Resistance-Proof Biosocial Revolution Undisclosed at the Neural Level of Students’ Minds

Let’s start off with a quote I have had since I did the ACES post on April 30. “In social cognitive theory, sociostructural factors operate through psychological mechanisms of the self system to produce behavioral effects.” Now that may sound like a mouthful, but if we substitute ‘a person’ or ‘the student’ for ‘self system’ the meaning is clearer. Now we have discussed that Karl Marx is widely recognized now as having been a lousy economist. Less recognized though is how his related sales pitch that social revolution could be achieved if ‘Man’ would simply become a Maker of History is still wildly reverenced, especially in education. So let’s now add in another quote from the same 2001 Annual Review of Psychology article by Albert Bandura to shake out that other mouthful–’sociostructural factors.’

“The self system is not merely a conduit for sociostructural influences. Although the self is socially constituted, by exercising self-influence human agents operate generatively and proactively, not just reactively, to shape the character of their social systems. In these agentic transactions, people are producers [Making History!] as well as products of social systems. Personal agency and social structure operate interdependently. Social structures are created by human activity [and especially laws and other legal vehicles like charters] and sociostructural practices [here comes the law again which is why we now have edicts about Positive School Climate and required proactive approaches to bullying and Restorative Justice], in turn, impose constraints and provide enabling resources and opportunity structures for personal development and functioning.”

I learned a new word this week that is typically used in a military context–Schwerpunkt–but which fits even better in the human and behavioral sciences, which is what education and even the law have now become tools for. It means “weight (or focus) of effort” and the weight or focus of effort in education ‘reforms’, as we finally began to confront in earnest in the last post, involves trying to lock-in desired “psychosocial changes and levels of functioning” at a biological, neural level because, quite simply, genetic social engineering by governments would take too long.

Anyone else fascinated to learn that “social efforts to change lives for the better require merging diverse self-interests in support of common core values and goals.” There’s that phrase again so I decided to bold it for emphasis. The real common core operates at an internalized, psychological, neural level and another word for those internalized goals practiced repeatedly through prescribed educational activities would be ‘standards’ as in standards-based, student-centered ‘reforms’.

Now just to provide some hint of just why I decided to add Schwerpunkt to our quiver of useful vocabulary terms to capture the essence of the desired transformational changes, let’s cover just a few of the confirming revelations that have popped out in just the last week. I recognized, for example, that Professor Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind was actually restating Bandura’s work without mentioning him so I did a search to see if others had recognized the link. Out the connections spewed across the globe in languages I did not speak and had to translate, but our Google overlords kindly told me that both men’s work deal with the psychological means for the “self-regulation of thought and moral conduct.” Goes better than a slice of bacon then with those needed “common core values and goals.”

We have Teaching Students to Drive Their Brains recommended for summer reading http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/siteASCD/publications/books/Teaching-Students-to-Drive-Their-Brains-sample-chapters.pdf complete with not-so-amusing graphics of Upper Elementary Students being taught to visualize using their Brain Cars. That fits though with our learning that there was a K-12 component to the Pacific Northwest Neuroscience Neighborhood part of the BRAIN Initiative. It is called Noggin and there are numerous detailed links in the comments to the last post with pictures as well as the revelation that Fulton’s new Super as of June 1, Jeff Rose, came from one of the Noggin districts. What are the odds?

http://rise.huffingtonpost.com/watch/scientists-are-using-psychology-nudge-us-right-direction from What Works Cities (and what precisely ‘evidence-based’ policymaking turns out to mean) admits that changing behavior is official government policy across US federal agencies and also globally. Finally we have http://knowledgeworks.org/worldoflearning/2016/06/cunningham-elementary-school/ showing a Texas school that is pushing an emotionally-grounded moral thinking of the kind Professors Damasio and Bandura promote as what a new kind of 21st century learning grounded in Equity should look like. All this makes sense though if we go back to what Bandura wrote in 2001 and recognize that when charters (like Fulton’s) refer obliquely to a euphemism like ‘life skills’ as the new focus of schools they are actually incorporating Bandura’s work. I am nothing if not a good researcher after all so of course I can prove it.

Since what that charter really intended to lock in for a particular school district, and what ESSA has now done to every school district, is grounded in Bandura’s work and he said it was to drive Biosocial Coevolution, let’s tear away the shroud of euphemisms and look at these intentions in the sunlight. Now if I give a hot link to the article it will be off the server within the hour so I will just continue to make reference to it. When located, however, just go to page 18 to the section called “Emerging Primacy of Human Agency in Biosocial Coevolution” and think about how lucrative it is for the lawyers, administrators, and consultants working to change education because “psychology is the one discipline that uniquely encompasses the complex interplay between intrapersonal, biological, interpersonal, and sociostructural determinants of human functioning.”

I am going to interrupt the quote to point out that this is the reason all these learning theories of education want to dethrone the rational Prefrontal Cortex from being a primary driver of human behavior. It’s an obstacle to what Bandura will momentarily call the desired Collective Efficacy. Back to the next line of the quote now: “Psychology is, therefore, best suited to advance understanding of the integrated biopsychosocial nature of humans and how they manage and shape the everyday world around them.” Beginning to finally see the clear reason for all the deceit, euphemisms, and use of misdescribed legal mandates to force these political uses of psychological theories invisibly imposed via education? Recognize now why school board members are trained to defer to anyone with an education degree? They are deferring to a revolutionary shift in the conception of what human beings can be, imposed while most are led to believe we are still talking about academics.

Charters, legislation, and reinterpretations of civil rights laws are simply not being accurately presented as mechanisms for the ‘biologizing of psychology,” even though that is the decades-long  Schwerpunkt focus of all K-12 education reforms. It’s also why my book Credentialed to Destroy is even more relevant now than when it was written. It recognized the required focus of efforts long before I grasped that everything laid out actually had an intended biological component of desired neural effects. Bandura was stunningly revelatory so let’s keep listening. He told us that the “selection pressures of social and technological innovations on biological evolution get ignored,” which may be the most succinct rationale for the digital learning mandates we will find. After all, “human evolution provides bodily structures and biological potentialities, not behavioral dictates. Psychosocial influences operate through these biological resources to fashion adaptive forms of behavior.”

Prescribed adaptations and forms of behavior with no need to admit the manipulation out loud. Tuck it into charters or statutes no one else reads or required instructional practices no one explains accurately and suddenly education and the law can be tools taking advantage of the known, but usually undisclosed, “malleability of evolved dispositions.” Seeing the avenue of unimpeded social change as being through the manipulation of the known plasticity of the human brain and nervous system and then refusing to openly declare that actual intent. Recognizing that the real aim of Competency, the Common Core, and what were misleadingly called the Reading and Math Wars was about deliberate targeting of the “specialized neurophysiological structures and mechanisms that had evolved over time.”

Targeting “these advanced neural systems [that] are specialized for channeling attention, detecting the causal structure of the outside world, transforming that information into abstract representations, and integrating and using them for adaptive purposes,” except due to undisclosed neural manipulation the goals and purposes are no longer really your own. Think of the desired History Maker to Change Existing Systems while once again listening to what Bandura aimed at: “These evolved information processing systems provide the capacity for the very agentic characteristics that are distinctly human–generative symbolization, forethought, evaluative self-regulation, reflective self-consciousness, and symbolic communication.”   Just what Noggin and Brain Car Lessons train students to be comfortable allowing others to manipulate instead of holding sacred. What Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio block off access to with their hype of learning grounded in emotion.

We didn’t really think all these reforms would be disclosed accurately as the “psychosocial side of coevolution gains ascendancy,” did we? Good thing I can recognize what I am looking at by now even when no one actually meant for such a confession to come out. This was how Bandura ended so let me quote and then translate.

“What is technologically possible eventually gets applied. As previously noted, the genetic factors provide only potentialities, not the finished psychosocial attributes. However, there is no shortage of individuals with the resources and belief in genetic determinism to underwrite attempts at genetic engineering of human nature. The values to which we subscribe and the social systems we devise to oversee the uses to which our powerful technologies are put will play a vital role in what we become and how we shape our destiny.”

What Bandura proposed, and what education and the law have now locked in, is that those values and social systems are no longer a matter of personal choice. The choices have been made for us. The social engineering of human nature is now being attempted at a biological and neural level and we are all literally in the midst of what Soviet Psychologist Leontiev called the Great Experiment back in the 60s. Political power wants to dictate what those ‘psychosocial attributes’ will be and circumscribe what regions of the brain are likely to be used by the typical student when they become an adult.

And the euphemism for that latter neural manipulation is College and Career Ready.

I really do need to create an ISC Dictionary of True Meanings for 21st Century Guidance to Avoid Psychological Manipulation, don’t I?

 

Rewiring Student’s Brains at a Neural Level to Constrain, Guide, and Motivate Desired Future Behaviors

Part of the reason for the time gap between the last post and this one is my youngest child has now officially graduated. Hallelujah! Knowing what is really going on in American and global education in the name of euphemisms like standards, competencies, Whole Child, Positive School Climate, and Higher Order Thinking Skills I am afraid I think of schools now as psychological Auschwitzes. That is not a phrase I use lightly, but unfortunately, there will be no respite from this deliberate neurological assault on minds and personalities until we parents and funding taxpayers recognize what is really targeted for change and why. Also we need to grasp just how experimental all these sought shifts actually are.

During the last two weeks documentable, official confessions of just how much our children’s very synapses and whether the regions used in thinking are rational or tied to emotions have come out on an almost daily basis. Originally I thought all the reports I have read and downloaded since May 1 were tied to desired teacher training over the summer for a rollout next fall. That was before I came across the Human Brain Project’s announcement that it had shifted to the active, operational stage in April 2016 after being in the planning stage since 2013. Then I discovered that USC, the employer of Professors Immordino-Yang and Damasio from the last post, was one of the US partners of HBP. So are the entire U-California university system, Yale, and the University of Tennessee as well.

