Using Education To Create the Behavior Government Officials Want in Future Citizens

Until we begin to better appreciate the Newspeak straight out of George Orwell futurist satire, we will remain subject to having words like Excellence and Quality Learning and Growth and School Improvement masking terrible things. Tragic behavioral and psychological practices being pushed in schools and classrooms right now despite a tragic history. I wrote this post back in early August recognizing where the announced facts were leading, and horrified that ambitious Principals and Supers and naive politicians and greedy professional development vendors are forcing this all again on an unsuspecting American public. The saddest post I ever wrote. Maybe until this one.

Back in November 1992 in the last go-around of national radical ed reform to try to create Transformational political, social, and economic change via education, an essay “How Systems Thinking Applies to Education” described what makes a systems approach to ed reform so different than previous piecemeal attempts at reform.  It announced that the World had moved to a new evolutionary paradigm Stage 4 while schools erroneously acting as “pattern maintenance institutions” were stuck at Stage 3. That schools needed a new paradigm. The essay then goes on to describe what we now recognize as Transformational Outcomes Based Education as that new paradigm. Now, not to pat myself on the back but I have a real love for both history and economics. Passionate lifelong interests and if I were a professor I would give the essay author at best a D+.

The education schemers like to talk about designing backwards from the actual goals for behavior and desired values and beliefs and emotions to what should be taking place now in the classroom to get there. That’s what was going on in 1992 to sell a new paradigm. The real aim was to create Paul Ehrlich’s Newmindedness and remove the Axemaker Mind as we have discussed before. That November 1992 date meant that article would have gone to press about the time of the original Earth Summit in Rio in June 1992. The one that created Agenda 21 and laid out the blueprint for reorganizing the global societies politically and economically around the Environment and Sustainability. Education was explicitly to be a recognized tool  in this Transformation.

That’s the end goal driving the so-called new paradigm for education then and now. It’s aspirational. It’s to justify an attack on the noetic system in the name of history. Evoking a myth of existing transformation as a means of actually gaining a real transformation by attacking values, attitudes, and beliefs and limiting factual knowledge and opportunities for abstract, logical analysis. That’s what was going on in the 1990s and all the public knew was that there were “reading wars” and “math wars” and “science wars.” The myth was that it was a dispute about instruction. No, we had a political coup being attempted surreptitiously via student minds. They are young adults now and likely have no idea how much their minds have been subject to attack all of their lives.

The 1992 article cites a book Systems Design of Education: A Journey to Create the Future by Bela H Banathy as its support for this new paradigm and a systems approach to education. Guess who happens to have a copy of this 1991 book? So the book acknowledges that it aspires to design schools in order to change people from the inside-out so it can then change society. Officially a Scheme with a capital “S.” The book was trying to design a complete education system to do that which would perform as predictably as your body’s circulatory system or gravity. To perform that predictably, humans need to be deprived of much of what has historically bolstered rational, conscious thought.

The always busy ed lab in Aurora, Colorado, McREL, that is still pushing these ideas as Second-order Change to be part of the Common Core implementation, used Banathy’s book and a systems approach to design (Checkland’s 1981 Systems Thinking Systems Practice) to create A*chieving Excellence. Because a well-stocked, capable of reasoning mind is an obstacle to the sought manipulation, McREL developed a list of what it wanted from each student in this new paradigm. What each student should be able to do, not know. See if these described attributes look familiar–

Access information.

Interpret or decode that information so as to produce understanding.

Process that information so as to reason and solve problems.

Produce a broad range of outcomes and use technology.

Develop his/her own “executive” or “self-regulating” function to: make decisions about himself/herself, set goals, create a positive self-image, monitor and learn from his/her past performance, experience enjoyment, pleasure, excitement, accomplishment, etc.

Work well with other people and things in his/her environment.

Feeling like an officially programmed robot yet? Does this seem like an appropriate role for the federal government? Banathy was the Senior Research Director at the Far West Ed Lab in Portland, Oregon and McREL was another federally funded ed lab. Those were and are your tax dollars funding these Mental Transformation Schemes that amount to deliberate psychological abuse for political or financial gain. For lucrative grants. For a government directed economy.

