The Need to Know as We Understand It Today May be a Lethal Cultural Sport

That needs to be radically restricted if not abolished root and branch. So said anthropologist Bernard James in his 1973 book The Death of Progress in a passage so reminiscent of Paul Ehrlich’s long-expressed desire to use education to create  Newmindedness and James Burke’s to create Non-Axemaker Minds that I just HAD to borrow it. And for similar reasons too. See what I mean?

“There is a sense of desperation in the air, a sense that . . . man has been pitchforked by science and technology into a new and precarious age. [In this age] the final period of decay of our Western world, the predicament is clear. We live on an overcrowded and pillaged planet, and we must stop the pillage or perish.”

And like the Bioregionalists and the Ecology educators like David Orr, it’s always the rational mind that is the central target for change. . There was one modern scientific discovery and technological innovation though that didn’t send Professor James into a social engineering frenzy–the computer and communications technology. What today usually gets abbreviated as ICT or as the National Science Foundation likes to call it–Cyberlearning. As in let’s throw tens of millions of taxpayer dollars or new debt into making ICT the focus of all education. K-12 and higher ed. No Cronyism there. is the January 3, 2013 story called “Federal Effort Aims to Transform Learning Technologies.” Since I have written several posts where education professors and administrators and UNESCO reports explicitly acknowledged that such Digital Literacy efforts actually are designed to gain Equity in Achievement by limiting the ability to think, I decided to look into this expensive program further.

The National Science Foundation’s Cyberlearning Initiative is very much in the Limit the Capacity to Think,Make Tool Use and Social Interaction the Purpose of School, Tradition. You know the one that has everything to do with taking down the basis for Individualism and free markets and disruptive technology innovation and nothing to do with the transmission of useful cultural knowledge from the past? Since that would bolster the rational mind and each person’s ability to conceptualize the future for themselves? Or be ingenious? Oh, but I am getting ahead of myself again.

This 2008 NSF report that must have the tech companies salivating is called “Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge: A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation.” That mouthful, which I quoted in full for a reason, goes a long way towards explaining the NSF’s agenda in creating all the poor math and science curricula in the 90s that became notorious in the Math and Science Wars. Which is important now as NSF also goes after higher ed courses to gain equity in credentialling. Moreover, it explains the education vision in both that USGCRP 2012-2021 report as well as that troubling Research Goal 6 described in the previous post. And also NSF’s work on the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance. Busy folks. In fact, “Altering Minds and Behaviors without Telling You” might be a good 21st Century motto for certain parts of the NSF. So convenient isn’t it that  NSF now reports to a close Ehrlich colleague, John Holdren.  He is not telling us either although if you read his past books and articles, he already has.

Consistent with that remake the world and control human behavior aspirations is cyberlearning as a means of “steering” humanity and signalling

“the intertwined tapestry of concepts relating the goal-directed actions, predictions, feedback, and responses in the systems (physical, social, engineering) for which cybernetics was to be an explanatory framework.”

Yes, long before Peter Senge took up the mantle of Systems Thinking to make a lucrative living foisting it on schoolchildren and naive business executives, we had Norbert Wiener who helped develop Cybernetics to try to make human systems more predictable and controllable. And, no, nobody EVER asks us “Pretty Please” or May I?”. So Cyberlearning is based on Cybernetics theories and involves Learning in a networked world. And the NSF report wants to make it quite clear that cyberlearning involves “learning with” the tablets, Smartphones, and laptops that are currently being pushed at great expense. Absolutely does not mean “learning about” the ICT infrastructure. Mercy no, that might bolster the abstract, logical mind and we need to prevent those as much as possible in the 21st century. No matter what the cost in dollars or forgone future prosperity or destroyed individual promise.

In fact on page 11 of that report you can find a chart called “Advances in Communication and Information Resources for Human Interaction” that puts working with symbol systems like reading and math and academic content very low on the totem pole of 21st century aspirations for students. And what makes it to the top you ask reluctantly? Why, that would be “Virtual Observations [aka videos], Collaborations, Social Networking, and Web 2.0.” I kid you not. That’s the Marxist/Deweyan ultimate wish list of Social Interaction, Participation, and Engagement as the purpose of education. It also dovetails to the 1989 UNESCO agenda described here. . The report still guiding education “reform” globally.

One of the creators of that chart is heavily involved with Cyberlearning and Informal Learning generally. Stanford Professor Roy Pea is not only in a position to “Do Lunch” with the Ehrlichs and Linda Darling-Hammond and so many other of our Transform Education Schemers but he was kind enough to do a Cyberlearning slideshow in 2011. That got uploaded on August 15, 2012 just in time for the new school year. . Have fun with the whole show but it is Slides 17-19 that really caught my eye. They make it quite clear Professor Pea considers ICT and Cyberlearning to be a Lev Vygotsky mediated tool.  Complete with pictures.

