a general power of the State to standardize its children by forcing them to accept instruction…” would continue unabated. That’s the effect of either deliberately False Narratives in education or just confusion or ignorance about the true nature of these reforms. No need for Personally Identifiable Information to thoroughly standardize a child at an invisible level.

I want to quote Giddens one more time and then show why I am so sure that as currently set up under federal and certain state laws, money following the child is designed to get precisely that kind of proscribed standardization at an internalized, neurobiological level. I also think if parents got in the habit of reading school or district charter language and private school mission statements they would quickly discover it is not just Giddens and Csik wanting to foster an autotelic self. I think we may also have found the reason why my research into the Positive School Climate mandate back in 2012 led me straight to Professor Amitai Etzioni and his communitarian ethics (italics in original).

“A generative model of equality, or equalization, could provide the basis of a new pact between the affluent and the poor. Such a pact would be an ‘effort  bargain’ founded on lifestyle change. Its motivating forces would be acceptance of mutual responsibility for tackling the ‘bads’ which development has brought in its train; the desirability of lifestyle change on the part of both the privileged and less privileged; and a wide notion of welfare, taking the concept away from economic provision for the deprived towards fostering the autotelic self.”

As a supernerd who keeps a 1962 two thousand page Webster’s in her vicinity at all times when she writes, I can affirm that the word autotelic has no entry in the version that goes back to the 1940s. Telic, however, made it in and means “directed toward an end; purposeful.” Autotelic then would mean being unconsciously directed towards ends someone else has picked out for us and may not have told us about. We might also have been given a false narrative about what standards, School Choice, and social emotional learning are really all about and falsely believe ourselves to be well-informed. Going back to Excellence, if someone has used school and instruction to manipulate what we each feel, think, and want, do we really have our own purposes anymore?

Back in early July, the publication Education Reimagined cited the Reschool Colorado: Creating a New Education System template as an exemplar. That caught my eye not just because of Columbine, but also because Colorado is where the GERG template for Achieving Excellence was first piloted in the 80s. What I found was something called the Learner Advocate Network, that is still in the design phase, but is where money following the child is intended to end up. I also was familiar with the phrase Capacity (Skill, Content, Disposition) from the Human Capabilities and Development work of another admitted Leftist Martha Nussbaum and Atlas Network preferred speaker Amartya Sen. Interesting coincidence, huh?

That recognition made the need to locate Reschool Colorado’s Framework for the Future of Learning all the more crucial. If that’s not another way to express an engineered autotelic self without admitting that reality and convergence of the Right and Left, I don’t have a mountain of research leading to this exact same place through the decades, across continents, and with differing declared rationales. Isn’t everyone else excited about being assessed as Academically Prepared under those definitions, being a Self-Manager, Socially Intelligent, and a Solution Seeker all under the standards put in place quietly by a state or local school district? Pertinent to the fed’s new statute mandating Success for Every Student, we have Colorado avoiding any PDM by insisting that its “definition of success should include the multi-faceted ways individuals may seek meaning in life and contribute to the world.”

Oh, joy. Maybe they too can cease to think of themselves as an individual and instead look to their membership and responsibilities to the broader systems they live or work in. Now Reschool Colorado is an initiative of the Donnell-Kay Foundation that hosted this Book Event for political scientist and educational researcher Rick Hess of Atlas Network member, American Enterprise Institute. If that seems coincidental, the foundation is also a major advocate of public charter schools. See what I mean about where School Choice is actually headed? In a world where Stanford’s Hoover Institute partners with Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government to publish Education Next it shouldn’t be such a surprise that the so-called Right and Left Pincers are herding us to the same place.

What is harder to know is that the Kennedy School of Government’s Elaine Kamarck, then Executive Director of their new Visions of Governance for the Twenty-First Century, was part of Giddens’ 2001 Conference and book called The Global Third Way Debate. That would tie the Hoover Institute and its work in education to that vision as well, which may be why School Choice now leads to that Framework for the Future of Learning that wants to prescribe internalized capabilities every bit as much as Professor Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, or Csik. Remember my concern about the Process Theory of Law in the last post where something gets declared to be a “matter of public policy” and then the law becomes an unappreciated hand-servant to force the vision on us as if we were all just subjects and the governed? My research journey on that point led me to a 1998  Columbia Law Review paper called “A Constitution of Democratic Experimentalism.”

Want to guess what that theory and affirmative view of a radicalised Constitution needs? It needs practices in education that get to and shape personal “identities and capacities.”

Precisely what the Left has admitted it seeks to do repeatedly.

Precisely where that Reschool Colorado Framework for the Future of Learning went as well.

That’s quite a convergence and plenty of reasons for all the obfuscations we encounter from people who claim to be education experts.

As always, Follow the Money.


