Embody or Perish: Unmasking the Communitarian Motto Behind Student-Centered Learning

If this blog provided sound effects, I could blow the whistle now and holler that we have reached our destination. This is the 6th post in a series that began on February 27. I used the unexpected DeVos declaration of our ‘moral obligations’ and the IPEN paper on global education as recent examples of what the UN had enacted in the late 90s as the Universal Ethics Framework. I found that because well-known communitarian advocate Amitai Etzioni cited it as he laid out his vision for The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society that seemed to accurately reflect the actual classroom and school implementation of Radical Ed Reform going back to the mid-80s. It also seemed to track all the organized deceit I had found about SEL Standards, the Common Core, and other matters which are too consistent in what is being suppressed to be coincidental.

Let’s dive right in because as I have warned, a communitarian mandate pops up on a regular basis and it is always mired in deceit. Now I know why. To prevent resistance to what is being sold as an italicized regeneration of American Society that seeks to penetrate ALL schools and ALL colleges and universities. Here’s the quote that also fits with what was laid out in A Call to Civil Society and Hardwired to Connect from the last post. It explains the neural emphasis we just keep coming across now:

“The communitarian analysis, at least as practiced here, involves a keen awareness that values need to be embodied; that is, for values to guide behavior, a society needs to evolve social and personal formations that undergird the society’s values…Embody or perish is the communitarian motto behind much of what follows.

Embodiment refers to the need for shared values to be internalized by the members and for these values to be integrated into the societal formations [like schools and churches] that help shape behavior.”

Won’t federally required ‘performance standards’ be so useful in making this needed internalization and embodiment an invisible component of how every student will succeed? If such sarcasm seems unbecoming, we need more quoting, especially on how a communitarian society differs from an authoritarian one. My succinct explanation is the coercion is imposed neurobiologically via education to become a Habit of Mind so the coercion is mostly invisible. At least it was until I wrote Credentialed to Destroy and then this presciently named blog. Communitarian societies are steered in “a new shared normative direction. Communitarian societies differ from authoritarian societies in that they require a smaller core of shared values (although significantly more than the societies individualists envision).”

That antipathy toward “individualists” sounds straight out of the new Classical Learning Test hype, doesn’t it? That’s not coincidental, as I will show later. Etzioni stated that:

“the new golden rule requires that the tension between one’s preferences and one’s social commitments be reduced by increasing the realm of duties one affirms as moral responsibilities–not the realm of duties that are forcibly imposed but the realm of responsibilities one believes one should discharge and that one believes one is fairly called on to assume.”

Education, of course, is first on the list of the ‘normative means’ used to create the desired moral commitments which enough people have internalized as the basis for their likely future behavior to change the direction of the society. In case anyone thinks this is just the admitted Left pushing this, remember that Hardwired to Connect from the last post with its ties to the supposedly conservative think tanks pushing School Choice vocally also stated explicitly:

“… an ‘us’ strategy is quite different. It is much broader and more radical. Its focus is cultural, not merely political or programmatic. It aims less at a specific intervention than a fundamental social shift–a change that involves the society as a whole. A ‘them’ strategy is about getting specific things done, but it is more fundamentally about guiding an entire society in a certain direction.”

My book’s pivotal observation that the actual Common Core implementation targeted student’s ‘values, attitudes, and beliefs’ makes so much more sense once we become aware of the widespread desire for Social Reconstruction that is no longer just a project of the admitted Left. Did you know that Chester Finn of Fordham, who we have tracked back to the mid-80s duplicitous Project Education Reform and forward to his work with Diane Ravitch and now Fordham’s co-sponsorship of the PEPG forum at the Kennedy School of Government, is listed as a signatory to Etzioni’s Responsive Communitarian Manifesto? So are several other people tied to those IAV papers in the last post. This truly is where the Right and Left Pincers want to take education. They want the coercion to be invisible and binding.

As I told my kids when they were growing up, wanting something doesn’t mean you are entitled to get it. To avoid the invisible coercion we have to know this vision “requires that most members of the society most of the time, share a commitment to a set of core values, and that most members, most of the time, will abide by the behavioral implications of these values because they believe in them rather than being forced to comply with them.”

The role of all these think tanks makes much more sense to this vision if we know that “a core of shared values also enhances the ability of a society to formulate specific public policies.” Try not to be too shocked that elsewhere those policies must include society and its individual members meeting all needs to provide for ‘individual well-being’. The Communitarian agenda says that is the 21st Century purpose of government. Nothing like 21st Century euphemisms redeeming Uncle Karl’s real vision of human development.

Lamar Alexander doing a presentation at AEI last week pretending ESSA supposedly gets the feds out of education makes perfect sense if ESSA laid out a mandate for the needed framework to force internalization within each student. Remember the requisite Internalization must occur without effective opposition from parents and taxpayers. Also, the local hype fits with the statement that “reconnecting the political decision-making bodies to community dialogues is one of the most important items of the communitarian public policy agenda.” Fits right into what AEI’s President Arthur Brooks called the true tenets of Conservatism. It requires a  Revolution of the Heart too.

The calls of SEL Standards for self-discipline or self-regulation, or what the Faux Narrative refers to as ‘self-government,’  ( https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/03/common-core-damages-students-college-readiness/ )  which is also straight out of the Manifesto mentioned above,  call for a longer quote from Etzioni that explains all:

“From a communitarian viewpoint, to draw on public schools as developers of character (for a stronger, higher self) it is most important that they focus on development of personality capabilities that enable people to act civilly and morally. [Soft Skills for All!] First among these capabilities is the ability to control one’s impulses [Is that what the above link calls the ‘right and responsibility of self-rule’?]…Second, a well-formed person must have what Adam Smith called ‘sympathy’: roughly, the ability to put oneself in the other person’s shoes, what we would refer to as empathy. Without this quality, there is little likelihood that children will develop charity, fairness, respect for other people, or the other virtues. When a person possesses these twin capacities, the psychological foundations for abiding by internalized values are in place.

Once schools are restructured in ways that enhance personality development, the question of which specific values are to be taught recedes in importance but still needs answering.”

The requisite ‘non-cognitive factors’ that must be a component of the State Plans under ESSA all go to that personality development prerequisite in one way or another. It’s not a database, but a starting point to get the needed internalized change to support this communitarian vision of a new moral order. It’s not coincidental that the definition of the law taught in elite law schools has now been altered quietly as the “enterprise of subjecting human conduct to the governance of rules.”

I personally reject the distinction that something is not coercive as long as people and governments can successfully misrepresent what they are up to via education and the law. It is also greatly troubling I keep coming across references to collecting data on where students are in each of the 24 listed characteristics of the VAI-Values in Action–Character Survey.

I need one more quote from Etzioni that goes a long way towards explaining what makes education through provided conceptual lenses and themes about what is important, cross-cutting, or Good, True, and Beautiful so necessary to a transformationalist. We will need it in the next post as I continue to prove this IS the vision ALL of education is being organized around. Long time readers will recognize this is the theory with the nerdy name of Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete created in the USSR in 1962.

“Such statements about moral causes that present themselves to us as compelling are similar to what religious authorities speak of as revelation. This does not mean we cannot reason about these matters. The fact that some cause initially appears to one as powerful does not obviate the need to examine it closely. However, here reason follows and buttresses revelation, and not the other way around…It should be noted that reason plays a rather different role here.”

I’ll say. I wanted to shout “Transfer” as Lauren Resnick has been pushing for in education reforms for decades. She must be so pleased that her integral Higher Order Thinking Skills that embodies this very concept of Revelation first, and then Apply the provided concepts to real world, concrete situations, is a required ESSA component. Measuring every student for compliance at least annually.

That will be so useful for imposing this requisite Internalization.

Next time we will find this same goal being stated in terms of the US Founding Fathers and the purported requirements of “constitutional government.” We will see more clearly then why facts get in the way of simply accepting the provided concepts as Revelations that are to be accepted, internalized, and never disputed.

I feel like such a naughty Individualist sometimes for recognizing when we are being lied to and when something else has the same function.

Making Man Moral through Integrative, Holistic Education Focused on Purpose

Sometimes these days I feel like I am a part of that old musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” not because all these machinations via education and deceit are funny, but because suddenly between posts something happens that proves just how correct I am on how this fits together. Last week, the blog Cafe Hayek run by George Mason economic profs mentioned a January 24 piece by “my colleague Peter Boettke on the late economist Kenneth Boulding.” Now that may seem innocuous and even dry, but there cannot be a more seminal person other than John Dewey to the sought transformation of education. Boulding laid out its purpose and how it could be used to control other social systems. Is this further evidence of a Convergence of the Right and Left Pincers we can see so much evidence of? Confessions, after all, are so much nicer.

http://www.coordinationproblem.org/2017/01/kenneth-boulding-on-the-task-of-interpretation.html is the post and it tied in my mind to why everyone suddenly wants education to be about moral values, guiding principles, Disciplinary Core Ideas, Classical Concepts, and other ideas first that can then guide a child’s perception. How they interpret their daily experiences and what they never even notice. This is the end of the Trilogy so let’s pull all this together so we can appreciate How to Invisibly Control Future Personal Decision-making with No Need to Admit It. Bolding (without the ‘u’) is mine.