Vygotsky, for newcomers, was a Soviet psychologist determined to use pedagogy and education to create the perfect Soviet man (and woman I am sure). He understood that cognitive tools can either strengthen the abstract mind (like reading phonetically) or weaken it (like ICT substituting for personal knowledge). Slide 19 leaves no doubt in my mind Professor Pea very much understands what Vygotsky aspired to do in his research. Disrupt previous cultural-historical processes [also known as knowledge of the past] in favor of something new. A different future and culture. As in Designing New Minds, Values, and Overall Personalities I suppose. And Pea also leaves no doubt (Slide 49) that the expensive National Education Technology Plan is part of all this mind-weakening, Transformative, Design a New Future through the introduction of new Cognitive Tools, assault.

Designing the Future. Now how hubristic, as in Will Lightning Strike at the Nerve?, does that sound? But sure enough, on January 18, 2012, there was a Cyberlearning 2012 Summit in DC we were not invited to. So we will have to rely on this helpful graphic of what went on. . And there on the far left we see “People and Technology Working Together Designing the Future.” Apparently all it takes according to the graphic is the NSF using multimillion dollar grants to bribe educators and institutions who will in turn Transform Education. Making ICT and the Internet and the Visual instead of mental the Whole Point of Education.

Well, that will affect the future as we shut down much of the human capacity to think rationally that brought, quite literally, Civilization. Print and the mental manipulation of it played a big part. Especially after the invention of the printing press and the Reformation made literacy widespread in the 16th century. Leading to the explosion of knowledge and technology Bernard James wanted to stop in our title.

But can we really design the future? I don’t think so. But let’s talk about that latest bit of public sector hubris in the next post. We will look at what Ehrlich and UNESCO and the European Union and NSF all have in mind when they talk about Foresight Knowledge.

Because I am a firm believer that forewarned is forearmed. Especially about Foresight.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist that.




40 thoughts on “The Need to Know as We Understand It Today May be a Lethal Cultural Sport

  1. A Trojan Horse entered the USA many years ago by invitation (which is the way of such Horses) and most Americans worship that Horse even today. Americans, the citizenry, can’t do anything directly to or about that Horse so why talk about the Horse? Especially without also talking about a solution!

    Political problems such Trojan Horses in Constitutional America the citizenry’s only solution is force Government Officials to honor their Oath of Office by firing offenders, particularly Congressmen every two years; Reference Article I, Section 2, clause 1, ” The House of Representatives (Congressmen) shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States,”

    • Allan-most of what I am describing is coming from either bureaucrats employed by district offices or colleges of education or the state ed departments or foundations or federal agencies. How do we fire them?

      Elected politicians rely on their staff and their paychecks roll in whether they are right or not. And this is deliberately broken up to prevent exactly what I have done. Come up with the actual definitions and notice the consistencies that mean that different names are the same concept or have the same consequences consistently.

      We do have a Trojan horse or maybe a whole herd and they are living at taxpayer expense because property taxes represent the biggest contribution to this Transformation juggernaut.

      Even politicians who profess to specialize in education do not seem to understand it well or they do and do not want to admit what drives this.

      Right now the only relief I know of is getting the story out to everyone. Given this template that is actually far worse than I have described, we are essentially subsidizing the undermining of everything that propels us forward and bolstering what makes people, societies, and economies seize up. I am not picking on anyone hear although I do treat certain profs as adults who should be able to stand by what they write and say publicly.

      Politicians can harm us but they cannot save us. Only widespread recognition can do that.

  2. Hi All,
    speaking of trojan horses… check out this video, funny! these kids get it!

    the first time I read a worksheet that made my hair stand on end was 2 years ago when my son was in third grade. the school offers speech therapy once a week from an outside county agency, an Intermediate Unit ( scary fascilitators pushing UbD etc), for the usual speech issues affecting kids that age. He was bringing home work sheets to practice with. I almost fell over reading them. questions like
    ” what were shirts like when your father was young and how are they different from shirts worn today?”
    “Was the world better 50 years ago from today?” So I am like, Wu??????? and on and on, for a 7 year old. And sheets with creepy Euro?bizarre, like borderline homoerotic cartoons! Swear, I will scan and put up on my site. anyway, I looked to the bottom of the sheet for its origin and it said ” thinking speech”. So I googled it and sure enough very top search….

    Soviet Psychology: Thinking and Speaking by Lev Vygotsky Vygotsky. Thinking and Speaking … Chapter 4 – The Genetic Roots of Thought and Speech Chapter 5 – An Experimental Study of Concept Formation …

    Needless to say my head popped right off and I asked my son what they do in speech. He said they all sit at a table and she asks them questions… so these creepers are datamining our kids under the guise of helping them with speech problems. this at a private catholic school. I went to the speech teacher and she denied. I went to the principle and headmaster and they both wordwacked me with vague puffed up educratic newspeak, and of course I felt very stupid and left very unsat. There were a few other whoppers too, like sending my 6th grader to You Tube as sources to see videos that were graphically violent with vulgar language comments. they said when they discover them they take them down. I said, well you can’t unring a bell sister, now can you. SO they have fully embraced the technology worshipping and are now finding the collateral damages… So this year we got a 4 page contract to sign so they are not liable. I certainly did not sign it.
    Today my daughter in 6th grade told me they showed a movie in religion with a big car accident with the motorcycle under the car and lots of people hurt and everybody ran to help except there was a man in a SUIT who just watched and didn’t help.
    I carumba….. so violence conditioning, stories and books and CNN to scare them into submission. then systems thinking to make them feel bad about their existence, constructivist idiocy so they are stupid and lots of games on computers for them to learn their values, right.
    a perfect vygotskian deweytastic world.

    a good opinion piece dug up from NYT

    I had some other great links but my son deleted them so he could hide having played minecraft, which I have banned…. tsk tsk, oh well he was home sick today.