Hic Sunt Dracones: Decreeing Public Policy as the Boss of All of Us Without Genuine Notice or Consent

Hic Sunt Dracones is Latin for the warning phrase “There be Dragons” which seemed a perfect way to end this Trilogy. I have been warning of the coordinated convergence of what can only be described as a Left and Right pincer action to shepherd people blindly in a common direction. The rationales vary, the soothing euphemisms differ, and the admitted alliances among various public policy think tanks shift nominally. Behind all the deceit though, the distant social, economic, political, and personally enslaving destination never varies anymore. Since the Left at least admits what it intends, let’s start there and then I will show how the Right Pincer works as it seeks to guide to the same place in our respective futures.

When I started this Trilogy, I had come across a phrase “the process theory of the law” that seemed to fit with what I had been seeing on how to reliably lock the real Education and other local initiatives that we now know fit with the Social Determinants of Health or what Urie Bronfenbrenner called the various levels of his Bioecological Systems Theory into place. When we read references to the ‘rule of law’ now, most times it actually (and invisibly) references an affirmative, normative use of the law to bind individuals to a vision selected for them, whether they recognize this reality or not.

The Process Theory of the Law was developed at Harvard in the late 40s and spread to other elite law schools. It was apparently an elective 2nd Year Course there that has greatly influenced what many in our federal judiciary here in the US and also the professorate see as the new late 20th Century and 21st Century use of the law. Since SCOTUS member Stephen Breyer is considered an exemplar and he does like to write books, let’s take a look at what he laid out in Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution. In my mind what Breyer is saying is that the law and cries of public policy, human flourishing, and democratic purpose can all be use to enslave the individual. (my bolding)

“…a certain view of the original Constitution’s primary objective…sees the Constitution as furthering active liberty, as creating a form of government in which all citizens share the government’s authority, participating in the creation of public policy. [See why I have been warning we will not like where the phrases governance or self-government actually shift us?] It understands the Constitution’s structural complexity as responding to certain practical needs, for delegation, for nondestructive (and hopefully sound) public policies, and for protection of basic individual freedoms. And it views the Constitution’s democratic imperative as accommodating, even insisting upon, these practical needs.”

Now, not to be sidetracked by political theory here, but when someone starts to insist that meeting human needs is an obligation the State at all levels and each of us has, we have shifted to Uncle Karl’s Human Development Society, whether anyone cites the bearded old destructive theorist or not. This relates as well to what I covered here back in January If anything the drumroll of deceitful false narratives and the offered rationales have simply become more profuse in 2016. Let’s go back to someone who at least admits to where this is all going and who remains alive in a place to see it implemented.

Let’s look up Stephen Breyer’s definition of the law and how a legal text should be interpreted: “law that helps a community of individuals democratically find practical solutions to important contemporary social problems.” See how it is not about the individual anymore except as needed to bind him or her to the stipulated common vision? Anyone still wondering why the actual definition of Career Ready Practices for the Classroom or mandated Positive School Climate for the school all end up pushing practices backed by communitarianism theories? Breyer hypes a theory he calls ‘cooperative federalism’ because of the federal government’s limited “ability to control the activities of individuals and businesses.” Get a different level of government to do it then and then hype it as “preserving a more local decision-making process.”

Does that sound to anyone else like the official talking points on ESSA–the new federal education legislation? How about what a recent paper from the RSA in the UK told us about New Public Governance and “Changing the Narrative: A New Conversation Between the Citizen and the State”:

“it is actually the local state rather than the national state that is best positioned to re-negotiate its relationships with citizens, communities, and businesses. Potentially at least, local government operates at a scale of accountability, with a degree of accessibility, and with a sensitivity to identity and diversity that it would be hard for central states to match.”

Potentially at least, but not when the mayor, state legislator, city council members, or other local political figures go to presentations by local think tanks or go to national conferences to be trained in viewing their cities, schools, area businesses, etc. as systems that can be planned and directed by political power and the affirmative use of the law. As part of the right pincer, supposedly opposite side of the Guided by Public Policy Sluice, we get lots of talk these days of ‘subsidiarity.’ Yet if we have School Choice that actually leads to internalized changes in beliefs at the level of the human mind and prescribed practices that make responding from emotion an unconscious habit, are we not playing right into what Stephen Breyer called a “lawmaking process…[that] involves changes that bubble up from below…this ‘bubbling up’ is the…democratic process in action?”

Under Standards- or Competency-based education and where School Choice actually leads under current legal dynamics in charter language or when money follows the child, what is in place to ‘bubble up’ is still to be very much of a planned, directed blueprint down to the ‘internalized capabilities,’ beliefs, and values of the students. Suddenly the Right and Left pincers, education policies, and the actual use of the law mean that every level of any human activity system, including people individually, are being guided in a coordinated, planned manner so that “laws will work better for the people they are presently meant to affect”  as Stephen Breyer put it.

