Using Education to Make Giving More Power to Those Who Govern Us the Common Vision

Does that title give more clarity to why those Essential Learning Outcomes from the last post must now be what the student  becomes and believes as a result of school and college? How about the official Democracy push via education for a new cooperative commonwealth in the future? Or using contemplative practices in the classroom to bypass the rational mind and make the Heart the driver of what will become reflexive Habits of the Mind?

We in the US especially, but also as the dominant vision all over the West, simply have always seen ourselves as individuals first. A vision of the Governors and the Governed is alien to our psyche. But unfortunately it is not alien to the druthers of an awful lot of influential people who would like more power please. Or who get together with each other–politicians, foundation heads, Big Business titans, and bemoan their decaying power To Get Things Done. The Loss of Their Grip on Society.

So one way to look at all these education reforms whose true target seems unfathomable to us since it shuts down useful knowledge is as an Oligarch Protection Scheme. Now I have generally known that but in March 2013 the book The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be was published. Yes, I am considering nominating this book for whiniest title of the year but that is not why it caught my attention. You see, its author, Moises Naim, is a scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the former Editor-in-Chief of Foreign Policy magazine. Now maybe you are unaware of just how many of the controversial ideas in education have been funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York but I am not. So I ordered the book hoping for insights into what Carnegie’s plans were now for all of us. What it is really pushing under the cover of Common Core or EdLeader 21 or High Tech High replicas or Early College High Schools or those Next Generation Science Standards.

Can you say Bingo? Or Touchdown with a conversion for a total of 8 points from the play? Now how’s this for the back cover endorsements of the book–former President Bill Clinton, George Soros, Arianna Huffington, the President of Brazil, and Francis Fukuyama. The last one makes me wonder whether the End of History ended where we thought. The first one is a reminder that all these ed reforms were hoping to be fully implemented in the 90s. If you check the Acknowledgments page, Naim thanks the President of the Carnegie Endowment by name for all her help with the manuscript that became the book. He also thanks the President of the Brookings Institution, Strobe Talbott, by name and former Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers.

So this is the official What the Oligarchs would like to See Going Forward Vision. What drives grantmaking and the research that is pushed in education or other related areas like Metropolitanism or Immigration or Regional Equity generally. I have gradually put together that all these changes are part of a common, governments at all levels, led vision for the future. But the Oligarchs just talk about it over dinner or while jetting to conferences like Davos. They Know because it is part of their ongoing conversations.

But since Naim wrote it down and so many powerful people cooperated, let’s see what the Oligarchs have in mind for us. He bemoans the fact that our elected leaders “are paralyzed by the vetocracy” and he wants to change that. He ends the book with this haunting line:

“Driven by the transformation in the acquisition, use, and retention of power, humanity must, and will, find new ways of governing itself.”

According to Naim, we need to “endow our leaders with the capacity to contain the decay of power.” Now at some point Naim was Venezuela’s Minister of Industry and Trade and also with the World Bank so maybe that’s where his tendency to talk in terms of the Governed and the Governors comes from but he’s not in Venezuela anymore. He works in the US for an endowment tied to one of the richest foundations in the world. A global think tank that aspires to be THE global international affairs go to place. For countries all over the world. So when he writes and thinks in terms of “the societies they wish to govern” repeatedly and nobody even thinks to edit it out, we do have a declaration of how the Oligarchs think of each of us. And what they wish to do to push back against “the decay of power.” They wish to change the “one critical area [that] remains surprisingly untouched: the way we govern ourselves, our communities, nations, and the international system.” Naim writes that “we are on the verge of a revolutionary wave of positive political and institutional innovations.”

Positive for whom? For the family paying real estate taxes that put a strain on the family budget while Supers and their staffs deliberately push Mind Arson in the schools? When you deal with a Principal who refuses to listen to valid concerns or a PTA President who does not care that teacher professional development is being led by someone who has openly held up Mao Tse-Tung as an example of leadership, just remember what is really going on is a struggle for the soul of people and nations. A desire that schools now foster Mindsets of dependence and a belief in the need for collective action to address supposedly insuperable global problems and challenges like Climate Change and Overpopulation and Nuclear Proliferation.

