Collecting Student Data to Practice PsychoPolitics on a Massive but Invisible Scale without Consent

Consent from legislatures, state boards of education, local school boards, misunderstood charters, or NCLB waivers should not count in countries founded on the principle that governments must respect a zone of privacy around individuals. If that zone exists at all anymore, it should certainly protect against governments collecting student data to ensure compliance with the appropriate psychological development to share visions of political and social transformation. Through all of our discussions of the constant social and emotional learning components to the actual implementation either on this blog, or as my book details, being required by the accreditation agencies overseeing virtually all schools and districts, someone will invariably write to me and say “but that sounds like brainwashing.”

That is the reality but it’s such an off-putting term, conjuring images of adult prisoners in totalitarian countries  being put through physical and mental torture, that it is not a term I have ever wanted to use. An Australian reader though asked me if I had read Eric D. Butler’s work written during the Cold War. I had not, but looking at it was a reminder that the Russians and Chinese had another word for brainwashing activities that actually does fit with the real function of the phrase “continuous improvement of student learning” and all the intended data gathering that goes with the required emphasis on the Whole Child-physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. That phrase is “psychopolitics”–changing political demands and beliefs and the prevailing culture through psychological monitoring, techniques, and practices.

We are not speculating about this either. Remember, for example,  Urie Bronfenbrenner’s work with Leontiev as a graduate exchange student in the early 60s and now the critical importance of the Bronfenbrenner Ecological Systems Theory to the real Common Core classroom implementation? Or to provide yet another timely and global example on January 29, 2014 UNESCO released its vision of what education globally will look like post-2015.

Before you think that will not bind your country remember the accreditation agencies view UNESCO as who they take their marching orders from. So in a country like the US where policy makers want central political power to decide what goes on in every school, public or private, and what every student will come to believe and value (usefully hidden in vague terms like outcomes and standards and competency) without that centralizing being apparent, the accreditation agencies are being increasingly empowered by the states and the federal government to play that central role. Completely unappreciated by the typical parent or taxpayer.

When I rattle off the phrase about “changing values, attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors” are you ever tempted to start muttering the phrase in a sing songy way because it just keeps recurring? Let’s put it into a particular current context and expressed intention then. Speaking of other constantly recurring phrases, this is from page 177 of that UNESCO report fascinatingly called Teaching and Learning: Achieving Quality For All under the heading “Education needs to be part of the solution to global environmental problems.” Please remember that the UN does not use the term environmental problems to mean Do Not Litter. It sees the solution as jettisoning individual choices in favor of state planning using computers and data around the principle of equity within countries and between countries. My bolding for emphasis and personal observations in brackets.

“Education’s vital role in preventing environmental degradation and limiting the causes and effects of climate change has not been sufficiently acknowledged or exploited. By improving knowledge [this is where systems thinking, interdependence, and the constant push on human agency and Albert Bandura’s psychological work all come in. It’s not about facts],  instilling values, fostering beliefs and shifting attitudes, education has considerable power to change lifestyles and behaviours that are harmful for the environment.”

Issued less than two weeks ago, these very real aims for transformation using data and education are so not a theory about some kind of conspiracy over the use of education globally. It’s an open proclamation of intent. And remember the ultimate threat to the environment if you are a central planner is the independent individual making their own choices and some of them doing it with well-stocked creative minds and the able use of logic and reason. Butler, in writing about how much the Fabian Socialists had aided in creating popular perceptions that favored what Communism hoped to achieve, pointed out that:

“All central planners fear individual freedom because no one can predict how the individual will use his freedom. Central planning requires that planners have effective control of all aspects of human activity. The exercising of freedom by the individual is essentially a creative and spiritual activity.”

You get that control invisibly through misunderstood but quite intentional actual definitions of student ‘growth’ and ‘success’ and ‘learning’ and data being collected around students who “demonstrate mastery of competencies aligned to standards.” Uniform standards, where how to get there can vary but the necessity of getting there cannot. That’s what “tight-loose” fidelity of implementation means by the way. What is loose is how a teacher or computer gets the student to change, not the type of change that must occur.

Psychopolitics was defined in the past as the “art and science of asserting and maintaining dominion over the thoughts and loyalties of individuals, officers, bureaus, and masses.” That is precisely what UNESCO has said it intends to use education to do. That is precisely what all the stories of outrage over troubling Common Core curricula seek to do. There’s no real dispute over what is being sought via education or what types of transformation it relates to.