The US BRAIN Initiative (which began in 2013 too) coordinates actively with HBP and goes to its programmes in Europe. Turns out part of that initiative included a Bioethics Commission http://bioethics.gov/ where we can locate the BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision report as well as the two Gray Matters reports that leave our government’s desire to interfere with internalized mental processes for political purposes in no doubt. It is also chaired by Penn Pres Amy Gutmann who was probably chosen by President Obama precisely because her 1987 book Democratic Education called on schools to shift away from the ‘well-intentioned misperception’ that schools have an “obligation to impart information.” Instead, Gutmann wanted teachers to develop the moral character of students so that they “feel the force of right reason” to reshape society.

There’s that ‘feeling’ hype again. I know it is not coincidental because I have a few additional writings we can survey. I have Damasio’s 2010 book Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain where he stated that “emotions are the dutiful executors and servants of the value principle.” A useful target for emphasis for planners hoping to alter the drivers of future behavior. Since Professor Damasio elsewhere mentioned “the need to manage the behaviors of humans,” forcing student thinking to be grounded in emotion would appear to be an excellent place to start. UNESCO agrees too since I located an August 2015 paper stating that the new purpose of ‘curriculum’ in the 21st century is to make sure there is no “contradiction or dissociation between the cognitive and the ethical dimension in learning.”

In order to advance the ‘concept of social justice’ and the new UN “guidelines on the meaning of education based on the ideal of building more just societies,” educational experiences must be created so that each student’s commitment to the ideals of social justice is not “an adherence that is purely rhetorical or cut off from how people actually behave.” Rounding out our support is this paper that I-Y coauthored   http://iesteulada.edu.gva.es/portal/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Neuroscience-and-learning.pdf which ended with a diagram that makes it clear it is Emotional Thought, and not High Reason/ Rational Thought, that 21st century education wants to cultivate. Why? Because of its useful role in desired ” moral decision-making.”

Now all these reports have a great deal of aspirational goals for a changed society pretending to be how the mind works or how education must now be changed. Educationists cite Damasio as “neuroscience research says…” Ed Week cites I-Y for how emotions must now guide educational practices and no one seems to bring up Professor Gutmann’s earlier book. The truth is though this is not how the brain or education must now work, but rather how it needs to be altered if people are to be changed at a neurological level. Guided and motivated then by new values and images of how the world might be. Now you may be saying rightfully that I am not a neuroscientist, although I have read a great deal of their writings, and one of them, Zenon W. Pylyshin, helpfully told us back in 1980 precisely why the rational/High Reason brain is so targeted now by K-12 education.

In a published paper “Computation and Cognition” created while he was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Pylyshin laid out precisely how the human mind was thought then to work with nary a mention of these now omnipresent emotions or feelings. Here is a quote from the end that tells me precisely what had to be suffocated for the social transformation use of the mind to prevail. The mentioned George Miller is another famous behavioral scientist.

“we ought to be far more impressed with the extreme flexibility that thought can exhibit. For example, we ought to take seriously the fact that there seems to be no specifiable limit to what the human mind can imagine or think. As George Miller recently remarked to me, the salient property of mental life is surely that we can will it to do practically anything we wish: given the appropriate goals and beliefs, we can alter our behavior and thoughts to a remarkable extent by a mere act of will.”

Feels a bit like eavesdropping from decades away, doesn’t it? We now know that picking our own goals, beliefs, and values is precisely what K-12 education intends to make sure no longer happens. In fact, now we can shift back to that BRAIN 2025 vision since it too envisioned mapping the brain because of its ‘special province’ as the “interior terrain of thinking, feeling, perceiving, learning, deciding, and acting to achieve our goals.” If anyone has any doubt that this initiative is about a transformative, social justice agenda this quote should obliterate all doubt: “our brains make us who we are, enabling us to perceive beauty, teach our children, remember loved ones, react against injustice, learn from history, and imagine a different future.”

Our Founding Fathers may have seen our beliefs as a form of property not to be subject to government interference http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-the-system-seeks-to-destroy-the-ability-to-think-can-james-madison-save-us/ but we get no such deference in the 21st century. To quote again  from an initiative we are now spending $500 Million per year to pursue: “In advanced organisms our concept of ‘behavior’ must be extended to include sophisticated internal cognitive processes in addition to externally observable actions.” The Bioethics Commission may hype neurological and psychiatric disorders so that the full extent of the neurological manipulation is obscured but BRAIN 2025 states explicitly that the “primary goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to understand healthy brain function.”

The purpose of the Bioethics Commission is not to examine if this emphasis and research is ethical, but to make sure everyone at all levels of education believes that such research is necessary and ethical. In fact, all we get is a question as to whether “inner desires, psychological states, or motivations…deserve more privacy protection than externally observable clues about the mind.” Consistent with my concern that all this agenda is about quietly forcing a shift to the Human Development Society Uncle Karl envisioned without saying that is the actual goal, we have the Gray Matters volume on the Integration of Neuroscience, Ethics, and Society insisting that “the potential of science to improve human welfare grounds a societal obligation to undertake and support” this type of research.

Leaving no doubt as to why we have to discuss these initiatives to grasp why I now call schools psychological Auschwitzes being used to force a transformational political agenda at a neural level, we have that same volume stating “one desirable goal for ethics education is ‘transformational learning,’ which goes beyond cultivating cognitive learning or critical thinking to inculcate ‘habits of mind, attitudes, and dispositions.’” That’s neural change and designed to motivate future behavior from a level unconscious to the neurologically reengineered student. It certainly explains the odd affect and unfocused eyes in this video of high school students hyping personalized learning. http://www.cio.com/article/3002698/cio-role/how-one-cio-leverages-technology-to-transform-education.html .

Volume 2 of Gray Matters opened with a tribute to a now deceased commission member who was described as a “seeker of justice for all.” That certainly fits with the actual intention of all this neuroscience research and the stress on emotions as an integral part. So does this quote that “ethics education has a better chance of informing action when it is continually reenforced and connected to practical experience.” Showing us once again how a certain vision for education going forward is key to this entire transformation of people and institutions, the Bioethics Commission lets us know that Equity is such a focus of this new vision. that “if safe and effective novel forms of cognitive enhancement become available, they will present an opportunity to insist on a distribution that is fair and just.”

Oh. Good. Grief. Once again Gray Matters made it clear that it is not just education being called on to reengineer society at the level of the biological neural mind. The rule of law gets redefined to be a social reengineering tool as well. As a lawyer and student of Anglo-American history and the function of the common law, it is hard to read a federally-financed call “ensuring the progress and responsible application to neuroscience to the legal system and policymaking.”

The report may insist that “today, and in the foreseeable future, neuroscience does not enable us to read minds. Technology remains extremely limited and cannot reveal the inner desires, psychological states, or motivations that are worthy of the term ‘mind-reading.’” The problem is that covering, Nothing to Worry About Here, statement is not true. Those things are precisely what adaptive learning digital virtual reality platforms, formative assessments, wicked, open-ended problem solving and other now required educational practices turn up. That is a big part of what all the data gathering is about. It’s also why the Personally Identifiable Information hype is such a Red Herring that obscures what is really at risk.

Watching the students on that video, do we really want Presidential Commission’s questioning “whether ‘inner mental or neural processes’ deserve more privacy protection than external or behavioral elements such as words and actions”?

What does ethics actually mean if all these neurological planned interferences can be pursued in the 21st century in the name of education?

 

Straddling the Worlds of Action and Knowledge: Values as the Driving Force of History

Let’s go back to that aspiration for “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge” from the last post since what has been admitted as being ‘controversial departures from the Western traditions’ is laid out in documents we were never supposed to see. We were to simply accept vague terms like ‘standards-based reforms’ being mandated for the classroom as within the unquestionable domain of anyone with an education degree. Even if the implementers and school and district leaders are totally unaware that there is an underlying controversy or that the real purpose of a required practice is that: “we are perhaps ready now to apply Marx’s dictum–that the point was not to understand history, but to change it–in a way quite different from what he intended.”

Now, shouldn’t that aim be accurately understood and not simply rolled into standards, pedagogy, and practices like Project-Based Learning or formative assessment via virtual reality gaming? Now the author of that quote, who also saw people as merely the steerable “individual elements of a complex system” went on to state a view of education and its new transformative aims at a neural level that we must pay attention to if we are to have any hope of avoiding the “leveling the playing field” plans for us. Seriously that is a quote from the Global Silicon Valley ed tech investment bankers and their 2020 Vision: A History of the Future publication that coincided with their well-attended summit in San Diego a few weeks ago. They even paid a stipend to make sure leaders from all the Congressionally sanctioned and White House favorite League  of Innovative Schools districts were all in attendance.

The conclusion laid out the vision of “initiatives to create equal access for all Americans to participate in the future.” I have covered the federal BRAIN Initiative before that began in 2013, but this document announced that the funding had been increased “from $100 million to $500 million per year, aiming to create a dynamic understanding of brain function in a decade–doing for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for genomics. Importantly, we narrowed the program’s focus to two key objectives; mapping the circuitry of the brain, and then applying this knowledge to improving the design of education models/product and curing cognitive disorders.”

We have to wonder if being insufficiently communitarian will become classified as a ‘cognitive disorder’ in the future given how that ethos has made it into everything from Career Ready Standards to what constitutes a Positive School Climate and unappareciated obligations now in Student Handbooks. Mapping the human genome though did not alter what had been mapped. The whole purpose of the BRAIN Initiative though is to develop education models, products, curriculum, and ed tech software to rewire that brain circuitry to create the citizens amenable to political planning of economies and societies in the name of Equity. I quoted equal access above as the intent. The document reiterated the point of the “Mapping of the Mind” yet again by pointing out that the point of “optimizing the way we learn” was “to level the playing field and create a more productive workforce.”

Productive to whose benefit is a fair question, but let’s go back to the “A New Logic of Human Studies” essay from 1988 that our title and the Marxian quote above came from where Frederick Turner said “our hardwiring–whose proper development we neglect in our education at great peril–is designed to make us infinitely inventive.” Inventive as in not bound by what has worked well in the past and with the “Rethinking of Patterns of Knowledge” emphasis, no likely knowledge of what has factually led to the great nightmares of history when political power had no check on what it could force people to do.