At least he is honest with his declared “better to translate public will, determined through collective deliberation, into sound public policy.” My problem is when I hear a think tank fellow tell a group that they must adopt his recommended education policies or a state will never be able to afford the health care costs of its aging population when I know the policies do not actually work as prescribed. Likewise when I heard about the speech of Donald Trump Jr at the Republican Convention, it was apparent to me that someone had incorrectly explained to him how School Choice operated in reality. Since he cited FH Buckley of George Mason Law and his book The Way Back, and Professor Buckley agreed he was the advisor, I decided to take a look.

That April 2016 book may be one of the more obnoxious books I have ever read. We have to wonder why the Bradley Foundation that owns Encounter Books wanted this particular narrative to be disseminated. “Socialist Ends by Capitalist Means” is the declared premise and it envisions a future where “everyone is provided with the opportunity to flourish.” Stephen Breyer calls that active liberty and Amartya Sen considers that to be what individual freedom is now to mean. See what I mean about right and left pincer action once we recognize the underlying theory and what the admitted Left states they intend to do with it?

Interestingly, we may want to tell Professor Buckley about the BRAIN Initiative I have covered and the Science of Virtues Project the Templeton Foundation and the NIH are pushing at the University of Chicago since he sarcastically declares that: “I haven’t heard of plans to rewire our brains to eliminate it” [referring to the acquisitive instinct of individuals throughout history]. I do not know why Professor Buckley chose to cite so many radicals and admitted Marxists from the Left to frame his desire that “the promised land of equality might follow.” I recognize them because I have to read so much from the Left to accurately locate these blueprints. I do not want the US to become Denmark as the book cites and I know Buckley knows his Marxist theory because he states:

“As the most advanced capitalist country, America should have been the first place where socialism triumphed, according to Marxist theories of history…Today America is both unequal and immobile. As that becomes more apparent, we might begin to see the kind of class consciousness that Marx thought was missing in 1850s America, and with this a greater support for wealth redistribution schemes.”

Does that sound ‘Conservative’ or pro-market? When I say this is Uncle Karl’s vision and both sides are pushing it using euphemisms, I am not using my imagination to chase ghosts. At least Justice Breyer states honestly where he intends to go with the law, even if he is prone to taking a political theory like ‘deliberate democracy’ and stating it as a factual tool to now be used. He also cited a revisionist historian Bernard Bailyn who is associated with what James Block in A Nation of Agents called a major effort to “frame fundamental historical divisions as the precursor of a new organization of society.” See what quotes I can locate when I recognize a cited fact as actually not true?

Block went on to say that this so-called “republican reading of history” should be seen as “at least in part as a quest for participatory community composed of virtuous civic actors living for the common good.” Sounds like what Stephen Breyer wants as an active liberty, ‘bubbling up’ process and what Uncle Karl pronounced as the Human Development Society. So where’s the tie to Buckley’s book? Well, Block stated that other proponents of this republican misreading of history, as I will call it, “were Gordon Wood and JGA Pocock.” Gordon Wood is the historian Buckley kept citing to in The Way Back. Methinks The Way Back is actually the way forward to Uncle Karl, which is why the book really exists and if I were not a lawyer, history major, AND a maniac researcher I would never have recognized what was wrong with the framing of the book and where it really goes.

Accept the offered vision and defer to the prescribed path from a so-called pro-market public policy think tank. No need to actually accurately inform all of us people being affected. Buckley ended his book with the phrase “Ye are Many, They are Few” and called on a rejection of an “America…increasingly riven by class distinctions, best explained by the sociobiological imperatives of parents who wish well for their children.” Such poppycock, but intended to be influential and deferred to nonetheless.

If we are able to still rely on facts, habits of logical thought, and an accurate understanding of all these coordinated Public Policy sales pitches, we might not go along with the planned vision. We may still be capable of climbing off the Public Policy Sluice or departing the Planned Pathway and jumping free. That’s why we adults get spoon fed euphemisms if we are not on board with the declared Left Fundamental Transformation. Students are just to get neurologically reshaped via Preschool through high school until they are amenable to this entire planned process.

Who else is ready to step off the clearly set out pathway prescribed by the admitted Left and aped by the so-called Right? Ready to move away from the Pincer Action of a Planned Upravleniye Society?



Locating the Internalized Information Guiding Human Behavior So It Can Be Controlled and Transformed

Dictating such a transformation via preschool through high school, students would then essentially have a common core of prescribed values, attitudes and beliefs. For our Want-to-Be social and economic planning set that means future actions of most people would be both predictable and manipulable. The Planning Set, as I will call them, that we now know contains many different groups intent on fundamentally transforming the world that exists whether anyone consents or not, will know precisely what Values and Beliefs have been internalized and what visual Images, Words, and Phrases instilled. All become unconscious triggers available to command action.

To better appreciate why, let me quote Alexander N Christakis from a 2006 book How People Harness their Collective Wisdom and Power to Construct the Future in Co-Laboratories of Democracy (my bolding to show what Planners take for granted):

“Different people in different situations cooperatively develop different interpretations of realities, especially social realities. In our efforts to understand social realities and design better futures, therefore, we must not assume commonly agreed upon linguistic domains. People come from different cultures and have different cultural sensitivities. They see things differently; have opposing ambitions; prize different values. The first priority, then, in a designing effort is to create a consensual linguistic domain among many diverse voices.”

