Hiding Education’s Theft of Individual Freedom Behind the Positive School Climate Mandate

Sometimes, like today, I am so stunned by the gap between the provided story of what is going on in education and the actual unknown, likely to be tragic, reality that I have to stop after gathering together the facts and take a history detour. “Who can I turn to with experience in such official folly?” “What can I use to illustrate the enormous likely consequences?” I found this quote Nobel Prize-winning Economist Friedrich Hayek used to explain The Value of Freedom in his book The Constitution of Liberty to be a great start in our quest to avert tyranny via education.

“In an advancing society, any restriction on liberty reduces the number of things tried and so reduces the rate of progress. In such a society freedom of action is granted to the individual, not because it gives him greater satisfaction but because if allowed to go his own way he will on average serve the rest of us better than any orders we know how to give.”

Or any Collective Vision we force others to adhere to would be a good update to the practical importance of individual liberty. That seems to be the 21st Century Means of Giving such Orders.

The Positive School Climate Mandate the feds are now forcing on all schools in all states is being interpreted as requiring “graduates who are other oriented and see their lives as having a larger purpose than advancing their own self-interest.” Students are no longer to see their education as being “all about me.” Instead, they need to learn to moderate their performance goals to “honor the interests of others” and reflect “a shared commitment to bringing out the best in each other.”

I guess that encountering what could best be described as the Collective Communitarian Classroom should not be a big shock given our careful deconstruction of what College and Career Ready actually means. But is a long way from the stated goals of consistent criteria of knowledge that will no longer vary from state to state to run so consistently into no knowledge, New Kinds of Minds, Manipulated Personalities, Revised Values, and now Mandated Altruism as some sort of First Directive. All enforceable via the Data Being Collected and Archived to monitor all this about each student. Collected under poorly understood definitions of “Growth” and “Achievement.” And accompanied by repeated snide remarks about “even students who do strive for excellence and achieve it honestly may be doing so in a very individualistic way.

Now hardly anyone seems to know about the Positive School Climate Mandate, much less the related social and emotional learning focus we have been chronicling. Add to that ignorance a counterintuitive definition that insists that the students and faculty must create and then adhere to  “shared expectations, values, and patterns of behavior that define who we are” and we have a vehicle for enforced personality coercion via our schools. All being promoted as Moral Education. Character Education. Performance Values. Supers are now bringing in Cambridge Education to tell teachers that they can no longer lecture or systematically teach content from a textbook. Then the Supers and Principals plan to turn around and tell that same teacher that she and her students “must work hard in order to create and sustain a caring school environment” and “build caring relationships.” Riane Eisler must be so pleased.

Hayek defined coercion as being when a person is “forced to act not according to a coherent plan of his own but to serve the ends of another.” I could go on for pages describing what is planned as part of that Positive School Climate Mandate but at its essence it is an initiative sponsored by our federal government to force American citizens, our young students, to be led to believe from an early age that such coercion is not only justified but actually a positive, laudable, permissable role of government. To mold students who will selflessly

“contribute to the lives of others, . . . make a positive difference in the world, take initiative to right a wrong or be of service to others; we persevere to overcome problems and mend relationships; we work selflessly on behalf of others or for a noble cause, often without recognition or reward.”

Government officials and employees have decided that it is to their benefit to use K-12 education to squelch out anything that fosters reason or individuality. They believe no one can stop them. I think Ayn Rand had it precisely right when she said “collectivist slogans serve as a rationalization for those who intend, not to follow the people, but to rule it.” The mediocre or naive or greedy insist that no one may be exceptional and would also like good benefits and an inflation adjusted retirement while they enforce such an education for servitude. Despite having lied to us repeatedly about what they are up to. Education to create citizens who are willing and need to be ruled is precisely the Bag of Goods we have been sold under such names as the Common Core and UNESCO’s Education for All.

Perhaps the best way to dramatize just how intrusive this political vision intends to be can be illustrated by describing the Flock of Geese classroom activity to teach Collective Responsibility to every person in the classroom. Excerpts from Page 55 of the Pathway to Excellence & Ethics Resource Manual. The idea is for children to start seeing the classroom as one flock. Is this what a free society teaches its children when not selling them on the joys of cooperative learning via group projects? (Bold face is from story)

“It has been learned that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own. As each goose flaps its wings, it creates an up-lift for others behind it.

Quite similar to people who are part of a team and share a common direction get where they are going quicker and easier, because they are traveling on the trust of one another and lift each other along the way.

If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation and share information with those who are headed the same way we are going.

When one of us is down, it’s up to the others to stand by us in our time of trouble.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other when things get rough.

We will stay in formation with those headed where we want to go.

The next time you see a formation of geese, remember their message that “IT IS INDEED A REWARD, A CHALLENGE, AND A PRIVILEGE TO BE A CONTRIBUTING MEMBER OF A TEAM.”

Words almost fail me. That’s what the cultivation of an emotional herd instinct looks like. The Germans did that in the 19th Century and there were too few to stop a widely held Bad Idea. We had Two World Wars as a result. Friedrich Hayek, an Austrian, saw both of them and never forgot the dangers of state power that systematically sought to squelch and devalue human freedom. Once again, let’s listen to his wisdom born of tragic experience.