If that seems melodramatic, my tiptoeing through the cited footnotes regularly forces me to encounter passages like how transformative social and political theories always also need new concepts, ideas, and categories to mentally guide perception in desired ways. Then I see the shout out to someone notorious like a Marx or a Hegel and then I get to see the same concepts whitewashed and introduced as Understandings of Consequence that must have applications to the real world. The philosophers will write about the need to ‘control meaning’ so that ” a rational consensus on the part of citizens concerning the practical control of their destiny” can be ‘attained.’ The educators simply take the same aims and goals and enact it blindly and under coercion of job loss in the name of authentic learning and a New Civics.

We know that the National Institutes of Health is pushing a Science of Virtues with help from the Templeton Foundation because I covered that here  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/locating-the-internalized-information-guiding-human-behavior-so-it-can-be-controlled-and-transformed/
in March. We know Character is being added as a requisite component next fall for assessment in California. Now take that reality and tie it to this aspiration from Turner:

“The real forces at work on the stage of history are values. And values are uniquely qualified for a role both as tools to understand history and as forces at work in it. One qualification is just that: they straddle the worlds of action and knowledge, they admit candidly our involvement, our partisanship, our partiality and our power. Objectivity in a historian is an impossible goal in any case. Another qualification of values is that they give a kind of direction to history, the possibility of progress, which as we have seen is the logical precondition of any inquiry. [bolded because this is the entire focus of Project-Based Learning] Values are essentially dynamic, readjusting, contested, vigorous, as the word’s derivation from the Latin for ‘health,’ and its cognate ‘valor’ imply.”

So if we change values in students and the public at large we can change what motivates people to act to transform the world as it is. Transform the categories and prevailing concepts and ideas of thought and we can change people’s perceptions of the need to act. A powerful combination together in other words when both of those things become the focus of education, especially when locking in the changes at a neural biological level is the true goal. Now lets come back to the future and this terribly well connected report https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Pathways_New-Accountability_Through_Every_Student_Succeeds_Act_04202016.pdf tied to Stanford and Linda Darling-Hammond and the call for “achieving an equitable school system that leads to meaningful, relevant, and engaging learning opportunities for all students.”

If that vision sounds like it has the makings for the very type of straddling called for in Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge, there’s more even beyond a conclusion calling for “evidence-based interventions that support deeper learning in contexts that further equity goals.” The report list three pillars for this new system states and local districts are to create and one of them is the undefined term–’meaningful learning.’ Except it was not undefined to me because I knew it was a term tied to cognitive scientist Joseph Novak who helped develop all the theories of concept mapping and internalized mental models in the first place. Remember the useful partner to transformed values laid out above?

Meaningful Learning is actually a global phrase for Novak’s transformative theory of education he has been writing about since the 60s. This article from Brazil http://www.if.ufrgs.br/asr/artigos/Artigo_ID7/v1_n2_a2011.pdf explains that “Meaningful Learning underlies the Constructive Integration of Thinking, Feeling, and Acting Leading to Empowerment for Commitment and Responsibility.” How’s that for the desired straddle? And conveniently locked into the legal obligation under federal and state laws as a new concept of accountability where no one is likely to notice the true nature of the required shift. Who would ever track this all back to being a Marxian Maker of History other than Robin who reads too much (and who notices even more) now that we are so fully on the right track.

How useful is this to seeing people as goal-seeking systems who can be redesigned at a neural level as needed for the hoped-for transformation? That paper was presented at Porto Allegre, which is known as the city that first developed the concept of ‘participatory budgeting.’ That’s the idea that the poor and various ethnic groups have a stake and the right to a say in determining how much, and for what, government budgets are to be spent. Just this morning one of my newsletters wrote about how participatory budgeting is catching on at the local levels of cities in the US as a means to promote Equity.

Use government spending to promote Equity and education to transform values and the internalized categories and conceptions of thought to “level the playing field” as the GSV report put it. Accountability needs ‘meaningful learning’ because insiders who create these policies and who wrote the Every Student Succeeds Act know quite well that “knowledge stored during meaningful learning is fundamentally organized differently than knowledge learned by rote, and affective associations are also different” as Novak put it in 2011. He also wrote that as “we learn new concepts and propositions, we are really learning the meanings of the concepts and the relationships between them. Through the process of meaningful learning, concepts and propositions are organized into the cognitive structure of our brains.”

That cognitive structure and what education can do to alter it is precisely what the US federal government admits it is now spending $500 million per year to map for the purposes of Equity and leveling the playing field via education.

In the next post I will cover the ‘affective’ component of meaningful learning using numerous examples from just the last few weeks. With a few trips back in time of course so we can have an accurate narrative of what is being attempted here instead of the Faux Narrative the Powers-that-Be had planned for us to simply accept.

ACES: Individual Psychological Change as an Effective but Hidden Route to Ameliorate the Whole Society

Anyone wondering if we are about to play an exciting game of cards here at ISC? ACES is an acronym I just created because the phrase Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems is simply too long to keep typing over and over again. Now every time we see the phrases ‘learner-centric education,’ ‘competency-based,’ ‘personalized learning to meet needs and achieve success and full potential,’ or ‘continuous improvement’ as the world’s largest education accreditor used recently http://www.advanc-ed.org/sites/default/files/ESSA%20Call%20to%20Action%20Whitepaper.pdf , we can accurately recognize that political power–local, state governors and legislatures, Congress and the White Houses led by both parties, and international groups–has decreed that students are simply systems to be measured, monitored and manipulated.

ACES is a defined-term globally and I hope you have as much fun seeing what it pulls up as I did when I first came across it and recognized the implications. I cannot summarize all those papers on this blog although reading many of them did cause me to put this blog into hiatus as I dealt with the implications. Then I pulled a book I have discussing what were known as the Macy Cybernetic Conferences or Feedback Mechanisms and Circular Causal Systems in Biology and the Social Sciences back in the 1940s into the early 50s. That is when what is now known as brain-based learning was first discussed. Here’s a quote for an aim that gets obscured now under all these euphemisms and more:

“Granted that personality and culture could be viewed as a cybernetic system with purposes, feedbacks, and communication links, which if analyzed [think of all that glorious data now being gathered under various mandates] might lend credence to the notion that individual psychological change could be an effective route toward ameliorating the whole society…By individuals changing their ways, the culture is changed.”

This is supposedly the ‘gentle’ approach to social change. Use education as a means to alter “styles of personal relations [Positive School Climate], child rearing [mandatory parent involvement at school], family and sexual patterns [transgender bathroom edicts], and promoting mental health [now usually called student wellbeing]. However gentle, it contained a strong element of the managerial, the manipulative, and the controlling.” Those aims still do and they are now everywhere in 21st century schooling. These aims now go back to a view that “human nature is not fixed but adaptable and changeable. Human nature, i.e., personality structure, is contingent on social patterns prevailing in a culture…and can be altered by changing these cultural patterns.”

When that AdvancED White Paper above writes about “a personalized journey of continuous improvement” where the student can be improved by schools “using evidence to pinpoint what must happen in the areas of need identified through the continuous improvement process,” we are back using education and the social sciences to achieve the aims laid out so long ago at those Macy conferences. When the paper talks about social and emotional factors and the “type of additional measures it will use” so that a “school or district must support the development of its students in ways not identified in test scores, but that directly impact student learning and development,” we are actually back to the goals for the future a Macy participant, Larry Frank, laid out in 1951.

In his book Nature and Human Nature, Frank wrote that that cybernetic notions could create a revolution where:

“Today we can assert with full conviction that culture is a human creation, man’s attempt to order and pattern his personal life and to provide for orderly group or social living…This indicates that culture is not a superhuman system, final and unchanging, beyond man’s reach and control; also it shows that we can and do change culture by modifying what we think and do and feel and what we teach and how we rear our children. Again, this new viewpoint, when once grasped, brings an immense relief and a feeling of freedom we have never had before under the older beliefs in a supernaturally imposed culture, sanctioned by immemorial tradition.”

Now, if we parents and taxpayers were presented with that graphic intention for today’s ‘education reforms’ we could accurately perceive what is intended for us and appropriately rebel in time. So we get all these euphemisms instead that still utterly reek of a cybernetic viewpoint for controlling individuals and planning a society once we recognize the terminology. Here’s AdvancED again on when ‘a system is considered effective’:

* Various processes and components of the system are connected and aligned so that they work together as part of a complex whole in support of a common purpose.

* System improvements are driven by a process of continuous measurement and feedback with a focus on collecting and sharing data that informs and transforms.”

I am going to interrupt my quoting of AdvancED talking about both students and schools in such cybernetic language using systems metaphors to point out what is wrong with so much of the Faux Narrative and outrage over Student Privacy that wants to make the conversation about Personally Identifiable Information. That is a static database emphasis regarding student data that has been openly declared to be interested in constantly changing students from the inside-out to the specifications sought by political power as if they were just a ‘system.’ And the point of concern is only PII and whether it is the feds imposing it as opposed to what is really going on here? Back to quoting again:

“* System actors understand and engage each other and the system successfully.

* System outputs are of the desired quality and produced within the desired time frame.”

The system is the student in many cases and what is being tracked and manipulated is the internalized Simplex I covered in the April 4 post. http://www.inacol.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CW_ChugachSchoolDistrict_APersonalizedPerformanceBasedSystem.pdf is another recently released paper from another group driving what must go on in the classrooms under the synonym of competency-based education. It is also targeting students as if they were simply ACES–Anticipatory Cognitive Embodied Systems–rearrangeable in a “Continuous Improvement (TQM) Process” just as the Macy Conference social engineers always wanted. This is how we measure, monitor, and manipulate the ACES providing whatever learning experiences data shows to be needed until political power and its Business Cronies have the malleable adult they want “upon exiting the education system in 2025.”

I have more recent declarations by connected groups with the power to mandate what must occur in classrooms that fits with what was laid out by those Macy Conferences, but I want us to go back to a 1988 conference that supplements what is laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy and that fits with both the Macy Conferences and what we are seeing now. Locating it tumbled out of my research on ACES as I played Tiptoe Through the Footnotes once again. In May 1987 Ohio State hosted a conference called “the Educated Citizen and the University of the Future.” It led to the 1989 publication of a book I found on ERIC (indicating current fedED interest) called “Rethinking Patterns of Knowledge,” edited by Richard Bjornson and Marilyn Waldman. Its Introduction complained first about the following:

“The dominant patterns of knowledge in the present educational and social climate are based on linear thinking, rationalistic analysis, and the quest for generalizable simplicity. Under such circumstances, individual success generally results from the competency with which these patterns of knowledge are mastered and then utilized to bring about expected or predictable outcomes.”

