Mystical Marxism, Shapers of Our Current World System, or Building New Mental Software

Please. Oh, please, can I opt for a Door Number 4 as I continue to track down the actual planned social, political, and economic transformative vision for the future? Global and using so-called education reforms as the vehicle. Without our consent and apparently without our knowledge. Modelled on of all things, Soviet psychology and philosophy, but now renamed and spun in terms of Confucius or transpersonal, Integral, philosophy and the ever present systems thinking. Because of course the mindsets that the Chinese leaders find appropriate for their “under our thumb” (to the music of the Rolling Stones please) citizens is precisely appropriate for a US or Australian or Korean classroom. Anywhere I suppose where anyone with political power dreams of looking at the masses of taxpayers and voters and assigning a role of permanent subordination.

Mystical Marxism. That’s what Ken Wilber called his Integral Worldview that explores, honors, and acknowledges “all the dimensions of men and women’s experiences–sensory, emotional, mental, social, spiritual.” Now Ken has actually been on my radar for a while because Harvard ed prof Robert Kegan seems to like partnering with the Integral Life philosophy when he is not pushing “Lessons of Systemic Change for Success in Implementing the New Common Core Standards” with Peter Senge and Hewlett Foundation funding. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/viewing-education-as-the-prime-lever-for-international-social-change-community-organizing-everywhere/ . But I do not talk about people on the periphery no matter how troubling the implications of their views. No I was following up on the definition of Global Competence and the Smithsonian’s involvement with both Understandings of Consequence and Big History.

Which caused me to take a look at the SHOUT education conferences Smithsonian has been sponsoring with Microsoft and another entity I was not familiar with. TakingITGlobal–Inspire, Inform, Involve. It turns out to be a student social media site promoting Global Citizenship. Disturbingly to me, their Theory of Change http://www.tigweb.org/about/why/change.html is “inspired by the integral philosophy of Ken Wilber, which posits that there are 4 areas (quadrants) where progressive development can occur: Interior Individual, Exterior Individual, Interior Collective, and Exterior Collective. Through our programs and project, young people move along a linear path through each quadrant …(A) Youth Development; (B) Youth Action & Participation; (C) Social Movements; and (D) Societal Values.” There’s more specifics on that site to help inculcate that individual and collective common core that prompts transformative action. Parents happily thinking their children have become involved in service learning may want to search out Wilber’s aspirations for Achieving Binding Democratic Global Governance.

Part 2 of our title comes from more detectiving around this issue of Global Competence and its integral (couldn’t resist because it’s true) part in CCSSO’s vision of the Common Core’s actual implementation. Turns out in 2009 the Gates Foundation funded a  CCSSO project called EdSteps to essentially obscure the key implementation components that might be controversial. Mustn’t allow any disruption of the political narrative being used to con the public on what was coming. It’s the EdSteps frameworks then that announce that the Common Core is about “a nation transforming its business and education systems in response to the evolving global economy.” That would be the Capitalism 3.0 or  what Shoshana Zuboff called distributed capitalism and the Aspen Institute the fourth sector/for benefit economy.

http://edsteps.org/CCSSO/SampleWorks/EdSteps%20Framework-08_29_12.pdf is the framework. Virginians and Texans may want to note their involvement with EdSteps as more proof you can get the common core implementation without the actual math or ELA standards. The Five EdSteps skill areas are the key implementation components that no one had been previously and systematically assessing: Creativity, Problem Solving for Learning, Analyzing Information, Global Competence, and Writing. Now honestly as EdSteps describes all these areas they will go a long way towards training students to Ascend from the Abstract to the Concrete or what Paul Ehrlich called organizing around Big Ideas and Concepts that will instill a compulsion to act. But you now have those Frameworks and my earlier posts. I need to move on to the even more troubling ideas behind the EdSteps screen.

EdSteps is a partner in yet another entity, world savvy, framing transformative curricula and practices for the 21st century student. And without the above link you would never see the ties to CCSSO. http://worldsavvy.org/assets/documents/uploads/WorldSavvy_ComponentsofGlobalCompetency.pdf lays out the Knowledge, Skills, Values & Attitudes, and Behaviors to be instilled in students. It’s all troubling but it’s the Knowledge component we need to focus on now. Especially as it primes for Big History or something comparably false and influential.

In particular the phrase “Historical forces that have shaped the current world system.” We don’t have a current singular world system. If we did it would by definition be totalitarian. The aspiration for one was a huge part of what drove one side in the Cold War. As long time readers know, I have been describing what appears to be an effort by UNESCO and other UN agencies to use initiatives like the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance (still have not seen anyone involved in tights with lettering on their chest) to get to a singular world system.

That phraseology in the Components of Global Competency tells us a lot about the assumptions inherent in meetings none of us have been invited to. It also indicates all these transformational reforms are being driven either by some woefully ignorant people or idealogues enthralled by Utopia. Not to mention the Champagne Tastes and Caviar Dreams of being a connected Business in this vision no longer worried about consumers or competitors.

But a key component of this social vision starts at the city or regional level. Where it is much easier to get all the relevant politicians on board and bought off with grants and revenue sharing to finance a transformation. At least in the short term. It’s called the Learning City or Region and shifting the US towards it to dovetail with its Asian push is the purpose of both the Metropolitanism initiatives we have covered several times and the planned shift in federal revenue sharing we covered here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/well-no-wonder-no-one-listens-to-common-core-complaints-if-it-is-tied-to-federal-revenue-sharing/ .

But inexplicably the mayors and city councils always leave out the key component of the vision about “building mental software conditions for human wellbeing.” Or that learning cities and regions are the vital first step in “building the structural concept of a ‘learning society’…based upon an emphasis that ‘a society should be rewired and re-constructed in a way that human learning is put at the very front and maximized to fulfill the idea of a whole person.”

Well that sounds outlandish and remember learning means changes in values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. I seriously doubt UNESCO’s or the Chinese vision of a whole person would be ours. And again aiming at those personal traits is essential to anyone with an aspiration of an integral human system. Local, national, or global. Bad track record people. And the above links have the Common Core in the US linked to at least two strategies for such a totalizing vision of personal and collective transcendence. The one Hewlett paid for in that previous post and Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory of Change.

It will be no fun to be an individual in a “complex adaptive system” being reorganized and centrally directed. Which is probably why the 2010 UNESCO document I am pulling this global Learning City vision from is quoting from Korea, Shanghai, and Changzhou, China versions. Where “education is an instrument to rebuild the community” around the planned vision. A community where “all” is so “co-related and connected to make a whole complex ecosystem of human learning. It is like a human body which cannot be detached from other parts. If so detached, the human simply dies.”

There’s no place for the genuinely autonomous person in that UNESCO-inspired vision of the Lifelong Learning Community (LLC). And if you think nothing like this can happen in the US or other countries like Australia I suggest you read this Leading Learning Communities report to be an effective elementary school principal. http://www.naesp.org/sites/default/files/LLC2-ES-1.pdf . That LLC vision is supposedly necessary “as we face squarely the challenges inherent in the transformation of our global society.” A learning society. One where, to once again quote UNESCO and a Korean prof of Lifelong Education in Seoul:

‘learning functions as a key attribute and defines what a society should be [functioning like what the Chinese Communists used to call ‘thought reform’ and others had a darker term for]…a key apparatus of social production and reproduction [which sounds better than the reality of social engineering]…In sum, a learning society is a self-organising emergence [in a centrally planned and dictated sort of way] where new patterns of social fabric and learning systems are merged and deployed. Here my point is this: a learning city is not just an old-timer’s economic project, but a whole new idea where a whole new learning system emerges, revolves, and grows to lead economic, social, and political development as a whole.”

How totalising. No room for the unitary self there. No wonder john a powell said that the Regional Equity Movement in the US and its accompanying education vision was not just looking for distributive justice. Not when you can join a vision where “learning is considered an authentic and generic DNA for cultivating the post-industrial society as a complex adaptive system. In this vein, systems thinking is the key mode of planning and implementing the whole situation in action.”

Which would explain why systems thinking just keeps popping up. All the function and little of the notoriety of the M word.

Explicitly treating all of us as if “cultivating a forest of learning systems, which needs patience, systems thinking and collective minds.”

No I am not done yet. But that is quite enough to chew on for today.

 

 

Dispensing with the Presumption that Education is About Improving Individual Minds

Say what? Did that title make you want to clean your glasses or bop yourself gently to make sure you are reading correctly? Yup, welcome to the world of communications among powerful decision makers that you don’t see but that are designed to both affect  what is coming to classrooms. And to redesign the future. All of ours. Without consent. All based on the disputable idea that is not being shared with you–the idea that “human beings and their institutions could be changed for the better.” Can they?