Students, adults, cities, economies, and societies have each been designated by the Planning Set as subject to their designing efforts. We may start with differing values, beliefs, and experiences, but the new vision of education puts all these things on the table for change. Keeping us lulled as to what is being done to us and our children we get euphemisms like Classical Education as we have just covered, OBE, or Competency-based education to describe the new techniques. Stated goals of ‘Learning’ and ‘Student Growth’ make the changes seem salutary. As I mentioned in a comment to the previous post, that internalized set of Images, Ideas, Principles, Concepts, Values, and Beliefs gets assessed via initial Benchmarks, and then changed and monitored through assessments. Can you say Continuous Improvement?

Some Planners and educators call what is targeted–‘Worldview,’ as we just saw in the last 3 posts. Others use the phrases ‘Mental Models’ or ‘Cognitive Maps’. All are phrases with the same Target and the same aim of where the Bullseye is. To show just how long this has been a target of official Global Policy Planning, I was even able to chase these to the Oval Office of Bush 41 in May 1989.–Finnbogadottir.pdf To prove that this still matters, here is the recent NSF letter announcing the Brain Observatory to develop a research infrastructure for neuroscience with the same target, techniques, and bullseye.

In all my posts from 2016 I have been building up from a theme of what is wrong with an Ideas or Concepts first curricula that are not built up from facts. Instead, the purpose of the provided Concepts and Categories is to interpret experiences in a classroom emphasizing activity. Sometimes the activity is physical as in group projects or role-playing. Sometimes it is virtual reality where only the software designer controls the Cognitive Map being created or shifted, mostly out of sight of the student, the parents, and maybe even the teacher. is a new curricula and assessment designed for building character and civic purpose by “exploring the concept of liberty as a living moral construct in contemporary society.”

Everyone ready to sign their kids up for one of the bedrock principles underlying the American heritage? Not so fast if we read the report and discover that Liberty has been reconceptualized to be “grounded in the notion that liberty must be just and must serve the common good…liberty [must be] reciprocal and responsible…[Otherwise] when liberty is de-coupled from one’s responsibilities as a citizen, it threatens to become selfish and divisive.” I have linked to the report and know both American and English history and, unfortunately, the fundamental tenets of the Marxist Humanist political philosophy. I get to recognize when Liberty as a guiding concept has been completely redefined to mask committing the student to a notorious normative vision for how the world might operate.

Students and parents though do not get that opportunity. They are not likely to recognize that Liberty “as conceptualized by the Museum and this study…becomes the bedrock for societal flourishing and ethical growth of both individuals and society” just turned into a tool for achieving Marx’s famed Human Development Society. Like the Classical Education we just examined the web-based curricula and interactive exhibits with Young Heroes is designed to create “pro-social changes in student behaviors” grounded in the stipulated virtues.

Most parents though will just think of Liberty in its historic meaning and not know that on top of the above redefinitions students also get experiences designed to change their knowledge, attitudes and behaviors with regard to “the liberty of society as a collective (collective liberty), as well as the liberty of each individual within society (relational liberty).” Think of this then as a Comrade Reinterpretation of the Concept of Liberty, which gets even more troubling because part of the assessment is looking for signs that the Young Heroes Outreach Program “participants consistently evidenced greater retention of all five pillar virtues associated with liberty…lasting at least three months after their involvement with the program ended.”

Why is that post-program search for continued changes in behavior so crucial? Because it is looking for proof the learning experiences created a change at a neural level in each of those student’s Cognitive Map, Worldview, or Mental Model. When researchers found “increased action-oriented civic and social engagement, identifying a number of social issues, upon which to focus their community projects,” they found that the changes in what was believed and valued were driving a change in behavior in desired directions. Desired first, of course, by the Planning Set and now by the students themselves, if they are even aware of why they are now interested in things they may have previously never noticed, much less acted to change.

Anyone else noticing that Liberty has been quietly redefined in much the same way and for the same purpose as how Amartya Sen defined Freedom? Yes, the nuisance of people who actually read the small print and footnotes. That Torchbearers Report and the redefinition of Liberty was supported by the John Templeton Foundation and the Jubilee Center on Character and Virtues in the UK. When the Report used this quote from Sir John Templeton: “perhaps true freedom is not the freedom to do but rather the freedom to become all we can be,” I recognized the sentiment. Since I found a treasure trove back in January when I searched for the connections between Sen’s philosophy and the Atlas Network members, this time I searched for “Templeton Foundation Amartya Sen.” came up as the Templeton-funded Project at U-Chicago to create a New Science of Virtues. If that sounds like an excellent way to get at the values part of the Cognitive Map, I thought so too. There were conferences in 2010 and 2011. Perusing the Virtues Project Abstracts I discovered that the Divinity School was involved since Virtues were seen as a means to achieving ‘new spiritual knowledge.’ Chicago’s Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience administers the Project. Now would probably be a good time to remember Chapter 6 of my book and how the Planning Set wants to use education to gain a cultural evolution since biological change takes too long.