“Themes without facts may be barren, but facts without theories are meaningless. It is only ‘theory’–i.e., a body of principles–which enables us to approach the bewildering complexity and chaos of fact, select the facts significant for our purposes and interpret the significance.

Indeed, it is hardly too much to claim that without a theory to interpret it there is no such thing as a ‘fact’ at all…what, then, is the ‘fact’ about the wart? [Boulding’s example that should be read in full while thinking about the meaning of Disciplinary Core Ideas or Enduring Understandings] It may be any or all of the above, depending on the particular scheme of interpretation into which it is placed.”

When I was a student, part of what made for A+ work was the ability to develop an appropriate scheme of interpretation by myself, in the privacy of my mind, using what I saw as the pertinent facts. Something that made the prof go “That’s it! Wish I had expressed it that way.” This is something else. These are essentially presupplied ‘constructs’ designed to guide perception and future action in a way that makes a person likely to desire and instigate transformational change in the circumstances we all live under. If they cannot do it, they can organize together so politicians will implement the changes. That’s why I created the term Politicalism. What Boulding was known for was “incorporating the ideas, concepts and tools from the natural sciences into social scientific analysis.” Why?

His good friend Bela Banathy, who also has a tag and was involved in the creation of the concept of charter schools and what now goes by School Choice, told this story that his close friend Boulding shared with him in 1983. In 1954, at Stanford’s Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) where so much else was hatched:

“four Center fellows–Bertalanffy (biology), Boulding (economics), Gerard (psychology), and Rappoport (mathematics)–had a discussion  in a meeting room. Another Center Fellow walked in and asked: ‘What’s going on here?’ Ken answered: ‘We were angered about the state of the human condition’ and ask: ‘What can we–what can science–do about improving the human condition‘ Oh!’ their visitor said: ‘This is not my field.’ At that meeting the four scientists felt that in the statement of their visitor they heard the statement of the fragmented disciplines that have little concern for doing anything practical about the fate of humanity. So they asked themselves, ‘What would happen if science would be redefined by crossing disciplinary boundaries and forge a general theory that would bring us together in the service of humanity?'”

That overdone analogy to the ‘outmoded factory model of education’ is actually a cloaking metaphor to mask this complete change in the purpose of education that drove the education reforms in the 60s, 80s, and now covered in my book Credentialed to Destroy. It’s also why Tranzi OBE and Competency needed to be deliberately misdefined as we saw in the last post. Why do we keep coming across an emphasis on Character or Moral Dispositions and Attributes? Because social and political scientists like Boulding came to recognize “that the universe of ethical values is a driving force in human life” and can be altered to drive a transformation in what is acceptable in the future.

If you want to drive cultural change, alter human consciousness by instilling new ‘active principles’ that people must now use to organize their lives and institutions. Then have them practice it in the classroom or workplace or even their church until relying on these principles becomes a Habit of Mind. In his 1969 AEA Presidential Address, Boulding informed those economics professionals that “any system contains the seeds of its own transformation or future genesis, and that this works through a learning process.” See why education had to change away from an emphasis on facts? Economics was just one of the human social systems that interested Boulding and he knew change had to start with the very mental models each person internalized:

“All these social systems are linked together dynamically through the process of human learning which is the main dynamic factor in all social systems.”

That’s such a useful quote for anyone who wonders why I cannot stick to just writing about education. Because it’s a tool to a transformation for a different purpose and a new, unlikely to succeed well for most of us, vision of the future. When should we talk about it? After the carnage is more advanced and even more resources depleted in the name of education? I am going to shift away from Boulding for a moment, but his vision was covered in the Trilogy begun here with his book The Meaning of the 20th Century and its effect on the Commission on the Year 2000 covered in the post that followed. Rereading those yesterday almost took my breath away because it fits so closely with what was in the Roadmap for the Next Administration and the Architecture of Innovation on what data can be made to now do.


This post’s title comes from a book Robert George–Princeton professor, Bradley Foundation board member, well-known spokesperson for Catholicism, and founder of the same American Principles Project that did not want to define certain terms accurately in the last post, wrote in 1993. If ‘common guiding principles’ and shared meanings are in fact what makes people and organizations act as ‘systems’ as Boulding and systems science generally believed, it makes perfect sense not to concede that is what ALL Competency-based education reforms, and what I nicknamed Tranzi OBE, are about. The aims are no different then from the Catholic Curriculum Framework although some of the offered concepts, principles, and the justifications for the changes may differ.

Like Boulding in the quote Boettke chose or in my quotes from his 1969 AEA address, George in his making men moral: Civil Liberties and Public Morality wanted education to provide “first principles of practical reason…to guide choice and action.” Fascinating, huh? Everybody seems to want to carve that rudder that will guide future decision-making without being forthright on the connection. All we get are School Choice!, Federal Misedukation, and Autonomy to the Locals and parents. Some autonomy as both education and “laws have a legitimate subsidiary role to play in helping people to make themselves moral.” Then sell it to parents that way and admit Classical Education IS designed to create a steerable rudder both parents and students are not being told about.

Character is a wonderful thing, but not when it operates at an unconscious level as a Habit of Mind and parents are not told that their children are being steered in the name of Goodness. Truth. and Beauty or Equity and Justice or Sustainability or other Guiding Principles to guide practical reason and likely future action. The same Spiritual and Moral Framework that can be used by New Agers like the Ross School from the last post or Social Justice Warriors grounded in Paulo Freire Pedagogy for the Oppressed aligns with the aim of instilled Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions from the Catholic Curriculum Frameworks. They ALL want to provide the ideas, emotional motivations, and values students internalize as their guide to future decision-making. School now wants to provide their purpose for living and the vision of what the future might be.

To truly get the dangers of this personalized, student-centered, transformative vision of education perhaps it will help if we follow those Moral and Spiritual Frameworks (as well as the cited Ron Miller’s “What are Schools For?”) right straight to a School of Education and Psychology in Isfahan, Iran. If “Holistic Education: An Approach for 21st Century” from 2011 is okay with the mullahs and their tyrannical vision of people, we really need to quit using the word ‘autonomy’ to describe the student when this vision of education is through with them. Yes, they have a purpose, but is it really theirs? I will quote from the Abstract because it fits with the vision I have described in this Trilogy. Think of the implications of that.

“Holistic education encompasses a wide range of philosophical orientations and pedagogical practices. Its focus is on wholeness, and it attempts to avoid excluding any significant aspects of the human experience. It is an eclectic and inclusive movement whose main characteristic is that educational experiences foster a less materialistic and more spiritual worldview along with more dynamic and holistic views of reality.

It also proposes that educational experience promote a more balanced development of–and cultivate the relationship among–the different aspects of the individual (intellectual, physical, spiritual, emotional, social and Aesthetic), as well as the relationships between the individual and other people, the individual and natural environment, the inner-self of students and external world, emotion and reason, different disciplines of knowledge and forms of knowing, holistic education is concerned with life experience, not with narrowly defined ‘basic skills.'”

Doesn’t that life experience/basic skills distinction sound just like the erroneous definition of Competency from the last post? Isn’t the US goal of College and Career Ready just another euphemism for this holistic life experience vision that seeks to control what gets internalized to guide the adults our children will become?

How is it not authoritarian for any government at any level to make education holistic or integrative using those aims?

How on Earth can this really be “education for humanity” when the type of human we become is subject to undisclosed political control?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Forcing Equality of Communicative Competence as an Expedient Way to Promote Mental Time Travel

One of the benefits of now having an extensive research library documenting what I write about is being able to recognize what I am looking at now and then going back in time to when the hoped for means of transformation was first laid out. That’s what we did with Futuribles. Looking at that OECD paper from last week from the previous post as well as the aspirations from the Third Way Global Progress summit held by the Center for American Progress (CAP) in March reminded me I should go back and look at sociologist Anthony Giddens’ 2001 book called The Global Third Way Debate. Fitting right in with the Ford Foundation’s financing of both the behavioral sciences by founding CASBS in Palo Alto in the 50s and then Futuribles research in the 60s we have their Director of the Program of Governance and Civil Society, Michael Edwards insisting in writing that:

“So we are left with the task of humanising capitalism, that is, preserving the dynamism of markets, trade and entrepreneurial energy while finding better ways to distribute the surplus they create and reshape the processes that produce it…[I think we are included in the processes to be reshaped, but here’s more] Inequalities result from political decisions about the distribution of gains from economic activity. What is allocated to private consumption, public spending, and social responsibilities is never fixed, and it is democracy’s job–not the role of the markets–to determine our collective goals and common interests.”

Now since ‘markets’ are actually just lots of individuals making their own choices with the information they havebased on their own values, what Edwards was really saying was that, in the Third Way vision, political power will determine what ‘our collective goals and common interests’ must now be. Needless to say, education to alter consciousness in prescribed and unappreciated ways is Tool Para Excellence. Especially if it can be sold as helpful brain-based learning http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/04/14/how-to-get-past-negativity-bias-and-hardwire-positive-experiences/

Another speaker, Simon Szreter, stressed the need for ‘moral principles and priorities’, which could be “practically related to the workings of ‘the real world’, real people and their relationships to each other and to the economy; a specification of the practical policies and measures which are required in order to change the economy and society towards the desirable model of social and economic relationships that has been elaborated.” Now we could simply surmise education would once again be a handy tool for such deliberate change by political process, except barely two pages later we have the confession for “enabling us to focus on the crucial issue of the means by which the capacities of individuals to process information are distributed across an economy. In particular it can show how the politics of a society and its institutions critically influences the information-processing capacities of its citizens.”