History tells us that a wholesale restructuring of a social system that evolved over time is a terrible idea and that incremental change is the way to go because effects of changes can then be seen and evaluated. But then those systems never had the opportunity to hire as a consultant someone who is a thought leader in Appreciative Inquiry or a research associate for the Center for Business as an Agent of World Benefit. Much less the Co-chair of the 2009 World Appreciative Inquiry Conference held in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Did they do any climbing do you think or just embrace the joys of human potential while traveling at someone else’s expense? Do Not Know but I pulled that description off a presentation the Taos Institute did for the Houston Schools in 2009 called “Healthy Kids, Healthy Schools: Leveraging the Power of Our Community.” It was to be a national model and brought together a broad range of city stakeholders to chart a new course. I am thinking this AI Whole System approach that puts “future scenarios” into HISTORICAL and GLOBAL perspective (their bolding and caps) so students and adults have “shared understanding and great commitment to act” is going to come in so handy with the Green Urban Economy and Regionalism commitment of a redesigned future from our last two posts.

So good to know GCI will be coming to Houston in May where leaders, employees, and students have had AI training to engage in a “collaborative search to identify and understand the organization’s strengths, the greatest opportunities, and people’s aspirations and hopes for the future.” All reimagining paid for with contributions and Stimulus dollars and lots of public debt and now new visions for federal revenue sharing. Free to use the AI 4D Model of Dream, Design, Deployment, and Discover which is not a model anyone would use on their own dime or intentionally with their own kids.

As I have said before, with 40% of all federal spending currently being borrowed, what happens to all these Pie in the Sky Schemes to reimagine a Future by targeting kids consciousness when they become adults who firmly believe just as cultivated and monitored? But no one actually knows much or can do much but collaborate and want someone to provide for them what they have been led to expect is their due?

Can you really Create “Promising Futures through Social Construction” as associates of the Taos Institute are leading educators (and UN officials apparently) to believe? Let’s back up to how I got here because I do not go perusing school districts’ websites unless I have a reason. No, in yet another one of those troubling reports produced recently by the influential Gordon Commission on the Future of Assessment in American Education called “Social Epistemology and the Pragmatics of Assessment” I read many things I knew were factually untrue.

Note to future schemers: Using Legal Theory to Create a Barrier to Criticism just comes across to me as proof of playing games. I also have a real problem with the idea that a professor whose psychological views of knowledge and social constructivist perspectives might be over the heads of those bright Swarthmore students (according to a debate in a newsletter online from about 10 years ago) are now being taught as fact to K-12 teachers for implementation on students as part of the Common Core reforms.

As Kenneth Gergen said himself in his 2009 book Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community (that the title of this post came from), his views come from “an enormously important line of scholarship stemming from sociological and political theory” and that it is “especially important in its critique of liberal individualism.” Now elsewhere in his book Gergen mentioned advancing Marxian thought and the Frankfurt School (by name. Look up Lukacs, Adorno, Herbert Marcuse if you are not familiar. Need to move on). Which again raises the question. Why on earth would any free society with any aspirations for remaining free in the future be grounding their future educational practices and philosophies in what I would honestly describe as Individual Subjugation Theories?

Gergen wrote that communitarian works like Habits of the Heart that we have already discussed reveal “in touching detail the insidious implications of individualist ideology for human relationships.” A viewpoint that is his privilege to hold. But if it guides his pedagogy and that pedagogy is coming to a classroom or assessment near you under the Common Core mandate, then it has ceased to be JUST his personal viewpoint. He was on the Gordon Commission for a reason. And it seems to be these views and his desire, citing James Paul Gee from the last post, of making:

“Learning and knowledge not so much understood as inside the head of the learner as embodied in the relational actions and practices taking place in the learning environment.. . [These alternative ways of thinking and practicing evaluation then] create pushes for “more egualitarian (new word I suppose), reflective, dialogic, collaborative, and context sensitive practices of enhancing human performance.”

Again those views are his and Professor Ezekial J Dixon-Roman’s right to hold. But we get to understand those practices and beliefs for what they are. Designed to gain political, social, and economic transformation through the classroom by changing what students believe, value, and feel and drastically restricting what they actually know. Without our permission as a country or community or as parents. Without a vote. Under an invisibility cloak as I have called it.

In his book Gergen said these educational practices that his Taos Institute calls Appreciative Inquiry are to “reflect, sustain, and advance productive forms of relational being.” We have talked about how the actual Common Core implementation teaching standards require a “student-centered classroom.” That shift from a “curriculum-centered education (drawing from the teacher’s knowledge base)” is necessary for a relational classroom. Where the focus is to be on “student capabilities,” not the transmission of knowledge to an individual.

What Gergen described as the relational classroom is precisely what we are seeing as required by standards for “teaching and learning” or “relevance” or “engagement”.  The “focus” is “directed to relations between teachers and students, and among students.” Then:

“Relations between the classroom and its environment should also be extended from the local to the global context. The classroom would ideally be a meeting ground for the concerns of the world. [making good use of the AI 4D Cycle I am sure to pretend all problems can be solved with good faith and collective will. Tell that to North Korea] And finally, there are the relationships of the future. With what skills are students prepared to enter the relationships on which global life will depend?”

And who decides what the future will be like? We have already encountered another systems thinker and Organizational Learning specialist, Peter Senge, lay out his Regenerative Society and the related Capitalism 3.0. Professor Shoshana Zuboff has laid out her Distributed Capitalism within a Support Economy. We have profiled Harry Boyte’s vision of the cooperative commonwealth in a different post.

All of these visions seem to fit with Professor Gergen’s views and preferences for our collective social future. But no one is asking us. They simply want us to provide our tax money and our children. Those without children will be getting employees in the future who expect the workplace to be reformed to fit their interests and capabilities. They have been told they will be consulted and collaboration is the key. At a living wage too.

What if all this is  wrong? Where will we be then with the expectations being baked in (or embedded as the ed profs love to say knowing it will be hard to detect what is going on) to education reform? To business school degrees? To public policy and urban study and psychology degrees? Under the new Lumina Diploma Qualifications Profile to all college degrees?

I may not be able to stop the journey at this point. But I will describe the pathway and the real destinations. Since thankfully I somehow have managed to get my hands on the maps and blueprints while we have just begun.

 

Misportraying the Conspiracy Covers Up the Broader Plans of Political and Economic Transformation

Most of the reporting I saw of last summer’s celebration of 20 years of Sustainability and Agenda 21 (so not an urban legend) at Rio de Janeiro  viewed it as a failure because “no definitive agreement was reached.” Well while the world paying attention was breathing a sigh of relief at another bullet dodged, the ICLEI component of this UN-led Reorganize the World program at your expense launched a new initiative to clarify what Sustainable Development would mean in the future–the Green Urban Economy. Generally in Initial Caps just like that for emphasis.

Now this is not the story I planned on doing today. That can stay in the holding pen until the weekend. This story was prompted by the very strange reaction locally to the criminal indictment using RICO of former Atlanta School Super, Beverly Hall. Something along the lines of “she’s not a mobster. It can’t merit RICO.” When lots of non-Mafia types have been pulled in through RICO over the years. http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2013/04/02/criminal-indictment-of-beverly-hall-is-it-illegal-to-be-a-demanding-leader/ is an example of the kind of nonsense being peddled that it can’t be a RICO conspiracy. Now the idea that what Bev was up to was about being a demanding leader or having too high an expectation for minority students given the educational and psychological policies and practices APS was piloting for national (and international as you are about to see) implementation is preposterous.

My experience is that that kind of preemptive “I am a lawyer and I read the indictment and this was no conspiracy meriting RICO” treatment gets pulled in when big bucks are at stake. And Atlanta’s business image. The good news Atlanta movers and shakers is I am about to make what is going on an Urban juggernaut and boondoggle connected to that reimagining of federal revenue sharing we talked about in the last post. Because while I was still fuming over that exculpatory blog post, I learned that the week before the indictment Bruce, the last post’s Race to the Shop, Katz had been back in Atlanta. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/protected-producers-vs-paying-consumerstaxpayerswho-will-prevail-on-education-and-the-economy/ is the post explaining the Low Carbon and punt consumer choice regional vision from last fall’s visit.

Except this time he brought former Chicago mayor Richard Daley to pitch the Global Cities Initiative. A Joint Project of Brookings and JP Morgan Chase. Chase said its role was about its “longstanding commitment to investing in cities.” As a former corporate securities lawyer who has written her share of bond prospectuses, I am sure the prospect of underwriting fees from municipal bonds to finance infrastructure expansions plays no role. Purely altruistic. Which is why GCI began in 2012 with events in San Diego, Columbus, Tampa Bay, and Los Angeles. If you are in Texas, maybe you can make it to the GCI forum on May 15. Other 2013 opportunities are in Dallas, Denver, and Mexico City.

Something else began in May 2012 that does seem related to this rebuild urban areas and insist everyone globally push the sociocultural model  just like the urban schools. It’s called the Global Cities Education Network and its participating cities are Chicago, Denver, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, and Toronto. None of which are cities with any interest in an export economy of the type GCI is hyping. Seriously, the JP Morgan, Gates, Hewlett and Pearson Foundations are among the sponsors. So the profit parts bring in revenue from underwriting or selling technology and digital literacy or writing and grading those all important assessments and remaking urban America to be Green. While the “charitable” arms push the policies that control the next generation’s values and belief systems and their ability to think at all.