Now not only is such individual success not Equitable, but that individual will be using what I am going to call his or her Do-It-Yourself internalized Simplex to decide what to do and how to do it. To perceive what it notices and what guides and motivates its actions and that is thoroughly unacceptable. Saying that forthrightly in the way that Larry Frank did above so long ago might doom all these plans to finally succeed at using education for brain-based social engineering so we get the euphemisms AdvancED and iNacol used or this from 1989 that resonates today in the required ‘systems thinking’ in the Common Core C3 Social Studies Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and the WIOA economic planning legislation I have covered.

“Alternative views of reality, whether they originate in our culture or outside of it, tend to be resisted or rejected out of hand. Each contributor to the volume challenges the unquestioning acceptance of these patterns and suggests that our creativity, our capacity to understand complex phenomena, and even the future wellbeing of our society depend on our willingness to embrace new patterns of knowledge and not allow ourselves to be defined solely in terms of what has been taught in the past.”

A few pages later and consistent with my insistence that it is that internalized Simplex and a desire for individual psychological change to quietly engineer a planned Upravleniye (March 22 post) society that is and has been for decades the real driver of all these reforms, the editors complain that we need to Rethink Patterns of Knowledge in preschool and K-12 because most college students “have already internalized their guiding beliefs and assumptions by the time they enter college.” Try not to faint in horror out there upon reading that statement.

So if the purpose of education is now to create minds amenable to political coercion without complaint or even noticing and to lock that in invisibly at a neural level, is there a level of government in a free society where such aims can be regarded as lawful and permissible?

Should the accreditors be able to require it working with school boards and their lawyers? Legislatures? Trade groups like the Chamber of Commerce? Is this violation really abhorrent if imposed by the feds but A-OK at a local or state level?

See why it is absolutely necessary to confront what is really being targeted for change and why?

 

 

Being Thankful We Know About the New Mandate of Student Success to Create and then Sway a Group Mind

Most years since I started this blog I have published a particular post originally called “Being Thankful for What We Know and Appreciating Why It Matters.” That message remains timely, especially given the gravity of everything I have laid out in recent posts. First though I want to provide a few updates since the last post. I had an opportunity last week to speak with Security Policy expert Frank Gaffney in a recorded conference call about the implications of what I had found in the Tarbiyah Project and how closely it aligns with the actual, to be mandated, meaning of success or achievement under the new proposed federal legislation. https://soundcloud.com/alice-linahan/women-on-the-wall-esea-and-the-the-tarbiyah-project

As I wrote in the last post, the alignment between the actual mandated implementation I covered so carefully in my book Credentialed to Destroy and what Tauhidi described was breathtaking and clearly no accident. I covered systems thinking extensively in that book, but although it was created at the troublingly ubiquitous Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS), some of its creators were always connected to Michigan’s Institute for Social Research and Research Center for Group Dynamics. http://www.rcgd.isr.umich.edu/history/ Michigan is where Tauhidi received both his Masters and Doctorate and its School of Education has always been a national leader in shifting K-12 education toward the behavioral sciences. To truly make education into a science of human development it certainly helps that the current Dean Deborah Ball also chairs the Spencer Foundation Board of Directors.

That would certainly explain the alignment I found. Establishing the Group Mind and making it influential, then guiding, and finally motivating, as the definition of increasing Proficiency toward being an ‘Expert’ was laid out recently here.  http://www.epiconline.org/essential-skills-and-dispositions-development-frameworks/ Lots of influential entities there and 3 of the essentials are from 21st Century Learning: Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration. The 4th, Critical Thinking, has been renamed as Self-Directed Learning. That would be the same term Tauhidi used in his Tarbiyah Key Outcomes & Indicators. It’s probably not accidental that Tarbiyah’s Essential Learning of Noble Character and Moral Literacy is the Self-Directed Individual, especially since the other 3 Cs are also in various desired new personal character traits with their names in Arabic script.

Finally, Congress just released a Framework for its new ESEA legislation http://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=399784 that also aligns with Tarbiyah and the goal of turning the student, at an internal, neurological level, into a designed, predictable system. That’s the ‘success’ within the legislation. I now have everything I need to prove those assertions after the legislation is passed and signed. Here’s the long-standing goal, taken from work on Burmese culture and Buddhist values, attitudes, and motivating beliefs funded by the CASBS with a shout out to Ralph Tyler, the creator of NAEP, the 8 Year Study, and so much more we still encounter today.

“Which brings us to the importance of this symbol for the integration of Burmese society. For it is through their reverence for this common symbol of a shared ego ideal that the Burmese, I believe, come to identify with each other, as Freud puts it, they ‘have put one and the same object in the place of their ego ideal and have consequently identified themselves with one another in their ego.’ [no individualism left as the West knows it] And this is how Burmese society achieves its highest degree of integration. To the extent that members of a social group identify with each other, to that extent is the group characterized by social integration.”

That would be why Black Lives Matter in 2015 and All Lives do not. With that let’s go back in time. Remember all we have covered since forcing a required Group Mind and also the 2014 passage of WIOA, giving all governments unprecedented economic powers for planning society.

I had actually outlined another barnburner story but the day before Thanksgiving is no time to serve up indigestion. So I thought I would write a tale of appreciating why individual liberty has mattered in the past and why Freed Markets resulted in mass prosperity would be a nice tribute. And I do not mean that in a Pollyanish sense. One of the books I am tackling this holiday week is Robert P Moses’ radical equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project. I want every child to learn to the best of their ability. I want to really appreciate the desperation that is driving this Equality for All even if it guts the economy philosophy. It is why I read what attracted Van Jones to the Green Growth Economy as a manifestation of his self-confessed preference for Communism.

I think the history lessons of the Predator State declaring its Goals for People and then using its powers to coerce are too easy to forget. It’s not an ideological preference. It’s a factual story. A repeated pattern once government reaches a certain size of the economy. I think history consistently bears out the truth of what Nobel Prize-winning economist Friedrich Hayek said in his 1945 lecture Individualism: True and False. I give extra credit for people who have first hand experience in what led to most of the great tragedies of the 20th Century. It’s called Walking the Walk and there is great validity to the hard-earned wisdom it imparts.

“There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal. While the first is a condition of a free society, the second means, as De Tocqueville described it, ‘a new form of servitude.”

There is just no getting around the fact that government officials and their Business Allies deciding they get to fine tune personalities and reset Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs to guide an Individual’s Future Behavior is a 21st Century form of servitude. Especially when the inappropriately named Positive School Climate is now a tool to retrain each student’s filtering Mindset. The worldview they will use from now on as they encounter daily reality. With their preferred non-Axemaker Mind and habits grounded in emotion. All quite consciously cultivated and monitored.

But we now know all this up front and that really is something to be Thankful for. As an active pursuer of these plans and blueprints this is decidedly unauthorized knowledge that was not supposed to become available. A 2012 Deerstalker Gold Star Award for Me. The most common question I get from frustrated parents especially is Why? What I am saying simply rings too true with their daily reality to discount it. But why the Deliberate Operant Conditioning towards a Future that’s not really about prosperity?

Like I have said, I take great comfort in putting all this in its Historical Context and its real Self-Dealing Context. Because honestly that is where it belongs. So I am going to quote you a passage from Hayek’s 1944 book The Road to Serfdom (page 176 in my 2007 copy). He really nails the drivers behind making education miseducation. Notice he also nails down the frequent unholy alliance between government and the media. Simply refusing to report or cover accurately anything that might caste a poor light on desired government policies. My bolding and snark is in the brackets.

“Facts and theories [Sustainability, Man-made Catastrophic Global Warming, Diversity, Social Justice] must thus become no less the object of an official doctrine than views about values. And the whole apparatus for spreading knowledge–the schools and the press, radio and motion picture–will be used exclusively to spread those views which, whether true or false, will strengthen the belief in the rightness of the decisions taken by the authority; and all information that might cast doubt or hesitation will be withheld. The probable effect on the people’s loyalty to the system [Peter Senge just swooned that we so understand the essence of Systems Thinking and Why It Must Be Pushed] becomes the only criterion for deciding whether a particular piece of information is to be published or suppressed. [Benghazi; Actual Employment Numbers]

The situation in a totalitarian state is permanently and in all fields the same that it is elsewhere in some fields in wartime. Everything which might cause doubt about the wisdom of the government or create discontent will be kept from the people. [Hard not to think of Candy Crowley and that 2nd Presidential Debate]. The basis of unfavorable comparisons with conditions elsewhere, the knowledge of possible alternatives to the course actually taken, information which might suggest failure on the part of the government to live up to its promises or to take advantage of opportunities to improve conditions–all will be suppressed. There is consequently no field where the systematic control of information will not be practiced and uniformity of views not enforced.”

There you have the incentive of Government officials for using education for merely Competent, Mentally Hobbled Citizens. Especially ones who are being bred to see a Duty to the State. And the Business Angle. They are politically connected and want special privileges and protections from their Cronies. That’s not Capitalism though. It’s Mercantilism where there is no mass prosperity. It is what Adam Smith rejected as he accounted for Britain’s phenomenal 18th century economic growth.

So enjoy your friends and loved ones on this cherished American holiday. Whatever happens in education in 2013, we WILL understand what is really going on and what the likely consequences are actually going to be.

And that really is something to be Thankful for.