    • Oh My. I went through the “I’m paying how much and you are pushing terrible ideas with an ‘don’t let the door hit you on the way out’ attitude” stage.

      And my youngest is in high school now. So yours and anyone else’s frontline stories are tremendously helpful. I know what is intended and the likely consequences but real time war stories are precious info indeed. Also helps other parents see patterns to look out for.

    • I would urge you in the strongest possible terms to remove your kids from the Catholic school you describe. The Catholic schools have gone absolutely into the sink, and they’ve been there for many, many years. Don’t pay for the privilege.

      I say this as a devout Catholic who took issue with Robin’s recent post conflating Stalin and the medieval Catholic Church. I wrote a long response to that which I never posted because I decided on balance that I did not want to force this blog into a secondary debate on religion, thus dissipating (Robin’s) time and energy when we are united on the essentials to which she devotes herself with superhuman application.

      I’m sorry you’ve had such a rude awakening about “Catholic” education, but there was a reason that the Holy Father ordered an investigation of nuns in this country. Apostasy runs rampant.


      • Deborah,

        You can always dispute me. If it is the point I think it was it goes to the idea of an Ideocracy and how the lack of widespread literacy, keeping Bibles in Latin instead of the vernacular, and the pre-printing press days when books were rare all meant that beliefs were shaped by accepting others words for it. There was no real ability to investigate the truth of what you were told by the official powers.

        That remains a desire of any institution that wants a monopoly on power and beliefs. I am sorry if it struck you as insensitive to your beliefs.

        It’s interesting years ago I read a report on digital literacy from a Columbia ed prof that saw it as a means for distributive justice. He too made the point that seems to be front and center in a lot of social justice schemers minds. That the Reformation could not have happened without the invention of the printing press. Cyberlearning or digital literacy for them is a chance to uninvent the printing press by shifting away from symbol systems that allow accurate, personal, private interactions with the great minds of the past. Instead we get the visual part of the brain that is not really attached to the conceptual system in long term memory. We get shallow social interactions instead.

        I have a lot of moving parts in what I present. Give me a hard time next time if you think I could have made a case better. If I cannot back it up, I should not be writing it.

      • Deborah,

        I have been thinking about your comment all day. I so wish you had posted your response at the time. For a history geek like me, that qualifier “medieval” made a light years difference from the Catholic Church of today. I live in a world where William Manchester’s A World Lit Only by Fire is one of my favorite books and the Avignon and Borgia Popes are people we have talked about. I love English history so the Tudor split where Henry VIII became Head of Church but remained devotedly Catholic in his thought is something we talked about while visiting the Chapel Royal at Hampton Court with my two daughters when they were 7 and 10. We then talked about Edward’s Protestantism and how his father would have been furious and then Mary and Elizabeth’s compromise and why.

        The medieval church had a monopoly of information that too many in history have wanted to since duplicate which was the whole point of the comparison. You know how I joked in the Bioregionalism post about reading on the beach under the umbrella? I really do that with economics and history treatises. A few summers ago I tackled the 800 some page The Reformation:A History by Diarmaid MacCulloch that includes the CounterReformation. That’s the perspective I bring when I talk about the medieval Catholic Church. Very different in terms of culture from today’s Catholic Church that is very much grounded in that CounterReformation and no longer having a monopoly on the Christian faith.

        So next time I want to encourage you or any other reader to ask me why I said what I said. I can assure you I likely have several rather firm reasons.

        • Robin, this is the response I wrote and never posted. I still feel somewhat reluctant about this, but you have already spent a day thinking and writing about this, and have expressed regret that I did not post it earlier. So here it is:

          “Submission to the wisdom of the Leader. It took quite a long time to reassess such a belief system. Still does. Which is why creating a useful belief system was the goal of the Catholic Church in the MIddle Ages and the Communists in the 20th.”

          Robin, the “Leader” in the case of the Catholic Church was the person in unbroken line of succession from Peter, to whom Our Lord said, “Thou art Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. I will give thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou bindest on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever thou loosest on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” The reference to keys harks to the investing of the office of the steward or prime minister – the al-bayyit – as we see in the book of Isaiah when Shebna is replaced with Eliakim in the royal household and receives the keys of his office. Our Lord makes it unmistakably clear that with Peter, he has created the office of His deputy on earth, and that as an office it is to continue through time.

          The Bible, from which these words were taken, has much greater authority than the Communist Manifesto — for Christians, at least. For Catholics, of which I am one, they mean that the successors of Peter have divinely delegated authority to unpack and develop the original deposit of Faith, handed down by Christ. They cannot change or contradict that Revelation, otherwise they fall into heresy. This, however, is guaranteed not to happen; these men are preserved by the Holy Spirit from error in solemn teaching (“ex cathedra”) on faith and morals. It is the Church (not Scripture) – as Scripture tells us – that is “the pillar and foundation of faith.”