Now wanting to control that information-processing capacity at the level of the mind is precisely what redefining people as simply ‘goal-seeking systems’ actually does. We have covered that in some depth on this blog and in far more detail in my book Credentialed to Destroy. Here’s the tragic element beyond the tyrannical control issues of such aspirations: “it is a crucial goal to maximise and equalise the the social and cultural scope of information exchange among the economy’s workers. Through generating the capacity to process information effectively–the promotion of communicative competence–on the part of the greatest proportion and diversity of citizens…One of the most significant and powerful sources of disruption of the possibility that citizens might enjoy a state of equality of communicative competence with each other is a dramatically unequal distribution of wealth and income in society.”

Well we know that’s on the OECD’s To Do list. With the US and CAP also having a Larry Summers-led Inclusive Prosperity Commission and the UN announcing Dignity for All by 2030, income and wealth distribution are supposedly on the current global Must Change through PolicyMaking and Think Tanks To Do List. What’s the other pincer per Szreter and out Third Way Fabians in 2001? This is a long quote, but very useful as a long term explanation of why education always comes up as a tool and where it fits in with the broader collectivist scheme (as usual, my bolding).

“The national education system is the other principal general influence, after income and wealth distribution, upon the formation of social capital, and the possibilities for equality of communicative competence. This is because it is simultaneously producing not just one economic product, as previously understood by economists, but two: both human capital and social capital. And it is only a good overall education system, in which all can have pride in their schools and from which all can derive a sense of personal achievement and worth, which can lay the necessary foundations for the proliferation of social capital all across the economy, by providing its basis in common communicative competence and mutual respect. [Anyone thinking Positive School Climate is just practice for these relationships of justice?] The argument from social capital holds in principle for a range of other important social policies which affect the equality of citizens’ capacities, such as health, housing and social security.”

Now that common communicative competence to be required would also be what guides perception, interprets experience, and motivates future behavior and it is to be common and predictable. Very useful for that social and individual steering capacity governments at all levels are now seeking. A useful paper on all this came out of Europe in 2009 and it’s called “Thinking as the control of imagination: a conceptual framework for goal-directed systems.” That’s us, remember? And the common communicative competence means comparable goals that are invisibly manipulated via educational ‘standards,’ desired competencies that are targeted for ‘testing,’ and other statutory or regulatory mandates.

Before I offer up the following quote that is pertinent to all the reimagining of the future and the offering of guiding fictions from the last two posts, it leaves out what phonetically fluent readers have always been able to do. Get a handle on the nature of the world and people historically and consistently through massive amounts of diverse reading. Common communicative competence rules that obstacle to mental reengineering out. The researchers in that article stated that “behavior consists in the control of perceptions.” Yet, we know the whole purpose of using standards to prescribe the categories and concepts all are now to learn as the Framework of a Discipline is to control perception. Now let’s move forward to the quote of what is desired in our ‘goal-seeking system’ as the students and eventually us are being called.

“when a comparison is done not between sensed and desired states, but between internally simulated and desired states, the architecture acquires control over its own imagination: this makes it able to interactively set its goals and plans, and ultimately to think by mentally simulating actions.”

Now I offered that long quote from Szreter because it’s not just the common communicative competence guiding what will be internally simulated in most people. With his definition of social capital and how it was to be obtained, the Third Way made it quite clear the desired states were also to be the focus of manipulation via education. That is what policymakers mean when they insist what they lay out is a normative vision for how the future should change. Robert Heilbroner, a well-known Marxist professor wrote Visions of the Future in 1995. He started the chapter on Visions of Tomorrow by acknowledging he did not wish to predict the shape of tomorrow, but he did want to guide what was imaginable. As he wrote, “I stress this crucial word–to exercise effective control over the future-shaping forces of Today…leaves us with the somewhat less futile effort of inquiring into the possibilities of changing or controlling the trends of the present.”

Now let’s leave aside the enormous potential of digital learning and the simulations of virtual reality assessments to reconfigure what a mind will soon be internalizing as imaginable. Let’s just get back to all the role-playing assignments that now form such a tremendous part of history and social studies classes. The ubiquity making more sense now? Now let’s go back to David J Staley’s History and Future book to see how common communicative competence in the name of Equity and controlling the Imagination come together.

“The result of these imagination leadership thought exercises is a mental map of a future business space. The goal of these scenario exercises is to, first, clarify or otherwise expose preexisting mental maps, and to especially reveal unarticulated assumptions. Second, these scenario exercises help the group to refine their mental maps by suggesting new or unforeseen opportunities and threats. Third, the goal is to create many of these mental maps in the maps of audience members, to replace the monolithic mental map of the future with a ‘diversified portfolio’ of mental maps, to allow us to better cope with change. This is related to the fourth goal of these thought experiments: to help us order our perceptions, to create effective mental filters that allow us to make sense of all the data and information that bombards our senses. As we take data and information, we have a better way to categorize and organize the data.”

Now with that last quote, I think I will stop and let everyone contemplate the implications of education allowing political power to now create those mental filters for whatever transformational purposes politicians or their cronies find expedient.

All going on without telling the students, their parents, or the taxpayers accurately what is being targeted and why.

Mental time travel using these parameters is likely to leave us all Lost in Space, except the space is not Outer anymore.



Statutorily Stipulating a Science of the Individual Driven by Useful Internalized Guiding Fictions

The first question then is “Useful to Whom”? Not the students themselves or the adults they will become, but useful to anyone seeking to benefit from this collectivist, steerable, scientifically-managed society and economy we just keep encountering. Useful to the decision-making oligarchs in this hoped for Upravleniye vision. The entire basis of the steerability must get at what each person has internalized at the level of the human mind and personality. Taking comfort that I am probably just exaggerating to drive sales of my book Credentialed to Destroy? Here is the link to the 2013 Harvard Ed School paper called “The Science of the Individual”  https://www.gse.harvard.edu/~ddl/articlesCopy/FischerGroundwork.MBE2009.3.1.pdf

There is a lot in that paper about the “new capacity based on technological innovation to collect and analyze massive amounts of data on individuals…for building realistic models of individual behavior, learning, and development.” What I want to talk about in this post is the confession about the “invention of a framework that can sustain a science of the individual.” In other words, the offered up theory–Dynamic Systems Theory–need not be factually true if enacting its practices through federal and state law mandates and required classroom implementations that get promotions for Principals and lucrative administrative jobs in central offices like being a District Super. Not true but useful to the Politically Connected.

Am I being mean here? No, DST grew out of NIH-funded research at Indiana University and its creators in 1994 classified this learning theory as “consistent with theories of the social construction of knowledge and in fact offers a biologically plausible mechanism for such a process.” Translated into English, the researchers want it to be true because advocating for the theory earns grants. Implementing the theory in school classrooms can have useful effects on guiding and motivating students to behave in desired ways that will ultimately be grounded, if the ‘research’ goes as hoped, into the students’ neural synapses. To quote again, “a dynamic systems approach to cognition and action provides a biological ground for cultural and contextual accounts of human cognition.”

Why am I hyping on these confessions? Because these are the theories adopted for the classroom in the famous 2012 federal “Education for Life and Work” report covered here. http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ It is the theory guiding both the new federal education Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and its companion 2014 federal Upravleniye legislation WIOA. That 2013 Harvard paper above is part of the IMBES–International Mind, Behavior, Education Society work and this 2014 meeting in Ft Worth, Texas shows just how thoroughly what ought to be off-limits in a free society and what used to be known as cybernetics research is rolling right into Texas classrooms, especially, with nary a barrier to entry.

http://www.imbes.org/Resources/Documents/2014%20IMBES%20Program%20FINAL%20for%20web%20%281%29.pdf They even have state legislators there describing how to get these theories and practices into effect. David Rose, the creator of that very same Universal Design for Learning covered in my book as incorporated into the Common Core required implementation, and now mandated in ESSA, was a speaker. Did you know he is a co-author of the US Educational Technology Plan? Another speaker, Fumiko Hoeft, is described as “interested in ‘understanding interaction between academic achievement, cognitive abilities, external environment, and [the student’s] ‘internal environment’ such as resiliency, self-esteem, grit and motivation.”

In other words, all the hype about instilling grit, resilience, and perseverence is not about creating those qualities. It’s simply as excuse to assess and collect data on what yet another speaker there, Paul van Geert (a name I recognized from systems theorizing) referred to as the simplex system. In a 2014 paper called “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly? The Dynamic Interplay Between Educational Practice, Policy and Research” defined what he meant by  a simplex system. He was referring to people and what they have internalized. He used italics for emphasis so so shall I.