So I am not trying to rain on revenue dreams from a Corporatist redesigned 21st century economy so much as trying to prevent the kind of insider boondoggle and user and taxpayer expensive nightmare now being used to describe the Chicago Parking Meter Lease Deal (look it up. I need to move on).  You see, I don’t know just a sliver of this story. And one of the things I understand is precisely how these urban school systems have been operating and why and how it has related for years to the hoped for political, economic, and social transformation. I literally have the blueprints as I was reminded again yesterday as I read this driving assumption. It is why outcomes based education always comes back. In function if not name and why the economic vision must have the schools:

“Without appropriate beliefs, many elementary acts of internal forethought, external colloquy [apparently discussion was not a sufficient term] and operational realignment would be unlikely. In so far as these acts depend on conscience, the beliefs of those involved is crucial.”

That was from 1990 and the UK but it actually laid out the global blueprint that mirrors what we are seeing now. Behind on its 21st century implementation schedule but definitely shifting into 3rd gear while we pay and pay and pay. That’s why all Transformation plans in any area rely on using education to alter the prevailing values, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings through education. It’s why the herd-defying, propaganda busting, abstract mind must not be nurtured anymore. So making equity in education and closing the achievement gap for urban youth the global focus prevents an academic/transmission of knowledge focus. That is inherently unequal so emotions and physical activity become the default classroom focus. Which is really convenient since that is the area of research from all those Soviet psychologists as we have talked about. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/imitating-the-ussr-in-striving-to-discover-how-the-child-can-become-what-he-not-yet-is/

And to invoke all this as being a matter of fairness to all and needed in light of the 50th anniversary of the Brown US Supreme Court decision on school desegregation (it is aboriginal rights being pushed in Oz by the way. Whatever pitch is needed) you get law review articles like “Toward Everyday Justice: On Demanding Equal Educational Opportunity in the New Civil Rights Era” by Mica Pollock. Now Mica is now an ed prof at UC San Diego and Harvard but she wrote that Ohio State Law Journal article that is ready to be cited in support of many a legally dubious practice to get it into place. Get it embedded into daily practice is how she describes it while our civil rights laws remain too focused on intent to discriminate. Instead of focusing on ANY harmful effects to a particular racial or ethnic group.

Mica is an anthropologist, not a lawyer, by training with a PhD from Stanford. She is thus in a position to credential away future professors, teachers, and District School Supers and administrators committed to her vision of using schools to “transcend current legal tools” and really get to wholesale structural transformation. You just focus on changing the aggregate of ordinary daily practices and policies that might give some children benefits not available to others.

All out of sight. All admittedly in violation of the actual statutory or case law. It’s not like anyone will ever know or those District Supers really have to answer to anyone in what they choose to push. And that’s how Equity and Equal Opportunity are bringing in sociocultural practices for all schools that the creators admit they based on USSR research. I don’t think it is coincidental Mica is now where Michael Cole and his Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) set up shop after the Rockefeller Foundation stopped funding that type of psychological research.

The Spencer Foundation has also been funding research designed to equalize opportunity to learn. They italicized it just like that. And equalizing OTL requires, they say, using those sociocultural practices like CHAT and alternative assessments like what the Gordon Commission is pushing. That would again be the influential commission led by Edmund Gordon with his life long interest in urban youth and equal justice for minorities. One of the Commission members, our friend James Paul Gee , explained OTL in his work for Spencer:

“New Knowledge that cannot be tied to any prior knowledge is not learned well or at all.” That means that what we would call book knowledge is off limits with an OTL focus because people have varying degrees of ability to take it in based on their prior life experiences. a/k/a homelife and parental education and financial resources.

Gee then goes on to say:

“For true and equal OTL, learners must all have the capacity to form the required representations [concepts, mental models] at the required degree of ‘power.'” Now since people differ in their ability to think abstractly, genuine abstractions like real Algebra or geometric proofs or even grammatical logic are all now off limits as a violation of OTL. If concepts or mental representations are needed, the kindly proprietors of an equity focus will supply them. Helps create consistency in beliefs too. No need to be skeptical and think there might be a political agenda that would make influential false beliefs or metaphors a temptation. Oh wait. We already did that post on Professor Donald Schon.

In the end our urban focus and OTL equity priority leaves classrooms largely devoted to “people’s participation in shared talk and social practice.”

A perfect opportunity to both level and change those beliefs that form the conscience that drives action. That can create a broader fundamental Transformation. Of everything.

 

Well No Wonder No One Listens to Common Core Complaints if It is Tied to Federal Revenue Sharing

A New Vision for Federal Revenue Sharing with state and local governments to drive future economic and workforce development being cleverly marketed as “Race to the Shop.” That’s a play on the accompanying education vision that bribed or threatened the states to adopt the Common Core in the first place under the education Race to the Top set up in the 2009  Stimulus Act. Turns out that’s not all it set up, apparently it also set up a new Regional Race to the Top for all America’s regions (bold and Italics in original to show the excitement for this vision of shared prosperity based on a clean energy economy). In fact it’s to “be a truly ‘New’ New Deal, [but] government cannot go it alone, it can only serve as a key partner and catalyst.” With your redistributed tax dollars or public debt I would add.

Now before I get further into this political and cronyism dream at all levels of American government that is explicitly tied into the 21st Century Skills agenda (it’s actually on the cover of the September 2010 working paper from the Tides Foundation project–the New Policy Institute), I want to quote a particularly juicy passage that highlights how these initiatives stifle complaints and encourage cooperation about any related aspect like the Common Core:

“Deeply engage the private sector as a critical solutions partner in addressing these systemic changes, or risk a continuing and negative narrative that these efforts are simply wasteful public sector programs.”

That’s your money going to make sure no one aware of these tie-ins has any incentive to complain. Because this Acceleration Agenda “does not simply call for more federal revenue-sharing with the states. The changes we need to accelerate private-led innovation in regions and communities do not begin, or end, there.”

Truer words were never spoken as the Acceleration Agenda lays out Multi-State regions (10 in all), Clean Economic Development Visions, and Economic Acceleration Zones. Like High Speed Rail and making the SW the Saudi Arabia of Solar. What a boondoggle. Those of you with a background in economics may recognize all this for what it is–the explicit adoption of an Industrial Policy vision by the US with its known Cronyism and benefits to political favorites or necessary adversaries. And the report acknowledges just that with the following chilling quote:

“So is the Acceleration Agenda a new “industrial policy”? Do such labels really matter? We hope not–there is too much on the line for our economy to be bogged down in over-simplified debates from the past.”

Now the historian in me would point out that’s not the subject of debates so much as lessons from the past about the sheer waste of public money that comes with an Industrial Policy. But I actually correctly pegged the education vision last May as related to Industrial Policy and a Dirigiste vision for the economy. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ and http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-the-world-makes-far-more-sense-if-you-add-dirigisiste-to-the-things-you-understand/ . What I never in a million years suspected was that I would come across a report openly declaring it while stating “Obamism at its core is largely about bottom-up change rather than top-down change.” Wow, Harry Boyte must be pleased.

Now I know this vision has been around since the 60s. It’s not an invention of this Administration but wanting to name it after the President tells us just how much potential for successful political coalitions using your money is seen here. In fact, looking at the full vision and the Go-Fast Model, it’s hard not to remember the high urban turnout in the last Presidential election. No wonder. A vision of federal money, private sector, and community foundations together using, and again I quote, the “transformational, low carbon project…serves a key project screen.”

Doesn’t that word “screen” sound like “excuse?” The reason for remaking the nature of the American economy and political structure all while engaging in Mind Arson in preschool, K-12, and higher ed? Whatever is necessary to make sure the designated providers in this 21st Century system get the workers they want while never again having to worry about a better product or invention upsetting their revenue dreams?

You know how for sports contests we see the label “Designated Provider of X. Event? You know what I mean. This utterly reeks of being the designated cellphone provider or operating system provider or Smart Grid provider. Protecting and preserving current business. But it actually gets worse believe it or not because all of this is also tied to the renewal of our urban areas as part of creating start-ups to be the component “middleware” to “connect government and business in the 21st Century economy.” Which brings me to what pulled up this Revenue Sharing 2.0 to get to the Next Economy vision. It is called “Inclusive Competitiveness” and it was announced a few weeks ago at the SXSWedu Summit in Austin.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-green/sxswedu-launches-next-big_b_2765038.html?view=print&comm_ref=false is the story laying out the vision of how all this will Save America’s Black Boys, be part of a permanent “Black Innovation Group,” and create a Pipeline2Productivity and Urban Innovation.”

And I genuinely wish urban areas and America’s Black Boys the best possible future they can have but tying it to economic redistribution while simultaneously trying to spread the bad education policies and practices that have destroyed urban systems to the suburbs just means OPM, Other Peoples Money, will run out sooner than this plan accounts for. It would be so much better to teach those Black Boys and everyone else’s children how to read properly and provide a solid curriculum like the Core Knowledge. You just cannot get me excited about what this Project 21 vision is going to do for Cleveland which is where the affiliated Nortech is based when I know the Cleveland Schools are pushing social and emotional learning in their classrooms as the vision of how all children can learn. You cannot push PATHS–Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies–for all kids in all classrooms and then pretend that these urban kids are being left behind despite an academic focus.