That’s why we have to face it sooner rather than later and appreciate that this is not, in fact, unimaginable. It’s a norm associated with a desire to centralize political power and deprive individuals of their own decision-making power, lest they do or create something unexpected and genuinely innovative. Like critical thinking, the words ‘creativity’ and ‘innovation’ get used disingenuously. They are used to describe what is being sought by these K-12 education reforms precisely to obscure the reality that the real goal is to shut down that very threatening capacity of some individuals.

I am going to end this post with two more examples from history that remind us of how vital standardizing and limiting the mind is in any society seeking to vest final decision-making authority in government officials instead of the people themselves. Eric Butler also points out that Lenin made it very clear that he was most interested in the attack upon the mind. He cites a book, The White Nights, that detailed intimate conversations  between Lenin and Pavlov (of dog experiment fame) in trying to standardize (Butler’s term in something he wrote decades ago) human thought and behavior. Butler also points to a Canadian Royal Commission Report on Communism which discussed The Development of Ideological Motivation and conceded that “There is no doubt that the Communists have studied exhaustively every possible method of attacking the mind.”

Butler also cites the concerns of a Dr Sargent in 1953 addressing the BBC that the Communists were largely concerned with “changing men’s thoughts and beliefs on a mass scale.” Sargent went on to express his belief that “ultimately the fate of the world will depend on the conversion of the masses to one idea of life or another.” Well, we know from the above quote what idea of life UNESCO and other UN entities will be pushing. It ought to concern us too that the part of UNESCO devoted to digital learning remains headquartered in Moscow and that most of that UNESCO work remains untranslated from the Russian language. Free to tap into all that psychology research on changing thoughts and beliefs.

In my book I lay out all the controversial aspects of K-12 education reforms that indisputably track back originally to the Soviet Union. It even includes the very definition of what pedagogy actually is and what the colleges of education have been pushing for at least the last 20 years and in some places far longer than that. It matters that we have been using all that psychological research on how to interfere with how an individual mind perceives reality.

It especially matters that every aspect of education now is aimed at that very level with no means of complaining if anyone does accurately recognize what is really being sought and why. Which is why it is so vital that as many people as possible, as soon as possible, begin to recognize the true aims and deliberately obscuring definitions of all these relevant terms being used.

This need not be the No Way Out situation being deliberately imposed on all of us.

It will, however, take genuine knowledge about the evils people in power will do if there are no effective constraints anymore. And this world of Competency and that’s to be it is all about limiting such genuine knowledge or ability.

Not if I can help it. Just call me the Queen of Unauthorized Knowledge.



23 thoughts on “Collecting Student Data to Practice PsychoPolitics on a Massive but Invisible Scale without Consent

  1. Good morning, Robin!
    Do the politicians in the US know that the accrediting agencies are taking their marching orders from UNESCO? Or are they thinking they are taking them from they themselves? Does that make sense? Are the politicians WANTING that power to be derived from the UN or do they mistakenly think that THEY are in charge?

    Also, and this is kind of a silly question, but the Olympics are taking place in Sochi, Russia…is there any way that we can say, “Look! Look at that hellhole and what has come of Communist central planning, do we want that here?!” Or is that too…I don’t know the word.

    • Hi macey. Most politicians do not seem to know this. I first called attention to this in June 2012.

      Then I was at a School Choice breakfast about 2 weeks ago and the state public policy think tank wanted to get rid of standardized testing as unnecessary because “parents know what the look for and there should be choice and a market place” and they were emphasizing how important accreditation was to parents. So I commented that I had read the AdvancED Quality Standards currently impacting public, private, charter, all the so-called choices, and that meant accreditation was making choice merely a facade. I got a silly answer about how anyone could be an accreditor. Either the so-called ed experts are not or they were trying to deflect my valid point.

      Next day Lamar Alexander, US Senator from TN, introduces a voucher program to push school choice as long as the entity is “accredited.” There was also a 2011 conference sponsored by Brookings, Fordham, and Center for American Progress that I have not described yet that is a tip off that the accreditors are in charge and wanting to take away power from school boards and districts.

      Most politicians I have met do not seem to accurately understand any of the effects of what they adopt or authorize and they have no idea how the UN has such an ability to influence local decisions now between school accreditation and real estate planning based on ICLEI’s agenda. They rely on their staffers who in turn majored in political science or public policy and believe in central planning even f they work for Republicans or supposedly conservative think tanks.