Manipulating the Human Mind and Personality Via P-12 Education to Engineer Transformational Social Change

Notice how I did NOT write K-12. In most states and countries now, if we do a little digging, we will find early learning standards that put a heavy focus on social and emotional learning. That ‘P’ stands for Preschool, which is apparently where the transformation to new values and a new kind of mind and habits of thinking, must begin. A GERG (General Evolution Research Group) associate of Csik’s, Bela Banathy, and Ervin Laszlo and husband of Riane Eisler discussed in this post  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/rigor-relevance-and-relationships-the-new-3rs-to-get-to-a-caring-economics/ , David Loye, was kind enough to explain in a 1991 book that the systems thinkers had a new ‘schema’ for the mind. The mind could be programmed via education to become the “evolving guidance system for each person and for humanity as a whole.” From a book Ervin Laszlo edited called The New Evolutionary Paradigm that was a part of the World Futures General Evolution Studies, Loye wrote:

“Mind in this schema is further defined by viewing our time, the late 20th century, as a pivotal evolutionary dividing point between the dominance of the Truncated Mind and the crucial emergence and spread of Actualizing Mind, in which guidance sensitivities are more fully operative.”

Truncated Mind is a new term for what I have previously nicknamed the Axemaker Mind, but to build on what is laid out in my book Credentialed to Destroy , phonetic fluent reading and traditional Algebra build that Truncated Mind. Critical Thinking as defined now by P21 or Richard Paul, Excellence in education, and Competency help build that Actualizing Mind, even if none of the educators implementing its tenets in the classroom have never heard of GERG,  any of the Laszlos, or David Loye and Riane. Since the last post I also managed to get my hands on a 1966 lecture the creator of General Systems Theory (GST), Ludwig Von Bertalanffy, gave at Clark University. Titled “Toward a New Image of Man,” Bertalanffy stated that the purpose of GST was to create a model for a new psychological theory suitable for psychosocial change–people, economies, cities, societies.

In other words, it fits perfectly with the Social Systems Redesign work we have encountered in the last several posts and also with John Dewey’s vision laid out in my book. Loye was darn forthcoming as well about the need to “focus on human cognition, which shapes human action” in order to create a normative social theory that could close the gap between reality as it now exists and the “ideal developmental forms that must be the prime concern of all policy makers.” From what I can tell the politicians and policy makers at every level and both parties are glad to oblige now in 2015, but no one is being honest about what is up.

I think the vision of Heart-Core Learning we met in the last post is Loye’s Actualizing Mind. When Lucien Vattel writes about “a society that grossly overvalues the mind above the heart” and seeks an “education system that values both how we feel and behave, as much as what we ‘know’”, he is laying out the current form of the same argument as Loye and all the rest of the social transformationalists. Move away from the Truncated Mind and the P-12 education that produces it. Go for Deeper, experiential, Whole Child learning achieved through collaborative Projects and authentic role playing experiences–what Vattel called “interacting, playing, and making”–to build that needed Actualizing Mind.

Everything I have read from GEFF and any of the systems scientists and out of the Fuschl and Asilomar Conversations is all supporting this same vision. It is the inner workings of the mind that is Ground Zero for the needed transformation and a P-12 education centered in Competency is the way in. Loye started his discussion with citing several Club of Rome reports from the early 70s and ends with the 1977 one that Ervin Laszlo was in charge of that called for “the need for accelerating a fundamental shift in values.”

When I read that, it was hard not to think of the now ubiquitous Positive School Climate mandates and the suggested remedies to supposedly combat bullying. Getting at the inner workings of the student’s mind and personality even more directly though is the ASCD-sponsored 16 Habits of Mind push that aligns with the developing Thinking Skills push from the 80s and early 90s. ftp://download.intel.com/education/Common/au/Resources/EO/Course_Resources/Thinking/Habits_of_Mind.pdf

Empathy, cooperation, “having a disposition toward behaving intelligently when confronted with problems, the answers to which are not immediately known” sounds like just the very traits needed to implement a transformative theory of normative social change. Just the habits needed to persevere with actions to push for change whatever the difficulties encountered in the real world. If any of us were designing Habits of Mind suitable to create an exuberant change agent, one could hardly do better than what Costa and Kallick developed or what Critical Thinking and Thinking Skills (Marzano’s 1985 Framework for McREL) actually turn out to be fostering. http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_198604_jones.pdf from 1986 also laid out creating such “higher-order thinking and metacognitive strategies at all levels of schooling” and for all students and sold it under the appealing title of “Quality and Equality Through Cognitive Instruction.”

Everybody, it turns out, wants to create those very traits of minds the systems thinkers intent on transformational social change globally say they need. How should we feel when we discover that the Convergence Center’s Advisory Board on Re-Imagining Education included a medical doctor known for creating the area of Neurobiology whose vision for ed fits perfectly with Loye’s Actualizing Mind? http://kripalu.org/article/322/ Now when you look at “Awakening the Mind–Neurobiology and You” and its constant references to Mental Well-Being necessary practices, remember all the mandates in the ESEA Rewrite to providing for students’ mental health needs and whatever promotes mental well-being. Does that translate into a legal mandate from Congress to extinguish the Truncated Mind and build the Actualizing Mind in its place?

Siegel is at UCLA, which is also where the federally-funded School Mental Health Project is located. Anyone believe Siegels’ references to mental well-being are not designed to turn his desired practices into a legal mandate for all schools? Let me add one more tidbit: there are numerous stories on the Internet that Senator Lamar Alexander’s favorite book is called A God Within by Rene Dubos. Now I recognized Dubos as being frequently in the bibliography of references for most systems thinkers. In its Chapter called “On Being Human” Dubos explained that ‘The God within mankind is the spirit of purposeful and creative adventure.” That certainly sounds like a transformational mindset, especially with all the hype over purposeful behavior and envisioning the future.

Maybe Lamar as an ex-Governor really liked the vision from the previous page that “Over most of the world, the homeostatic feedbacks of supply-and-demand economy are giving way to new systems manipulated by government intervention.” Yes, that is unfortunately true and the date of the book’s publication in 1972 also coincides with an overall decline in mass prosperity with plenty of people wondering what has happened since. Note: crony interventions by governments and ‘systems redesign’ starting at the level of the human mind do not work very well, apart from enriching politicians, former ones, and their friends.

Loye did detail some tidbits I want to pass on because I can see their continued relevance now. In discussing programs for the needed fundamental shift in values, Loye mentioned that: “”for well over a decade, psychologist Milton Rokeach and associates throughout various parts of the world have been carrying out experiments using Rokeach’s Value Scale to explore value structural stable states. This work includes the induction, via cognitive dissonance, of the psychological equivalent of chaos states, and testing the effectiveness of interventions designed to produce fundamental and enduring values change.”

And we wonder why we have had an uptick in school shootings. What Loye did not say, but I know, because I have several of Rokeach’s books and have written about him and his links to Tranzi OBE is that Rokeach created the educational use of the term Competency to obscure the values and non-mental skills focus of this shift. We can see why the euphemisms ‘Objectives’ and “Outcomes’ also get used to hide the nature of this shift.

Anyone else read about Linda Darling-Hammond retiring as a Stanford ed prof to start a Learning Policy Institute recently? Here is a useful fact to keep in mind that Loye just happened to mention right after the Rokeach paragraph.

“The most comprehensive and well-financed study of ‘chaotic’ or transformational values change has been carried out over the past six years [about 1985 then] by California-based SRI International [Stanford Research Institute goes by just an acronym now], one of the world’s largest research institutions. Basing its VALS (values and life styles) program on the work of psychologist Abraham Maslow, SRI social scientists regularly update a data bank on more than 100,000 Americans to predict changes in attitudes, values, and preferences that will affect the American and world economic, social and political systems.”

Wow, how’s that for a confession? One of those SRI social scientists, Marina Gorbis, now heads the same Institute for the Future that works with KnowledgeWorks to develop visions for education in the future.

That would also be the same Maslow that the NEA hired back in 1962 to create its desired new vision of education grounded in psychology. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/psychological-approach-to-a-humane-politics-restructuring-the-west-quietly-and-effectively-via-ed/

The truth is that the same vision has now been pursued for decades by people who turn out to be connected to each other and the same institutions. Only the names for the vision seem to change.

Changing the functions and structure at the level of the human mind and then locking it in physiologically.

No wonder there has been such deceit.

 

Harnessing the Meaning Making Capacities of the Human Mind and then Assessing for the Tightness of the Fit

We talked about NAEP in the last post so we could begin to appreciate its real purpose as both a driver and a monitor of using education to mentally deconstruct any concept of learning as the transmission of factual knowledge. In fact, whenever we see the phrase “meaningful learning” from now on, let’s just be upfront that it means changes in a student’s mind or personality intended to reliably guide future behavior as desired. The quote at the beginning of that title comes from a 2000 book Assessing Science Understanding: A Human Constructivist View that asserted that science is no longer about a body of facts and information about how the world works transmitted from a textbook or a teacher. No, “science is best understood as a formalized and highly adaptive way of harnessing the meaning making capacities of the human mind.”

To ‘Understand’ then in math, science, history, or while reading a book is to interpret in the manner someone else has stipulated so that students will practice perceiving and behaving as desired until these behaviors become unconscious habits. Locked in at a physical level in the brain’s neural pathways. That is what is being assessed and why we keep coming back to an insistence that the ‘performances’ or ‘achievements’ be action-based. It’s why we are getting such a push for Project-based Learning. When I went through the activities in that book, they were not about learning a body of knowledge. They were training students to view the world in a certain way. Did you know back in the mid-80s as these reforms were being dreamed up there was even a term invented for what would be sought-observational competence? Is the student noticing the themes or aspects desired in a given situation and ignoring the elements we would rather not be the focus of attention?

When I called attention to the idea of that ‘proficiency’ under NAEP and state standards after the adoption of NCLB in 2002 was about Proficiency Standards for Reasoning, I found this document   http://www.mathleadership.com/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/standardsofpracticematrix.pdf assuring me that the Common Core would meet these action-based concepts of the desired proficiency. The students may not know much, but they will have been trained and primed over years to act in certain ways based on stipulated prompts. And look, there are 3 levels of achievement just like what the Every Child Achieves Act requires each state to have as its “aligned academic achievement standards” that will constitute how the ‘content standards’ will be met. Prescribed behaviors. Harness the mind and then ‘assess’ to see if the harness fits properly and guides behavior as desired. If so, herald the student as performing ‘proficiently’ or ‘competently’ and thus being College and Career Ready.

http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandpinnell/supportingMaterials/lli/AlignmentWithNAEP.pdf is not Math or ‘science’ but it is the vision for learning to read and write and then what will be the ELA activities using the Fountas & Pinnell curriculum so beloved by the Common Core (described in Chapter 7 of my book on the Learning Progression). Isn’t it good to know these prescribed literacy activities involve “very specific behaviors and understandings are written for each level and built into every individual lesson?” How very harness-like. Get each student used to the jerk of the tether while they are still young and their minds are oh-so-malleable to manipulation. That link also makes it clear that NAEP after 2000 was being used to quietly implement the performance and proficiency standards from the New Standards Project that grew out of that National Education Goals Panel we met in the last post.