          Therefore, the expression, “a useful belief system in the Middle Ages” has no application to the Roman Catholic Church. Doctrine was developed and dogma defined from much, much earlier in history; the primacy of the Bishop of Rome began to be acknowledged from the very beginning.

          It is important to distinguish between the acts of fallible and sinful men (including Popes, who are, as I said above, preserved from error only in the one carefully circumscribed way, and in no way preserved from personal sin, although they do receive special charisms proper to their office), and the “belief system” of the Church. The Church, for example, has never taught as a “belief” that one can buy oneself a place in heaven. This is a popular misrepresentation by, among others, American textbooks, which I have had the opportunity to examine as part of the work that I do for charter schools. No — that is defined as the sin of simony by the Catholic Church, and it was so considered during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, when it was most frequently committed. Indulgences, on the other hand, which I gain every day for the souls in Purgatory, are a free gift from the inexhaustible heavenly treasury of the merits of Our Lord, Our Lady and the saints. I gain those indulgences through certain acts of piety — prayers, almsgiving, penance.

          St. James said that faith without works is dead, and the Catholic Church, believing in the inerrancy of Scripture, took him at his word. It was Martin Luther who decided on his own authority to attempt to insert the word “alone” into the Scriptural verse, “Through faith (alone) we are saved through grace” and who counseled his followers to “sin boldly.” Further, it was the Lambeth Conference of 1930, held by the Church of England, that opened the doors to contraception, a practice that had been condemned by virtually every Christian denomination up to that time. It was appropriate that a church founded on the lust of a rebellious king, Henry VIII, would be in the vanguard of sexual waywardness, along whose path that same church has advanced notoriously in the intervening 80-some years since Lambeth. A few months after the conference, the Washington Post (yes, I said the Washington Post) wrote in an editorial that Lambeth 1930 “would sound the death-knell of marriage…by establishing degrading practices which would encourage indiscriminate immorality. The suggestion that the use of legalized contraceptives would be ‘careful and restrained’ is preposterous.” Only the Catholic Church held the line when the floodgates of Lambeth were opened.

          The representation of the medieval Catholic Church as a cynical totalitarian political power is the standard American (Protestant) stereotype, almost never questioned by otherwise highly informed people. However, to conflate the Vicar of Christ and the Church over which he has reigned during any period of the past 2,000 years with Stalin or Kim Il-Sung is profoundly wrong. I do not take offense, because I know that it was not so intended, and indeed, this is not the first such letter I have written to comrades-at-arms who do not understand the Catholic faith.

          It was actually my Axemaker mind, logical and independent of prevailing shibboleths, that led me to the unavoidable conclusion that Catholicism is the true Faith and thus to my conversion from Judaism seven years ago! In this I followed the path of that towering figure, the Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, originally a devout Evangelical, whose scholarship on the subject of early Christian heresy convinced him that the Protestant rupture was precisely that – a heresy. He converted and is on his way to becoming a canonized saint. (I do not expect to follow him quite that far.)

          P.S: There is much in your two posts today that I could (and still may) address, but there is one thing I want to respond to now. The fruit of the Counter-Reformation was the Council of Trent. Far from relinquishing “a monopoly on the Christian faith,” The Council condemned the Protestant heresies and once again proclaimed the dogmas of the Faith. The Catholic Church has never repudiated her claim that she is the true Church, established by Christ, and granted the fullness of Revelation.


          • I am glad you put up your full post.

            And I would appreciate your views on my responses.

            And having read two of Alice Bailey’s book as well as interviews on using education to monopolize spirituality as well I understand just how much every aspect of the JudeoChristian faith is under attack in this planned transformation.

            I understand what is going on and is planned at a terribly nerdy level. I just try to come up with examples from my reading of history and economics to what is being put at risk. We are dealing with a desire of people with the powers of taxation and physical coercion to also control what may be known, what should be felt, and how we are to behave.

            That is hard for most of us who grew up in the US to put our arms and minds around. I am trying to illustrate as best I can.

            But I want to reiterate yet again. Please don’t ever hesitate to challenge me. I can reach for other analogies to make a point.

            As I have said if what I wrote was hard to read, what is actually planned is heartbreaking for anyone not thoroughly steeped in the cause of social justice or Eastern religions. These people really do aspire to change what it means to be human. I know. I have read a passage from today to several different people involved with education. None discredited it but they were shocked this is now getting so overt that such intentions would have been put into a published book.

            My tiptoeing through the footnotes again.

