Shift Facts into Values and Change Values into Facts So That a New Consciousness will Emerge

Since we all just adore an explicit declaration of intent, how’s this for a doozy? “For purposes of organizing [a modern participatory democracy grounded in the common good] it is not important whether there is an objective or subjective reality to this belief since the belief is the basis upon which people act.” That statement certainly gives a reason for all the current focus on skill development for a variety of offered reasons. I have warned that most of the planned assessments should not be described as tests so maybe this description of what is sought will help–“performance assessments are those in which the ‘answer’ is the behavior itself.” Training to act as desired also fits with another quote that gives us the rationale for all these Enduring Understandings, Core Concepts and Disciplinary Ideas we keep encountering as the Knowledge component to go along with all those Skills:

“It is crucial, however, to analyze for people what goes on in areas where they do not have direct experience. Once such analysis comes within their grasp, they will come to see that they can change social reality.”

That would be the same social reality that may not actually exist in the form believed, or be a result of the causes believed, but students, and the adults they will become, will be trained to act anyway. Let’s give one more quote that gives a reason for all the stress on activities and Project-Based Learning and Whole Child SEL Initiatives: “Obviously, one’s capacity to care must be integrated with rationality just because common good requires the reattachment of ‘head to heart’ in our public activities.” To the discussion in my book of everything that started in earnest in the mid-80s with the goal of transforming the political, economic, and social systems of the West, especially in the US, Australia, Canada, and the UK, we need to add another book from 1986–The Common Good: Its Politics, Policies and Philosophy by Marcus Raskin put out by the Institute for Policy Studies (Robert Chandler’s 2008 book Shadow World gives the background on IPS and Raskin as part of the global New Left).

The quote in the title comes from the IPS book as well although I did not know IPS was behind that book when I ordered it. I just recognized the vision desired from the 2001 Learning Society paper and the assumptions being used by that Frameworks Institute from the last post. links to a “Collective Impact” essay hyping Strive in Cincinnati (and other listed cities as well like Houston, Texas and Portland, Oregon) “as an example of collective impact, the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem.” On the second page is a picture of people bringing together pieces from a jigsaw puzzle so that there can be a collective organized effort around meeting people’s needs without having to confess the total agenda.

This is a long quote but important to appreciating no one is going to run up the flagpole a banner stating: “Our new education agenda is actually tied to these radical transformation descriptions where people actually do mention ‘Marxist thought’ without even a hiccup or a cleared throat.” It’s up to us to find those confessions and put the pieces together:

“complex problems can be solved only by cross-sector coalitions that engage those outside the nonprofit sector…Adaptive problems, by contrast, are complex, the answer is not known, and even if it were, no single entity has the resources or authority to bring about the needed change. Reforming public education, restoring wetland environments, and improving community health are all adaptive problems. In these cases, reaching an effective solution requires learning by the stakeholders involved in the problem, who must then change their own behavior in order to create a solution.”

Good thing the students will have practiced doing that on all those performance assessments and a new definition of learning that now means changes in values, attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors. It does not mean having a solid base of accurate factual knowledge lest we refuse to defer to the Experts or the ‘important actors’ of those coalitions. Or even worse, develop an innovative product that displaces an established business with a superior idea. Think of how handy practice in a Discourse classroom at creating shared beliefs as the 21st century skill of Communication will be in a world where: “collective impact requires all participants to have a shared vision for change, one that includes a common understanding of the problem and a joint approach to solving it through agreed upon actions.”

Did any of us get an invite to go to Dallas in January 2015 to be part of the 75 Metro Area Convening put on by the Lumina Foundation to move forward with these transformations with no need to ask the parents or taxpayers? That’s where I found that Stanford Social Innovation paper cited. It covers our communities, our schools, and our children, but no one is telling us about it openly or giving us a piece of the puzzle to start fitting together. Me? At this point I just gate crash, download the issued reports and presentations, and then notice that it is essentially Raskin’s, Marx’s, and the Learning Society vision all being imposed on us quietly. Negotiated at ‘convenings’ we pay for, but don’t get invited to.