No wonder the National Center for Education and the Economy reuploaded the entire NSP body of work back in December 2010. Just in time to pretend it is actually something new called the Common Core and in time for an ESEA reauthorization like ECAA. NSP’s Performance Standards simply get euphemised as ECAA’s “aligned achievement standards” that quickly gets defined away as just “challenging state academic standards” for the rest of the Act. As if we are still talking about the transmission of knowledge brought to us by the Greatest Minds Who Have Ever Lived. No, instead we get ‘sense-making’ from our prescribed activities using the supplied ideas, themes, principles, and concepts intended to function as a politically transformative mental and emotional harness.

I think it is hard for readers of this blog to fully appreciate how confining this manipulative vision of reading, math, and science will be since we all have Axemaker Minds of some type or another. Some minds may be better stocked than others with accurate facts and abilities to infer, but all of us still had some kind of a knowledge orientation to our K-12 and college experiences. That Heinemann language and the fact we are talking about 6 year olds being manipulated should give some idea of just how constraining and invisible this behavioral harness can become. ECAA though wants to push preschool for all as a basic right so we are actually going back even younger than 5 or 6. We also do not have to speculate about what the “early childhood care and education” vision that fits with this competency/proficiency approach looks like.

New Zealand–tied to the Innovation Lab Network and Competency through the GELP-Global Education Leaders Program that we have discussed on this blog (see tag) adopted Te Whariki–the National Early Childhood Curriculum in the 90s to go along with what was then called Transformational Outcomes Based Education (detailed in Chapter 4 of my book explaining Competency and its history). We know that in 1998 the US-based ERIC asked that the Te Whariki papers be submitted to its database. Te Whariki pushes a developmental approach that rejects the old “focus on the learner as an individual, and learning as furniture in the mind.” Instead, learning is the change brought about in the student as a result of “responsive and reciprocal relationships with people places and things.”

Someone obviously hates commas, but they like hyphens as they see the student as an “individual-in-action” interacting in social, cultural  and purposeful contexts. I mentioned Urie Bronfenbrenner and the Great Experiment in the last post. Te Whariki is explicitly grounded in his Ecological Systems Theory that is concisely explained here.  https://www.uncg.edu/hdf/facultystaff/Tudge/Bronfenbrenner%202005.pdf So are competency and proficiency-based concepts of learning. They all intend to create ‘dispositions’ or “habits of mind, tendencies to respond to situations in certain ways.” And if those dispositions start being baked in and turned into a harness back in early childhood programs (the quote came from the Te Whariki paper) the adolescent and then young adult voter need not even know the harness and guiding bit are there at all.

Te Whariki gives a definition of assessment that fits with where formative assessments intend to go in the US and elsewhere: “the primary purpose of assessment should be to provide information which can be used to identify strengths and guide improvement.” All that is based on what people with political power decide they want to see in the citizens of tomorrow, not what parents or the children themselves want. This harness view of education also gets marketed as a thinking curriculum and it was laid out, before the 90s controversies, in a 1991 book by Edward Fiske called Smart Schools, Smart Kids: Why Do Some Schools Work? once again financed by the Carnegie Corporation that now sponsors Competency-based Education.

I keep hearing news reports wrongly describing what are now performance assessments or other means of checking for the presence and efficacy of the mental harness as ‘standardized tests’. Fiske’s book complained that “the most damaging aspect of standardized tests, though, is their impact  on the curriculum. Since states test reading and math, this is what schools emphasize. [Horrors!! Let's revise the NAEP.] But in doing so they focus on basic skills and factual knowledge that such tests measure and direct schools’ attention from the new agenda of teaching students to think.”  The book then quoted Lauren Resnick (who will go on to co-direct the New Standards Project and be on the Common Core validation committee. She also chaired the 1987 committee that produced the report on Higher Order Thinking Skills a/k/a Teaching Students to Think in a Way that Serves as a Harness) and her husband Daniel.

“Current tests are tuned to a curriculum of the past, one that is not suited to today’s social and economic conditions…[The Resnicks advocate transitioning all students to tests grounded in] Goals such as interpreting unfamiliar texts, constructing convincing arguments, understanding complex systems, developing approaches to problems, or negotiating problem resolutions in a group” that sounds just like the learning tasks and means for assessment being touted as part of the Common Core classroom or a competency/proficiency-based classroom. Fiske’s book also pointed out that powerful tests like the NAEP are a “high-stakes game in itself” and that “whoever controls those powerful tests will control a large measure of what is taught and learned in American schools.”

Once again, that’s why the mandate of ‘aligned achievement standards’ in ECAA that forces a behavioral or performance-based, consistent with Universal Design for Learning, approach in every school in every state matters so very much. It’s a way the federal government mandates the construction of a harness while pretending to return control to states and localities.  Specifying the hows of testing is controlling those tests and the curriculum itself. I want to close with what Linda Darling-Hammond said in Fiske’s book since she is the author of the New Paradigm being pushed for what will constitute meaningful learning. https://edpolicy.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publications/accountability-college-and-career-readiness-developing-new-paradigm.pdf Standardized testing back when it was still fact-based and right-answer oriented was supposedly based on the “dubious assumption that there is a single right answer to any question worth asking.”

LDH viewed the old-fashioned standardized test as the “triumph of passive learning. It is testing for the TV generation. We don’t ask if students can synthesize information, solve problems, or think independently. We measure what they recognize.” So back in 1991, when she was still a professor at the Teachers College at Columbia, Hammond, like Lauren Resnick, was very involved in advocating for a thinking kind of curriculum that fits with a Harness Function.

No wonder both professors remain so involved now in guiding the actual classroom implementations both in the US and globally through the OECD.

Tethering the Logical Rational Mind Via K-12 Education to Emotionally Grounded Experience

The language from the ESEA Rewrite on closing the achievement gaps between groups that objectively have had very different life experiences basically limits what can now go on in a K-12 classroom in any state or locality. Some local control, huh? Interestingly the only kind of education that will now suffice is precisely the same as what political and social transformationalists intent on social justice also want. It’s the same kind of K-12 education that members of the Chamber of Commerce also endorse since it makes genuine, shift the paradigm invention and technology far less likely.

To illustrate how once again all roads lead to the same place and how it does not benefit ordinary, non-politically connected, people at all, let me turn to an essay “Educating the Rainbow: Authentic Assessment and Authentic Practice for Diverse Classrooms” from a 1997 UK book Assessment for Equity and Inclusion: Embracing All Our Children. What that paper calls authentic assessment that is activity-based, group-oriented, real world problem-based, and designed to get at the motivating emotions, values, and attitudes that get hidden now in the phrase “high-quality” are called formative assessment or assessment for learning most often in 2015. Whatever the name, what’s the real purpose? That would be to create shared beliefs among all the participants in the classroom and eventually the school so that the students can also embrace shared meanings from interpreting their experiences and ultimately develop shared language to describe them.

Now won’t those things come in handy if the goal of K-12 education globally has shifted to “Introducing a new way to think, talk, and act”? http://www.thersa.org/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/1550609/The-Seven-Dimensions-of-Climate-Change.pdf came out last week on basically the same day that the President of the Rockefeller Foundation went to the RSA to speak about building Better, More Resilient Cities. Hmm, wouldn’t authentic or formative assessment then be helpful to the Rockefeller-funded Communication for Social Change they are pushing all charities to guide their funding by? Talk about tethering. That paper seeks to skip over the entire debate over whether 2014 was the hottest year on record and whether we are warming, cooling, or the physical climate is simply behaving like a ‘climate’. “Changing climate” must become what “social scientists call ‘a social fact’.”

The great thing about ‘social facts’ in sociology theory (which is after all a huge component of education theory and pedagogy in degree programs) is that they are designed to ultimately change us, from the inside-out. Hmm, just like authentic or formative assessments? Why yes and won’t those be so useful if people now need to have a “new sense of collective purpose that embraces the diverse elements of human experience–without new vocabulary and cultural currency that allows us to overcome climate fatigue, a social silence, and stealth denial.” Not to mention actual documentable facts about the reality of scientific principles that must now be excluded because such abstractions are not equally accessible to all people. Equity excludes what builds up the analytical and intellectually-oriented Left Hemisphere of the brain from acceptable classroom practices. Equity does, however, provide education with a means for developing shared beliefs, meanings, and language.

How convenient, huh? Especially with the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED) that is part of the Earth Institute at Columbia University (where so many of the authors listed in the above book are profs at the Teacher’s College) creating reports on how to frame climate communication so that it can “Speak to the Two Parts of the Brain.”  http://guide.cred.columbia.edu/pdfs/CREDguide_full-res.pdf   That’s, first of all, the Analytic Processing System that concerns about Equity, social justice, and civil rights now insists must be starved of everything but pre-approved,  politically useful ‘concepts’, Enduring Understandings [see tag], or disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting issues. The second side, what Marshall McLuhan called the visual-aural, holistic Right Hemisphere, is referred to as the “Experiential Processing System.” Fascinating, huh, since “learning experiences” are now to be the focus of K-12 classrooms since only they meet the Equity Gateway that allows Success for All.

That “Psychology of Climate Change Communication” paper helpfully tells us what a Mental Model is. Since that’s precisely what Rigor and authentic or formative assessment is designed to shape and alter and what concerns over Equity and Opting Out of ‘tests’ are forcing on all students, lets quote the report:

“A mental model represents a person’s thought process for how something works (i.e., a person’s understanding of the surrounding world). Mental models, which are based on often-incomplete facts [especially in a K-12 world where lectures and textbooks are treated as inequitable], past experiences [which will now include experiences of virtual reality created as gaming for the very purpose of manipulating mental models. See Jane McGonigal tag], and even intuitive perceptions, help shape actions and behavior, influence what people pay attention to in complicated situations, and define how people approach and solve problems. Perhaps most important to climate change communicators, mental models serve as the framework into which people fit new information.”