In the last post we talked about the sudden ubiquity of phrases like self-rule, self-regulation, and self-government. We can now add the Virtue of Self-Control where one of the members of the team of investigators is psychologist Angela Duckworth of Grit and Perseverence fame. More importantly she is involved through her Character Lab with the national Growth Mindset study being pushed by the White House Behavioral and Social Sciences ‘Nudge’ Team. That means this Science of Virtues is involved too. That certainly puts new meaning to this expressed goal:

“The proposed research will produce a comprehensive framework for formulating and evaluating economic and social policy with deeper psychological and ethical foundations than are traditional in economic analyses. It will develop a more comprehensive understanding of the origins and consequences of human differences.”

Very exciting then for the Planning Set! Another investigator on that same team is a Philosophy prof with a focus on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. That’s a useful link to what we saw as we examined Classical Ed which somehow also loves to name drop Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates while making the point about enacting their ‘virtue-ethics.’ More rationale for transforming the internalized cognitive maps controlling behavior. Another part of the Project seeks “The Transformation of Virtues: Imagination, Vision and Dreams and Sources of Human Excellence and Practical Knowledge.” Sounds good even though it intends to prescribe and create an internalized Worldview of guiding values and beliefs to help students “understand the virtue of being able to face up to a collapse of the virtues when a culture is collapsing or being destroyed-as well as the virtue of living well in the aftermath of such catastrophe.”

Oh, Joy. The Planning Set creates the catastrophe while prescribing the beliefs and values to supposedly adjust to what is now broken. The 4-H Study of Positive Youth Development again defines “virtues, then, are psychological and behavioral characteristics that guide a person towards integrative and positive, or even noble, purposes for self and the world. In short, virtues are understood to play a key role in a person’s positive life trajectory and in the quality of civil society.”

But those characteristics are being prescribed and instilled via education without notice or even consent. Like the experiences obtained though the reconceptualization of Liberty, the curriculum is designed to guide and motivate certain behavior from a subconscious or even unconscious level.

Cool for the Planning Set who get power, grants, and promotions for pushing this transformation of the purposes of education.

Not cool at all for parents and students unaware of what ‘brain-based learning’ now really means or the taxpayers being asked to fund all these transformations.

Before anyone thinks that the answer is just to monitor what philanthropies or the NSF are funding in the name of education, please appreciate the National Institutes of Health is also launching research with the same Target and Bullseye.

Theories about Mental Models or Computational Neuroscience are not innocuous terms for research either.




Stimulating the Inner Springs Fundamental to Real Personality Change and Harmonious Social Progress

Did anyone guess that we had embarked on another Trilogy, except this time it was in Reverse Order as my personal experiences starting with a phone call to my home on December 17 sent me looking for answers? For a while now, the false narrative being constructed by various employees or allies of the Atlas Network members has both interested and angered me. Angered because it is frequently built on parroting some of my insights and research conclusions. Read Robin’s book, pretend to be an expert, get people to trust you, and take them somewhere I would never go.

For example I would never describe Bill Ayers and Linda Darling-Hammond as “Marxist Humanists” because they are admitted Marxists and rather proud of it. Hint: this is why Ayers was willing to promote violence. Marxist Humanism (see tag) is a belief that because capitalism has reached a certain stage of technological feats, namely computers and the Internet and communications technology generally (abbreviated ICT), there is now enough prosperity in the world that there need be no poverty anymore within countries or anywhere around the world. It’s why the UN’s Post-2015 plans for us are called “Dignity for All” by 2030. As one of my UN news blurbs put it after New Years, we are now Post-2015 and this agenda has begun. Understanding it accurately is very important.

That gets me back to that phone call. After hanging up in anger at what was said and pouring myself a glass of wine while I made dinner, I began to think about what had changed that day. Well, I had made a comment on the blog that I had ordered William Easterly’s book The Tyranny of Experts that had been an Atlas Network supported Hayek Lecture in London. So I decided dinner could be late, went down and wrote up notes on what was said in the phone call, started looking for financial connections among the known players, and examining commonalities as they popped up. In other words, I started behaving like the Due Diligence experienced lawyer I actually am analyzing a set of facts. I also got up early the next morning and proceeded to see what was in the Easterly book that people might not want me to grasp.