This recent report is from another related ‘convening’–this time in May 2014– . That’s a long title so they left off the very end that is designed to gain both automatic implementation and little objective scrutiny–“Insights from Experts.” Should we kneel or curtsey then? And if the tenets in that paper and all the emphasis on Equity mean that only a Marxian or IPS/Raskin vision of education to gain the necessary consciousness for economic democracy to work, are we still obligated to defer? Does an education, urban planning, sociology, or public policy degree come now with a license to lie to the public while everything they value and that works gets jettisoned if a Stakeholder Engagement Process decides to put a theory into practice to see what happens? is yet another attempt to put Theory into Practice sold as “informed by thinking from a select group of seasoned experts from the left and right who have much experience with federal education policy.” Given the tragic history of what those federal policies have done to schools and students, we would prefer that be a disqualifier. Has anyone else noticed that expertise in general is constantly dismissed in all these visions of education in the future? Meantime we are supposed to defer to every social science graduate degree as the only reverenced expertise. Again, that’s the way to get Theory into Practice and false beliefs and new values in place to guide future behavior.

Anyone else ever heard of Dane Linn? Now there’s an expert. He was at the NGA when it co-sponsored Common Core. Then he moved on to the College Board to help David Coleman with his current platform for well-funded mischief, before joining the Business Roundtable. is called “The Promise of High-Quality Career and Technical Education:Improving Outcomes for Students, Firms, and the Economy.” It forces the kind of “contextualized learning, in which even academic material is presented in the context of projects or workplaces” that Uncle Karl and his 20th Century social reconstruction supporters like Robert Beck (Chapter 4 of my book) have always dreamed of. This is to be for ALL students, including the most academically gifted, because, just as Beck worried about, CTE must no longer be stigmatized.

That paper advocates “states and local districts can adopt/adapt/develop standards and curricula in collaboration with local businesses. Students must demonstrate competency in these skills.” What skills? Oh, the ones laid out in that Competency Works paper that just came out that provides “Insights from Experts” without really specifying which theories those experts’ opinions are really grounded in. Anybody else finding all the stress on needed skills development as awfully useful as we switch to a vision of education that is no longer really about accurate facts in someone’s personal, private possession? When the ‘answer’ is desired behavior, hyping Skills Development to be globally competitive as the rationale is quite the invisibility cloak.

One of the nice things about being where I am in my research on what is really going on is being able to recognize when we are dealing with pieces of a common puzzle created to be function together. We have every right to examine them as the consolidated whole they are intended to become, even if no one invites us to these ‘convenings’. Sometimes these reports and sources are not created to be pieced together though. Sometimes the linkage is the common destination that allows traveling on unconnected tracks. That’s why I mentioned that Robert Beck called himself a social reconstructionist as he pushed the federally funded polytech vision that also fits with this current CTE vision back in the late 1980s. Beck’s work also fits with Anthony Carnevale’s Workplace Basics vision that we found so troubling in this post

Fascinating, huh, since the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy issued that CTE report in conjunction with the College Board and the Business Roundtable. Do you know who else calls himself and his vision a social reconstruction philosophy? Andrew Raskin in The Common Good.

This story gets much easier to track when we look for common destinations and then Backward Map to the pathways being used to get there. The blueprint is also discernable when the jigsaw pieces are so clearly designed to fit together.

Combine both and the vision and its constancy through the decades begins to feel like a supernova, blinding in its intensity.

The Frameworks Institute is not the only one who gets to create analogies and metaphors to guide analysis.

37 thoughts on “Shift Facts into Values and Change Values into Facts So That a New Consciousness will Emerge

  1. This explains the collaboration between LARGE private corporations and BIG govt that we’ve seen since the Bush years. Big Collaboration to ensure politicians and corporate leaders stay in power without having to work so hard for it.