That very mental model is precisely what so much of the K-12 classroom implementation described in my book Credentialed to Destroy is designed to influence and control. It’s also the focus of so much of the required emphasis on digital learning. Everything being pushed in K-12 education now tethers that Analytic Processing System and forces and then manipulates the Experiential Processing part of the student’s physical brain. Gives new meaning to “brain-based curriculum”, doesn’t it? To be effective on any issue targeted for transformational change or political control, communication (one of the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning) needs to “make use of the following experiential tools”:

“Vivid imagery, in the form of film footage, metaphors, personal accounts, real-world analogies, and concrete comparisons;

Messages designed to create, recall, and highlight relevant personal experience and to elicit an emotional response.”

We see the latter tool in the omnipresent journaling that seems to be a part of every class now, including math. The former tool is not just brought in through computer gaming and the Common Core’s media literacy and relevancy requirements, but also group-based Problem-Based Learning and the Maker Movement. After all that CRED paper explains “How to Tap into Group Identity to Create a Sense of Affiliation and Increase Cooperation.” Very useful if a New Way to Think, Talk, and Act has become the entire point of education and much of the focus of media outlets of all kinds.

In the last post I mentioned Antonio Gramsci’s famous March Through the Institutions as a way to describe the actual effect of what Congress seems prepared to mandate, but RSA actually came right out and called for new societal institutions. All the more reason then to have the law mandate the Orwellian “high-quality education” we covered in the last post. After all, RSA (like the Club of Rome and ValuesQuest in the January 11 post) views “democracy” as a “mechanism for making collective decisions” and the “web of legislation” and the the “comprehensive system of law” as methods for “meaningfully constraining …the global economic engine.” Boy, that was not on the Bar Exam back when I took it.

These new societal institutions created then by a web of legislation like that ESEA Rewrite or your local city council’s edicts will “not be designed to make an economic case, communicate scientific facts or win an argument.” I guess that explains why the Analytical Processing part of the human brain that can do those things well is being tethered and starved of the kind of facts K-12 education traditionally provided. Instead, the experiential, social and emotional learning focus fits with the desire for new societal institutions that “allow people to express and discuss their concerns, fears, dreams, and hopes for the future. They would embed scientific inquiry into the nature of the problem and how it could be solved, in more complex debates about how we should live in a climate-changed world. And in that way, they would likely offer fertile place to explore the links between Science and the other six dimensions of climate change.”

That’s the vision of the future the authentic assessment, student engagement, digital learning shifts in K-12 education are all preparing students for, without anyone trying to tether students to the actually existing physical reality or what works or never has. Students who have a craving for unicorn rides in this socially just future will have nothing to prompt them this is not a realistic goal. Those seven dimensions, by the way, that plan to alter the present reality, like it or not, are:

1. Science: Forging a new social contract

2. Law: Constraining extraction

3. Economy: Investing in the Future

4. Technology: Scaling up deep decarbonisation

5. Democracy: Escaping the governance trap

6. Culture: Breaking stealth denial

7. Behaviour: Overcoming stealth denial

How binding in every way that matters would be one way to describe that list. Now, as a well-read adult in my 50s I can tell that paper is a fantasy. Nothing, however, in the planned K-12 implementation would create that kind of “Danger, Will Robinson!!” prompt. In fact, K-12 education is deliberately priming the mind and personality to prompt just such an urge to plan and act as the Seven Dimensions paper laid out. CRED even came up with an additional paper called “Connecting to Climate” in December that appears both tied to the planned transformations of mental models from K-12 education as well as a cronyistic politically planned economy being sold as ecoAmerica.

Once again this post is a heads up about what social, economic, and political visions are tied to the K-12 transformations everyone with any power is forcing on our children. This is not just about education, but education as a means for broader transformations. It is intended to affect all of us, whether we have children or not, and whatever our ages.

It needs to be on everyone’s radar screen where ever we live. Because no one in education administration is being honest in my experience and we are not likely to be among the cronies invited to an RSA program or an ecoAmerica annual invitation-only summit.

Thank goodness we can still read and our Analytic Processing Systems remain tethered to facts and likely actual consequences.

Ballad of the Long Sought Shift to Being Educable, Not Educated: Adaptation Via Dissolving the Logical Mind

Do you ever wonder where these titles come from? The second part comes from descriptions in the 2004 book The Great Adventure: Toward a Fully Human Theory of Evolution that I will end this post with. First it described eliminating the “bricks and mortar” of the tradition-oriented logical mind. Later, the same book, having laid out its plans on using K-12 education to get a more “flexible,” intuitive, mind, then proceeded to describe how to lock those changes firmly and invisibly in place. Long term readers can probably guess that those changes will be hidden in the real definitions of Student ‘Growth’ and ‘achievement’ and whether the student is showing progress to being Workplace or College and Career Ready. The techniques used to dissolve that logical mind and practice new behaviors come in using strategies created in the classroom via activities billed to parents as ‘rigorous’ and involving ‘Higher Order Thinking Skills.”

It all links together. Let’s go back to the 1960s first to a professor, Philip H. Coombs, who also served in the Kennedy administration before bolting for Paris to help UNESCO (the UN entity created in 1948 for the express purpose of using education globally to gradual shift culture away from the West’s historic focus on the individual as my book explains) set up its International Institute for Educational Planning. In 1967 President Johnson, a former elementary teacher with a life-long reverence for John Dewey (the reason that matters is also in the book), initiated an International Conference on the World Crisis in Education in Williamsburg, Virginia. The resulting book The World Educational Crisis pointed out that K-12 needed to “expand and democratize itself and that keeping “the old logistics, curriculum, and hallowed monolithic standards” would be:

“as if a specialized gift shop for the well-to-do was summoned to convert itself into a massive department store for consumers of every description, including a thrift basement for those in straitened circumstances.”

Now, of course, all students are being asked to accept to offerings of the thrift basement. Elaborate name changes and unknown initiatives as we saw in the last post simply obscure the dramatic shift. Interestingly, it all still fits with what LBJ, Coombs, and UNESCO all wanted back in 1968 (italics in original text; bolding from me):

“Educational systems must undergo a shift of emphasis. The new stress must be not so much on producing an educated person as on producing an educable person who can learn and adapt himself efficiently all through his life to an environment that is ceaselessly changing.”

That’s the new goal of K-12 education in the West, which is why the academic results have been deteriorating ever since. Those insiders who know the real reason cannot remain empowered to bring about the change desired via the schools if they admit to what is going on. People like me now, who know and can prove the reality, always run up against parents who cannot bear to know. The problem is these sought changes are psychological and the Common Core in the US and 21st century skills everywhere mask that reality.

Continued ignorance means that techniques that really are grounded in acknowledged brainwashing techniques are being imposed on teachers and students in our classrooms. Let’s continue our journey to examine how crucial this ability to have an adaptable mind and personality is to those who really want wholesale political, social, and economic change. Always seeking ambitious administrators willing to impose this on classrooms.

Around 1986, just after the 1985 agreement on education among the US, USSR, and the Carnegie Corporation (the same one Richard Riley is now a Vice Chair of that is now pushing Competency-Based Next Generation Learning to guide the real global shift) was signed (www.americandeception.com is a good source for the actual document), a study began under the banner of the US Department of Labor. It produced in 1990 a series of Workplace Basics, Training for a Changing Workforce, manuals that provide the actual Blueprint still being followed in today’s K-12 education reforms.  The longest and most graphic of the books on The Essential Skills Employers Want lays out the need for students and employees to “transcend logical and sequential thinking and make the leap to innovation.”

Where have we heard that hostility to the Axemaker Mind before? Paul Ehrlich’s 1989 pitch for Newmindedness. What a timely coincidence. Now tell me if this quote from the 1990 manual does not sound like today’s sales pitch for a Growth Mindset, instead of a Fixed Mindset? “Each adult brings a different personal data base of experience and learning to the workplace. This base cannot remain static because our lives are a caldron of experiments responding to the need to adapt to changing circumstances.” Students in school are to be targeted for change for the same reason. Analytical, rule-based thinking like traditional algebra, geometry proofs, or grammar all impede this desired adaptability. It is fascinating to me that the professor, Lauren Resnick, who created the terms ‘rigor’ and Higher Order Thinking Skills back in the 80s is quoted by name in the book making this point:

“School should focus its efforts on preparing people to be good adaptive learners, so they can perform effectively [aka be competent or proficient] when situations are unpredictable and task demands change.”

The now-ubiquitous goal that Students should Learn How to Learn is also in the 1990 manual of new Workplace Basics. It goes back to citing notorious Humanist psychologist Carl Rogers and his 1969 book Freedom to Learn to illustrate the concept of Learning to Learn: “The only man who is educated is the man who has learned how to learn…how to adapt and change.”

I had a reader recently who also teaches ask me how the omnipresent concept of ‘problem-solving’ under the Common Core differed from the classic (if painful) classic math word problems. Let’s use the still relevant definition from the 1990 manual: “Problem solving is the process of bridging a perceived gap between what is and what ought to be.” A very useful skill indeed along with adaptability if fundamental transformations are the real goal and education and people have become mere conduits or tools to effect the sought changes. Here’s another useful tool: the POWER Model of Problem Solving.

Project a vision of how the situation should be different

Observe the discrepancy between what exists and what should be

Work out, after considering choices, an action plan and implement it

Evaluate/monitor progress and achievement

Revise plans as indicated by evaluation findings

As someone who has read many of the blueprints involved over the decades with these sought transformations, that POWER model is precisely what Big Data and supercomputers and governments at all levels think is the new way to plan societies and economies. Education at all levels simply needs to produce the people with mindsets and worldviews to either tolerate the wholesale shifts or to embrace them. Both involve dissolving the logical mind of the Enlightenment and believe me, the advocates just keep saying that.