That’s what I meant about a Reverse Trilogy as we started with explaining what a Nyaya concept of justice was and how I knew that Easterly’s book did not accurately portray Hayek’s thoughts on the subject of economic and social rights. I have more than a provided talking points knowledge of Hayek as that post laid out. I also know what Marxism Humanism looks like and Easterly’s book and the Atlas Network’s support for it does give good reason to start to whitewash what the term actually means. For parents, Linda Darling-Hammond’s (LDH) pushes in education and Bill Ayer’s past make them known nightmares to be avoided. We have talked about Amartya Sen and his Justice concept and Development as Freedom in the first two posts. He is laying out a Marxist Humanist vision as nyaya and really so is Easterly in his book. If no one has ever actually explained MH correctly though and you now connect it with Ayers and LDH, that actual reality will be missed.

Sen coordinates a great deal with Professor Martha Nussbaum (also tag) on what they call Human Capability Theory, which also describes where P-12 education globally is going. If anyone is thinking I cannot actually tie all this to Uncle Karl, they do not have a copy of Democracy in a Global World covered in the last post. I went into that described alliance for good reason. Nussbaum also wrote a chapter and she tied the vision repeatedly to Uncle Karl by name. It’s also another reason why I found the open-ended Con Con advocacy from the Texas Governor so pernicious. The Chapter was called “Constitutions and Capabilities” and here’s a sample of the kind of direct ties I mean.

“When liberal democracies make constitutions, they typically base their work on a small core of intuitive ideas to which specific constitutional entitlements are referred…The basic idea of my version of the capabilities approach…is that we begin with a conception of the dignity of the human being, and of a life that is worthy of that dignity–a life that has available in it ‘truly human functioning’ in the sense described by Marx in his 1844 Economic and Philosophical Manuscripts.”

That’s what Easterly called for too without tying it to Marx. It’s what the Atlas Network’s members are actually promoting when they push his work or Sen’s. Back to my story of why I spent so much time researching over the holidays. I know John Dewey backwards and forwards from researching my book, but until I saw this post I did not know that Steven Rockefeller of the famous family had also written a bio on him published in 1991 called John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism. I ordered it in part because so many of the people who appear determined to control the narrative about what is really going on with the Common Core also aggressively wear their religious faith front and center. In fact, it seems to be a selling point on why their analysis can be trusted.

An example that had flowed out of my research was the Stand in the Gap Tour in fall of 2014 that David Barton had participated in. I had listened to a video of his speaking at a church in Dothan, Alabama and his description of what was desired reminded me of the cybernetic prearranged structuring of the Mind the behavioral scientists and admitted Leftists also want. That made Rockefeller’s book even more pertinent. As I read the chapter on “Democracy, Education, and Religious Experience” in particular I could see that this same Deweyan vision would create a desired worldview and amenable personality that would also work for a Muslim theocrat wanting to reconstruct the world starting at the level of the human mind (Tarbiyah) or a Christian fundamentalist also wanting to push social justice in the here and now.

I pulled the post title from the book and Stimulating the Inner Springs also fits with what the Hewlett Foundation and the CCSSO today push as the requisite Deep Learning. Isn’t this the real reason for wanting to control the narrative on education? Common means and common ends among interest groups and think tanks that are supposed to abhor each other? When I also mentioned the other day that Charter Schools that use cybernetic methods and adaptive personalized online learning are in a position to reap huge sums under the new Every Student Succeeds Act since those methods of manipulating the Inner Springs are effective and thus “evidence-based,” suddenly a drumbeat began online. That ended in that Project Veritas video that the Common Core was about textbooks companies wanting to make money. Well, they do but that is disinformation in an education environment where textbooks are going away.

In other words, like the phone call at home, do not write about the CMOs or online curriculums that also stand to benefit financially from insisting they are “100% Common Core Free” or who the financial backers are. No one may notice that the methods used are cybernetic and target those inner springs while telling parents this is a form of Classical Education. John Dewey understood that education “is a means of creating individuals” and David Coleman, Bill Ayers, LDH, and UNESCO are not the only parties at the education table interested in creating a certain kind of personality to fit with a desired vision of society and the future.

Last year I went to the Educational Policy Conference in St Louis and yesterday I noticed in a flyer trying to get me to attend that someone was parroting my Chapter 7 title language again, but also promoting the idea that the feds want to create a database of those values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors on students. Not really, educators want to know this so all those things can be changed. That actual cybernetic purpose keeps being ignored. The fact that Charters target these same areas and have to to expand and get their contracts renewed gets left out. Making Classical Education about ideas and not facts is another way to say it is also cybernetic. Looking into the Barney Charter Initiative Hillsdale has put together and its mention of the Circe Institute and its description of what is Classical Education, I thought “That’s cybernetic too and a good reason to control the narrative about the Common Core and shut down anyone who knows what ESSA actually says and who would actually benefit.”

I have long wondered in all the discussions of the College Board’s shift in its AP courses to Conceptual Frameworks and the use of core ideas as ‘lenses’ why people with Social Anthropology PhDs never accurately explain what a cultural lens is. APUSH’s restructuring was never about what facts to teach and yet people who by specialty are thoroughly trained in using cultural lenses never explain what they are. Now I know. If something reeks of the cybernetic means so many of the Atlas members are also pushing, it must not be part of the approved narrative. The truth is it is not only the admitted Left wanting to use education to force a “thoroughgoing democratic reconstruction of society” that “must be child-centered in the sense that it begins with the impulses, interests, and initiative.”

