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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We appear to be about to find out.

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

  1. I love your insistance on defining terms. This is the closest anyone has come to unpacking the phrase “Race to the Top.”

    • Thanks and welcome aboard. It has been my tendency to track down the real definitions of these terms and words like rigor, Quality Learning, and excellence and who came up with the curious definitions and when that has taken me a long way toward putting together these pieces. On the flip side I am finding terms of art that actually have a specific meaning like “life skills” and “soft skills” regularly being put into state statutes, regulations, and charters so that parents and taxpayers are not likely to recognize what has been imposed on them. Or what they have just agreed to do or accept. It is quite deliberate and is sloppy legally. Contract 101-if a term creates rights or obligations it must not be left ambiguous.

      I have a joke about having a Glossary of Terms at this point but it is actually quite true.

  2. Robin,

    I have been studying Common Core now, for 2 years. I am a member of a group, Utahns Against Common Core. This group consists of moms and educators, who are excellent researchers, and who have been on the front lines fighting Common Core. In fact, my friend Christel Swasey, was recently featured on the Glenn Beck show on March 14th, with our associates, Emmett McGroarty, an attorney working for the American Principles Project, in Washington D.C.

    Glenn Beck’s show has created a firestorm of concerned parents and teachers. And my speaking engagements in Utah are assuredly increasing. Several have asked for me to put together a Glossary of the terminology being used for Common Core. From what I have read above, you have already done that, and because CC is such a huge beast, time is of the essence, and I should not “re-invent the wheel.” Where can I get a your book or list of glossary words, that I can hand out to parents or individuals? Or do you have a direct website with such terms?

    Thank you for writing about Common Core. I am looking forward to your future posts.

    Lisa Cummins

    • Lisa-the terms are in my notes but quite a few of them are in titles of posts. Or have tags to them

      I finished the book last March and then almost immediately stumbled across the March 2012 Planet under Pressure conference in London. Those policy briefs scared me in their implications even though I already knew of link between CCSSI and the global Green Energy push. This envisioned such a global transformation at the psychological level and to this day I seem to be the only person who has written about the Belmont Challenge and the Future Earth Alliance.

      I monitor a lot of websites but one area I keep track of is Special ed law. That’s how I knew in April that federal disabilities law was being used to impose PBIS, a social and emotional learning curriculum, on all students using the Response to Intervention framework. It also made it clear that the phrase continuous improvement was in the desired personality traits, not knowledge.

      So I started the blog to try to raise awareness about what has come up since I wrote the book. That has been more time consuming than I ever imagined and the book remains how we got here and involves many crucial people you have never heard of. But I have lots of quotes and declarations so I am not speculating about what has happened or what is being sought.

      I have one more large component I have been sitting on as I laid groundwork and then the plan is to write a lot less and reconcile points from the blog that are now relevant to what I described in book. I am determined to have it out by next school year. Everything I knew a year ago wa right on the money. I just know so much more now about the actual day to day implementation and also the global story.

      That was long. Book will be ready to have in hand when fall 2013 convenes. In the mean time if you cannot find a word in a tag or title, just post a comment and ask me. The chances of me not knowing are honestly very slim and I am likely to know the history of the schemer who created the Orwellian definition to boot.

      Keep up the good work in Utah. What so alarmed Beck in that Grit Perseverance report is precisely the psychological manipulation that forced me into making the blog a priority to get the word out. Carol Dweck I have actually written about a few times and I have researched Angela Duckworth in the background for the mental health first aid story.

      Education is the transformative vehicle in this story but it is a lot bigger. Today’s story was intended to answer all the frustrations on why no one of either party wants to listen. This next economy plan http://www.nexteconomycapitalregion.org/uploads/Capital_Region_Prosperity_Plan_Mar_19_2013.pdf is for the Sacramento area but it is actually boilerplate in its vision. If you dig you will find something comparable for Salt Lake/Utah. Note that the Career Pathways envisioned link to the education by occupations/polytechnical high school reform model I mentioned in previous post. That is part of overall template as well. Someone in your area will be working on Career Pathways and high school reform.

      Hope that helps. My children call me the human dictionary. Just let me know if you need to tap the inventory of terms apart from the already existing posts.

  3. Robin,
    At 66 years old and involved in small business my entire adult life I find your blog a little over my head. So, why comment you ask? I have a 3 year old grandaughter. I live in rural Maryland and have gleaned that recently the St. Mary’s county school system has adopted “race to the top”. For sometime now, through my business, I have come to realize that the products of the local school system are lacking. I break them down into two groups. Smart and lazy and downright stupid and lazy. I won’t get into my history but suffice it to say I have recognised a tremendous shift in young peoples ability to complete a task succesfully.
    I worry about our country and the direction it is headed in. Please keep up your work that will ultimately help not only our young but our entire country.
    God Bless You,

    • Tom-

      the blog is geared to a variety of interests and has a lot of moving parts at this point. I doubt if it is over your head so much as you came in during the 3rd quarter or start of the 4th.

      Although I give links the posts at this point are building on each other. When you have time go back several posts and come forward. You will see the connections. Next time it is rainy, start at the beginning. Those are shorter posts because I had less moving parts.