A*chieving Excellence was still being field tested and pilot tested by McREL when the book was published in1991. We unfortunately though know a lot about which districts and schools in Colorado were piloting Transformational OBE because it came out during the Columbine tragedy. That should have closed the door on such a psychological manipulation of students but it didn’t. In fact, all that seems to really have happened is William Spady went to Australia and South Africa where he was not infamous to push OBE there. And Spence Rogers took over the Vail Summer programs and lucrative professional development franchise and renamed it–Performance Excellence for All Kids or PEAK.

So now I am at a high school open house last night where the Principal sent some teachers for summer PEAK training and now wants to bring PEAK trainers to the high school. The official address to the school excitedly announced that the Teachers are to be trained in the Teaching for Excellence Program. That the IB high school operating in a “charter school system” (that duplicitous charter I have written about too) aspires to lead the way in reforming high school education in the US. That the high school will be based on the new 3 R’s: Relevance, Rigor, and Relationships that we have become so familiar with as key to the collectivist, anti-individual political coup.

Columbine is back. In more places than in just my backyard. How many other schools and districts have similar aspirations this fall but no parent trained to recognize the symptoms and rhetoric?

I have to go gather more information and I have struck solid goal on how key these charter agreements are to the systems Transformational Coup. You can just imagine how chilled to the bone I felt when I heard the words “Dedicated to Excellence in All We Do” from a Principal who obtained his education degree from a school affiliated with John Goodlad’s National Network for Educational Renewal. Goodlad created the term Excellence in the 1960s to mask the largely affective focus he had in mind to move the US to what he and John Dewey and now apparently, the current US President, called small “c” democracy.

Boy we have a lot to talk about. Any advice on how I should handle the high school machinations? See, this is not speculative. It is very real for me too.


Targeting Student Values, Attitudes, and Beliefs to Control Future Behavior

I have long known that the function of Transformational Outcomes Based Education and its close sibling, Systems Thinking, is to be able to predict and control the behavior of future adults. Future voters. To change the prevailing culture in a society by attacking its noetic system. Prevailing feelings, beliefs, and values all get targeted by educational institutions for change to get a lasting change in behavior. Such goals (especially when enforced now via a Data Quality Campaign collecting and monitoring such info) may meet the very definition of Totalitarianism, but honestly, who will know in time? How many people will know that a cognitive goal means your belief system is the target? Or that it became fair game for manipulation by administrators and professors who either aggressively deplore capitalism and individuality, or do not understand the importance of either, and just want their paycheck and promotions.

As I mentioned in the previous post while investigating the current intentions of Systems Thinking, the name Milton Rokeach came up several times with work going back to the 1960s. That’s a crucial time period for me because it means a pedagogy or curriculum originally developed to be a weapon against the US during the Cold War has survived to the present. Something designed originally to destroy the rational capacity to think and free decision-making as an individual based on your own set of facts and concerns (assuming as many did that the Soviet Union would prevail over the US) remains in place under a new name. Still with the same purpose but different beneficiaries. Ready to compel behavior from instinct and emotion. Literally without a second thought.

It is very alarming that late in the book Presence the authors are discussing the Dark Side of Acting from the Heart. It is not something being pointed out to Principals and Supers and teachers being asked to promote the practices in the classroom. For someone like me who is deeply interested in history, it is too much a reminder of the unconscious impulse to act as a collective instilled in the German people via education in the 19th century. They thought it was the answer for the humiliation of being defeated by Napoleon. Talk about poisonous seeds.

It is Values most of all that Rokeach targeted because they are the fewest in number and have the actual ability to compel behavior. Can you see why Sustainability is to be the focus of so much of the Common Core implementation? Values also influence attitudes and emotions and the belief system. Values influence perceptions from daily experience. Think about how often you have watched or heard someone reject what should have been definitive proof with an “I just can’t believe it.” So they didn’t. That’s what values do and why manipulating them is so important if you wish to push a political ideology like collectivism or government intervention and direction of an economy.