In other words, what ESSA calls “personalized learning with adaptive data” that entitles its pushers to funding as 21st Century Schools. It’s not just the admitted Left wanting to target, like Dewey, “the whole feeling, thinking, and willing person.” That’s why the parroting of values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors functions to inoculate the listener from recognizing that the person they are listening to may also have a comparable agenda. It’s not just the admitted Left and Dewey who want to frame what ideas are salient to the listener and what is likely to get ignored. Politics by Think Tank is all about controlling the Narrative.

It’s not just John Dewey or David Coleman who understand that “emotions are the reflex of actions” and that “if we can only secure right habits of action and thought, with reference to the good, the true and the beautiful [see what I mean about a Classical Education as the cited Circe Institute described it]”, then education will have created “a means of social control that does not violate the freedom of the individual child.”

Well, yes it does because all the false and controlled narratives keep the nature or existence of that control invisible. They make it seem like only a David Coleman, Linda Darling-Hammond, Bill Ayers, or other admitted Leftists have this goal for education in the 21st century.

I have run long again, but let me close with another quote from that chapter and a reminder that there are a whole lot of people pushing a vision of restructured American education using digital learning that they intend to financially benefit from. They also want a fundamental social and economic transformation where:

“To work and think in a community governed by this kind of democratic moral life is for Dewey the only sound approach to moral education in a democracy, which must rely to a large extent on a voluntary spirit of cooperation growing out of a multitude of common interests to maintain social order.”

Again, it’s not just the admitted Left that wants to enshrine collectivism invisibly and without outcry via education creating a “free play of instinctive sympathy and understanding.”

Lots of good reasons to control the Common Core narrative and guide and frame popular perceptions. Call me the mom who refused to play along and notices too much.


Niti, Nyaya, Government by Think Tanks, and Every Student Succeeds

Hope everyone had a great holiday season. I took an unplanned break from writing, but not researching, since the last post. With the statutory language of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) now in place, the plans for the future I recognized when I read my state’s (Georgia) WIOA Plan, and other shenanigans offline surrounding false narratives, I decided to get to the bottom of all the interrelated parts. Let’s just say if my understanding was 20/20 on the real agenda behind all these education ‘reforms’ by the time I finished my first book Credentialed to Destroy, the acuity now can best be described as X-ray vision with the capacity to cut through metal when called for.

Since the fundamental transformation of each of us, our society, and the economy has been decreed federally via Bicameral and Bipartisan fiats like ESSA and WIOA to be imposed locally by elected officials, let’s keep following the trail in 2016. After all, some of you may get the chance to quiz the candidates about why they supported these measures or simply offered ineffective opposition. “Why did you vote to bring Fascism to America?” is such a conversation grabber. To be ready for such an exploration let’s add a few more words and phrases to our arsenal of explanations.

In December I saw this announcement and decided to get Easterly’s book. After all, I had spent much of 2015 arriving at the conclusion that many of the members of the Atlas Network like Heritage, Cato, and AEI seemed fully on board with a planned economy and education that focused on changing the student at a social and emotional level. I found the promotion of both Easterly’s work and that of Human Capability theorist Amartya Sen to be both troubling in its implications of a true agenda and fascinating at the same time. After all, if the so-called Left and Right have arrived at a synthesis and are not planning to tell us lest it interfere with fundraising, then our answers are located in who gets promoted.

First of all, when the Acknowledgments page thanks Larry Summers and Joseph Stiglitz we have just tied Easterly’s vision to the Inclusive Prosperity Commission and the UN’s Post-2015 Road to Dignity for All Plans. Easterly argued that the “cause of poverty is the absence of political and economic rights, the absence of a free political and economic system that would find the technical solutions to the poor’s problems.” If anyone else is having a Say What? moment, let’s skip to the conclusion of The Tyranny of Experts, where our tenured NYU prof decreed that “It is time at last for the silence on unequal rights for rich and poor to end. It is time at last for all men and women to be equally free.”

Now before any of us also request unicorn rides with that declaration and perhaps the waistline we had at eighteen, I want to transition to a paper released back in November that shows how such economic and social rights get created via education. We are not really having a philosophical discussion here. I am citing the relevant philosophers to explain what is to be happening in those train cars we call schools. This train has left the station and it appears to be an Express Bullet fit for Japan. When we declare substantive rights for all, someone else has the duty to provide and that paper and its well-funded vision for education teaches that “the best way to make positive changes in society is…by being active in or through engagement with government.”