But that’s the poignant cry for what is wrong with our urban areas. And Project 21, which used to be known as the Black Innovation and Competitiveness Initiative, is the supposed answer to linking Urban America to the 21st Century Economy. Does this look like reparations to anyone else? Using the “low carbon project as the screen” as the Acceleration Agenda report put it. Whatever the rationale this gushing of federal dollars to launch public-private partnerships resulted in “Five Private-Sector Initiatives Launched at First White House Tech Inclusion Summit” held on January 31, 2013.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/04/five-private-sector-initiatives-launched-first-white-house-tech-inclusion-summit .

One of those, the Activate Local Communities Across America Initiative, picked Portland, Oregon to be its pilot city. That would be the same Portland that has been committed to cutting edge education pushes for decades. Discussed here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/now-more-than-five-years-into-an-attempt-to-help-organize-a-near-total-revision-of-human-behavior/ But Portland is also considered to be the shining star of the Urban Planning, Agenda 21, Regional Equity, and what is now called Metropolitanism movements. All based on a Low-Carbon Economy of the Future centered on Producers, not Consumers, the Brookings Institute’s Bruce Katz said at a breakfast I attended and also wrote about. Curiously Katz is also the coiner of that catchy expression Race to the Shop above to fit the manufacturing and workforce development component of all this planning and redistributing.

Now ALC is also known as Accelerate Local Communities ( I guess it depends on how stagnant a region is right now as this is all ramping up). ALC is also listed as being a collaboration with Microsoft. Which is concerning since they are among the primary partners in the students only need generic 21st Century Skills like Collaboration and Creativity international movement (ATC21S). And that Tech Inclusion Summit is being sold in the inner cities as bringing STEM jobs to urban communities. http://atlantadailyworld.com/201302083703/Business/white-house-tech-inclusion-summit-unveils-private-sector-initiatives-to-bridge-gap-in-stem

Now I did not write this story because I wanted to rain on the race to the Green Gold Rush as a report called it. Although that does seem like a worthy venture. But this vision of new revenue sharing and dictates of where jobs must be, and everyone assuming that with credentials jobs will come, are all simultaneously destroying the actual knowledge and skills and freedoms and certainties that ignite real widespread prosperity. Given the percentage of the federal budget that represents borrowing, this redistributed money to build and pay off political coalitions does not really exist except as an obligation for future taxpayers. But in the meantime it really is going in someone’s pocket. Many of them campaign contributors at every level of government. Just like Solyndra.

The money WILL run out and sooner than expected. And then where will we be? After all, mind arson is not just a provocative expression I came up with to stir up antipathy for the Common Core. It really does describe what has been deliberately going on in urban schools for decades. But with the actual Common Core I keep describing, and those new, poorly understood, assessments (also financed by that 2009 Stimulus Act), mind arson is coming to the suburbs to take down every school where minds are still being nourished regularly with solid content.

Then where will we be? I keep mentioning consuming seed corn for a reason. What happens to a country when the cultivated famine is mental and widespread? Especially when the most able students were the particular targets for levelling.

We appear to be about to find out.

What Happens When the Hidden Goal of Education Is Interrupting Pre-existing Social Stratifications?

What if you were a hungry pioneer in a new town in the middle of nowhere in the 19th century and it was a long, cruel winter? Inexperienced you did not appreciate the danger of eating the seed corn that would be needed if there were to be plants for the following years. So you and your family and maybe other starving townspeople consumed it all to get through the winter. Unaware just how precious it might turn out to be in hindsight. But by then it is gone.

That failure to appreciate the precariousness of how we stay where we are culturally and economically, and the preciousness of what it actually took to get to this point in history, is exactly what I worry about when I read statements about “suspending the contributions of inborn capacities” or the “extent to which people expend great effort.” Jettisoning those important things is supposedly necessary to “adequately interrupt the reproduction of pre-existing social stratification.” And I am once again NOT playing Fish Around for Horrific Quotes to Get People Riled Up About the Common Core. Or C-Scope. Or even those preparing for a new type of capitalism 21st Century Skills.

Initially the quotes I am using are from another one of those Gordon Commission reports I have been writing about in recent posts. This one called “Democracy, Meritocracy and the Uses of Education” is by Aundra Saa Meroe. It helps frame the very dangerous mindsets being created in graduate higher ed programs to credential adults to impose what are actually political or sociology theories on students in K-12 institutions. And soon to be preschool.

I am going to detour for a second to reiterate a point Nobel Economist Friedrich Hayek made in his classic 1944 bestseller The Road to Serfdom. It is something to keep in mind as we explore today and generally in this blog the determination to use educational institutions to transform the prevailing worldviews. In the US and all over the world especially anywhere that ever cherished individual liberty and freedom to create and trade and set rules by private contract. Schools and colleges and universities really are being used to alter individual feelings, values, attitudes, and beliefs to embrace, or at least tolerate or not notice, a radically different political, economic, and social structure than what has ever brought mass prosperity. Hayek with his background in prewar Europe and then among the Fabian social planners in London knew what was, and still is being sought.

“The important point is that the political ideals of a people and its attitude toward authority are as much an effect as the cause of the political institutions under which it lives. This means, among other things, that even a strong tradition of political liberty is no safeguard if the danger is precisely that the new institutions and policies will gradually undermine and destroy that spirit.”   (HT to Don Boudreaux of Cafe Hayek for that timely Quote)

That destruction is absolutely the hidden intent of the Common Core’s actual planned implementation and its new assessments and the Lumina Diploma Qualifications Profile in higher ed and all the social and emotional emphasis coming to the classrooms. To understand why anyone would contemplate such a wholesale attack I want to quote from a part of this report that sets up the anger and actual hatred for what currently exists:

“The history of nascent democracy and nation-building in the United States among voluntary immigrant populations obscures how the broadening horizons for some were in part realized through the brutal eclipses of basic human freedoms, for many others through land seizure, warfare, the persecution and containment of indigenous populations, the enslavement of African people and the subordination of women. These forms of oppression and subjugated labor underlie the advances made in the nation’s formative forays into farming, commerce and industry.”

In this view everything that exists in our 21st Century America is seen as irrevocably tainted by the past and illegitimate. The remedy? “Absent the larger society’s commitment to an equal distribution of resources, academic institutions are held to be central sites for the distribution of resources.” Hence the Equity in Credentials even if they no longer designate meaningful knowledge or skills. Those unfulfillable expectations merely become more fuel for the desired radical transformation. That’s why all these education reforms are always coupled to a Social Citizenship vision in a Welfare State vision. We first saw it here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/morphing-the-common-core-into-a-new-rewritten-us-constitution-by-mandating-false-beliefs/.

Meroe then follows up her vision of tainted America with a description of Robert Dahl’s vision for democracy to become “an evolving, progressive social enterprise.” This time “all people must have equal opportunities to realize” their “mutual interests and valued goods.” Of course history has shown that that kind of equality can only exist with an overarching government constantly administering “fairness and justice.” And government involved to that extent will ALWAYS be captured by politically connected rent-seekers wanting favors at our expense. And thus be even less fair or just in the long run. But, hey, let’s not let reality intrude quite yet on all these pie-in-the-sky decrees.

One more pivot to the Education Innovation Laboratory at Harvard that philanthropist Eli Broad set up in 2008 with a $6 million contribution. Best known in education for his creation of the Broad Prize for Urban School Districts and training administrators in a Superintendents Academy, I am going to use the description of the purpose of the Ed Labs found on the website of the WEB Du Bois Institute at Harvard. It says the project is “devoted to understanding the causes and consequences of inequality in American society. .. The broader objective of the lab is to employ scientific methods–rather than anecdotal or ideological reasoning–to improve public decision making and policy around issues related to inequality in the US.”

Fair enough although with all the behaviorist economists, psychologists, and sociologists involved in the effort you do have to wonder if the “scientific methods” are not BF Skinner’s vision for a science of education using operant conditioning. It sure would fit our known facts and is something to keep an eye on.

Meroe’s report goes on to announce that the “ubiquity of substandard public education among students of lower-SES ethnic minority groups . . . also reveals the malevolence of meritocratic rationalization.” She is on her way to lay the ground work for “mass-scale capacity for cooperative productivity in the workplace” that we have seen before. She advocates for what she calls “these collectivist goals of ‘democratic equality’ and ‘social efficiency’ [that] can conflict with a view of education as a private good for the purposes of education.”

Meroe is not unique in her angst about the urban areas and seeing the solution as Social Citizenship. We saw it with the Building One America conference and the Regional Equity and Metropolitanism movement I have written about. I read Professor Michael Katz’s The Price of Citizenship: Redefining the American Welfare State this week and got treated to yet more of the Social Citizenship as necessary to give our inner cities a remedy for their devastation argument. Likewise, the involvement of a number of the listed Ed Lab contributors with the Russell Sage Foundation led me to the future vision laid out in 1995 in their Poverty, Inequality and the Future of Social Policy: Western States in the New World Order.