          • Thanks, Robin, for your comments. I will respond to yours, over time, because this kind of discussion can stretch to infinity! I agree with absolutely everything you wrote about the “new spirituality” aspect of what we’re facing. When I became aware of Shirley McCune’s remarks as keynote speaker at the 1989 Governor’s Conference on Education, available on video, my hair stood on end and I thought to myself, “What is the matter with these governors? Why aren’t five-alarm fire bells going off?” And that wasn’t anything compared to some choice passages from McCune’s book, The Light Shall Make You Free. McCune is or was Senior Director of MCREL.
            I had a real education in how far the brainwashing has advanced when I gave a series of three presentations to our charter school elementary staff first semester. The first was a broad overview of Western Civilization, which our school emphasizes as part of its charter; the second was titled Threats to Western Culture; and the third was How Does This Affect Me in the Classroom? The first was received with interest and curiosity (one of our most talented teachers expressed confusion about why we were talking about culture in the western part of the United States — this teacher with a social studies endorsement had never heard the expression Western Civilization or Culture); the second presentation almost caused a riot, since I was breaking every p.c. taboo in the book, especially when I discussed the assault by the cultural Marxists; by the third, people had calmed down, and I was able to bring real-time examples of the juggernaut to their attention, both in terms of what was going on in the world of education generally and in terms of the kind of indoctrination typically found in textbooks.
            After the second, explosive presentation, one of our administrators commented, “Well, I guess we under-estimated just how well cooked the lobster already is.” Indeed.
            Now, for the first time, leviathan is really impinging on our school, thanks to the passage of legislation in the Colorado State House mandating specific teacher evaluation standards, and thanks also to the notable stamp of Common Core already apparent in the state standards. Seventh grade civics, for example, has absolutely nothing to do with the United States; It is all globaloney and 21st century workplace. In fact, the only thing that is content-specific in social studies (through 7th grade, at least, which is as far as I have read them) is in fourth grade Colorado history (guess they haven’t yet figured out how to take the Colorado out of Colorado. All in good time.)
            A reminder: We are a Direct Instruction school, and consequently the living refutation of the belief that Direct Instruction must by definition be an instrument of Mind Control or Orgy-Porgy. As good as Charlotte Isybert is, she got a lot wrong on this subject, about which I have considerable expertise. We are the common-sense response, honed and refined by trial-and-error in the classroom, to the constructivist alternative that was so amusingly parodied on the youtube link sent by one of your commentators. A parody that looked as though it could have come out of the IB.


          • Hi Deborah.

            I suspect much of the pressure is coming from the accreditors as I have a copy of a presentation to the state on how to use accreditation to force the sociocultural/SEL template on ALL the schools.

            I had another one of these subject splits as I was getting ready to write today. I recognized a phrase that our Gypsy Principal loves to use with a beatific look on his face in the Csik Flow sense but this time it had the name of the psychologist who came up with the concept. Except she said who really came up with it all when I did more research.

            It was not news to me but hard copy proof all the way through is a wonderful thing.

            McREL remains a threat. I don’t think they slowed up at all after Columbine. Just a name change and breaking into parts. I am sad how many high schools there now have goals that basically duplicate Spady’s LIfe performance Roles.

            WE have this story. It has been a good weekend. Except for Falcons fans.

          • hi Deborah and Robin,

            I am a fly on the wall and absorbing it all here, I so appreciate both of your research, knowledge, education and discourse.
            I grapple with what appears to me
            ill- educated educators educating my children, now all they need to do is click a link to a world of other people’s lesson plans, take a look at this site.


            this is the new world. teachers are just delivery mechanisms. I spoke to my sons teacher and she confessed some things. I duked it out with another teacher and realized what I was saying did not make sense to him. they just threw out everyday math for GO MATH? but said they were switching next year? uh, excuse me, does anybody care about my kids here? guess not. its a job. Some teachers are victims of mandates, ideologies or just miseducated.
            Some were duped.
            The money awarded to cities like philadelphia for master teachers I imagine will have to be enticing because I see many disillusioned young ladies getting out of the business, sadly only the most toxic radicals will want the job.
            this is what we are dealing with. time will tell, in the mean time love the discussion, as a Catholic with kids at a school run by radical nuns I am discovering with horror the deception and I question their authenticity, but realize fortunatly that I have a classical educatin catholic school nearby to switch the kids to. counting down til the end of the year.
            nevertheless it is hopeful that more and more people are discussing this and now michelle malkin is making a show of it.
            I will keep up the links as I find them.

            with admiration,

          • Hi MadMommy-

            Hope you are having fun on this Friday night but I thought this explanation of the essence of outcomes based education might help you recognize what we are all dealing with now under the newest name of Common Core.


            Even though it says March 1996 this is still precisely what is going on with Common Core when you put all the pieces back together. When you read outcomes substitute standards as the newest euphemism. Or Competency.

            Notice in the footnotes about the Stirring Head, Heart, and Soul book. Really the synonyms vary but never the targets.

            Robin (who really does have a life and just came downstairs before taking dinner out of the oven)

        • “A World Lit Only by Fire”


          Thanks for that. I studied next to no history at my secondary school (I was a smart kid; I and my three brothers were privately educated, and indeed, well educated – I’m talking the 60s here). I swapped history for German and Russian, as I was good at languages. Latin & Greek at my Prep(aratory) school (8 to 13), and then as above, plus Latin & French.