I must say I always thought the regular use of the term “Competency” now was just to mislead people from recognizing that we are back implementing Outcomes Based Education again. I had even noticed how a Digital Learning advocate had used Objectives (Ralph Tyler’s term from the 8 Year Study) synonymously with Outcomes (Ben Bloom and Spady/Rogers’ term) and Competency. Turns out though as Milton Rokeach makes clear in his 1968 book Beliefs Attitudes and Values Competency combines both skills and values into a single term. The public then assumes a Competency focus of course includes academic knowledge. It is school or college after all. And the educators get to change and influence student behaviors through unappreciated value changes. The emphasis will be on what the student can do and if the actions are largely driven by emotion so much the better. There’s a reason Rokeach’s book has an Appendix laying out the potentials for Advertising of such an education emphasis.

How many parents will recognize the emotional and psychological manipulation being planned and documented under PBIS or Positive School Climate or recognize that Continuous Improvement is affective in emphasis? I may have joked about Purple America and Project Love but this values curriculum by the hugely influential NEA is meant to both make money and change American student values.

And let me tell you how Rokeach planned to fundamentally shift both Individual and Societal Values to increase the emphasis on Equality in each student’s psyche at the expense of Freedom. It’s not the sort of thing a child comes home and tells you about. He used Student Surveys (don’t worry it’s not like Student Surveys are being included as explicit component of the Effective Teacher Measure that gives the school a reason for asking Anything Wished) and asked students to rank different values. Those students who ranked Freedom higher than Equality were then told how they rated their own interests as more important than the needs of others.  The exact quote used to needle the students was: “they generally care more for their own freedom than the freedom of others.” Practically like telling them they need an S tattoed on forehead and a Red T-shirt that says Selfish to wear around campus.

And all the self-awareness being pushed? Sometimes with the hugely pretentious name of Metacognitive? That just makes it easier to get the sought value changes, either by specifically targeting self-conception as we saw in this post  proposing to teach what a racist society we remain.
Or by targeting alleged hypocrisies, incongruities, inconsistencies, or contradictions between self-conceptions or self-ideals. Just as no one wants to think of themselves as being against freedom even though forced equality requires an all-intrusive government, Rokeach learned just how effective it was to point out variances in an individual’s values from the group norm. (Aren’t those Common Core student surveys going to come in so handy?) To use his nerdy phrase verbatim this disclosure usually “aroused a negative affective state of self-dissatisfaction.” People do not like to be self-dissatisfied for long so the survey information becomes the impetus for lasting “cognitive and behavioral change.”

And with those types of effects, no schemer since has been willing to leave Values alone whatever the outcry. Values and moral reeducation, I mean education, morphed into Outcomes Based Education and now Soft Skills and Social and Emotional Learning. It is still about targeting Values for change. As we discussed in this post in July, the Canadians adopting many of the same initiatives as the US on a similar timeframe have at least been honest enough to admit the real Common Core is desired values to be instilled in each citizen that have nothing to do with cherishing the Maple Leaf or Stars and Stripes. And when you get that kind of international consistency in education you always know UNESCO is lurking around nearby.

And UNESCO really does now seem to serve as the repository for schemes in the West against capitalism, individualism, and rational, logical, academic knowledge. But during the Cold War, much of that same aim came from the NEA, especially its ASCD subsidiary. In March 1978, Educational Leadership published a special issue called “Education of Judgment and Action: Personal and Civic.” It appears to be the launch of the formal push to make Values Education an integral part of US education going forward. The listed rationale was:

“the cultivation of decision making particularly as it relates to political virtues that are appropriate to constitutional self-government and that are required to achieve a society that stands for justice, equality, and freedom in the modern world.”