So I actually do see where all this is going and it is an unworkable remedy. But I want to go back to the rationales. In particular that the low achievement in the urban districts is a result of “malevolence.” Whose? After all it is the urban districts that readily embraced the Vygotskyian “sociocultural” approaches first. Why? Because as we saw in the goals of the last post and as Leontiev and Bronfenbrenner apparently discussed in the 60s in talking about the Western countries and economies, many decision-makers do not want education theories or practices that preserve or reenforce the prevailing capitalist/individualist systems. They want urban students primed for transformation. This was also why Saul Alinsky’s IAF saw urban schools as great places for community organizing. The Alliance Network in Texas and other states now show it still is viewed that way.

I have written about Professor Michael Cole before. In a chapter to a 1985 book called Culture, communication, and cognition: Vygotskyian perspectives, Cole writes “In circumstances where we do not want to take the cultural context as given. . . [sociocultural theory] offers a very fruitful framework because of its militant insistence on linking individual and social activity.” So what was a militant linkage in 1985 is now to be the required classroom practices under the definitions of Effective Teaching under the Common Core. Moreover, that physical and social activity approach had toxic effects in urban areas. Especially when normed or even criterion tests are used against suburban schools which still had an academic focus and parents who could remediate at the proverbial kitchen table or hire a tutor.

That’s not malevolence and the resulting gaps in performance are certainly no reason to wreck everything as we are doing. And it’s not like the sociocultural/Soviet emphasis in the Urban schools was a secret. Professor Cole goes on to thank the Carnegie Corporation for the funding to import the psychology theories from “our Soviet colleagues.”

This went longer than I wanted so I will stop. The dysfunction of the inner cities and the achievement gaps have causes that are not being discussed. They have become excuses for wholesale transformation of all our institutions and even us. From the inside-out.

And when we trace backwards we find either false beliefs or political theories with a tragic past. All being pushed by tax free foundations intent on social change and without any willingness to do the cleanup work from the effects of previous theories.

Equality-the chimera that threatens to ruin the futures of anyone without political connections.

 

Are the New 3 R’s and the Student-Centered, Inquiry Driven Classroom a Means to Eastern Spirituality?

We are so trained to defer to religious beliefs as a private matter and something that, at least in the US, Government is supposed to stay out of, that it can take a sledgehammer hit to force us to look at what was staring us in the face all along. I would write stories and then run into the advocates as teachers in a California Wisdom Center. And ignore it. I have traced many of the education reformers/professors to discussions about Third Order Consciousness. And ignored it. Mustn’t be controversial.  It’s a private matter.

I wrote posts about sought Deep and Continual Personal Change  within each Student and ignored the clear references to Meditation Practices. It’s just not how I think. It’s an area I did not want to go to. I have written about Peter Senge and his Systems Thinking and his Presencing book but chose to overlook the links of his sought education and organization practices to his Buddhist practices and beliefs. Again we want to see spirituality as a private, personal matter. Bringing it up and discussing it are off limits. Even when personal Spiritual/ Internal Values are clearly targeted by the Full Personality/holistic education/Systems Thinking focus we are discussing.

The Sledgehammer forced me to confront this Reality recently when I was filing some of my research and glanced at a xeroxed Preface called “Education Trends in a World Crisis” from a 1954 book Education in the New Age. Now its author, Alice A. Bailey, is a controversial New Age enthusiast/Theosophist and apparently much more (you can search out the more lurid details. That’s not my point) but the description in the Preface fit the emotionally driven, intuitive, nonrational mind we have been chronicling. That was the desired Goal. Bailey was the one describing the Sought Mental Global Reality in Students and Future Voters we have been examining in terms  of synthesizing Tibetan spirituality practices.

She was the one writing about using education globally to “resynthesize the objective and subjective, the extrovert [the West] and the introvert [Oriental Asian] civilizations and to achieve a great orchestration of culture.” When you mention culture like that and it turns out the book is a write-up of a 1953 seminar in Chicago funded by the Ford Foundation and you go on to describe your education “project” as based on a UNESCO document you have my full, undivided attention. Most of what we have encountered throughout this blog’s journey traces back to UNESCO involvement and Ford funding. The Regional Equity Movement now is a high priority of Ford and they have hired a John Goodlad confederate, Jeanne Oakes, away from UCLA’s Center for Democracy and Education. She is behind most of the research claiming academic tracking is a bad idea. Ford Foundation employees edited Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis. The book I got the Van Jones essay from.  Same involved employees were listed as part of that CA Wisdom Center I already chose to ignore.

Sledgehammer moment caused me to go check to see if Bailey’s book was still in print. The answer? Yes, with its Twelfth Printing listed as 2012. This year. Someone thinks this is still a relevant global vision. For UNESCO’s Education for All globally? For its Decade of Education for Sustainable Development? To promote the Orwellian named, John Dewey inspired, Quality Learning, globally? Only one way to find out. So I bought Bailey’s 1954 book as well as a 1932 book, with a 1960 copyright published in 1972, called From Intellect to Intuition. You see I remembered the kind of emotionally-driven, Arational Minds being sought via education http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ and wanted to see if part of the impetus for rejecting Axemaker Minds was coming out of this Altered Consciousness to fit with Eastern Spirituality emphasis. That would be a huge, emphatic YES!! More on that shortly or in the next post. Remember I am providing those dates above for a reason. Think of World Affairs at those times.

Bailey’s Goal for Education is not the least bit modest. She wants to inculcate a World-view in each person on the planet Earth that “will make possible a planetary civilization by integrating whatever trans-temporal and trans-spatial truths about man and the universe we can extract from all regional cultures in their local times and places.” That was Thomas Berry’s Bioregional Vision too. Also involved with the CA Wisdom Center I ignored.

Bailey was seeking a totalizing World-view or Governing Ideology that guides one through all elements of daily living. Her aspiration, in 1954, was that the World-view taught provide “the kind of overall synthesis that Marxism and neo-Scholasticism provide for their followers [no need then for individual free decision-making], but to get this by the freely chosen cooperative methods that Dewey advocated.”

That would be the Student-Centered, Inquiry Driven Classroom John Dewey wanted with its Quality Learning goal. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/why-quality-learning-may-be-the-last-thing-you-want-for-your-child/ . The kind of classroom and practices the accreditors like AdvancED and consulting companies like Cambridge Education mandate in their reports about Quality. Now. In 2011 and 2012.

That would be the same Quality Learning that is “intuited rather than deduced, felt rather than described, and is immediate to the situation [concrete real world problems in context] rather than removed from it [the forbidden abstract conceptualizations within the privacy of your own mind with your own set of known facts].

Now it is time to pivot to the 1932 From Intellect to Intuition since the sought focus in Quality Learning is feeling and intuition as well. The book is about meditation and “leading man into his heritage as a human being” through educational and psychological practices so that together these two “lead him to the door of the mystical world.” This occurs by training students to use Direct Experience and then turn inwards toward themselves to Reflect upon it. Remember the constancy of this phrase? “The heart and mind become united in their endeavor.” Bailey’s idea is that through “right education,” emotionally-driven, experiential education, (No she did not use the word Hands-On Education but that would be the 21st century version of her idea), the “mind and soul” learn

“to be receptive towards impressions emanating from the mind.” This to Bailey is meditation but to work it requires moving education away from “education of the memory and the cataloguing of world knowledge.” Sound Familiar? Can’t be “the old education with its memory training, its books and lectures and its appropriation of so-called facts.” This is the actual CCSSI implementation model. Cannot be about the teacher transmitting knowledge. That’s a Barrier to a Mind open to Bailey’s New Knowledge. Must be about the New 3 R’s–Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance.

Bailey talks a lot about Right Relations with all of humanity in her books. That was the first tip-off that reminded me of the New 3 R’s. I remembered Willard Daggett in CCSSI training of teachers saying that “Relevance makes Rigor Possible.” I got he meant relevance makes an emotional approach primary. Then I read the following passage in Bailey’s book on creating the Meditative Mind:

“The question may be asked, what is the easiest way to teach oneself to concentrate? . . . one way that may be employed is to utilize what has been called the ‘expulsive power of a new affection.’ To be profoundly interested in some new and intriguing subject, and to have one’s attention focussed on some fresh and dynamic matter will automatically tend to make the mind one-pointed.”

That passage on getting to an inward feeling focus that is not rational provides a good definition of Relevance. But it also makes the arrival of the new C3 Framework, Social Studies Standards, from the previous post, even more important. Making the classroom focus Questions about “societal issues, trends, and events” that the student is interested in is precisely the kind of “new and intriguing” and “fresh and dynamic” matter Bailey wrote about so long ago.

I am just getting started. This turned into quite an illuminating inquiry once I recognized where I had to look. Except my inquiry is not John Dewey’s definition.

Mine is driven by facts and open declarations of intent.

 

 

Comparing the Real Common Core to Notorious Authoritarian Social Engineering Disasters

Soviet collectivization of agriculture. The Tanzanian Ujamaa Villagization Plan. Brasilia. Le Corbusier. Lenin’s Plans for Revolutionary Submission. Clearing away Old Growth Forests for a Single Type Of Timber Planted in Rows.