    • Yes GWB seems to have brought this approach from Austin where it has been entrenched since they were able to attract the microtechnology consortium in the early 80s. Other states like Georgia then formed comparable business/government consortiums to get everyone on the same page. The Clintons brought it from Arkansas and have now globalized it according to news stories about their foundation. And this is a proud, venerable tradition in Chicago. just came out. More rationales for the shifts without using the M word.

      Raskin insists we will just socialize the wealth. It can be hard to get people to recognize they are assuming the continued existence of something they are simultaneously destroying.

      This is the new ETS report hyping the shift to a skills emphasis. It opens with a Thomas Piketty quote. Talk about hyping the ‘expert’ who many experts do not regard as very well-informed.

  2. ” it is not important whether there is an objective or subjective reality to this belief since the belief is the basis upon which people act.”

    WOW. One big problem is that the author of this statement does not act in accord with this statement or spend or invest his money in accord with this statement. Reality exists apart from his/her statement above.

    He/she wants and demands that electricity flow from wall receptacle, water from the pipes, food from the store, etc. Their own ‘performance assessment’ of the auto mechanic or plumber or clinic employee is reality based. Mao thought he could have peasants make steel in back yard furnaces and he could control food production. Tens of millions starved. Reality existed.

    Any students raised in this environment will have to go to work for a soft part of the govt, or a non-profit, or have a trust fund.

    Below is a favorite quote of mine, from someone on a political forum:

    “Let’s quit all the nibbling and just skip to the end. We should go all the way Stalinist, recreate the Soviet Union and enjoy fighting over moldy turnips dug up from the tundra at the local gulag while the more fortunate comrades get to stand in line for hours to have 14 grit toilet paper and enamel corroding toothpaste issued to them as they stare listlessly at there shoes trying to think through the distilled hydraulic fluid high.
    Meanwhile the pampered sons and daughters of our glorious party heads will zip about in limousines down private roads, safe from viewing the workers paradise, to their dacha’s out in the pristine countryside.”

    • But your model does not produce the tax revenue that the cronies need. Seriously almost all these books I quote say that at least once. Raskin’s full economic vision is tomorrow’s chapter, but I recognize what we are dealing with and I am really tired of encountering it.

      Read Chandler’s book. When I was first coming to grips with what I was encountering and what the implications were I had a hard time with it, but his sources are tremendous. When Raskin’s book arrived and I realized the link to IPS, the publication date, and how that related to what I had already proved, I pulled the book of the shelves and reread that chapter.

    • The intro doozy quote is from page 70 of Raskin’s book.

      The definition of performance assessments in the same paragraph came from a January 1992 Technical Paper called Gauging High Performance: How to Use NAEP to Check Progression on the National Education Goals.

      The Change Social Reality quote was on page 65 of Raskin/IPS book. Next quote is from page 59 of the same book.

      The Kania Collective Impact paper is quoting from page 39.

      The CTE Paper is quoting from page 10 under the heading “Rigorous Technical Skill Development”.

      The quote about writers who cite Marxist thought without a hiccup or cleared throat was me being sarcastic while also making the point that if people cite Marx, we have every right to talk about where they acknowledge these theories or practices come from.

      I usually do not give page numbers except in my book, but I do write them all down as I outline the posts before the writing muse takes over.

    • No but I am quite familiar with the Dodd accusations and the Reese Commission. The statements about the Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Ford Foundations fits with what they said at the time and have since in their reports and funding activities. It always goes to some aspect of what was the Marxist Humanist vision for the West. It’s why I tagged this post with the MH tag. Call it Marx’s Human Development Model or little c communism as Robert Tucker called it. is that post.

      It fits with the vision of the World Order Models Project that I first explained here.

      This morning I kept cross-referencing how much of what Raskin laid out as necessary for this version of democracy that fits with what all 3 foundations are pushing now also fits with the various elements I have documented as being part of the required implementation hiding behind the Common Core banner and already in the bucket of ‘reforms’. It even fits completely with the 4Cs of 21st Century Learning once we know what each term really intends. Notice that all these ed reforms are trying to come in under a mandate of Equity as I just laid out to Eclectic.