And that’s how the War commenced to permanently change the behavior of future voters via the schools by changing the underlying Values. To cultivate that herd instinct that can cause any nation so much grief. And if you actually read the 1978 essay “The Status of Education of Judgment” by one of Rokeach’s favorite values educators, John R Meyer, you would learn that the value of freedom to be fostered is not the traditional American belief that it is a natural right existing prior to any compact with government. No, the essay rejects that definition of Freedom in favor of the John Dewey definition then being pushed hard again (1977) by Columbia Teachers College.

“Freedom is a social benefit conferred by the collective intelligence of society.”

Aha, I believe we have found the long-lingering root of the problem of national Values education. And now it is international with UNESCO and OECD running what are to be instilled as Values. Yikes!!


How Much Innocent Blood Will It Take to Stop SEL Manipulation for Political Gain?

That rather graphic title should probably include “or financial gain” to cover all the motives. But that would have made for too long a title. Honestly it is difficult to fathom how after the horrors of the Columbine High murders in 1999, which actually started as a desired bomb plot to blow up the school, anyone involved with Transformational Outcomes Based Education would not have begged for forgiveness. OK, that’s not realistic in our litigious day and age. No one would want to acknowledge their pushed SEL practices might have had a role in initiating the tragedy.

But at least we could have hoped for a Cease and Desist from continuing to actively cultivate the emotions and trying to alter the student’s consciousness. Why continue the practices Columbine was already notorious for before that tragic April day? In an effort to profitably create a Consciousness for Revolution as we discussed in the previous post, some of these manipulated students, usually bright boys, seem to be getting stuck in the cultivated horror and fracturing into the evil school officials and education professors unwisely pushed on students. We will never know the actual causes but we have too much correlation with SEL not to be careful in continuing these deliberate pushes for psychological and emotional transformation in students.

I do not want to linger on such tragedies. But the memories of these SEL connections seem to be fading enough that the manipulative practices are coming back into classrooms and common practice. As part of the implementation of Common Core just like they were part of the 1990s push for comparable radical transformation. And in a substantial percentage of cases with these horrific school shootings where the place seems to be part of the rage, we  find an active policy of pushing SEL and an affective orientation and changing fundamental values, attitudes, feelings, and beliefs as a core function of the targeted school.

Since the typical reader of this post will not be in a position to recognize the names associated with the creation of the Transformational OBE political and social change theory, know the various euphemisms associated with OBE core practices, or be able to put back together the Transformational OBE template even when all has been renamed and broken into parts, I am going to have to share a personal story. I am not doing it to try to get anyone in trouble or point fingers of deliberate intent or malevolent neglect or even negligent disregard of crucial facts from the past. I honestly believe people never knew or have forgotten the links. And we still need that Cease and Desist.

That all these tragic practices are now being pushed again all over the world may be because it is what the accreditation agencies want or because it is now the road to a lucrative next promotion or because it seems superficially like a noble, utopian refocus for the schools to help all students. It is certainly what UNESCO wants as part of its Education for All transformation of the West. Perhaps there is a naive sense that this time there will be no further tragedies because the motives for good results are deemed pure. Whether it is called Student Wellbeing as in Australia now or the Positive Behavior and School Climate now in Canada and the US, it has the same common genesis in the pre-Columbine Transformational OBE when motives were openly discussed and the emotional elements at the core were the feature to be touted. Euphemisms were not yet necessary. That’s where we need to go back to.

My story was generated by an IB High School in Fulton County Georgia informing the parents that some of the faculty had been sent for summer training in Colorado called “Performance Excellence for All Kids (PEAK).” The Principal who had come from Charlotte-Mecklenberg the previous year had brought PEAK with him. He sent out a letter wanting to raise $120,000 for the training this year for all the school’s teachers. On the first day of orientation this past week, he eagerly announced the redirection of everyone in the high school towards the IB Learner (Change the Student) Profile, is a link to the 10 Attributes if you have never seen it, and the Relationships, Rigor, and Relevance push I have already written.

Oh, and instead of PBIS as in Positive Behavior Intervention System, the high school will now have a Positive Behavior Incentive Program with an everyday emphasis on whether students are demonstrating the 5 Desired “P’s.” Polite and Punctual were two mentioned before I dazed into Oh. No. Not  Again shock. First no content and now this?