Last week the newly formed Career Readiness Partner Council issued its Building Blocks for Change: What It Means to Be Career Ready    http://careerreadynow.org/docs/CRPC_4pagerB.pdf. Try not to be overwhelmed by the vision for all that is geared to plugging into that state directed redesigned Mercantile planned economy of the future. Another fiat statement with platitudes like “goal setting and planning” and “effective communication skills” that ends with “ethical decision-making and social responsibility” that could only be developed by bureaucrats who have no idea how free markets work or what produces wealth and prosperity. It really is reminiscent of the mentality of the Soviet Union where higher ed credentials were the means of differentiating salaries so they had the highest percentage of college degrees in the world at one time. Did NOT help the economy. Created a great deal of dashed expectations.

But I have already given you a heads up on what Career Ready Practices as used in “The Goal of Common Core is . . .” really means.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/birth-to-career-finally-and-quietly-creating-the-soviet-mindset-but-here-in-the-usa/ And I have explained from a myriad of directions why generic knowledge, collectivist values, habituated feelings, and a cultivated non-Axemaker Mind is not in fact the “Pathway to Prosperity” no matter how many times politicians use that phrase to bolster support. Magic credentials without marketable knowledge and skills do not build wealth or create products and services people freely wish to buy. You know all that now. Being deemed to be Competent or Proficient under criteria designed to be accessible to all is celebrating a 2-inch bunny hop and pretending you are suddenly a world-class high jumper.

No, that’s all important but that’s not today’s angle to illuminate the planned destruction. It’s history time. And I read the textbooks so I can tell you a good, relevant story. Today’s is based on a book Yale Political Science Prof James C Scott wrote in 1998. Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed lays out the “pernicious combination of four elements” that together have been the consistent culprit “in the most tragic episodes of state-initiated social engineering.”

One of the reasons we need to talk about these unpleasant realities up front, Right Now, is because the actual Common Core implementation (the one I have painfully detailed for months now, not the only marginally related PR campaign) is a classic social engineering scheme. In fact as you know it loves to call itself a comprehensive System. Must be adopted fully in every aspect. Not Piecemeal.And yes it does tell the teachers how they must teach. That denial is just a publicity stunt.

We know that Effective Teacher Evals and PLCs (Professional Learning Communities) and Data collection on the Student are all compliance devices to get desired behaviors. Here’s the problem though with all these wholesale “Let’s get the Theory  into Practice” schemes or Plans or especially Five Year Strategic Plans: A Vision for the District in 2017 that I read last week (Hint: Do not read except with an empty stomach or an adult beverage. Or several). They jettison “essential features of any real, functioning social order.” Frequently unappreciated aspects or even critical details no one even knew were present. In the planned timber forest example Scott cites that ceased to have debris and clutter on the forest floor, it took declining yields to appreciate how much of the soil’s richness came from the insects attracted by the debris.

But students are not trees. If the school is largely psychological and emotional manipulation in an attempt to alter values and dispositions for political purposes, that is a real, current, tangible loss. As I have detailed already, potentially physically tragic.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/how-much-innocent-blood-will-it-take-to-stop-sel-manipulation-for-political-gain/ . More likely, a potentially great mind simply learns to check their mind at the door of the school and daydreams time that could have been used to nurture contact with the Greatness of the Ages. All that time spent in middle and high school and then the now revised higher ed with so little to show for it. Except Adult Jobs. Once we gut the transmission of knowledge as this ed model most assuredly does–“old learning, which focused on fixed content knowledge is now redundant as it fosters a rigid way of thinking which will be counterproductive for the workers, citizens and persons of the new future”–that useful, not appreciated but still needed knowledge is gone.

And like the debris in the forest it was needed. And it will not be the life span of timber to learn our mistake. We likely will discover quickly and catastrophically how thin the veneer of civilization actually was once a majority cease to have its fundamental earmarks. You know the ones that were jettisoned because they were not part of the Plan and were not equitably distributed.

All those plans I started this post with have one thing in common with each other and with that quoted reason for rejecting content knowledge. The Future. The reimagined Vision for Society. The New Human Nature. Since that has never worked before and will not now, let’s get back to detailing and examining how applicable those four elements are. While we still have some time left even if it is not much.Because as Scott noted when all four are present, we are on track for a “full-fledged disaster.”

Element number 1 is the “administrative ordering of nature and society.” Now I would argue that with the UN driven Education for Sustainable Development and ICLEI Agenda 21 and Bioregionalism and the related Regional Equity Movement and all the Systems Thinking designed to get to a Green Economy based on Ecology and Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness that we have detailed, and that’s just of the top of my head, no one since Lenin or Stalin or that infamous dictator in Germany (whose name is considered to diminish an argument so I won’t) has so ambitiously sought to administratively order nature and society. In an unprecedented fashion with global aspirations. Make that an emphatic check.

Second is what Scott called “high modernist ideology.” It fundamentally means a false belief that the social order as it currently exists was consciously created and thus can be redesigned. Which again is met in spades. Whether it is the omnipresent through the decades vision of John Dewey or Ecology or Caring Economics or Communitarianism or Systems Thinking or Transformational Outcomes Based Education itself. They are all social ordering ideologies around a different future. Like 21st Century Learning for another example.

Scott notes that these two elements become lethal when joined to a third–“an authoritarian state that is willing and able to use the full weight of its coercive power to bring these high-modernist designs into being.” Now I am not arguing that educators have such physically coercive powers although I will note that resulting violence has not deterred continued attempts to implement this vision. But all the oversight capacity over educators have been systematically turned off. The accreditation agencies coerce school boards and threaten property value catastrophe if they fail to get the board’s cooperation. Education degrees have been largely grounded in Marxist political theory and Soviet psychological practices since the late 1980s (with more palatable names of course). Now we have the Teacher Evals and PLCs and Educational Leadership degrees that are based on willingness to push this political vision.

The final element is a “prostrate civil society that lacks the capacity to resist these plans.” We are not prostrate you say. Well, with the Orwellian language being used to mask actual intentions yes we are. With duplicitous charters and accreditation standards designed to lock in compliance out of sight with no effective means of protest, yes we are. Everything about this implementation has been designed to try to predict and preemptively thwart all resistance. To what is unabashedly a political coup.

I am going to close with architect Le Corbusier’s vision for the planned city that failed to appreciate people and their needs and what makes an economy and a society work.

“We must build places where mankind will be reborn. When the collective functions of the urban community have been organized, then there will be individual liberty for all. Each man will live in an ordered relation to the whole.”

Le Corbusier’s utopian cities never functioned very well because he didn’t think the individual or personal freedom were important. He was wrong. The actual Common Core implementation I have been detailing is based on a comparable Future vision. Except it is NOT a blueprint being shopped to dictators around the world with deep pockets. We do not have time for an unofficial Brasilia to spring up to cover the Plan omissions.

Hugely Consequential. Imminent. A Hands-On Mass Experiment to Revert to Non-Axemaker Minds. Too important to Just Stick with the Slogans Anymore.

 

Protected Producers vs Paying Consumers/Taxpayers:Who will Prevail on Education and the Economy?

If we did not already understand just how much the entire legitimacy of individualism and free choices are at stake in what is being sought through education and the Sustainability Economic Transformation, that graphic phrase from the last post’s title “psychological umbilical cord” should be a wakeup call. At a deep emotional level cultivating the fundamental belief that each of us is nothing without the group. That our physical environment and social interactions determine who we are. Not just as a contributing factor.

Now you know part of the impetus for the frequent assertion for the statements that K-12 education cannot be fixed as long as poverty exists. That first we must change the environments so that everyone has comparable opportunities.  Of course we now know that is bogus. That K-12 is being consciously broken to prevent Axemaker Minds and take away the magic mental effects that people gain from the power of symbolic manipulation.

This week was quite the series of confirmations on precisely what is going on. Socially. Economically. Globally. Before I tell the story of the new revelations, I went back to the 1982 book on using Systems Thinking to alter the direction of the future to revisit the whys of what I knew and could prove. It is relevant to why accurate factual knowledge of the past and the enduring drivers of human nature are such a danger for anyone with a futurist orientation. Here’s a telling quote on the motivation behind what became known in the 90s as Transformational Outcomes Based Education or today’s Systems Thinking in the classroom. The core of the Common Core is an apt way to describe the planned classroom dominance of reimagine the future activities for Real World Problems. Solvable of course with just enough taxpayer money, dialoguing, and maybe a Model UN Session or Two.

“Where memory is rooted solely in the past, imagination may be oriented in the past, present, or future. ”

Knowledge of history then or human nature from great literature influences your beliefs about what can be in confining ways. Practical ways that get in the way of anyone with aspirations of Utopia or just a desire for an old-fashioned Power Grab. Here’s more (the next line):

“The subsequent behavior of the living system is governed by the nature of the image, whether of memory or imagination.”

Can you see the value of convincing young students that the polar bears are drowning and clinging to life on ice floes from disintegrating icebergs? Caused by industrialization and fossil fuels and human activity in general? How useful an emotional visual appeal is to creating a deep felt belief that Authorities must intervene and Do Something? Anything to help. ASAP.

