From its beginning UNESCO and other UN affiliates refused to see education, science or culture (the “E, S, and C” in the name) as most of us would. And do as we pay those property taxes and income taxes and tuition and student loans. Things to be cherished and nurtured and transmitted and built up. To the best of each of our abilities. Instead each of these treasures of the ages is viewed as a tool to create social change. In order to build up a new vision for what people could be like in the future.
Now a knowledge of history tells us that this has never worked well. It was behind many of the tragedies of the 20th century and before. UNESCO’s designers though believed they could create new norms of moral responsibility and human conduct and then find allies to enforce them. Leaving all of us unsuspecting of course since none of us like to feel we are being managed by others. Especially at our own expense. But since the late 1940s UNESCO has dreamed of using education to promote the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind. All of us.
And not as individuals either. The dream has been to foster human values, beliefs, feelings, and attitudes that promote collective norms, collective behaviors, and collective patterns for action. Apparently UNESCO and the other UN agencies in its orbit weren’t listening when Karl Popper said in 1957 that:
“Even the emotionally satisfying appeal for a common purpose, however excellent, is an appeal to abandon all rival moral opinions and the cross-criticisms and arguments to which they give rise. It is an appeal to abandon rational thought.”
Well we know from the previous post on what Quality in education really means that individuals abandoning logic and reason and any real ability to think abstractly is precisely what certain utopian or just greedy schemers have been targeting for 100 years. Since John Dewey and then Ralph Tyler and Professor Bode and their 8 Year Study we discussed on May 15 and May 16 in previous posts.
So in all the UN activities involving education we have talked about in the last several posts–Educations for All, MDGs, and Education for Development, the vision for the basic education that everyone is to get does not really vary in its purpose. It:
“should equip all people, women and men, to be fully participating members of their own communities and also citizens of the world.”
That’s in the fundamentally reoriented and restructured world where UN agencies and their employees will take the lead in integrating “social, economic and environmental policy” at the local, national, and global levels. And that aspiration is from the March 2012 State of the Planet Declaration getting ready for the Rio Conference in mid-June so the ink is barely dry.
Does that aspiration seem silly to you? Impossible? Something that should earn a ticket to a Mad Hatters Tea Party? Me too. Here’s the thing though with these aspirations that involve using our money and political power to Try to control us and our behavior. It doesn’t have to be possible for it to be tried. And great, expensive, difficult to fix harm can still flow from simply attempting bad ideas and impossible feats. That’s why we are talking about this now. Before Rio. Before Common Core’s full implementation. While the accreditors like AdvancED or New England are moving their devoted Gypsy Principals and Gypsy Supers and others into place to enforce this vision.
Whether anyone involved truly appreciates or is even aware of the full vision behind what they are promoting and requiring. As I have mentioned before, we have an autopsy to perform as to what happened and why with education. Right now we need to slow and stop any more damage from these misguided but official policies and practices. Coming to a school and district near you right now.
So the UN agencies like UNESCO and others use the so-called Quality Assurance process to systematically review education programs around the world for compliance with its vision. In fact in 2002 UNESCO created the Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education to act as the coordinator of that vision. We in the US and my readers in other countries thus have a real problem. The regional accreditors we think are local and checking to ensure academic excellence are using accreditation and their almost dictatorial power over the schools, including many private, and higher ed to pursue a much different vision for education.
Some of it we have already talked about. More will come out. None of it is good. Some of it may feel treasonous. All of it though is part of a group of people we are largely unaware of actively coordinating to implement a common global purpose. And no one told us or asked our permission and it absolutely cannot work as envisioned. And the attempts may wreck us all. It really is past time for school officials and the accreditors themselves to be forthcoming with the public that pays all the bills.
The “powers that be” have been wrecking us all for a long time. The power to tax, regardless of accountability for results, is a fearsome authority, and it has been used to benefit those in positions of power, from the education bureaucracy to the would-be-reformers who want to control the decision-making.
Too many of them have “forgotten” that education is about student learning to build competency, and that the funding comes from taxpayers, no matter how unwilling.
Check out the book, Exposing the Public Education System.
Thank you Ayn Marie and welcome aboard. I will look into that book.
At the moment I am reading through one of the seminal early 1990s blueprints for that decade’s attempt at radical ed reform. Nothing ever changes but it has gotten renamed and broken into different pieces this time.
Asking myself the question: why did the author just create that particular strawman? He clearly wants to light it afire but what’s the function of eliminating that particular aim from the school?
I have found if I analyze by the function of what is being eliminated and what is being mandated, I can figure out the whys. Then I know where to look and what the real consequences must be. Plus I can track through the decades despite name changes and new plausible but false rationales.
I believe you will find this to be a rewarding journey. If you do not, tell me. It will take an immense amount of exposure of these tragic ideas to full sunlight to slow down this juggernaut. But we must try. I have no illusions about what will happen if we get drug over the precipice.
Thanks for a fascinating, if sobering, post. Agenda 21 is the same thing you are describing, but for local governments, as opposed to local school systems.
I am afraid it is sobering. We can take some relief in the fact that this has been caught.
We understand how this works and we are talking. When you get time, start from the beginning and you will see I systematically laid out a story of connections:political, social, and economic.
Thanks for joining me.