      I am pretty sure old Milton would have the prescience to spot that there is no school choice if the federal and state governments are authorizing a private entity to provide all the overview and that entity coordinates actively with the UN entities.

  2. Having met a handful of politicians now I can say I completely think their heads are firmly planted in their posteriors. They have NO idea what they vote on or the consequences.
    I remember watching Ron Paul say in an interview not too long ago that the accreditation issue would be big in the future. Who can do what based on whether or not they graduated from an “accredited” highschool, college, etc.

  3. Robin,

    The brainwashing comment got me to thinking. I’m sure you remember the 10:10 video from a few years ago: This is the oft-disappearing, violent, and disturbing video from the 10:10 global warming group. WattsUpWithThat re-posted a link today. If anyone hasn’t seen it, watch all the way through to the very, very end to get the full impact. It seems to stop late in the video, but there’s an important part at the end.

    Another item to look at is Die Welle (The Wave): This German film depicts a teacher attempting to make a point with a special class that gets out of control. While the film is in German, there are English subtitles. There are some interesting linkages here, including putting lower performing students next to higher performing ones, the building of a joint world view, and corporate responsibilities. It’s a bit of a scary movie when viewed in the Common Core context and definitely worth watching.

    • Thanks Mike. Yes I do remember 10:10 quite well and psychopolitics works well there too.

      Will look into The Wave. German works. There is so much “This is what we are to believe” coming out of Europe.

      Will also look at WUWT story.

    • LL-look it turns out LA has an Equity Atlas too.

      This Just Growth vision of the future is what all these education reforms and the Mindsets being created though the data gathering are all geared to. This is the vision of the future the mayors of all the major cities are all pushing and so many of the state governors and the respective Chambers of Commerce. Given the mind arson being pursued in the schools to accomplish this vision politically, the funds to finance all this transportation and support is simply not likely to be there. The assumptions undergirding sustainability are simply wrong.

      • This is a really important point Robin. I have seen the plans for the urban, semi-urban, stack and pack, retail on the bottom, residence on top housing. These Kommunity dwellings are always built along imaginarily perfect green bike (what else?) and bus routes for the common man.

        In the end because there is no intelligent and creative workforce or economy to support the utopian vision what they will look like are the abandoned and soulless, poorly maintained cement block housing that is scattered all over Russia and formerly Eastern Block countries.

        But of course the Big Developers stand to make major BANK in the short term so they are on board with all this Agenda21 nonsense. I’m afraid they are the Useful Idiots that Uncle Karl and Comrade Lenin held in such high esteem.

        • Mari-

          Did you ever read this post? Possibly the most freestanding of all my posts. Your comment reminded me of the design of Brasilia and why it did not work.

          Real wealth as you are getting at is about production, not consumption. To get the political and social transformation being sought, the mind arson guts the ability to produce genuine innovation in the future. Almost everyone is wondering where their middle class job is even though they have little marketable knowledge or skills. 21st century skills are barely worth a minimum wage, especially if it now takes a coordinating team to do one able person’s previous job. Not how a viable world actually works.

        • Mari-this came out from Brookings today. They are touting what Tennessee is doing, but I am seeing this same push in Ga and reading about it in other states. These Career Clusters and vocational pathways for all and boards of Big Business, governments, and NGOs deciding what students are to learn. . Governors combining workforce development and economic development as theirs to plan and oversee.

          My guess is that most readers will now or soon find something similar in their own states. This is a big reason why the Common Core is being pushed so hard by the legislatures and Governors and local city councils. It is part of the political power joined to economic power vision. So you get the Chambers of Commerce advocating for the sanctity of CCSSI because they know of the Corporatist angle. Political radicals are familiar with the actual transformative intentions embodied in the required implementation enforced by the accreditors and monitored via student data being collected.

          It’s why outraged parents and concerned taxpayers get so little traction when they complain to legislators. Few politicians will voluntarily give up power, which is precisely what this intended merger of the public and private creates.

          • Yes, but being accurately perceived and tracked in real time.

            Plus I have accumulated quite the series of outright confessions of intent today tying up everything I have ever stated as connected on blog or in book. As usual, coming out of a “that statement’s not true. Who is this person? What’s the true agenda? Who are they working with?