“We define such a simplex system as a connected whole of beliefs, representations, values, emotions, habits, practices and material tools that serves as a simplifying representation of the overarching complex system in which a person participates and that organizes the participants’ actions.”

When the Faux anti-Common Core Narrative makes protecting Personally Identifiable Information the focus of their False Flag coordination it leaves no obstacle to manipulating each student’s simplex system as needed so they are amenable to the Upravleniye vision of the 21st Century. When the same groups keep hyping ‘standardized testing’ they create popular support for a switch to the formative assessments (covered in detail in my book) that are far more effective at altering this individual simplex system than anything that can be put on a multiple-choice test of knowledge.

When I was following up on the implications of Kenneth Boulding’s definition of people as purposeful, goal-seeking systems and what that really meant ‘student achievement’ and ‘success’ were now about (my child can meet the behavioral goals prescribed by government officials who want to steer!!Hallelujah, indeed), I kept encountering references to a 1976 book Ego Development where I encountered this alarming passage: “The drives, including the sex drive, are subordinated to a person’s goal or purpose in life, his guiding fiction. The philosophical concept of the fiction was developed by Vaihinger (1911). Fictions are not fantasies but predictive schemes necessary to orient oneself in the world; they are subjective, created by the person, and unconscious in some sense.”

Now by the time I encountered that passage I had read The Scientific Management of Society and recognized the deliberate targeting via assessment and data collection of what we are now calling that internalized simplex. I knew that was what personalized learning was really getting at. I recognized, in other words, the Upravleniye implications if all the mind arson we are encountering and Inapt Metaphors being pushed was actually about Our Steering Keelsmen, in political office or public policy, wanting to create Guiding Fictions because they would be useful in creating that invisible noetic keel. Turned out Vaihinger’s book had recently been brought back into print.

A German, writing before the Great War and very concerned about the warlike, aggressive nature of the German people since the 1871 Franco-Prussian War, Vaihinger wanted to dictate and control “those ideas, associations of ideas, and conceptual constructs” which guide an individual’s perception. As if that’s not enough, given the current HOTS mandate in ESSA for annual assessment and the stipulation of CDIs–Core Disciplinary Ideas and CCCs–Cross-Cutting Concepts and Themes in Common Core and its state successors–Vaihinger also wished to limit thought to what was needed for practical action. Sounds just like Competency to me!

Here is his theory of Guiding Fiction (and his italics). Think about the Planning Potential of  inaccurate concepts and categorization prescribed by political power, to be instilled by education, under a government mandate. A potentially useful policy to the Steerers, if not to the Steered Student. Just “because such constructs are devoid of reality they are not to be regarded as devoid of utility…Any true insight into the psychological setting and origin of knowledge proves that many things may be theoretically wrong and yet from a practical standpoint be fruitful in results, taking the term ‘practical,’ of course, in a wide sense.”

Let’s go back to that fictional framework Dynamic Systems Theory that can be the foundation of useful classroom practices for guiding, limiting, and predicting thought itself. For motivating desired behaviors in an Upravleniye society where we have become the Governed. The DST authors insisted that there are “compelling theoretical reasons for not putting the cause of developmental change in the frontal lobe.” What if the reasons are that such factually-informed, personally-sculpted Axemaker Minds are simply not amenable to being Governed and will certainly notice all the hoped-for steering and desired false guiding narratives?

DST wants to make the individual-in-context the focus because that theory is useful for Social Engineering purposes, not because it is true. It stresses Perceive. Act. Think. as the desired order because it too wants to limit the nature of thought to what is “emergent from the activities of everyday life.” Just like John Goodlad and UNESCO in the 70s for those of you who have read my book. I will end this post with a story told by another prof who wants to use Guiding Fictions and history as about creating scenarios of the future to guide perceptions of what ought to be done now.

“A Hungarian detachment was lost in the Alps for three days before finally returning to their camp. ‘We considered ourselves lost and waited for the end,’ said the soldiers, ‘but then one of us found a map in his pocket. That calmed us down. We pitched camp, lasted out the snow storm, and then with the map we found our bearings. And here we are.’ Their lieutenant looked at the map and discovered to his surprise that it was a map of the Pyrenees, not the Alps.”

The belief that the map was accurate caused the soldiers to act and action was the way out. Both in the 90s version of standards-based reforms and now, the very word ‘standards’ is yet another misunderstood, ambivalent term that actually is a euphemism for goals. The 90s New Standards Project and the Common Core now are actually efforts by political power to use a fiction that students and people are merely purposeful organisms. To insist that governments now get to monitor and prescribe what our acceptable Goals can and must be. Just a goal-seeking system whose internalized simplex is subject to tracking and manipulation via education. Why? Because that is what political power and its financial cronies believe will benefit them.

They want to prescribe “those ideas, associations of ideas, and conceptual constructs” that they find useful “as a guide to thought and action in the present. The map in the above example was clearly not accurate, and yet ‘by taking some action, the soldiers started to obtain new feedback about their environment, and they entered a new learning loop’ which gradually built up their own understanding and mental map.’ That is, the map facilitated the process by which the soldiers could manage and navigate uncertainty.”

When Congress enacted ESSA it required states to annually assess  Higher Order Thinking Skills and Understandings for each student in most years. I typically summarize HOTS as the categories and ideas students use to decide what they should do when there is no single correct answer. How they will choose to act in a given situation when faced with uncertainty as to how to best proceed. Anyone think this is coincidental?

How about if I add that the author of the 1987 HOTS report, Lauren Resnick, was also co-director of the 90s New Standards Project and on the panel  for the Common Core set of student behavioral goals.

The real aim is so much clearer when ‘standards’ are described more accurately by their explicit purpose.


Heart-Core Learning: Not Left to Chance or Adult Therapy and Thus Reimagining What It Means to Be Human

Recently I have been writing fewer posts and talking more in between in the comments as I am inundated with confirmations in books and articles, going back more than 50 years, laying out a consistent vision. Books are the best means to lay out all the interconnections, but the toxicity of this vision and the clear determination to lock it in now at an undisclosed, and unforeseeable neural level, means I have to post red light alerts in the interim. Anyone else have a habit of watching the network news on a somewhat regular basis just to learn what the Powers-that-Be want us to believe about the world out there? That’s how I feel when I go through these explanations for the planned K-12 reforms hiding conveniently behind the Common Core banner. I believe I need to give everyone a heads up on connections like GEFF from the last post and all the various entities and initiatives that matter that are clearly tied to that Advisory Board.

In the comments to the last post I put up my original Bela Banathy posts from 2012. Those are pertinent to where we are going today that came out of the GEFF and ISSS connections. Before we move on I want to tie a crucial point from my book Credentialed to Destroy and these discussions and the current, actual classroom implementation. Remember the discussion of Transformational Outcomes Based Education and its links to Competency laid out in Chapter 4? Well, Bela Banathy worked under William Spady, the named Tranzi OBE co-creator, at the Far West Ed Lab in the 80s. They knew each other and Spady would have been quite familiar with what I have described in those two posts and what I am going to lay out today. Tranzi OBE in fact dovetails nicely with what are now being called by Rand and the White House as Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies.

In other words, the ultimate social engineering Manipulation of the Brain and its synapses at a neurological level got to go on, despite bloodshed, with no one being the wiser. If someone noticed the fundamental shift it got attributed to Tranzi OBE without the broader agenda being understood. When the Columbine Tragedy occurred, Tranzi OBE and Spady were smeared and implicated. Spady moved out of the country to do similar work in South Africa and Australia and Tranzi OBE got renamed and broken into interconnected parts. The broader agenda went on. Nobody implicated Bela Banathy or the Laszlos or the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

This is a quote from a 2003 paper Kathia Castro Laszlo (very involved at the GEFF Menlo Park conference) published called “Systems Science: Creating Transdisciplinary Knowledge for Conscious Evolution.” She talks frequently and forthrightly about the ‘human science’ that K-12 has quietly become in order to nonconsensually transform “social realities.” She excitedly points out that “humans do not need to be the victims of change–change can happen through us not to us” (her emphasis) and that we can “influence the direction of change through our intentions and actions.” Yes, using the guided perceptions created by the Cross-Cutting Concepts, Core Disciplinary Ideas, Enduring Understandings, and Understandings of Consequence, all coupled to cultivated responses grounded in emotions and deliberately created virtual reality images. Some freedom of choice, huh? A false perception of free choice when everything has actually been carefully manipulated, circumscribed, and controlled via the K-12 classroom.

Then, Kathia quotes Mihaly Csiksentmihalyi to say:

“for the first time in human history we can experience joy ‘while working for the most ambitious goal available to the human imagination: To blend our individual voice in the cosmic harmony, to join our unique consciousness with the emerging consciousness of the universe, to fold our momentary center of psychic energy into the current that tends toward complexity and order.’ Indeed, science and spirituality are coming together in the ultimate exploration of the meaning and purpose of human existence: Conscious evolution–the evolutionary phase in which a developing being becomes conscious of itself, aware of the processes of which it is a participant, and begins voluntarily to co-create with evolution.”