Fellow Parents at the high school presentation would have heard the word “success” almost as often as the word “engage” but are unlikely to know that in the 90s William Spady and Spence Rogers called their Transformational OBE push for schools the High Success Network. Here’s a 1994 discussion from the insider industry publication Educational Leadership explaining the different Levels of OBE and the goals of the High Success Network.

Careful readers will notice the 10 Life Performance Roles described for Transformational OBE basically dovetail with the 10 from the IB Learner Profile. That’s how breaking up, renaming, and finding a new more palatable vehicle works. I think that is the UNESCO influence showing. I can also look at an Australian middle school that adopted the Coalition for Essential Schools template and the ATLAS-Authentic Learning for All Students-template that came out of US reforms in the 90s and their rhetoric and programs also dovetail with that IB Learner Profile. Probably the Benjamin Bloom influence on the models UNESCO has pushed all over the world since the early 70s from the Summer Institutes he did for them.

PEAK’s “Teaching for Excellence” model says explicitly it is grounded in what was previously called OBE. It also proclaims its incorporation of Mastery Learning, Bloom’s baby. For those of you keeping track, Bloom was a student and close friend of Ralph Tyler who created OBE in the 30s to obscure the real transformative, anti-academic aims of the Progressive Education Association’s Eight Year Study. I explained that here and here

The links are necessary to fully appreciate just how closely tied in all these ideas and people are and why they keep recurring. Plus the teachers have enjoyed their summer and are now back to deal with the troubling implications of the real Common Core paradigm. They need this information and so do the parents, like me, who are being forced to put children into schools using practices with such a tragic past and a political aim to gut this country’s current economic system. Plus a deliberate targeting of our political system grounded in the importance and primacy of the individual.

Both aims are being sought  by using the schools to remake the child’s personality and filtering mindset. I have little doubt this template is being replicated elsewhere in the Fulton County district and in Charlotte where PEAK came from and in school districts all over the US. Since you are unlikely to know where to look to figure out what is going on, here’s Spence Rogers’ published definition of the SEL dynamic behind “Relationship-Driven Teaching”:

“Fostering positive feelings as a motivational strategy in the classroom requires creating a learning context that enables students to value the activities enough to want to learn and to achieve. Learning occurs only when what is being presented is meaningful enough to the student that he or she decides to actively engage in the learning experience. People often judge an activity as meaningful when it satisfies deep-rooted human emotional needs. When those needs are met in the classroom, students want to learn and to achieve to the highest standards.”

The very idea that the teacher who cannot teach a Chemistry course grounded in knowledge is now going to engage students at a deep emotional level is both atrocious and absurd. This is also manifestly the Marxist theory of the Mind where only physical activity and social interaction count or are wanted. No private, personal thinking allowed.  Especially the logical, abstract, Axemaker Mind kind. Now there is hopefully no way either this pushing principal or his boss, Robert Avossa, who also came from Charlotte, have any idea of the tragic history of Transformational OBE or its nefarious purposes. Although I am greatly concerned with what Avossa meant when he told the Broad Superintendents Academy in 2011 that he wanted  a “level playing field in American education.” That is not the spiel he gives parents and taxpayers back home.

This was long with links because this matters. This is a totalitarian template that is to go into operation to attack students’ minds and unconscious emotions to try to change behaviors starting this Monday, August 13. If all these facts are not sufficient to get the super, his central office staff, and the just-following-orders principal to change their minds and back off, well at least the now well-informed parents and taxpayers will know how to treat them. Like you would any adult wanting to live off your tax money while risking bloody outcomes in order to foment a political transformation of this magnificent country that they apparently do not appreciate.

Let’s teach them better values and attitudes and beliefs. We have Gypsy Principals and Supers everywhere now in the US. These two are just the symbols of a very full ship of Change Agents. Perhaps the ship could take a field trip to Cuba to have a hands-on learning experience with the full template being pushed for profit.