          I’m retired now, not having been able to get a decent job when I was made redundant in 2006 (IT). With time on my hands, I’m re-educating myself, and catching up on history. British history I’ve been doing backwards, so to speak, from the current day backwards; I haven’t reached the Middle Ages yet, but will be off to Amazon in a moment to grab “A World Lit Only by Fire”.

          I also, last year, read Bruce Catton’s fantastic trilogy on the American Civil War, and am currently on Vol. 3 of Robert Caro’s wondrous biography of Hey Hey LBJ, which is a masterpiece. Hundreds of pages in each volume (Vol. 3 1000+), they read like a thriller, and his prose is pitch perfect. I’d recommend both these blockbusters without reservation.

          • One of my favorite historical series is set in Tudor England and involves Master Matthew Shardlake. They are by CJ Sansome and are very entertaining and full of history at the same time. It starts with the dissolution of the monasteries and all the lives torn apart by eliminating those institutions. You feel like you know Henry VIII and share Katherine Parr’s danger as she tries to keep her head against his wrath. Sansome makes me feel like I have visited Bedlam repeatedly. One of my great regrets when I took my daughters to England when they were younger was not making it to the Imperial War Museum. We were so close but ran out of time.

            I had a college friend who worked at Greys Inn, one of the Inns of Court, the summer I was at Oxford. When I read Sansome I see those Inns of Court through medieval eyes.

            I am a firm believer that the broad themes of history are what recur. I am quite concerned at the moment that so much of this Communitarian emphasis and the Universal Love concept of morality that is embedded in ed policy globally is reminiscent of what the 19th century Germans called Gemeinschafft. And it has wreaked great havoc in the past.

          • Robin,

            Have you read Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall”? It’s the story of Thomas Cromwell, told as it were, by Cromwell. Superbly told and superbly written.

            As for history repeating itself; I think I mentioned Oswald Spengler’s “The Decline Of The West”. It’s in reality a philosophical tract on the nature of history, and posits that all civilisation rise and fall in the same way. Quite hard going if, like me, you have not read much hard core philosophy, but IMHO worth the effort.

          • I have looked at it. In fact over New Years when I took some time off. I believe there is a sequel out?

            If you recommend it I will get it. Some days the darkness in the blueprints gets to me and it’s nice to go back a few centuries.

          • Yes – the sequel is “Bringing Up The Bodies”, and I gather a third is planned to run to the end of Cromwell’s life. It’s been a huge hit – but it is superbly written (Hilary Mantel has many other novels published and was held in high esteem before these books came out). I found both gripping – and had that rare emotion at the end of reading both, that I wished I hadn’t (ended reading them!).

            There’s a long and interesting review of Wolf Hall here, at the London Review of Books


  3. Robin – thank you for the reply but by your reply I am not confident you comprehend what I wrote. BTW I didn’t disagree with anything you wrote!

    As for how do “We”, the citizenry, fire bureaucrats employed by district offices or colleges of education or the state ed departments or foundations or federal agencies, We don’t fire them and We don’t hire them either. I think I said so much with “Political problems such Trojan Horses in Constitutional America the citizenry’s only solution is force Government Officials to honor their Oath of Office by firing offenders, particularly Congressmen every two years”.

    Bureaucrats employed by district offices or colleges of education or the state ed departments or foundations or federal agencies, are hired or appointed by or under some legislation and only Congress can legislate federally; Article I, Section 1. The citizenry can’t legislate!

    “Elected politicians rely on their staff and their paychecks roll in whether they are right or not” – Congressman’s paycheck check rolling in after two years of service depend entirely on the “Citizen” reelecting them for another term. The citizenry is the proper (constitutional) judge of whether Congressmen are right or wrong.

    “Politicians can harm us but they cannot save us” – saving us, the citizenry, is not politicians job, politicians and all Judges take an Oath to support the 1787 Constitution; Article VI, clause 3.

    Elected Officials dishonoring their Oath of Office and being reelected is indeed a Lethal Cultural political Sport.

  4. Allan,

    when you do not value honor or you redefine honor for your worldview it becomes irrelevant. The fact that they mislead knowingly makes their dishonor all the more painful.

    • Personally I try to avoid and not associate with liars, thieves, and other criminals.

      In the U.S. an Official that dishonors their Oath of Office commits the crime of perjury and possibly treason, against every citizen and should never be reelected to office.

      A major question in viewing the present political circumstances what is the present citizenry leaving their prosperity and fellow citizens?

      BTW many people, including Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt and Professor Revilo P. Oliver have told us for many years how bad education is. Oliver also told us about the Trojan horse controlling America going back to Bernard Baruch of the early 1900 (was relieved by Kissinger, who still reigns).

  5. Thank you for the work that you’re doing to expose the Common Core. You can call me an “education operative” because I’m currently serving in the trenches of an elementary school in a right to work state.