Now, I wish we could just consider such intentions to be poppycock, but the definition of Excellence in education as in Schools of Excellence and a civil rights obligation for Excellence and Equity tracks back to Csik’s definition of Excellence as combining what is desired, felt, and thought into action and behavior. Those two posts about Banathy all involve work he did with Csik that is linked to Columbine and Tranzi OBE, but stayed below the radar. We have Aspen Summits where Csik gets invited within the last 5 years and so do people from High Tech High. The 2004 ASCD System Thinking/ Chaos Theory/ ASC newsletter Patterns laid out a comparable quote from Csik about the “need for a new worldview” grounded “not in the traditionally taught evolutionary scenario dominated by competition and selfishness, but an understanding closer to the Darwinian one that sees cooperation and transcendence of the self as the most exciting parts of the story.”

Georgia has renamed what was its Common Core standards as the Standards for Excellence, probably without a politician in this state knowing where Excellence is actually going. The language about becoming conscious of itself is precisely what ‘reflection’ pushed by IB programs means. It is what Metacognition pushed by the OECD and a part of David Conley’s work on what the amorphous mandate “College Ready” actually includes. My point is that what may seem out there in terms of goals is getting written into statutes like the ESEA rewrites that passed Congress this summer or Charters that no one bothers to read. It is incorporated into mandated assessments that are being misleadingly called ‘tests’ to obscure the shift of K-12 education from the assimilation of knowledge into a human science to invisibly force transformational change.

Digging into Alexander and Kathia Laszlo’s work after what I had read that the well-connected GEFF planned to do turned up that about 1980 Bela Banathy began what he called Conversations on the Comprehensive Design of Social Systems. They took place regularly in Austria at a place called Fuschl and from 1988 on, in Pacific Grove, California, and those were called the Asilomar Conversations. At first they were centered on deliberately remaking the educational systems around the world, but gradually the aim became to redesign and transform social systems generally.

I have been digging through those records and all the confessions contained there, including that CASBS was tied to the infamous Tavistock Institute in London as is systems science generally. The 2012 ‘Conversation’, now moved to St Magdalena/Linz and held under the auspices of the now Gates Foundation-funded IFSR, laid out all the Tavistock connections and the desire to use Participative Design Workshops to push the education and social systems redesign agenda.

Now wonder people keep writing about going to a public meeting for discussion and feeling like they have been Delphied. In 2012 a Merrilyn Emery said in a keynote talk we were not invited to at the European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems research that: “There is one other property of human beings and that property created the need for a genuinely open systems science: it is the demonstrable fact of consciousness defined as ‘awareness of awareness.'” So we never get invited to any of these meetings but their confessions, insights, and intentions do get incorporated quietly into the required assessments no one wants students to be able to opt out of, the adaptive software in their digital learning mandates, or the real definition of College Ready.

A paper called “Opportunity Lost: Teacher’s Union Reform-Past, Present & Future” reported that the concept of “Education by Charter” was first presented in 1974 to the same CASBS affiliate-the Society for General Systems Research–that would rename itself as ISSS in 1988. That would be the Tavistock connected entity. I have a copy of the Ray Budde charter paper that was finally published by an ed lab in that busy year of 1988. It’s all about the use of the Charter to lock in a vision of education that few would consent to knowingly and willingly. I was able to locate confirmation  http://www.gbv.de/dms/tib-ub-hannover/509668720.pdf that Budde remained tied to GSRT from this 1982 Annual Meeting in DC. Budde spoke on “Applying New Findings from the Neurosciences to Education” and Bela Banathy on “Perspectives on Education in Systems Methodology.” Both were listed in the part of the program on “The Study of Social Systems.”

Today’s title came from this most alarming K-12 vision http://smartblogs.com/education/2015/09/03/know-that-you-have-it-keys-to-self-driven-self-loving-self-supporting-education/ . I could recognize the ties between its vision and what I recognized as being part of what is being quietly mandated for all classrooms, including Whole Child Initiatives, Positive School Climate mandates, unappreciated definitions of mental health and well-being, and Mindfulness practices. I will come back to this in the next post as once again the extent of the interconnections among the true vision being mandated are hard to cover in a blog.

Getting back to what appears to be an impossible vision being mandated, please click through to the Game Desk website and notice who is funding this Heart-Core vision. When AT&T, the Gates Foundation, and the National Science Foundation are among the listed funders, you do not have to be the author of one well-documented book on education and be in the process of writing another, to conclude this is coming to a classroom near you soon.

This is a vision that already assumes we are “a collective” and “a society that grossly overvalues the mind over the heart.” It fits right in to where Csik, Bela Banathy, and the Laszlos, just for starters, have all said repeatedly they intend to use K-12 education to take us to.

In order to obstruct the use of K-12 education as a nonconsensual Human Science, we have to wake up to the reality of that very deliberate shift going on all around us.

With the United Nations convening on the Post-2015 plans for us building on all this later this month, there is no time to wait.


Knitting Binding Fidelities of Consciousness Individually and Globally Because the Test of a Knife is If It Cuts

We already knew the essence of what makes us individuals was being targeted each time the social science profs described us a a ‘system’. Now it appears the social scientists and educators are comparing us to cutlery. Assessing whether we will perform and behave reliably and as expected. That really is a translated quote from Dilthey as to what the Human Studies, or as he also called them–‘the moral sciences,’ were interested in monitoring and measuring. “Dilthey was anxious that his methods should be put to practical use. [Actual quote translated from German] ‘The usefulness of methods emerges from their use, just as the test of the knife is if it cuts.'” Since this is 19th Century Germany and the aspirations for the future, we now know that ultimately the knife could cut and the Germans would march thoughtlessly and emotionally to war.

Now remember all the data being gathered on students, the formative assessments, the open-ended questions on mandated tests, and the soon to be federal requirement to use digital technology to push ‘personalized learning’ and read this quote.

“So, how people think and feel, how they perceive the world and what they strive for, is due to a mental structure which has resulted from the moulding influence of physical, social, and cultural factors upon the innate configuration of the mind.”

Learning standards like the Common Core in the US and a Competency orientation generally seek to grasp the essence of the innate configuration of each student’s mind. Then activities, projects, or group problems can be chosen in a personalized, individualized fashion to manipulate that mind, at a physiological level, to interpret the world as desired. To act in it and on it, reliably. I will let that unfortunate social engineering reality sink in while I tell you where the first part of the title came from. In 1976 Harvard sociology prof Daniel Bell wrote a blueprint for aligning the social, cultural, political, and economic systems in the US away from the focus on individuals. Called The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism, it sought to shift the US to what he italicized as state-directed economies and state-managed societies.

To accomplish that shift without a full-scale uproar over coercion and the loss of liberty required a ‘public philosophy.’ I believe that K-12 education, first via what used to be called Tranzi OBE and now going by Competency, Excellence, and a Whole Child emphasis was picked to be the means for shifting the prevailing consciousness of each student away from “an individualist ethos which at best defends the idea of personal liberty, and at worst evades the necessary social responsibilities and social sacrifices which a communal society demands. In sum, we have had no normative commitment to a public household or a public philosophy that would mediate private conflicts.”

Now remember that imperative every time you hear Collaboration as a necessary 21st Century Skill or ponder why the targeting of new values seems to pop into every assignment.  Bell bemoaned that “without a public philosophy, explicitly stated, we lack the fundamental condition whereby a modern polity can live by consensus (and without it there is only continuing conflict) and justice.” By the time Bell wrote the Afterword for the 20th Anniversary Edition of the book, he added another way of describing the needed public philosophy: “the binding fidelities of consciousness, rooted in history and tradition, kinship and race, religion and nationality, that shape the emotional consanguinity, literal or fictive, among individuals and make them one.”

In 2015 we seem to be calling such a still desired mandate Deeper Learning and required Communities of Learners in each classroom and the entire school. Anyone hoping that the plans for economies and societies have gone stale has not read the nature of the proposed  regs under WIOA just issued by the federal government. Between what is required in each state’s plans, sought in each plan, and who must benefit from the various programs, the long-sought vision is unquestionably here. What I am also saying is that the true purpose of the ESEA Rewrite, now in Congressional Conference, is to force schools to inculcate the needed public philosophy in each student, to be instilled via ‘meaningful’ assessments and required state academic goals (misleadingly labeled ‘content standards’ to deceive) grounded in behavior.

Remember my receiver analogy from the last post? Dilthey recognized that the Human Sciences needed to assess each student because “if we wish to know the meaning of behavior we must know the meanings of the behavers.” How’s that for putting student-centered learning into its true context? Dilthey recognized that out of man’s psychological reactions and attitudes to the world (now accessible on each student via all that DATA flowing into state longitudinal data systems) “grew world-views. World-views were the result of the giving of content to the forms of the mind by the historical stream. [now the Learning Registry or SAS, Pearson, Amplify, AIR, etc] They were the primary patterns in which the sensory impressions of the external world were organized. They, therefore, basically determined the thoughts, values, and action of the individual.”

Anyone beginning to get nervous about what personalized, brain-based learning actually means?  And world-views need not be true or factually grounded. Dilthey again: “Worldviews, then, were not universally valid views of the world, but rather systems of values which were widely shared.” Wrong, but commonly believed is simply not going to end well for any of us not currently in public office at the local, state, or federal levels or working for one of the agencies pushing this. Speaking of data, Bell in his 1996 Afterword also reminded us that the essence of the Post-Industrial Society is that “information, not production, became the control system of the economy.” So all the hype about manufacturing is more to aid the transition to state-directed economies and state-managed societies than anything grounded in fact.