What’s the effect of actual knowledge of the past on such a cry? Might the student recognize that power corrupts or that it is foolish to jettison what works for the most part in favor of Something that has never been tried before? Or worse that it is similar to what brought tragedy in the past. And that the Designers of the Plan have no real downside if they screw up. But we taxpayers and ordinary unconnected to the Political Powers-that-be Folks will be left with the consequences of any fiasco. Think about that as we pull up another Systems Thinking futurist quote of precisely the importance of what education, K-12 and higher ed, is shutting down.

“What gives man a significant ‘edge’ over other living systems is not so much his ability to transmit symbols horizontally, to his contemporaries, but vertically, to his successors. It is this vertical capacity that is made possible by the time-binding nature of his symbols . . . This permits us to encapsulate and transmit to our successors a culture embracing our past experiences in a degree far more effective than other creatures, making possible a progress unique to man.”

And that is precisely what the Learner Centered classroom mandated in the CCSSI classroom implementation takes away. And Whole Language. And making regular use of tools like the I-Pad or a laptop or a Smartphone the focus in the classroom. All fundamentally interfere with this Vertical Transmission of Knowledge.  In fact as we have discussed more than once. That Desired Interference is a Feature, not a Bug prompting the mandated use.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/embrace-and-seize-technologys-potential-to-capture-the-hearts-and-minds-of-todays-students/ is from our helpfully explicit  Texas Insurrectionists. And taking out the Vertical Transmission aspect means that actual knowledge need not impede the imagination conjuring up alternative futures.

Except The Powers that Be or Hope-to-Be already have a desired future in mind. They just do not want enough well-informed Axemaker Mind voters to get in the way and alter what seems to them to be a perfectly good and lucrative dirigiste scheme around the notion that Gaia has a temperature and the world’s indutrialized economies need to radically restructure. Now. We have talked in a few posts about the Regional Equity Movement. The seminal conference was actually not the 2011 Building One America. Instead in 1998 the Brookings Institution held a national Regionalism conference. Bruce Katz assembled the results into a series of essays, Reflections on Regionalism, published in 2000 with then VP and Presidential candidate Al Gore writing the book’s Foreword.

That book clarified an unappreciated aspect to both education reform and Regionalism and the racial justice movements in the US: “ensuring that people of color have equal access to jobs, schools, and housing throughout metropolitan regions.”

Now that goal is impossible in an economy based on capitalism and individual achievement and free choice. It is impossible where education is based on academic achievement of the individual. See our real problem? See why the Green Economy is such a lure? As admitted and avowed Communist Van Jones himself acknowledged in 2009 it let’s government bureaucrats and politicians and their connected cronies set the terms of who benefits, where business is located, whose, what kind, etc.

I had seen Bruce Katz’s name attached recently to a national taxpayer funded push known as Regional Innovation Clusters that takes a more Dirigiste/Corporatist approach to Regionalism. It is still not Capitalism as Adam Smith described it that creates mass prosperity. So when I saw that Bruce Katz would be speaking In Atlanta last week at a political breakfast to promote Regionalism, I bought a ticket and went. Relying on my Memory and Big Ears and Eyes to catch a glimpse for us of what Regionalism looks like in 2012.  Still working at Brookings and promoting what is now known as Metropolitanism internationally.

As always Regionalism is about getting us to a new future economy redesigned around Export Manufacturing and Low Carbon Technology. Katz said the New Economy would be “Production driven, not consumption driven.” I wonder if I was the only person there who immediately recognized that is Mercantilism. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/didnt-adam-smith-write-a-book-explaining-why-this-is-a-bad-idea-back-in-1776/ And a huge part of where ed is going and the premise behind 21st Century Learning. Katz went on to describe an economy where businesses would “collaborate to compete” which sounds a whole lot like officially endorsing Collusion between Government and Established Businesses. Which they have always loved but it works quite dismally for those of us who pay the bills and do not have a Seat at the Table or a Tee Time with just the right Lobbyist.

I am going to close with the vision in an Education Transformation Plan that I found horrific but that so inspired AT&T that it offered the School District one of the choicest venues in Atlanta, the historic Fox Theatre, to roll it out. Thus emboldening every administrator and principal and politician attending that This Was a Good Plan. The plan insists on using computer technology to get graduation rates up to 90% and then wants 85% of that to go on to colleges already being reorganized in light of this Paper Credentialling Vision http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/constructing-an-alternative-vision-of-either-the-natural-or-human-world-as-the-basis-for-a-college-degree/

So here’s my question to all of you. Is that our future? A take it or live it world where we finance an educational vision and an economic vision where we have no choices. Where students and consumers are merely sources of long-term revenue for politically connected adults? Where there can be no mass prosperity?

Because Systems Thinking and Pedagogy and implemented collectivist political theories may be able to alter our future but none of them can feed any of the billions currently alive who actually rely on Capitalism and the benefits it creates for their Daily Bread. And so much more.

When will we contemplate what is being destroyed in the name of Equity?

 

Using Systems Thinking to Retie the Psychological Umbilical Cord to Our Environment

You know, I am pretty good at language, but I would never think to complain that:

“By substituting visual marks for spoken utterances [that miracle of human ingenuity and the Axemaker Mind reverenced by ordinary folks without systems training as reading], man removed himself even further from directly experiencing his habitat, further severing the psychological umbilical cord tying him to that habitat.”

A different way of making the same point in this early 80s blueprint describing the need for the mental assaults we would come to know under names such as as Transformational Outcomes Based Education and systems thinking and the new 3 R’s, is that the human “psychological separation is made possible  because of the interposing of symbols as a buffer.”

Now for those of you who read “symbols” and are hoping for a secret code that will need to be deciphered with a spray of lemon juice or a special light, we are not talking about a secret code. Although with the way reading is officially reverting back to a whole word or syllable sight approach the fundamental phonetic code is being treated as a secret code. Why? The math wars are grounded in similar reasons. Well I touched on this here http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/blending-sustainability-and-education-to-gain-arational-nonlinear-minds-and-new-behaviors/ where I first introduced everyone’s new favorite metaphor for what is officially under attack–the Axemaker’s Mind.

You see symbol manipulation, where the mark is an artificial representation such as the word “fish” instead of a drawing for a fish promotes the ability to think abstractly. Linearly. Rationally. To begin to link cause and effect. And how probable something is. Symbol use promotes a sense of self-awareness and individuality. When coupled with the printing press that made widespread literacy among the masses possible, it let the magic genie out of the bottle in a way that had never happened before in human history. And those with aspirations of power and control have never forgotten that link and its importance even if most of us have never really thought about it.

Believe me the statist schemers have as this post explains yet again. With new detail. After recognizing that it is the power of symbolic representation and manipulation that is what makes people genuinely unique in the universe and the roughly 3 pounds of the human brain the most fascinating creation in the universe, the plans get laid out to shut down or constrain those capacities. Why?

“Every new source from which man has increased his power on the earth has been used to diminish the prospects of his successors. [So not true but it is the common refrain from those pushing the ecological worldview and its desire for Newmindedness]. All his progress has been made at the expense of damage to his environment which he cannot repair and could not foresee.”

The author goes on to say that the “task of the futurist is to sharpen our focus on just those consequences.”

That basically is what is going on now in school districts all over the world. In the US as Common Core and Canada as the Alberta Wheel of Competency. In Australia it may be called the Core Skills Framework and the Wellbeing initiative http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-education-transforms-values-and-feelings-and-beliefs-to-control-behaviors-are-we-free/ and in the UK Quality Assurance and Qualifications Frameworks. So many of the digital learning initiatives. They are all based on a futurist perspective. They are all based on a desire to shut down the Axemaker Mind to prevent future creation of technology and innovation without official permission. They all are based on the idea that factual knowledge and your own private ability to conceptualize and carry on private conversations with the finest minds of the Ages, humanities, math, or science, is the Genie that must go back in the bottle. Only for authorized use by the politically connected.

They may want a sense of community but it must be based on emotion and new values. We cannot have a return to the power of the printed word [and no one on this planet revers it more than those who are trying to shut down its influence] as demonstrated by Thomas Paine and his pamphlet Common Sense. This illustration is actually in the book on using systems thinking and limiting the power of artificial symbols that so builds up the human intellect.

Common Sense found a disparate collection of mostly English settlers who thought of themselves as Englishmen now living in New Jersey or South Carolina without much in common except their former home country. And in fairly short order it created a sense of common grievance and possibility and gave birth to the emotions that would build a great nation on the Idea of a common, possibly magnificent, destiny. In minds that were physically separated and had never met each other or Thomas Paine.  Nurturing through print the Idea that being an American was about a common belief system that cherished the individual and not a matter of nationality or ethnicity. Another genie that needs to go back in the bottle if the future shift is to be Local and Global only.