Naim repeatedly belittles the Tea Party for its views and for hobbling “one of the world’s most powerful political machines”– the Republican Party. Well, that certainly explains a lot of why it keeps mounting such ineffective Presidential runs. He also disparages “eighteenth-century readings of the American constitution advocated by characters dressed in period costume” although I suspect he would be no more fond of the language of that document if the speaker had on a Bespoke tailored suit with a European cut. In the name of the “social good” for the future, Naim wants to create:

“an increased disposition in democratic societies to give more power to those who govern us. And that is impossible unless we trust them more. Which is of course even more difficult. But also indispensable.”

Well, indispensable to Oligarchs who want to transform the way “humanity organizes itself” for their own benefit. So they use education for Mind Arson and new beliefs and values. All trackable now via personal data. In the name of economic growth, the urban areas are quietly seeking a shift to a planned Cronyistic regional economy and calling it the Metropolitan Revolution. Have you read it yet? All supposedly necessary again so “we will be able to tackle the most pressing global challenges.” Who are they kidding? These global problems are just the excuse for a feast at our expense and a future of invisible chains and continuous taxes as the Oligarchs enjoy themselves. And take care of each other. We are truly to be just passengers that exist for the sake of the ship.

So when you read a presentation like this recent one  http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/Presentations/Education_for_Life_and_Work_Feb_2013.pdf that you and I were not invited to attend since we might have wondered why the Common Core assessments were to actually focus on intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies, remember now it is assessing Mindsets Suitable to be Governed. Don’t forget to notice the slide thanking all the sponsoring foundations including Carnegie.

You may never have heard of the Committee on Defining Deeper Learning and 21st Century Skills of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences of the National Research Council.  But the NRC also tracks back to Carnegie funding. 1919. But with governmental sponsorship now. Cool, huh? Binding and mostly out of sight. Carnegie also funded this report “The Heart of the Matter” issued in June to change the direction of humanities and social sciences instruction to “address major global challenges.” Of course and all we need are basic competencies now from K-12. http://www.humanitiescommission.org/_pdf/hss_report.pdf . Don’t forget to notice that the head of that NRC Behavioral Division is a member of that Humanities Commission.

And when you read that very troubling report, don’t forget that Paul Ehrlich said the humanities are to be the focus now on how to change human behavior. That his MAHB is now doing for UN entities.

Which are also tied to Carnegie funding. Not having to pay taxes just leaves so much more money to use to mess with the psyche of those of us who do. And to plan and scheme and coordinate. Especially with those other foundations. Who all have such transformative plans for us.

Let us be forever grateful that the Oligarchs put so much in writing upfront.

And that we can still read and think and act.

20 thoughts on “Using Education to Make Giving More Power to Those Who Govern Us the Common Vision

    • You know they filmed the sequel recently in ATL.

      Do you think that will be the inevitable result of all this regional planning and mind arson and psychological manipulation?

      In a Fast and Furious world and a world where Angela Corey can’t stop running her mouth even though a jury has decided, we are supposed to trust our Overlords? Really? The same people who lied about Benghazi with coffins in the background and to the faces of grieving families?

  1. http://www.governing.com/columns/col-metropolitan-revolution.html

    “The Metropolitan Revolution.” Yes, well, you know, it sounds so, well, revolutionary. Katz says pretty much all one needs to know, if one has a good intellectual background in the study of the historic progressive Left:

    “We are living in a disruptive period which is fundamentally altering the form and function of cities and metropolitan areas. Large, sweeping forces—new market dynamics, fiscal constraints, energy transitions, demographic tumult, technological advances, and climate change—are compelling nations and communities to reshape their economies and remake their places in the service of broader productive, innovative and sustainable goals”

    I read this kind of stuff, over and over and over and over again, and when one goes down the funnel one always seems to find the same ideas at the bottom: sustainability and “climate change.” Scratch the surface of almost any of these educational initiatives and grand-sounding schemes of educational reform and not too far below there will be the same syncretic green/progressive collectivist ideology that animates “the anointed” everywhere and in every aspect of the human condition they believe they are called to control and “govern” (I think that what most of these people really mean here is “rule,” not govern, in a Western classical liberal sense).