The employers concerned with inadequate skills are actually seeing the real effects from the pushes in the 80s and 90s to make instilling a public philosophy the primary purpose of K-12 education. Back in the original 1976 body of the book, Bell explained that the public philosophy was to be “the single overriding principle…to which all persona, as members of the community, must subscribe.” In fact, Bell sought “to find a social cement for the society” in 1976, interestingly enough about the same time as state or national think tanks hyping liberty, freedom, and free enterprise began popping up.

Wouldn’t it be ironic if part of the actual purpose in some funders’ minds was to deceitfully create a means to quietly guide, and shut up, anyone noticing a shift in values and political programs? In the name of School Choice all schools, public, private, or online, could be forced to be institutions that would force the “restatement of what is legitimate (the grounded values) in a society.” That reality sure fits the facts I personally have encountered and what teachers in private schools and charters now tell me. Bell was aware and annoyed at how much the West, and the US especially, reveres the individual. His goals were:

“Where bourgeois society separated the economy from the polity, the public household [and now WIOA] joins the two, not for the fusion of powers, but the necessary coordination of effects. The public household requires a new socio-economic bill of rights [WIOA again!] which redefines for our times the social needs that the polity must try to satisfy. It establishes the public budget (How much do we want to spend, and for whom?) as the mechanism whereby the society seeks to implement ‘the good condition of human beings.'”

We can see why politicians, university profs, and district administrators are being less than forthcoming about what is really going on. All the known facts, statutory language, regulations, and anything else designed to control the classroom implementation and the social and economic consequences dovetails with all these declarations. Our students are living in a world where education is to become a means of human study. The declared intentions are to use the behavioral sciences and data from students to instill the requisite values, behaviors, and beliefs to be the needed social cement. Grounded neurally as the prevailing consciousness among a majority of future voters.

In a February 14, 2015 post I covered the just released America Next Education Reform report and its declared ties to the Heritage Foundation in particular. I just did not equate an acceptance of a welfare state as being a conservative position. Bell also called for what was laid out in that 2015 report except he attributed the same idea to economist Alice Rivlin, with an emphasis “not on public provision, but on public financing of care.” In fact, Bell reiterated his preference by saying that “what some liberals and some New Leftists have rediscovered are the virtues of decentralization and competition.” Maybe, after two failed attempts at fundamental transformation in the US, we can see why everyone with aims to steer public policy might be shouting “Local Control” in the kind of Bipartisan manner we saw with WIOA and now with the ESEA Rewrite.

I know it is quite mean of me to read what no one ever assigned to me and grasp what no one ever intended to tell me. That’s just how language intended to have legal effect works sometimes. That’s why this vision needs Axemaker Minds and to a large degree print itself to go away. Much better to embed the students in a controlled virtual reality that can be made to function in whatever way best produces the desired Public Philosophy.

I have a Public Philosophy too. It is to save as many students as possible and this great nation and other countries from a toxic vision that has already caused too much unappreciated harm.

We are now where Bell hoped to get to back in 1976 and then 1996. We had best all grasp the implications in time. Our Governors, Senators, mayors, and legislators do not intend to tell us.

It is what it is and we must deal with this head-on.


Legally Imposing Mental Strait Jackets Touted as Student Success or Achievement While Paralyzing Mass Consciousness

This post was a bit delayed after the House narrowly passed its ESEA Rewrite last Thursday–called the Student Success Act–when so many of the Republican Reps were sending out false affirmations of what they had done and who they had protected. I wondered where so much inaccurate info could come. I was told repeatedly that these Pols refused to listen or even look at the statutory language that contradicted their preferred talking points. In other words, they want the binding effect against their constituents and our childrens’ minds of federal legislation while ultimately keeping deniability that “they didn’t know.” There goes any entitlement to the Honorific of “Honorable” when referring to any of these deceitful Pols who choose to remain ignorant while the US gets shoved nonconsensually into long-designed collectivism, becoming a partner in all the UN’s current mischief against the masses.

Long-planned, huh, how long? As my book Credentialed to Destroy details, the 1960s effort ignited by the original ESEA and the 90s version did not go as planned. Think of the deceit surrounding this ESEA Rewrite as simply in line with the Oligarchs and their political and corporate cronies refusing to wait any longer for mass submission. Let’s go back then to 1963 and Ervin Laszlo’s Blueprint for transitioning the West to his Essential Society where the “full satisfaction of individual demands is the main characteristic.” No mention at that time of an Obamaphone or Broadband for All, but we are all getting used to the current entitled demands. Laszlo wrote this crucial obligation that fits with his Government by Idea:

“the ultimate task of a government is to close the gap between the actual situation in the nation and this [Essential Society] Ideal.

The scheme must be built on the individual [student-centered; personalized learning]; it is to provide for his freedom and his fulfillment. Now the individual needs (i) to live, and (ii) to live satisfactorily. The first need makes a demand on the private economy to supply goods and skills for subsistence, the second on culture to provide comprehension and a solution to the problemmatic aspects of experience.”

When I keep hyping why the language in these rewrites about Competency and Higher Order Understanding and Skills is so crucial and indicates such a transformation of the historic purpose of schools that is why.  I want us to remember all the deceit from the Pols surrounding this Rewrite when I give you the name of the book these next quotes are coming from: Individualism Collectivism and Political Power. Political Power, Laszlo recognized back in 1963, before the original ESEA, could advance collectivism in those countries that has historically reverenced and protected the Individual if K-12 education could be altered for the purpose of “preventing individuals from evaluating and comprehending societal and general reality in unbiased, objective terms.” Boy, does that add further spin to all the revelations in my book.

Aspirational Collectivists, be they UN officials, Congress members, school supers, or profs, need citizens that “view reality from the subjective context of need,” even when they are dealing with objective matters. That filter needs to become the prevailing mode of comprehension of the masses and it needs to be practiced repeatedly from preschool on so it becomes a Habit of Mind and mental strait jacket. Laszlo gives the needed frame of mind or Worldview that once again fits right in to that Young Adult Success Framework linked two posts ago. It also fits with what Harvard called ‘performances of understanding’ and what is more commonly called now Formative Assessment. In other words, this is where Opt Out is really going:

” In a Communist climate, on the other hand, all things and all relations are evaluated subjectively, following the Marxian formulation of practice as the proof of knowledge, and the good of man as the criterion for the desirability of political activity. It follows then that knowledge in a Communist society represents the comprehension of the environment in the context of its effect upon man, more precisely upon the collectivity.”

And we wonder why we keep being told school must now be experiential and the experiences must be relevant and successful students are those who are “meaning makers.” Now I am switching to what it is clear both versions of the ESEA Rewrite intend to force as a matter of law. It’s why it is so atrocious for Pols to be touting this all as a return of power to the states and local schools when the feds are actually requiring by law that every other governmental entity and charters track and manipulate what Norbert Weiner called, in italics, a change in taping. That’s what he wrote that Cybernetics is all about. When that change in taping is educational and involves a student at a neurological level, as in “There is no Maginot Line of the brain,” that is called Learning.

It could be physiologically put into place and would work in human beings in a manner akin to an anti-aircraft gun’s taping of the internal calibrating mechanism: “which alters not so much the numerical data, as the process by which they are interpreted.” The feds are saying that the student’s internal taping is what must be focused on. It is disingenuous to then say that what the states and schools do is up to them. Not in the essence of what truly matters to our children and our future it is not. This Weiner explanation of cybernetic feedback, I am stating here, fits with what the House is calling Student Success and the Senate calls Every Child Achieves. Maybe this is a good time to remind also Laszlo’s point that most minds are inferior and only capable of a subjective mode of comprehension of experiences. If the same standards are required for all and the achievement gaps must be closed and Universal Design for Learning is enshrined in the legislation, this is what school becomes by default.

“feedback is a method of controlling a system by reinserting into it the results of its past performance…If the information which proceeds backward from the performance is able to change the general method and pattern of performance, we have a success which we may well be called learning.”

That’s also why it matters so much that the Senate version prescribed that the states must allow ‘performances’ to be the means of showing that its ‘content standards’ were met. Before I give the next quote from Weiner, who actually was troubled by the possibilities for governmental control of the masses all this entailed once computers truly came into their own, [Remember ECAA’ s digital mandate] let’s look at a quote from Weiner on what happens when the human mind’s ‘taping’ is being targeted for political or other purposes (italics in original):

“I have spoken of machines, but not only machines having brains of brass and thews of iron. When human atoms are knit into an organization in which they are used, not in their full right as responsible human beings, but as cogs and levers and rods [Career Pathways!], it matters little that the raw material is flesh and blood. What is used as an element in a machine, is in fact an element in the machine.”