To reiterate that these education initiatives and the Regional Equity Movement  are less a claim of CONSPIRACY!!! than a good old-fashioned coordinated power grab using the coercion powers of government, I want to describe a 2006 document from the Club of Rome. No, it’s not a great place for pasta with a lovely view overlooking the Forum and the Colosseum. Look it up if you are not familiar with it. It’s not an urban legend. We have talked about UNESCO more but the Club of Rome matters as well for these power grabs and political and economic power preservations. This is especially important since the Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth assumptions, though infamous, have been expressly incorporated into the Systems Thinking/Systems Dynamics training Peter Senge is doing with classroom teachers preparing to implement the Common Core. The authors of Limits to Growth, the Meadows, were members of CoR who now attend some of these teacher systems training workshops.

Isn’t control over K-12 and higher ed such a great way to alter the future? Same is true  of many of the loudest Digital Learning advocates. Many proudly bill themselves as Futurists as well. If you shut down most of the symbol manipulation capacity and train kids to see words as concrete wholes and tell parents that access to a search engine minimizes the need to actually know anything but Skills, you can alter the future. If you add on Social and Emotional Learning and a new Values system grounded in Communitarianism and the evils of profit, you can really alter the future.

The Club of Rome official document touts these Turning Points in the transformation of the Global Scene and the major importance of systems thinking to gaining control over an individual’s and a culture’s noetic system. And the value of such control in Steering [their word] desired human and economic behaviors. “It is so useful Igor and no one ever has to know until it’s too late to stop. Bring more cognac so we can celebrate properly.” It takes great pride in its economic misstatements and scientific nonsense that serve as the rationales on why the global information infrastructure merits a new kind of mind and economic structure. Here’s a little taste to reenforce that we do have an organized international problem on our hands:

“Binary logic contributed of course also to tremendous civilization achievements, the construction of computers and computer networks, but it still biases our way of understanding the world.”

CoR of course recommends feelings and intuition as the proper 21st Century substitute. I will close with how this comes into the classroom without your ever knowing. I was told this week that the Fulton County Georgia school district with the duplicitous charter was gutting those recently purchased expensive Promethean Whiteboards in favor of LCD projectors in every classroom. Aren’t Special Purpose Sales Taxes nifty? The value is the data and info can go straight to the student’s laptop. No need for the student’s brain to intervene. All visual all the time.

I have related that the district is using Spence Rogers’ PEAK training for teachers, Teaching for Excellence, even though as the co-creator of Transformational OBE, Spence Rogers’ work was implicated as a factor in the Columbine tragedy. Some minds do appear to snap and become Evil from such overt psychological manipulation. We have been told that the teachers undergoing the PEAK training will be kept secret so “they will not be afraid to try new techniques.” When I asked a Principal if he was referring to Spence Rogers’ work, the face became transfixed with an unmistakeable reverence and radiance.  The answer was “Yes. Do you know his Work?” You could say that was my response.

We are not dealing with rational interaction here. We are dealing with emotional cultivation to create zealotry in adult educators who likely have no idea what is at stake. They just know a feelings classroom suits them better than what they grew up with.

So please listen up all of us that still have Axemaker Minds and are paying the tab for all these schemes. What the Avengers had to save the earth from was a comic book fantasy. Apparently though we are about to need to fight hard to save the Republic, the legitimacy and primacy of individualism, and economic freedom. And all over the Globe there are citizens who must do the same. Because they really do have plans for all of us. Going into effect Right Now.

Why Make the Long Sought Goal of Anarchists and Socialists the 21st Century Education Ideal?

That quote involving the democratic purposes of schools that emphasized how the “democratic approach creates opportunities for local communities to publicly deliberate and self-govern” that we talked about sarcastically in the last post just kept gnawing at my subconscious from the time I published the post. It was no accident that Equity Pushers put such a place-based participatory democracy and create consensus and majority rules position in an October 2012 Position Paper to guide the CCSSI implementation. It is a shout out to the Bela Banathy and Texas Super position of making education about a New Desired Collective Future. That Future that needs a New Kind of Mind and Heart. Which is precisely what all these reforms we have chronicled seek to create.

That quote not only implies resuscitating John Dewey’s ideal of Participatory Democracy (which would explain all the push around Quality Learning and the Arts inclusion) but also its previous modern incarnation in the 1962 Port Huron Statement that created the Students for a Democratic Society. No wonder so many former SDSers like Bill Ayers or Mike Klonsky were drawn into education. Perfect cultural weapon for mass political, social, and economic Transformation. Go after the noetic system and change beliefs, attitudes, values, and feelings (sound like a familiar goal by various names?) and predictable future behavior will soon follow. People in fact may be easier to program via education than computers are for a developer. One need not be specific and logical to achieve the desired outcome in people.

That quote also reminded me especially of the Regional Equity Movement we have talked about several times that is to be a primary goal of an Obama Second Term.   http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/distributive-justice-is-not-enough-we-must-break-the-illusion-of-the-unitary-self/ is the discussion of the Building One America conference and how I see this as relating to education and the Future Earth Alliance.

But the Regional Equity Movement is a political means. The broader movement is called Bioregionalism and it unites systems thinking, new 3 R’s, education with ICLEI and Agenda 21. I have had all the Bioregional implementation books from the early 90s for a while. But when I read the plans they always struck me as so ludicrous to be proposing as 21st Century aspirations that I would get frustrated and put the books away. But the ludicrous aspirations just kept coming up over and over as real goals. Actual intentions. Where Banathy and Peter Senge and Paul Ehrlich and the No More Axemaker Minds and Democratic Purpose of Education were going. So I gathered the books together and took them to my favorite place for systematically taking on a really troubling book or concept–the Beach. I firmly believe lovely vistas help bolster the soul whenever life’s ugliness must be dealt with.

We could describe the last few days research on Bioregionalism as Revelations from the Sand and Surf. Vacationers who did not know me probably wondered why the lady sat scribbling furiously in the margins while sitting under the beach umbrella. The very picture of the Quintessential Nerd in Paradise. Well, in my defense it is not every day that you get so many open declarations and admissions against interest describing a Long Term Political Scheme in detail. With memorable details like “the murderous sociopathology of capitalism” or how:

“Cancer stalks the Earth. Its name is profit, its nature poison. In the name of profit our lakes and rivers die. Our oceans are dying. . .For the sake of profit our food, water and air are poisoned.” It goes on but you get the idea. No wonder so many new college grads think they must work in the nonprofit sector. They have been inundated with a very false view of the world and how it works and they lack enough historical knowledge to reject such foolish propaganda. After all they grew up in an education system that is preaching that process and theory are more important than facts. Guided already by this several decades old Transform the Future vision without bothering to tell the students, parents, or taxpayers.

The Bioregional vision goes on to make the municipality (after being broken up into authentic communities “scaled to human dimensions”) the place (and they do seem to mean this in the sense of physical space and physical activity) where:

“the individual can be transformed from a mere person into an active citizen, from a private being into a public being. Given this crucial arena that literally renders the citizen a functional being who can participate directly in the future of society, we are dealing with a level of human interaction that is more basic (apart from the family itself) than any level that is expressed in representative forms of governance, where collective power is literally transmuted into power embodied by one or a few individuals. The municipality is thus the most authentic arena of public life, however much it may have been distorted over the course of history.”

Now I did warn you civics education and the Civic Mission of Schools can be a dangerous thing to advocate blindly for these days. It is a different view of citizenship and government than what the US Constitution laid out. The mayors, however, are delighted and this explains their enthusiasm for Sustainability and Green Initiatives apart from federal dollars. They think they get to be where the long term action is in a world that really is envisioned to work like a commune with transportation by “collective vehicles.” A world where there ceases to be “independence or dependence.” In its place we are supposed to have “a more richly articulated form of interdependence” after each person has engaged in “a conscious reconstruction of our relationship to each other and the natural world.”

Now, you must be wishing you had a lovely vista to stand up and walk around in and then glance away to the horizon before reading more such nonsense. But when you have monopoly power through government, access to taxpayer money, and little real knowledge of history nonsensical visions can still be very real. Literally be the impetus behind actual education reforms and political policies and regulations and sought economic transformations. Which is precisely what is going on right now in so many areas. It tracks back in the US and globally (yes, the UN is behind this. 1973 was the initiation date days my books) to this Bioregionalist vision. That hits us as nonsensical.

And do you know where this no more Division of Labor or market exchange economy and society starts? The one to be a sharing society “based on the pleasure that is felt in distributing among communities according to their needs”? Why it starts in a new vision for education for the Full Personality. Education to “reflect on what it means to think–yes, to reason–and to live ecologically in the full meaning of the term.” That sure does sound like Peter Senge and Otto Scharmer’s Systems Thinking and the UN’s Education for Sustainable Development.

Education that makes “for more rounded personalities with a rich sense of selfhood and competence” which was a goal “long cherished by the anarchists and socialists of the last century.”

Really? Are we really going to keep implementing K-12 and college education designed to unite us all “in an ecological continuum to feed the spirit as well as the body, sharpening one’s sensitivity to the nonhuman and human world around us.” No wonder it is to be about hands-on science instead of the science in textbooks. No wonder school is now to be about Relationships.

Can we stand up now and look at the full future vision of society that this Equitable Education and democratic purpose of schooling and systems thinking and Competence is taking us to?