            Should get it up tomorrow as long as we do not lose power or internet. And the Nellie Mae Foundation is involved so there’s the direct link to the Competency Works report and making the collection of data about the continued improvement of student learning the whole point of education. Smoking gun is not an adequate description. More like the smoking bazooka being held by some of the most famous institutions out there pushing ed reform globally.

          • Thanks for the report. A quick ctrl F indicated PDX named 63 times. It’s on the reading list. Yesterday found a barber book you named from a Feb. 2013 post at a used book store for $2. The price made me chuckle. Likely thoughts in book are to cost the taxpayer way more.

      • The city of portland mayor has been in south africa for a few weeks for a climate change event, paid for by the group that invited. PDX is in deep. The city controls most of the state and creates policies that get enforced statewide. A small group that works most of the state enforced by a prog governor. I still think we are a pilot state and have been for years. Thanks for the link.

  4. I can’t wait for your next post. Naming names gives me credibility in the conversations I attempt to have with those of my colleagues still in the profession. you are a conduit for so many of us. Thanks again, and again, Robin, you are making a difference. Selwyn Duke refers to you several times in his columns on American Thinker, as well as your book. I usually response and add your website for others. But my own friends? They are closing their ears with their fingers and going la-la-la as loudly as they can, and retiring at end of this school year. But please, keep on this quest, as I know you will, God willing, and may He keep blessing you, with good leads to follow and report on, as well as with everything else in your life.

  5. Eco-Psychology Part Of The Mind-Changing Toolkit

    If I wasn’t clued in, I would have missed this latest “groupthink” effort aimed at students. [Thanks, ISC, Robin, Credentialed . . . ]

    On Feb 21st in British Columbia, Canada, we are having a province-wide professional development day for teachers. Students get the day off.

    However students interested in environmental issues are invited to a special just for them — Igniting A Spark is an environmental symposium run by students, for students, to inspire a movement for sustainable change in BC.

    One of the seminar leaders has a Masters in Eco-Psychology. She talks about “the great turning”, using “action circles” and forming “tribes”. Different ways to become peer-dependent and work in collective projects.

    Checking into Eco-Psychology is see that Theodore Roszak, another oldtimer utopian reinventing himself for “modern times”, invented the term and propelled the new field of studies and credentialing.

    • Thanks Tunya.

      Stuck in the ice storm so it took me time to get you approved. Power but no internet. Hubby has rigged something with his cell phone so I could at least check blog.

      I am zeroing in hard on Canada too in next curriculum redesign story. Both Toronto and Alberta involved by name along with entities all over the globe including US.

    • Notice no one is asking precisely what a deeper level of mastery means. It means applying those supplied concepts to untaught or ambiguous situations. Truly thinking ideologically. Now that I have internet back I am doing some downloading before writing up today’s post. But I now have the proof that what the Common Core is looking for from teachers and students and what the new “not standardized” and “not tests’ will be assessing for was what the Soviets called “systemic-theoretical instruction” that would usefully guide future action. It also causes students to see reality as far more interdependent than it actually is. Just the suitable mindset if you are hoping for fundamental transformation of currently existing systems.

      It’s actually not what I am writing about today, but I want the proof hard copied before I write. It does connect directly to the next topic and the need to gather all that data.

      And I have UNESCO saying they have been working with McREL, home of second order change, using Russian psychologists who used to be Soviet psychologists, and how all these theories have been adapted to the computer for instruction and assessment. Can’t say I goofed off during the inclement weather.

      • Robin,
        While I have been reading your posts, I’ve mostly been silent as I absorb what you say and measure it to what I hear and see around me? Last week I heard a high state ed official opine that “thoughtful people have moved beyond Piaget” and now look to “Vygotsky.” I’ve waited for the video to be posted, but it hasn’t been posted yet. The hair on my neck raised when I heard those words. Yet many around me had no idea what was said or called it “rah rah” talk (so they tuned out.) Here was a STATE official blatantly promoting what you have written about. He was paid with public money to promote this?? Yet few knew what he said. Speaking of Russians, Isn’t McRel a principal evaluation rubric?

        • McREL is Midcontinental Regional Ed Lab located in Aurora, Colorado just outside Denver. It pushed Transformational OBE and Bela Banathy’s Achieving For Excellence template that were both being piloted in the Littleton community where Columbine High was located.

          The entire Common Core implementation is John Dewey’s conception but the Soviet experimentation involving a developmental, remaking perception approach to education. I paused yesterday in getting ready for today’s post to clarify that fact. Yup. Some will be in today’s post. More in the next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.