A machine then is the person, manipulated by political power via education, but the machine extends to the workplace, society, the economy and all those other areas governments are now proclaiming as their turf. And one savvy reviewer in 1948 when Cybernetics was originally published saw the potential for governmental mischief and manipulation of human processes for political gain from the beginning. A Dominican friar, Pere Dubarle, wrote in Le Monde that these theories would tempt Pols to set up what he called machines a gouverner . I am asserting in this post that this is precisely what is occurring and why we have so much deceit surrounding this Rewrite.

“the human processes which constitute the object of government may be assimilated into [probability] games…Even though these games have an incomplete set of rules, there are other games with a very large number of players, where the data are extremely complex. The machines a gouverner will define the State as the best-informed player at each particular level [city, state, nation, global], and the State is the only supreme co-ordinator of all partial decisions. These are the enormous privileges; if they are acquired scientifically, they will permit the State under all circumstances to beat every player of a human game other than itself by offering this dilemma: either immediate ruin, or planned co-operation.”

A sobering quote, but DuBarle felt better that the computers then available lacked the capacity to determine and control the “system of psychological reactions of the players in the face of the results obtained at each instant.” That is no longer the case and the Common Core and all the other State learning standards for students the Rewrite will require are to produce exactly the mounds of data adaptive learning has always needed to change the taping at the level of the mind.

Now, given what we know (see Chapter 7 of my book especially) about the actual implementation in the classroom, we clearly are looking at education being used as a tool by Political Power at all levels for “mechanical manipulation of human situations” as DuBarle worried about. It allows Pols now and their administrative co-participants to “plan a method of paralyzing the consciousness of the masses.” Crucial since both Weiner and Laszlo admitted that is necessary for collectivism to be possible.

DuBarle said this cybernetic vision would create “a world worse than hell for every clear mind.” The Pols and their cronies thus intend, or are choosing to remain ignorant of, the use of K-12 education, enabled and mandated by federal legislation, to make sure there are no longer enough clear minds to alter the needed, prevailing subjective comprehension in enough of the masses of voters.

They may prevail, but this Clear Mind will keep telling the story of what is really transpiring in our schools and universities.

And why.


Waging the Essential Battle at the Level of Thought and Using the Law to Compel Compliance

The title comes from a quote used in a 1963 book where Ervin Laszlo quoted J M Bochenski in the context of who would prevail in the Cold War and where the actual battlefields lay. Bochenski had written: “If the free world has any chance to win the spiritual struggle at the level of thought, it needs genuine philosophy.” By ‘philosophy’, Laszlo meant “a scheme of ideas” through which a student or an adult can frame what they perceive or ignore in their day to day life, and then use the supplied ideas to “unflinchingly explore the interpretation of experience in terms of that scheme.”

It turns out the “essential battle is waged at the level of thought” in the fundamental struggle between Individualism and Collectivism. That was the little discussed battle field where way too many professors were apparently looking for a synthesis between Individualism and Communism and creating theories and using pedagogy and never telling the rest of us what was up. It matters now though because I can go back into the books Laszlo published offshore in the Netherlands in the early 60s and read almost verbatim what is being enshrined as a federal mandate in the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 as personalized learning. I can see it in the language used in that Young Adult Success Framework linked in the last post and it goes beyond troubling language like page 13 where:

“The conception of success we use in this report has both an individual and a societal element. It is not simply about meeting one’s own goals; success is also about contributing to the larger good, having a meaningful place within a community, and working toward a positive change in the world.”

Laszlo wanted to come up with a means of “developing a scheme permitting the synthesis of concrete individuality with relational existence” because that would bridge the gap where the “Communist concept of man subordinates the idea of individual being (a ‘rigid, metaphysical view’) to that of social existence (‘socialized man’). As a result their social organization subjects the rights and freedom of individuals to the interest of the social group.” That gap compares to the historic Western emphasis on the individual. Laszlo wanted to bridge that gap by hyping the relational experience of the Individual just like that Young Adult Success Framework does with how it describes the build-up of each child’s sense of Identity and meaning-making. It is as if Laszlo were an adviser on that Framework.

Or maybe this take down of the Individual and the Axemaker Mind and emphasis on subjective experience and “the ways young people are making meaning”  and “effective developmental experience” are straight out of the Blueprint of what Laszlo said would be needed to build a “Society that could be governed by idea…form an idea at the base,  of what was essential in society, and then build a political scheme for the proper adjustment of the ‘superstructure,’ i.e. of social organization (as Communist theory claims to do).” If that sounds like an “I have a better way to get to the same goal of Marx’s Human Development Society where everyone’s needs would be met” that is precisely how Laszlo’s vision for what he called the Essential Society readsIt also fits with where the Young Adult Success Framework, I believe, mirrors the language of what ECAA will mandate as well. “…the framework is about building a society where all children grow up to reach their full potential, regardless of which side of the economic divide they were born.”

I want to quote Laszlo’s Chapter called ‘Government by Idea’ because this entire vision explains why it is so difficult to get politicians of either party, from the Senate and House to state legislatures and local city councils to give up the power bestowed by this vision. It has never created mass prosperity, but it has certainly created lots of prosperous politicians and benefitted their allies and cronies. Here we go:

“the organ of rational guidance for the individual is the mind; for a nation it is its government. A government can guide a nation toward its essential form [and tout it as a ‘fundamental transformation’?] by organizing its institutions in such a way that all individuals are granted equal freedom in the fulfillment of their essential needs. The government must have a clear idea of the nation’s integral economy and then build a political axiology on it, to serve as a basis for its policies.”

That is PRECISELY what is occurring now at all levels of government and precisely why developmentally-oriented learning standards like the Common Core grounded in experience and behavior and the Whole Child have always been viewed as an essential component to the broader transformation. I explained that in my book Credentialed to Destroy but Laszlo’s insights are a nice supplement because they go so fundamentally to where ECAA is taking us by design. If not Lamar Alexander or Patty Murray, then some of their staffers have created a piece of legislation that fulfills the desire for “ideological power-politics [that] may [force] the transformation of a people’s ontological [factual; how they perceive reality] concept of society.”

Laszlo openly admitted “its acceptance [this new kind of society] remains pending upon the shift of emphasis in the individual’s mind concerning the primacy of the ontological concepts of individual being and social existence. (It is one of the aims of this work to inquire into the possibilities of producing such a shift by means of a totalitarian ideological campaign.” A Totalitarian Ideological Campaign confession of intent? Then enshrined into a legal obligation of all schools in all states in the US via federal law? Is Laszlo in DC today doing a victory dance while the Senate considers ECAA? Thought at the level of the individual mind, the appropriate conception of society, and the duties of others toward meeting your needs have to be altered in “every society’s representative majority” so that means schools, the media, politicians, and a majority of the US Supreme Court are needed to jettison the primacy of the Individual. Right now it feels like we are in the same place as this 1963 acknowledgment:

“whereever Soviet power penetrates, however, the second form of interaction is superimposed on the first: The Communist ideology’s ontological structure comes to act on the political thought of the people, and together with the full-scale reconstruction of the social order, helps to emphasize the primacy of social existence over individual being concurrently with the collectivist structure of the ideology.”

Not to be mean but that vision of interaction of the individual as a relational product of social existence is what ed schools teach and award doctorates for parroting. Pedagogy now in these theories fits Laszlo’s definition of the Totalitarian Use of Social Theories where “Upon application the theory will come to bear upon the development of actual conditions in a society [and the minds and personalities of real students]. An applied theory this influences the political philosophy of a nation, and it may even become its ideology.”

Laszlo called for his Essential Society to be achieved by systematic presentations of Ideals and italicized for emphasis just like that. He knew that “ideological use of social theories is almost unanimously rejected in the West.” His answer though still is in use in the ECAA emphasis requiring annual testing by states of Higher Order Thinking and Understanding and in the Harvard Project Zero Teaching for Understanding Framework, which I happen to have a copy of. All of these use the terms ‘understanding’ and comprehension not in the Axemaker mind sense of Objective Knowledge and abstract concepts existing apart from me as a perceiver of experiences. No, Laszlo recognized that political transformation towards Collectivism and away from Individualism  needed an entirely different mode of comprehension.

A mode that ECAA is about to mandate for all students as a matter of federal law to be monitored and manipulated for each student at the level of their mind and personality.  Anita Hoge recently wrote an Open Letter outraged about all the references in ECAA to social and emotional learning and non-cognitive factors and rightly so. https://docs.google.com/document/d/16h1GbMGqDLeqS8QnBnraPqeKuFzMxkqaTygrUU_Izr0/edit What I would add to her letter comes from all the cybernetics research I have done for my second book as well as my Laszlo library. The desired and to be mandated mode of spontaneous, visual, relational comprehension HAS to be grounded in emotion or as Laszlo admitted “we then assign a concept to the cloud which is primarily emotional in nature but which serves as efficiently as the rationally derived concept in transforming the perceptual into conceptual, and thereby making it comprehensible.”

That may be but one mode of comprehension is easy to manipulate, harder to get caught abusing, and is far more likely to be conducive to a systematic presentation of new Ideas to transform a society or economy around. Say like the ideas of Equity, Debt Bondage, Institutional Racism, Climate Change, Social Justice, Democracy, and all those other Enduring Understandings or Core Disciplinary Ideas or Cross-Cutting Themes or other conceptual ‘lenses’ we keep encountering in the actual Common Core classroom implementation. The Young Adult Success Framework called for their development as the Mindset and Worldview that would define Identity, precisely in the manner Laszlo called for as needed for his Essential Society.