      Thank you for your kind words. Even if in the end we cannot change this destructive trajectory, we will know what is happening, why, and what is really targeted. There is a lot of protection for your granddaughter in just that. Teach her to read phonetically and fluently and to cherish stories and books and history and she will have an internal guide the rest of her life, apart from your influence. All of those of course are some of the reasons reading is deliberately taught so poorly.

    • Tom, I’m a little younger than you are, so I appreciate the company.

      I recently had breakfast with a number of my cronies in the charter-school-founding-and-running business, and one of them has branched out to a successful floral arrangement business and has been doing birthing classes for years as her backup income. Anyway, she is familiar with hospital environments from both her birthing classes and because her mother has had continual medical work. She had horror stories to tell us about the young “nurses” she has encountered in the past few years — totally incompetent and totally insecure. Poor creatures. Of course, the clueless young mothers-to-be who come in without spouses to her classes have been a running issue for a long time now. Another colleague, now a charter school administrator, chimed in with stories from her Army medic son who has been doing required medical “training” with civilian doctors. Her son reports horror stories about how incompetent fresh-out-of-the-door MDs perform chest intubations as if they were Aztec ceremonial rites, barbarically and without anaesthesia. This young medic has performed dozens of them and knows what he is talking about. So these are snapshots of what 21st Century Competency looks like in the medical field. Stay well. It is precisely the kind of dimming of the mental capacities and Western practical know-how whose blueprint Robin has been researching and interpreting in her blog. It may seem to be entirely unrelated to the youngster out at the County Fair on the eastern plains of our state who didn’t know how to give change when the cash register broke down, but it is directly related if you dig deeply enough down to the common root system (“common core!”). Robin’s advice for how to inoculate your grandchild is spot-on. Is St. Mary’s where they recently outlawed gun-shaped pop-tarts or students having best friends?

      • Deborah, thank you for your response. In answer to your question about St. Mary’s County and the Pop Tart episode.
        Yes, this is the place. The School Superintendent, like many others I’ve known about is not from this county. New York I believe is where he calls home. Of course, Maryland has more than it’s share of liberals without importing more of them.
        No hugging, and showing of affection has also been outlawed. Oh, I should mention that does not necessarly apply to just the children. It applies to a parent visiting the school. The theory is, if one shows open affection for ones child it may cause mental harm to a child that may not feel loved by his or her parents.
        Anyway I shall continue to follow Robin’s Blogs with high hopes that things will change for the good.

  4. You briefly mention Core Knowledge as a good curriculum. I agree, but I wonder what your take is on the fact that E.D. Hirsch seems to like the Common Core? I am a bit confused because it seems that Hirsch puts more emphasis on actual knowledge acquisition than does the CCSSI. For a little background here are a few posts. My apologies for the links, as it’s my first time posting. I am, sadly, late to the fight against the CCSSI and cannot believe I heard nothing until about 3 months ago! I’m not typically a “head in the sand” type.


    • Hi there and welcome. For years I have posted as Student of History on that blog and I actually had a go-around with Robert Pondiscio on this. He said either he or I was wrong and he trusted what David Coleman had told him. I pointed out that Coleman speaking as keynoter at last summer’s Camp Snowball showed it was more about systems thinking and Sustainability hyping than content. I think Hirsch’s award from Education Commission of the States was not as CK says, the acceptance of the Hirsch rich curriculum vision. Paul Ehrlich actually said in his New World, New Mind book that Hirsch showed them you need to change the curriculum to get the desired implementation that will change minds away from reason. So Hirsch and Ehrlich want to use curriculum to change minds but in different directions.

      I think the CK schools will be among the last to have a Principal or District Super or Cambridge Education show up and say you cannot teach content anymore. Chester Finn is already trying to bootstrap CK support as proof that there is no problem with CCSSI. I think, and I believe this blog has laid out, that CCSSI is a ruse. It was to get changed assessments that would move away from measuring knowledge. It was to push social interaction as the function of the classroom. And it was to make all education primarily visual and vocational by making computers and media like film or power point–making artefacts–the function of the classroom. A decisive shift away from the mental and especially nourishing the independent abstract mind. But the places that are most targeted for this are the suburbs right now.

      I was working on the actual CC implementation yesterday including listening to David Coleman and reading what the Reno school district is doing as it prepares the CC classroom implementation. Washoe’s Core Task Project mentioned that CK has paired with Expeditionary Learning to prepare CCSSI materials. EL is project-based student learning. The actual implementation looks a lot like Courtney Cazden’s Discourse Classroom and impoverished kids gaining a richer vocabulary around the text and delivered ideas. So maybe it is a grant. Maybe CK is being incorporated into the discourse of at needs kids and that is Hirsch’s social justice focus. But closing the achievement gap means going after content in the suburban schools. That is definitely what I am seeing. Think of CCSSI as a bunker-busting bomb to get at the suburban schools that were still lecturing and teaching reading until students were fluent and thus independent.

      Hirsch would not be privy to all the documentation I have that forces a classroom or school implementation at variance with the idea of CCSSI. And the CK stamp of approval has been quite advantageous in the PR campaign. But there is absolutely no ambiguity in the documents I have on where this is going or the dangers of encouraging nostalgia for the nontransformed society. Over and over agin we are encountering a consistent vision for a radically redesigned future as an integral component of the ed vision.

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