If you do not want to confront this wholesale shift, let’s go back a page to where “this paper argues that young people must learn how to use the political system, and existing governmental institutions, to effect the change they wish to see in their communities.” This is the world of ESSA, WIOA, and the Left/Right synthesis of the future unfortunately where:

“it is not just economic inequality that affects the American experience. We have also seen increasing political inequality, as measured by the clout and power of different groups, often along lines of wealth, income, gender, and/or race. Educational inequality, measured by variance in the quality and access to educational opportunities, has also increased in recent years, leaving behind the country’s most vulnerable populations, and weakening America’s overall democracy. In turn, it has become our collective responsibility to work towards a system in which these inequalities do not exist.”

If these so-called rights and responsibilities are taught as factual entitlements in our schools with a vision of governments as the enforcer as a matter of law, these expectations fundamentally change our society. It’s 2016 and an election year, if this is the vision our schools and think tanks across the spectrum are pushing, we need to be aware. Back to our philosophers again, in this case Nobel-Prize winning economist Amartya Sen. He uses the Indian words niti and nyaya to describe the nature of the desired shift and even italicizes them for emphasis. Niti is identified as a theory of justice that is about having the right institutions and rules. That is not good enough anymore. A nyaya vision of what is to be required focuses on “actual realizations and accomplishments.”

If this discussion seems esoteric and a bit like an odd vocabulary lesson, all the language in ESSA about ‘evidence-based’ is simply another way to describe a nyaya vision of entitled intrusion and tracking of what the student has internalized to guide and motivate their behavior. ESSA didn’t make that a permissible activity for the schools. It created a mandate. When the Georgia WIOA Plan called for “immigrants and other individuals who are English language learners” to acquire “an understanding of the American system of government, individual freedom, and the responsibilities of citizenship,” it is that concept paper above’s vision, not what James Madison had in mind. The individual freedom is again straight out of Sen’s famous book Development as Freedom.

In fact, it is as if the Hewlett and Ford Foundations and Generation Citizen all knew Sen’s work where “different sections of society (and not just the socially privileged) should be able to be active in the decisions of what to preserve and what to let go.” If governments and think tanks have declared that we are transitioning to “an accomplishment-based understanding of justice” because in the 21st Century “justice cannot be indifferent to the lives that people can actually lead” and this nyaya view of an entitled justice is to be sculpted in the “minds of men” [and boys and girls] via formative assessments and the real meaning of assessing annually for Higher Order Thinking and Understanding, we need to recognize this reality and the nature of the shift. When Bloomberg expands the metro areas participating in What Works Cities, this is the nyaya theory of justice in play as well.

It is ironic that the Atlas Network seems to regard all these affirmative initiatives as what Hayek would have supported as part of his spontaneous order vision. As my book pointed out, Hayek took a dim view of trying to achieve conscious direction invisibly via internalizing the desired values, attitudes, and beliefs to guide wanted behaviors. I was pretty sure I had something directly on point to refute this odious vision of the future as Hayekian. Since I have a depth of knowledge that is anything other than just sound bytes and a very large library of resources, I found what I was looking for in Volume 2 of Law Legislation and Liberty. That volume has the subtitle The Mirage of Social Justice.

Hayek didn’t just write a chapter on ‘Social’ or Distributive Justice where he presciently recognized that such social goals and governmental initiatives “means a progressive displacement of private by public law” whereby the law “subordinates the citizens to authority.” A pithier description of either WIOA or ESSA may never be found. Nothing like an escapee from Fascism to recognize its characteristics and dangers. Hayek then wrote an Appendix to that Chapter called “Justice and Individual Rights” of what he believed would happen in a society that tried to enact the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in practice as UNESCO has declared it is now doing. It was also about what would happen in a society which engenders “a feeling that they have a claim on ‘society’ for the provision of particular things which it is the duty of society to provide.”

Anyone else get the feeling that which books or even chapters of Hayek’s get assigned or quoted is now greatly circumscribed? Censorship by omission we can call it. Hayek knew what we all need to know as well now that the plans for conscious direction are to be developed in students,’ and apparently immigrants,’ personalities.

“It is meaningless to speak of a right to a condition that nobody has the duty, or perhaps even the power, to bring about. It is equally meaningless to speak of right in the sense of a claim on a spontaneous order, such as society, unless this is meant to imply that somebody has the duty of transforming that cosmos into an organization and thereby to assume the power to control its results.”

Organization is a more anachronistic term for what today just gets called a system. It starts with student-centered learning and systems thinking is a requirement for every student to be Workforce Ready under WIOA. Not a coincidence. Hayek knew what we all must know recognize so I am calling on this unassigned Appendix:

“If such claims are to be met, the spontaneous order which we call society must be replaced by a deliberately directed organization…[members] could not be allowed to use their knowledge for their own purposes but would have to carry out the plan which their rulers have designed to meet the needs to be satisfied.”

Have I explained yet that in countries like Scotland that are further along this road of social transformation via education ‘reforms,’ the very Experiences and Outcomes for each student are specified? The “Es” and “Os” they are called in what is the best example of the intended deliberate reorganization.

Welcome to 2016 as the Year of Epiphanies.