I want to remind everyone of what this spontaneous comprehension is designed to do. relevant to Gaming and the Maker Movement and Project-Based Learning, this visual, aesthetic comprehension “does not result in a rational idea, rather it produces a concept with a primarily emotive content.” What did that mean for Laszlo’s vision for transformation away from Reason and Individualism? “The assigned concept has primarily an emotive content; it may be felt as joy, fear, an undescribable elation, a premonition of unknown things, and so on. The fact is that we have an (emotively charged) concept without having employed a reasoning process. This, in short, we hold to be the essence of the spontaneous mode of comprehension.”

I have emotive content too. Horror at how close we are in the US to enshrining this into federal law.



Fodder for Political Exploitation: When ECAA Removes All Barriers and Adds Required Intrusions

Miss me? ECAA (Every Child Achieves Act of 2015) is the acronym for the latest update to federal K-12 legislation and it is scheduled to come to the Senate floor for debate any day now. Yesterday, as I was getting ready to start trumpeting the truth of the tsunami coming at us again, I read a quote from Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, the Republican sponsor of last summer’s WIOA legislation that I am so horrified by,  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/priority-economic-citizenship-for-some-officially-sanctioned-status-as-prey-for-most-of-us/ . Politico quoted him as hoping for votes from ‘conservatives’ on ECAA because of the provisions allowing parents to Opt Out of testing requirements and also not requiring states to use the Common Core. Having read all 792 pages of that leviathan piece of legislation, a suggestion implying that those voting on it need only look at one or two provisions seemed to me like an excuse to ignore the reality of what the legislation shifts.

Now I have mentioned in previous posts that the practices mandated and theories used track back to Soviet psych research and their 1930s views of the type of citizens they wanted education to create. That’s troubling, but lets leave the S word and its close cousin the M word (as in Uncle Karl) out of today’s concerns. Isakson’s points reminded me that there was language in ECAA that appears to override that Opt Out language since the required ECAA annual assessments are to be “administered to all public elementary school and secondary school students in the state.” I am pretty sure that will be the provision waved in parents faces after the legislation is adopted. Plus the school district can fight parents with litigation expenses funded by the taxpayers. No warm and fuzzy comfort from that page 617 prohibition against federal mandates, direction, and control.

Again what good is that or referencing the Common Core when only certain types of ‘performance standards’ as in desired actions or conduct to be demonstrated by students can meet the criteria already mandated by ECAA under that already noted squirrelly definition of “Challenging State Academic Standards” language.  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/congressionally-mandating-dialectical-thinking-and-then-forcing-states-to-annually-measure-and-manipulate-it/ Now to elaborate on the true essence of what is being targeted by ECAA that ought to be Out of Bounds in a free society I am going to quote from a 2014 UN/ILO report book called Transforming Economies–Making Industrial Policy Work for Growth, Jobs and Development . That report talks about the US so we get to pay attention to what is sought since as the song goes “This is My Country, Land that I Love…”

The UN excitedly said that “Industrial Policies shape opportunities for economy-wide learning” not to mention lots of exploitation opportunities for Senators, legislators, mayors, and local council members. And what do future citizens need to learn for this future of the kind of Industrial Policy that WIOA just happens to have foisted on all 50 states? Probably making the UN Oh So Happy and definitely constituting a shift for the US to more of a CME–Coordinated Market Economy like the cited Japan and Germany? Well, we need generic skills, but more importantly what must be controlled are the Concepts that “allow individuals to categorize and structure information and data, to analyze and interpret empirically observed phenomena, to gain understanding and meaning and make choices.”

That target never varies and looking to make sure those desired Concepts are taking hold and are likely to prompt and guide future actions is PRECISELY what the ECAA required annual HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) assessments that cannot be opted out of are looking for. Now we have come across other names for this focus on Concepts before and I have tagged some of them to this post. Showing just how crucial getting into and manipulating how each student’s mind works and how they are likely to behave in the future is to the global vision of K-12 education ‘reform’ that ECAA is a component of, the Next Generation Science Standards last month, in a draft of its “Primary Evaluation of Essential Criteria for Alignment” in the classroom assessments, created three new acronyms for us.

SEPs–Science and Engineering Practices to make sure the concepts are tied to ongoing actual student activities and behaviors and are not just the subject of a dreaded test of knowledge, or, Horrors!, Rote Learning. We also have DCIs, which can be used in any area and stand for Disciplinary Core Ideas. Then we also have our last new acronym–CCCs or Cross-Cutting Concepts to provoke some genuine interdisciplinary insights and perceptions that apply across all subject areas. Cool, huh? Just think of what Joe Stalin or Fidel Castro could have done with an education system that pushes everyone to have the same perceptual filters embedded unconsciously within the mind and integrated into practiced behaviors until they are reflexes.

Cannot linger because something else came out this past week–the Remake Learning Playbook that is expanding beyond Pittsburgh and working with the White House and Congressional initiative–Digital Promise and getting funding from the MacArthur Foundation. There is so much of the vision of where we are actually going in that Playbook, but relevant to today’s post in particular, was a mention of adhering to the Economic and Sector strategies created by a Harvard Business School prof by the name of Michael Porter. That got my attention since WIOA is full of Sector Strategies and the National Governors Association has cited it as a reason for needing the Common Core to reform the nature of American high school. (August 4 & 10, 2014 posts).

So that name Michael Porter rang a bell from some connections at Harvard from witnesses Lamar Alexander called to testify at the original hearings on the reauthorization. Ignoring his connection to the Monitor Consulting Group bankruptcy since that should have no bearing on the validity of public policy recommendations, I discover http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Publication%20Files/Clusters_and_Economic_Policy_White_Paper_8e844243-aa23-449d-a7c1-5ef76c74236f.pdf that Clusters are to be the new form of approved American Industrial Policy. As a bonus it allows the federal government and its agencies to coordinate with states and localities, which sounds a great deal like progressive polyphonic federalism (Jan 28, 2015 post) to me. Also goes well again with WIOA and those soon to be filed required state plans. Truly, my bliss at the public sector exploitation potentials knows no bounds.

See why they need K-12 policy to line up with these planned manipulations? Now just imagine the potential for all the plans for metro areas to be the economic drivers and to force Equity in Outcomes from having Professor Porter be the founder of ICIC-the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. ICIC, by the way, works with the same Brookings that is in charge of the Rockefeller-funded Metropolitanism initiative and the UNESCO/OECD Learning Metrics Task Force. If I had a white board and we were talking in person all these connections would seem to be a game of Whack-a-Mole, but apparently we are the ones about to get whacked.

Now, not to pat myself on the back or anything, but after a book and 3 years of this blog, I really know this area so reading a 1960 book yesterday by a Harvard philosophy prof, Israel Scheffler, brought there in 1952 by the Rockefeller Foundation, I recognized that he, too, was describing the kind of behavior guided by conceptual understanding that has given us the above three new acronyms. Well, a few searches later of people who ought to be involved if my suspicions were correct pulled up a “Teaching for Understanding” initiative from Harvard in the early 90s that was originally funded by the Spencer Foundation, but later by MacArthur.  http://www.exploratorium.edu/ifi/resources/workshops/teachingforunderstanding.html That would be the same MacArthur Foundation now funding the national expansion via the Remake Learning Playbook mentioned above.

That paper explains all about ‘understanding performances’ and how true understanding needs to be demonstrated by behavior and action. Just like what we now know is required under ECAA’s definition of HOTS and what will qualify as the requisite Challenging State Academic Standards. Fascinating, huh? Remember all the references in ECAA to ‘needs’ and ‘personalized learning’? Well, the Playbook talks about that as well and recommends Project-Based Learning and the Maker Movement. How active! Maybe get to practice with all three new acronyms some more and join the “global conversation about learning innovation” while staying “responsive to the real needs and priorities of local communities.” Global and local-what a nice slogan. Probably why the various UN entities keep hyping it.

I will get back to that Playbook in the next post since this one is devoted to all the initiatives ECAA pulls in that we were not supposed to know about. Some of us already know that the White House and various companies have really been hyping the Maker Movement and maker Faires. It’s not just that Playbook. Hint: it also dovetails nicely with Sector Strategy plans for us. When I was updating that Teaching for Understanding work by Harvard’s Project Zero, it pulled up a January 2015 White Paper from them called “Maker-Centered Learning and the Development of Self: Preliminary Findings of the Agency By Design Project” that builds on this desire to redesign our students from the inside-out and then let them practice until the shifts take hold at a neurological level.

I’m afraid that is where the title came from. No boundaries anymore to what the White House, Congress, ed researchers, tax-free ‘philanthropies’ and others apparently plan to do to our students unless we are supposed to be cheered that no one is trying to get authority for sexual exploitation. They want to interfere with, redesign, and then monitor annually each student with mounds of data at the very level of the Self-their Identity.

Mercy me. I think Mao Tse-Tung himself would have lusted after such authority over China’s citizens. Especially if hardly anyone would know of the level of interference and manipulation.

Why, Congress, why?