  2. I’m just looking at this document here:

    http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/Presentations/Education_for_Life_and_Work_Feb_2013.pdf

    And I’m seeing concerns with things such as “cultural sensitivity” and “valuing diversity.” We also see “disciplinary discourse” (?), “systems thinking” (non-linear, non-inferential/deductive, point-counterpoint perceptual approach to study of phenomena), “identity,” “attitudes,” “collaboration/teamwork,” “self-regulation,” etc. Somewhere, within all of this amateur psychotherapy, behavior modification, thought reform, and Mustafa Mondian concentration of behavioral/attitudinal stability, regulation, modulation, control, and uniformity of personality development, there appears to be some concern for subject matter – education.

    Once, long ago, we had something, an obsolete concept that still preservers out in the hinterlands among the “bitter clingers” called “family.” This entity once passed on the civilizational norms, mores, rules, and regulatory directives central to internal impulse control and civil conduct at the heart of “morality” and of what one could still call “refinement.” The ability to collaborate, “get alone well with others,” be sensitive, empathic and tolerant (but with distinct limits as to behavior and culture), and the virtues of hard work, delayed gratification, patience, industriousness, thrift, fair play, and the idea of “civic duty” were passed on by families and other mediating institutions between the individual and the state, the church, private philanthropic/fraternal organizations, and groups like the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (this second now lost to progressivism – we’ll have to see about the BSA).

    Apparently, we have now entered an era in which the role and function of parent has ended, and children now need to be molded and vetted for the 21st century by a cloistered priesthood of teacher-philosopher-caregiver-psycholoigsts (“change agents”) who’s role appears to be to properly identify and prepare the future Alphas, Betas, Gammas etc. of the future.

    I can hardly wait.

  3. “who’s role appears to be to properly identify and prepare the future Alphas, Betas, Gammas etc. of the future.”

    I hate catching things like this after its too late to change them.

    • My favorite is someone who pompously makes it a point to use the objective case when the subjective case is called for. “Between you and I” with that tone of condescension.

      • Yes, that form of “over-correction” is also a pet abomination of mine. I’ve terrorized Principals over that one.

        The Grammar Nazi

  4. From the link:

    http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/Presentations/Education_for_Life_and_Work_Feb_2013.pdf

    Clarifying Terms
    • Deeper learning is the process of learning for
    transfer. It enables an individual to take what
    was learned in one situation and apply it to
    new situations.
    • The product of deeper learning is transferable
    knowledge, including content knowledge in a
    subject area and procedural knowledge of how,
    why, and when to apply this knowledge to
    answer questions and solve problems in the
    subject area.
    • We refer to this transferable knowledge as
    “21st century competencies” to reflect that
    both skills and knowledge are included.

    So deeper learning is exactly the opposite of what it sounds like, that’s why we need a committee to define that that buzzphrase means. It’s the same as 21st Century Skills. They say it in plain words there. Great link!

    The transferable part is knowing when to use what. If successfully inculcated, this kills the individual creativity in finding NEW ways of applying something in unexpected ways.

    Reminds me of a college humanities class I quickly dropped, where I asked about applying an idea from Week 1 to some new material in Week 3. The teacher informed me I was “misusing” that idea. I sort of knew that when I said it though, because it contradicted some stuff the teacher was going on about, and I got out of there pronto. Over in my tech. classes, I never once heard anyone say I was “misusing” basic physical principles. But I was supposed to be so careful in humanities? No thanks, I dropped lit. and took music instead.

    • David,

      Deeper Learning in addition to Hewlett’s troubling definition that we are already familiar with sounds like our old friend Ilyenkov’s Ascending from the Abstract to the Concrete. The skill is using the category supplied, that Big Idea or Enduring Understanding in the untaught new situation. This P21 conference was by name on the report I was horrified by last summer because it explicitly rejected individual thinking and the transmission of fact knowledge. I remembered it was pushed by the foundations but P21 really does see them as the sponsoring partners of the vision.

      http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/so-now-common-core-rejects-individual-thinking-to-embrace-soviet-psychology-ecology/ is the original post.