      The Rockefeller Foundation has said in connection with its Communication for Social Change (another tag as CFSC) that it wants other philanthropies to follow its lead. These entities do not deny their active coordination around these sought MH transformations. They just do not use the M word necessarily, only its purposes and sought ends and useful means a la education.

      • Yuck. That was painful.
        “psychic and emotional relationships between living bodies” this guy has no sense of personal space! This really does sound like something that would have been written in Stalins day.

        I’ll look for Oregon connection. I did notice quick search turned up that phrase ‘quantified self’ again. Sometimes it seems this could be a science fiction story alas tis real life.

        • This interview is a reminder from something I learned from researching San Antonio, Texas, the workforce development template is intimately linked to community organizing work. A Californian.

          Also if your economy at the state and local levels is transfers of federal taxes and borrowings, is there really anything sustainable there or is it just an illusion?

        • Look at page 8 of this from last week.

          WIOA represents a significant departure from how workforce investment boards have worked in the past.

          Or page 11 of the issuance of the final federal guidelines on Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies.

          Or page 14 and the list of Board members and the regional planning entities they represent that most people are unaware of.

          The NADO summer board meeting is in Portland in June at the Hyatt Regency.

          520 regional development organizations. This is what drives progressive federalism. These local entities exist to plan space and economies and access federal dollars from the agencies a la the previous link.

        • This has come out today to create a new ‘system’ in the United States.

          Lots of the people we keep encountering, including Herman Daly whose work is regularly cited in connection with a Positive School Climate. Also there is someone at about the 2 minute mark on the video from IPS–Institute for Policy Studies that published The Common Good book discussed in this post.

          Gar Alperowitz of the Democracy Collaborative is also involved as is Julet Schor. I wrote about Schor’s book Plenitude.

          The video is about 4 minutes.

          This related paper makes the link to what the OECD calls the Great Transition (has a blog tag) apparent and Marcus Raskin is a signatory. We thus have the mid-80s vision and the 2015 version explicitly linked now.

          Page 13 has Richard Falk listed so there’s the direct tie of the Great Transition to WOMP–the World Order Models Project. is the original WOMP post. Remember it was sponsored back in the 70s by Carnegie and Rockefeller foundations.

          Peter Senge may not be a signatory, but his frequent collaborator Otto Scharmer is. Puts the purpose of Camp Snowball into its true perspective.

          • That video. whoa. People just do not see it. It reminds me some of the ‘third way’ initiative. Yesterday while reading the other link on Bifo and the three classes of people, did it not sound like a rising up of the youth? All these graduates that really know nothing or have marketable skills are encouraged to take part in this revolution thinking. We know they are through occupy, but now we are at the k-12 level of pushing this. No wonder they want to enforce the need for empathy.

          • I am reading the just released, related report now and it explicitly calls for the uprising of the youth.

            It also points out that the term ‘socialism’ now polls better among youth than ‘capitalism’. Same day I get an announcement that the Frameworks Institute is now working internationally. Their work in Australia and Germany was trumpeted in particular.

            Every reason in the world to limit knowledge with these declared aims.

            Oh and Roberto Mangabeira Unger is recognized as well. So is David Orr. Remember slow knowledge?

  3. Breaking news is making the rounds through online groups. Randi Weingarten endorses opt out. How long before we see a federal push for these new assessments?

  4. Robin, LL,
    the framework in this blog, and your comments, comes straight from E. B. Ashton’s book, The Fascist His State and His Mind, written in 1937, which Friedrich Hayak used as one of his main sources for Road to Serfdom.
    In Hoosierland we are clearly seeing the collectivist capitalist laborforce development linked with fed led ed on all levels. As you watch the debate regarding our recent passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act…likely to be “clarified” due to capitalist economic pressures for the common good of “the State” and the persona of “The Party”.
    Think the Fascist framework works better than the Marxist, since such an emphasis on capitalism yoked with collectivism and the ubiquitous propaganda conforming the values to make the obedience voluntary.

    trying to keep one step ahead of the goosestepping. Ya Wohl !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.