Interestingly too, here is the new definition of leadership. Notice how useful this will be to bringing about wholesale change, especially when it becomes the entire basis for graduate degrees, as in education or public policy doctorates.

“The most successful leader of all is one who sees another picture not yet actualized. He sees the things which belong in his present picture but which are not yet there.”

Now imagine if a willingness to ‘problem solve’ using the POWER Model or be a leader as described above gets you lucrative jobs or grants from massively rich charitable foundations or public sector jobs where promotions are tied to how aggressively you push this transformational vision to make students ‘adaptable’ and ‘trainable.’ You would get precisely what is going on now as this Next Generation Learning graphic across all sectors and institutions from Ford makes clear.   https://fordngl.com/sites/fordpas.org/files/ford_ngl_three_strands_graphic_0.pdf

On July 17 and 19, 2000 there was a meeting of so many of the long time advocates for transformation social and political change using education in Toronto, Canada. They laid out their plans to use a “teacher-student-driven, globally active alliance between evolutionary systems science and humanistic, transpersonal, and positive psychology to kick-start what is needed.”

What was needed, of course, is that very same adaptability and malleable mind and personality we just keep encountering as the new goal of education. To be educable, not educated. Learning how to Learn and Growth sound so much better than the real goals of a “radical expansion of brain, mind, and consciousness” that will allow step-by-step achievement of “personal, cultural, social, political, economic, educational, and technological evolution.” The term revolution probably better describes what is sought, but since these fundamental changes are all supposed to be bloodless, evolution sounds better. Plus it fits the invisible shifts involved over time until the dramatic changes over time can be locked into place.

How? Through a moral and spiritual transformation in what enough people to be the majority electorate value and believe about how the world works, what they are owed by others, and what the world should be.

David Loye in that The Great Adventure book laid out “how to actually build it.” Next time we will trace that blueprint against the real implementation. It started last week where I live.

Unless you want the next generation to remain psychological adaptation guinea pigs, this is something all parents and taxpayers need to know. This is no time for rose-colored glasses.

Banishing Any Distinction Between Academic, Technical, and Life/Employability Skills: Active Deceit Everywhere

Think of me today as holding a microphone breathlessly informing everyone that I am reporting live from investigating a pot of water that is already at a simmer and it’s big enough to hold each of us. The pot has been designed to slowly come to a full rolling boil gradually so we will not notice what is happening in time. More likely, we will notice what is happening and misattribute what is causing it. Calling for more of the poison that is actually already destroying us from within while advocates holler “it’s political fragmentation and income inequality. More planning. More government programs. Integrate them all now” just as this April 4, 2012 letter from HHS, Education, and the federal Department of Labor called for. http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ovae/ten-attachment.pdf

But  we are neither frogs nor lobsters and we get to use our still existing Axemaker Minds to cut through the stories we have been deceitfully, or erroneously, fed and get out of that pot. I thought I knew so much about where Common Core was really going because of accurately discerning the essence of how performance standards [they are behavioral criteria] really worked and that Career Pathways would require a politically directed economy. I was right, but Georgia was piloting something else that is central to this story of our intended future. Then in 2006, the National Governors Association formally climbed aboard as well. It’s why it needed a vehicle like the Common Core to remake academic standards and why high school had to be reformed.

“Workforce intermediaries” (grounded in a 2003 conference in NYC funded by the Casey, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations) and “sector strategies” are the search terms you will need to pull up the plans for your own state or locality. I have downloaded many of them in the last several days. Enough to recognize what terrible jeopardy we were all in even before the WIOA, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, locked this all thoroughly into place about a month ago. There are lots of NGA documents on this, but http://www.capitalareawdb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/State-Sector-Strategies-Coming-of-Age-Implications-for-State-Workforce-Policymakers.pdf is the most helpful since it shows high schools on the cover as an integral part of this redo.

Sector strategies involve politicians, public employees, community organizing groups in many cases allied formally with Saul Alinsky’s IAF, colleges and universities, working with established businesses and hopefully getting all involved in comparable areas (like restaurants or construction) to work together to create pathways to good jobs for low income, formerly in prison, non-English speakers, etc. Everyone is bound in other words, but some of us merely finance, while K-12 extinguishes our children’s actual knowledge. Others are the intended beneficiaries of a track to a ‘good job.’ As this recent ACT report on building a National Workforce Skills Credentialing system put it    http://www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/BreakingNewGround.pdf , most private businesses, even small ones, will become subject to even more regulation as this belief that the private sector exists primarily to provide good jobs and training and tax revenue becomes pervasive.

The recent Aspen Institute book Connecting People to Work highlights SkillWorks as the long time Boston workforce intermediary. What that book did not point out, but I am, is that the Massachusetts DoED in 2013 redefined College and Career Readiness to get Massachusetts school districts on board with this Sector Strategies economic development planning that is now geared around Workplace Readiness. The BESA wanted to make sure the Connecting Activities would be used in the state’s academic and comprehensive high schools although parents probably will not get an accurate description for the shift. Academic proficiency is officially no longer enough in Massachusetts. http://www.doe.mass.edu/ccr/news/2014/0107Integration.pdf is the official powerpoint.

The ultimate goal in each domain is ‘competency attainment,’ that would be in the Flyv social science sense of intuitive, non-analytical behavior we have been tracking for several posts. As we can see, personal/social development is as important as academic and academic is no longer about book knowledge. Now I am going to pivot to the other huge watershed event we are being lied to about that affects how the Common Core should be seen.  I happen to know that Massachusetts, Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, and Oregon were picked by the feds to pilot the integration of CTE-Career and Technical Education into State and Local Career Pathways systems. Needless to say, this will blend nicely with Sector Strategies for economic development. No one seems to be dwelling on what will happen when the federal spigot of grants runs out and everyone has become a dependent and hardly anyone knows anything accurate or marketable, but here we are. By the way, CCSSO, the other formal sponsor of the Common Core is also involved with this integration.

It turns out you see, that apart from the Common Core we keep hearing about, there is another ‘state-led initiative created with business and industry representatives’ effort on a similar time frame to create a Common Career Technical Core that will govern ALL programs of secondary study. ALL means all and this parallel effort involves far  more than we might suspect. You know how we keep hearing mentions of ‘rigorous’ academics, well it is what is left after CCTC governs all programs of study under its Ten Components. This is why states formally rejecting CCSS nevertheless retain performance standards to keep the money from Perkins in DoED and the Department of Labor.  http://cte.dpi.wi.gov/files/cte/pdf/tencomponents.pdf shows the framework from Wisconsin, a state with a long history with Industry Partnerships and Sector Strategies.

So the feds, whatever state legislative committees may decide by majority vote or consensus to the contrary, have decreed that states are to have Career Pathways and combine “both academic/basic education content and CTE/skills training.” The combo of CCSS and CCTC makes this marriage easier to accomplish and easier to hide. In May 2014 the federal DoED rolled out its Employability Skills Framework that puts personal qualities, once again, front and center of future education in communities [hence all the hyping of local] and the states. All of the related ingredients I have been describing will of course be omitted lest we climb out of the simmering pot in time.

We are nowhere close to covering all I have read on these topics in the last week. I am merely building an outline to allow each of us to know what is intended and how the so-called Common Core fits into the deceit. It explains why the Chambers of Commerce, radical groups intent on political and social transformation, and legislators and governors of both parties are so tied to these ideas of national standards whatever the uproar. When I wrote my book, I explained that Competency never goes away because it fits the polytech vision of John Dewey. Now we know it fits with the new Workforce Readiness for all purpose of all K-12 education.

Another aspect that never goes away in the actual implementation materials is 21st Century Skills. I explained that with illustrations that remain 100% right on the money of intentions because they fit with the CTE focus on experiential and real world applications. It’s why those phrases keep recurring now through the relevance command. There are two P21 papers I did not have when I wrote the book that really lock in this marriage of CTE for All Students and how it comes full force to the unsuspecting suburbs. The first is from 2006 and has the long revealing title: ” Are They Really Ready to Work?   Employers Perspectives on the Basic Knowledge and Applied Skills of the New Entrants to the 21st Century Workforce.”

That well-connected report tells us that “the education and business communities must agree that applied skills integrated with core academic subjects are the ‘design specs’ for creating an education system that will prepare our high school and college graduates to succeed in the modern workplace and community life.” P21 did leave out the part about that workplace being reimagined via Sector Strategies and the community life being grounded in required consensus and shared understandings, but that would be how all these actual pieces fit together. “Business leaders must take an active role in outlining the kinds of skills we need from our employees” and the “business community must speak with one voice.” Lots of authoritarianism as we can see sprinkled consistently through this vision of our future.

What is hugely important about that report beyond the tells of attitude for anyone not with the collectivist program is the cite of New Tech High School in California and its project-based learning as an example of the kind of skills incorporated into academics desired. New Tech is now a network of high schools operating in many states and its flagship, High Tech High, is the poster child of both the federally-sponsored League of Innovative Schools and the Hewlett Foundation-sponsored Deeper Learning frameworks. Project-based learning and problem-based learning is how the CTE model comes quietly into the suburbs.

The second report from P21 is the 2010 “Up to the Challenge: The Role of Career and Technical Education and 21st Century Skills in College and Career Readiness.” It does not just call for breaking “down silos among academic, CTE and 21st century initiatives, programs, and teachers” as we now know the feds are pursuing in earnest. The creator of P21, Ken Kay, has since moved on to form EdLeader 21 (has its own tag as I have followed for a while) . EdLeader 21 is a consortium of large suburban school districts in or around metro areas, especially in the South. All of the district supers I have ever looked into involved with this group are what I classify as Gypsy Supers. Each school district they get an administrative job in transitions to ever more radicalized versions of John Dewey’s vision for education.

That’s how CTE comes to Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, Raleigh, the DC area, and other districts who have joined. Since no one employed by state or federal agencies or advising school districts shows any inclination of explaining all these vital, demonstrable facts to any of us in time to escape from the pot,

I just have.

**As usual, where I have given dates and titles of reports here and other specific references but no links, I am trying to ensure that particularly dramatic revelations do not get taken down before most of you get a chance to read this post. There is sufficient info provided to make searching easy for anyone who just loves to doublecheck me.