    I am fortunate to teach a “special” so my curriculum is not mindless dribble; however, I have been required to attend all CCSS meetings this year. At first, I begged my administration to let me do something productive during those hours but then I began to notice things. During the very first meeting when the higher ups came to introduce CCSS, I felt like the ONLY person in the room who was hearing the truth. It was almost like the speaker had drawn the teacher “sheep” in through another language-they were hearing one thing and agreeing blindly while I heard things like, “world unity,” “no need for traditional literature” and ” student led.” I wanted to jump up from my seat and scream at my peers—“Do you hear what they’re saying? Do you really believe this stuff?” I am a Bible believer and I felt like I was witnessing something in the end times. Even my like-minded conservative patriot friend just sat, noticing nothing until I pointed things out to her later. It was like I was chosen to be the translator of the speaker of tounges and I was the only one who understood. It was very scary and I had to step out of the room to compose myself.

    I know the laundry list of reasons why we are in this particular place at this particular time, not just in education but in society. Frankly, I believe that we have asked God to step out of every facet of our lives and he has finally done so. But that leaves us in a precarius place in the public school; the majority of “teachers” are the product of the most successful social agenda in history and do not have the foundation or training to change things. They see no need and do not fundamentally understand why you and I take issue with CCSS. There are very few, such as myself, who hear the truth whenever it is presented and we are laughed at when we call attention to things-and believe me, I am not afraid to speak about anything when I am convicted.

    I have no answers but wanted to align myself with someone else who sees the Common Core for what it really is and offer my war stories when they are relevant. Thank you for your work in this most important area!

    • Thank you Jaycee. It would be wrong to say that was a great story because it is sad. But we will desperately need all the “in the trenches” story from teachers and parents and everyone else that can add detail.

      We are going to get the accurate story out there.

  6. Oh Jaycee, hang in there as long as God has for you to be there, on the job for Him as well as those teachers who need to hear the voice of truth spoken by a colleague. You have found the right website. Read back to the beginning when you have time. I was in the system as long as I could take it, but retired October a year ago, the moment I could. I was just too old to play the new game. The Lord knew betterbthan to allow me to know the true history of compulsory public Ed in America until I got out. Now I am a town crier too. Robin has done the research and is connecting the dots for any I can direct to this site. God bless you, teacher, continue to sow.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Tina, my mother has said the exact same things to me and frequently reminds me that I am on the front lines of this great battle. Believe it or not, I KNEW the history of public education before I even started teaching and did it anyway! That act reinforces that it was God’s direction and not my rational mind choosing!

      The only way that I can do this job every day is because of what I do-I teach music and I have personally redefined my curriculum as an introduction to American music. I use the real history of our great nation to teach every folk, patriotic and spiritual song that I can cram in, all under the umbrella of my standards. I create performances around patriotic holidays and I make sure that 875 students hear the historical significance of every thing I teach. I have done this for years and have been surrounded by a hedge of God’s protection and have had no trouble! I have cried many a tear during class and have had to turn away when my students demonstrate a severe deficiency in US History and basic cultural identity. But, I have resolved to trudge on until I am asked to say or teach something from CCSS.

      Glad to be a part of the resistance.

      • Oh how brilliant your History of American music curriculum sounds, and what a wonderful way to integrate history into the arts for your students, (no one should complain about that). I remember when they were pushing math teachers to merge music with math to integrate arts into all the curriculums. But you have done this so you can serve the cause of Truth. Bravo.

        • This Limey has a huge love of traditional American music; indeed, my early knowledge of the geography of the USA came entirely from Chuck Berry’s “The Promised Land”. Through chance, and also through the deep roots of the Grateful Dead in American traditional music, I now have a large collection, from the likes of Doc Boggs onwards. For whatever reason, it calls to me far more than our “folk” music, although of course much of what you have – especially from the Appalachians – comes from old British folk music.

          Somehow, I have ended up with a banjo player from North Carolina as a brother-in-law. You may or may not have heard of him – Riley Baugus; he’s was on a recent Willie Nelson album. Here’s his website – – and he can be found on YouTube. Haven’t seen him for ages, but one Xmas he came over with a bottle of moonshine, which was utterly delicious!

  7. Thanks to all of you! Once you realize the truth it can be a very lonely place. 2 years ago i had no idea, but felt something was wrong. I appreciate hearing discussion about this topic so much and appreciate the opportunity to vent my spleen to people who know and understand. Bravo to Robin and all the researchers, keep it up!!

  8. For more underground history check out both Charlotte Iserbyt and John Taylor Gatto on YouTube. There are some fabulous interviews of both author/historians that are so in depthnthey are covered in several hours worth of videos each. They were a great encouragement to me before I encountered Robin’s wonderful up to the minute site. And God bless to those of you still doing what I am no longer called to do.

  9. I’m not a practising Christian, but fully recognise and love the Judaeo-Christian core of our Western civilisation; and I deplore what seems to be an all out assault on it. I link here to an excellent article in the UK online magazine, The Commentator (I’m English, by the way, and live in Somerset)

    I find the final two paras very moving.

    It’s an extreme historical irony that we should now be marginalising Christianity in the interests of individual rights, when it was Christianity that bequeathed to us those very rights in the first place. And you don’t have to be a believer to accept the truth of that statement. Jurgen Habermas, the atheistic German philosopher, has said:

    “Christianity, and nothing else, is the ultimate foundation of liberty, conscience, human rights, and democracy, the benchmarks of Western civilization. To this day, we have no other options. We continue to nourish ourselves from this source. Everything else is postmodern chatter.”