  5. I’m going to a Common Core training for the arts on Monday. I will certainly be looking for all of these buzzwords – deeper learning, engagement, news ways of thinking, etc. I can’t wait to find out how the arts fit in with this nonsense. I went to a web site recently where they were talking about it but it was so boring that I couldn’t wade through it. That must one of the ways they get it by the masses out there.

    • Anon-

      We can’t wait for your report but I would especially be listening for the arts ability to “engage ALL students” because it relies on physical activity and visuals instead of the mental, and can be created from emotion. Feelings are something all people have. Logic not so much.

      Also listen to hear if the planned activity focus would be the last things to ever create Axemaker Minds.

      Try to take good verbatim notes even if it seems odd. You will likely find the presenters are using phrases that constitute “terms of art” and we can then decipher real meanings. And usually even who developed the concept and why.

  6. Thanks Robin for your reply. I will indeed be listening to every word and taking excellent notes. I got an email prompt today about the class and I was floored by their description of the class (as folows): DESCRIPTION:

    This course is for visual and performing arts teachers.

    This training will focus on the understanding of the Common Core ELA and Standards for Literacy in Technical Subjects. The deep understanding of how the standards are interwoven throughout grades K-12 in each of the content areas is the next step in creating a solid foundation to the understanding of how the CCSS will be instructionally delivered in our classrooms.

    • As I have said repeatedly the biggest myth about CC is that teachers are not being told how to teach.

      In fact getting classroom implementation with fidelity instead of adaptation this time is the whole reason for these new classroom evals of effective teaching. It means effective at changing the values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of the students. They also want to change the teachers as well. Lovely stuff. I was going back over those notes today to reacquaint myself with my sources for one of my chapters. I had forgotten how very graphic it was.

      Now since a raincoat and hat might be a bit obvious in July for your surreptitious mission wear something that makes you seem docile and fully on board with a new career as a social change agent. A Che T-shirt is probably too obvious but solidarity forever would work.

  7. If you read Diana West’s The Death of the Grownup, what really stands out with Common Core and all of its intellectual paraphernalia is that the present generation of kids coming up now through the early grades and into middle school (post-Gen-Xers, my step-son’s sons and daughters) are already primed for this kind of indoctrination because their parents, to a great extent, had already long ago abandoned the world of books, words, ideas, and deep conversations into the wee hours for almost continual immersion within an all-encompassing audio-visual world of kaleidoscopic imagery, sound, special effects, standardized 30 minute sit-com humor; earphones on the head 24/7, CGI-bloated summer blockbusters throughout the year; and the enveloping, passive vicarious catharsis of video gaming.

    This at least partly explains why modern pedagogy so emphasizes role playing, audio-visual presentations and graphic arts, and power-point presentations as replacements for serious reading, class discussion, and essay writing. Its a complete capitulation to the cult of youth and the culture of prolonged adolescence that has now, for may American kids (and in particular, males) pushed adolescent attitudes, interests, and mannerisms into the 30s.

    Its also why a number of the traditional social studies and even math textbooks I saw this last year as a substitute teacher here in SC have started to look more like a cross between comic books and fashion magazines than serious academic textbooks.

    • Loran,

      I was just out with one of my kids doing a Target supply run and I told her after we got back to car that none of the moms were talking to their infants and toddlers. I would have a running monologue of what I was doing and why and describing things when I was with my kids at the grocery store or getting supplies. In fact, one time a woman listened to me and then asked me if I really thought the child understood. It was one of my older kids who was maybe 6 months at the time. I said no but they will.

      And they did. Such a loss of valuable interactions and just a rich spoken vocabulary to tap into later.

      Or the toddlers in grocery store playing with gameboy type devices. Sad. Sad.

  8. Robin, I have some “training” notes that include “deep learning” and “teaching the standards” I would be happy to share, just not on the blog.

    • Nimbus–

      Use the contact me email address. I have a lot of offline discussions for that very reason.

      And thanks.

  9. Pingback: Journey to the Center of the Core Yields the Yoke of Citizen-Centric Governance to Force a Shared Vision - Agenda 21 News

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