Coercion is a person “unable to use his own intelligence or knowledge or to follow his own aims and beliefs. . . coercion is evil precisely because it thus eliminates the individual as a thinking and valuing person and makes him a bare tool in the achievement of the ends of another.”

I reject the idea that in the United States that politicians can authorize supers and principals and accreditors to enact what is clearly intended to be an unprecedented level of personal coercion. And via our taxpayer funded schools no less. This is ultimately the core of the so-called Common Core. And it was designed to be undetectable.

We had components of this already but it was actually laid out in the November ASCD Whole Child Newsletter. Then I followed up on the references. There is no question this is intended to be a key component of the Fundamental Transformation of the United States promised just before our current President won office the first time. The November timing makes it clear this is to be carried into effect largely out of sight whoever wins the Presidential Election on Tuesday.

The fundamental Transformation is apparently on Autopilot at this point. Let’s think about what Ayn Rand learned from her experience with the Bolsheviks.

“In real life, there is no such thing as a gradual descent from civilization to savagery. There is a crash. There is no such thing as retrogressing ‘a little.’ There is no such thing as a ‘restrained progress.'”

We are looking at a certain crash in the US unless we turn away soon. Can one indeed be elected or credentialed to abrogate human freedom now with impunity?




9 thoughts on “Hiding Education’s Theft of Individual Freedom Behind the Positive School Climate Mandate

  1. I appreciate the extensive research and attention to the details, and I support you. What is disheartening is to see that only 58 people have subscribed to what I think is one of the most important blogs on the Internet. In this dumbed down society of today, most people, it seems, prefer to remain ignorant, and are not willing to take the time to read something that is longer than a couple of sentences. However, my eleven year old grandson is an avid reader, and we have interesting discussions on the subject. He is alert, aware, and I am privilaged to participate in developing his critical thinking mind. He is still young, and I walk a fine line between illuminating and yet maintaining his youthful innocence, and optimism. A lot of what is going on terrifies the hell out of me…and I don’t want him to be scared, but I also feel it is important for him to be able to observe, analyze, and maintain his own strength of mind, and individuality, without antagonizing those that he must deal with at school.. It isn’t easy to go against the tide, but I have high hopes for him, and he has my full support. Sadly, there are just a few of his peers that are also aware, and have good parents who support them too. Unfortunately, we can’t afford private schools, so we are all hoping that good charter schools are in our future.

    • Thanks Wolfenstorm. I do get a lot of readers but many have it set up so they get notified when I have a new post up and come in that way. Others know me from other blogs I post at and usually come in that way. I appreciate your enthusiasm and am so glad you have the chance to interact with your grandson like that. I taught all 3 of my children how to read and to love books. They ended up thinking that was part of a mom’s job.

      The posts got slightly less frequent and longer as we have gone along because I have to allow for new readers who may be looking at their first post. I keep a notebook of all the posts and refer to it as something seems on point. It is not unusual for a two month old post to suddenly catch fire long after I wrote it.

      I have no doubt you will ensure he has an Axemaker Mind and talking about it helps. Print really does have a magical effect on the imagination. And there are always wars to read about when you are 11. Does he like the Redwall books about the warrior mice? My son adored those and used to have me locate the next in the series when he got to last 80 pages.

      Remember this was always supposed to happen without anyone recognizing in time what was going on. We did. There’s a solid trail documenting everything I say. My pattern is to download and hard copy and create a file of proof. Not the least bit of ambiguity here on intentions.

      Keep up the good work. You will have a fine independent adult you will continue to enjoy spending time with. And what a gift that is. When they intentionally seek us out for advice.

      • Thank you so much for documenting what many of us have seen happening over the years.
        I will give a thumbs up for the Redwall series as well. My daughter loves them.

    • Thank you Bill. I spent the day managing to track down another important confession.

      Think of it as having a crystal ball that really works.

      At least I do not have to rewrite any part of the book.

  2. Thanks for posting this. Our family is homeschooling our four children for precicely this reason. We are conservative evangelical christians, and are doing our best to shield their minds long enough to let them develop into independent, morally -grounded free thinkers. Your blog is a breath of fresh air.
    On a side note, the kids and I just finished the Chronicles of Narnia. I will check out the Redwall series 🙂

    • Thank you greg. Depending on the age of your kids Jean Fritz wrote the cutest series about early America with fun names like What’s for Breakfast George Washington that are good early intros to history.

      I also recommend going to the 398.2 part of library and introducing your kids to all the wonderful folk tales from all over the world. Even older elementary students will both enjoy the stories and the superb vocabulary.

      If you have a library with older books look for the historical fiction from say the 50s or 60s. Great stories and factual but not so graphic for the sensibilities of kids who can read anything but are still emotionally young.

      Good luck. I miss those days of finding great books for them to read.

  3. When I recently asked my 8-year-old nephew about school and remarked that he was probably doing very well since he was such an accomplished reader, he went off on a tangent that sounds so much like this: our class is a team and our job is to make sure everyone keeps up. I didn’t know what to make of it. Now I do. Thank you.

    • You are very welcome. Thanks for sharing that story.

      The Resource Manual I was quoting from came from DuPage County Illinois but I have tracked those Moral and Performance Competency criteria all over the country. I usually just give one or two examples. The manual also has forms for students to use to describe personality traits that are desirable and undesirable in fellow classmates.

      No obligation yet to call each other Comrade but a belief in a right to change others to suit your desires does seem to be being cultivated.

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