    As the hymn we used to sing at school goes

    “Fight the good fight with all thy might.”

    • Jeremy,

      Just took out the duplicate. Welcome back from across the pond.

      Since I get to read the blueprints start to finish, the Judeo Christian assault, which is very real as it gets used gratuitously as a stab, is tied to wanting to eliminate Individualism and free markets. The biggest problem is they also don’t understand how they benefit from markets.

      Csik actually says in his book something along the lines of figure out what parts of religion work for you and throw out the supernatural parts. But it was in the context of what education should be striving to help students become and not a personal opinion.

      I think one of the reasons that people with a strong religious faith as well as people with a strong science background have been among the first to recognize the huge problem that Common Core represents is the immediate recognition that we are dealing here with deliberate attempts to create false beliefs.

      Once you get that aspect by someone with power, the next question becomes why. And then off on the odyssey we go.

      • Robin – thanks. Not sure how that happened; I posted, the post didn’t appear, and then I realised I hadn’t enter my name etc. Guess I must just have been remembered!

        And yes – the teaching of “beliefs” is wicked. Truly wicked. Teach about belief/s; teach knowledge – but to teach “beliefs” and “values” is a crime against our kids. As is teaching AGW as fact, as is happening in the UK, even in primary schools.

        • Jeremy,

          Why not teach the values and virtues of the Judeo-Christian tradition that together with those of the classical pagan tradition — those which made the magnificent edifice of Western Civilization? Unless I’m misunderstanding you. The problem is that there is no such thing as “values-free” education. If you don’t teach the above, you’ll get — what Robin has been exposing on this website.


          • Well, one can teach it in objectively by demonstrating that it has made the Western world what it is today, and noting what is good about it – community, democracy (what’s left of it), tolerance, judicial systems, the arts, of course – no Bach, no Mozart, no Pierro Del Francesca, and so on. All these aspects of how we got here are now pretty much ignored by the education system it seems to me – though I am very much outside it, as my “kids” are grown up and indeed, I’m now a grandfather 🙂

  10. Jeremy, as a fellow Brit by birth now proudly American, as was me mum, I thank you for your testimony to the gifts of the Judeo-Christian heritage of the West. And may my Lord richly bless you for your vision. And may He call you to His Kingdom in His time and way. I served in the schools for over 25 years as an assistant and then as a maths teacher. I did not se the forest for the trees. Then I retired and learned some history and my eyes began to open. Thanks also for all the suggested reading. The Cromwell series will be first for me. I need to know my history now!

    • Hi Tina, and thank you for your kind thoughts. I’m every fond of the USA and find it distressing to see it in such a dreadful state. We have the same problems in the field of state education here, although it does seem to be worse in the USA. My ex and I educated all our four kids at Steiner school; we were fortunate to stumble across Steiner by chance, and the model he has of the growth of the small child into adulthood is one that chimes strongly for me. In essence, Steiner’s view of the purpose of education is to produce “free and responsible adults”. Certainly, the state systems in the USA and UK are not doing anything like that at all.

  11. Hooray, the eloquent and widely read Michelle Malkin hasbtaken up our cause. Her Blog yesterday echoed with the message that Robin is madly trying to get out to the I’ll informed voters about the public Ed system and it’s nefarious objectives. Common Core will be her investigation in the coming days and weeks. Her support will help our cause, if I am not mistaken. She is a mother of school age children, and like Robin, she is watching it happen right under our noses.

    • Read her post Tina yesterday after someone called my attention to it. She still believes it is about centralizing weak content and curricula. And she mentioned Everyday Math as an example of the kind of weak curricula her children had encountered.

      For those of you who think it’s a public school problem. Everyday Math and its cousin, also NSF funded Investigations in Time and Space by TERC, are also used in many private schools. I have actually tracked down the history Of EM and have it in the book. For now though it was developed in Chicago and is linked to Vygotskyian sociocultural theory and those Standards for Teaching and Learning we talked about here.

      Those would be the same Standards that both President Obama on several occasions in telepromptered speeches and Ed Week have quietly referred to as the real Common Core.

      All my investigations continue to confirm the veracity of what the Hewlett Foundation said. CCSSI is just an excuse to change what goes on in classrooms and change how we measure the results of what happens at schools. That gets truer by the day. As do the political and economic reasons for wanting to limit personal knowledge and Axemaker Minds.

        • Me too Deborah. I remember my son in 4th grade asking why they couldn’t just teach Base 10 properly so they could move on to fractions and decimals. That was our last year at the private after the Head of the Lower School reminded me how much power she had when I asked about the switch. Then they dropped pull outs for strong students but not weak. And then Honors in junior high,

          Later I discovered that the then Headmaster of the expensive elite private was on the Board of what is now the largest accreditation agency in the world. Apparently supposed to shift the privates towards the sociocultural vision as well.

          Apparently they were worried I would recognize what they were doing. The irony is had we stayed I probably never would have.

          Today was also a reminder of how much IB matters to this story. Something I never would have experienced otherwise. These aggressive principals have turned out to be a goldmine of info and terminology.

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