We Need a Radical Change in Our Mode of Consciousness, Even a New Sense of Being Human

And a “new sense of reality and of value.” And our “primary allegiance” needs to be to the “larger community, ” not just of people but all life forms. And the Earth itself. No more using “human cunning” to dominate natural resources. And, Oh yeah, we also need “planetary socialism” as an explicit goal and the Christian religion needs to lose its dominant emphasis on redemption. Those are just a few morsels from one of the primary books cited and used by many of the systems theorists and Sustainability advocates.

Published in 1988, Thomas Berry’s The Dream of the Earth is the blueprint for the Green Movement and Bioregionalism and Sustainability. It literally sees human intelligence and reason as a problem because it allows people to use and change nature. It really does sound just like Paul Ehrlich’s desire for Newmindedness (Berry cites him a lot) or James Burke’s disdain for the Axemakers Mind that we have discussed.  As far as Berry and Ehrlich and Burke are concerned, we humans are entering an emerging Ecological Age and we need to fit our thinking and our actions within this desired shift from the “human-centered norm of reality and value to a nature-centered norm.”

Now I am going to stop this troubling but highly influential vision for a minute. In my role as the Miss Marple of education and economic detecting I encounter lots of different visions for a radically altered future. It is my informed belief after reading so many of these cited works and blueprints that the various end games like Bioregionalism or Future Earth Alliance are primarily designed to build electoral coalitions among various interests and grievances to get control over economies and human behavior through the ballot box and regulation. And to get local and state officials to hand over power to the federal level and federal officials to push it to a global level. That’s the consistency throughout. The statists are not going to give up fossil fuels but pursuing that unrealistic goal accretes power to government officials because they must intervene in what should be private decisions. And it creates tremendous opportunities for Cronyism. Be a political player or be no more is the way Crony economies work and there is no widespread prosperity there.

The other consistency throughout is dramatically changing the nature of education away from the transmission of knowledge and the cultivation of reason and logic. And it is a front-end tool so the education vision gets implemented first as a means to gain the desired economic control and redesign. Education then becomes about changing values, attitudes, and beliefs to affect human behavior without being open about such personal control over citizens. That is the essence of Transformational OBE and Systems Thinking and why attempts to push it under various names never go away in middle and suburban high schools despite all the blood shed at Columbine.

Human Consciousness is still the desired target and grounding decisions in unconscious emotions is still the most successful way to control behaviors permanently and from afar. And the Gypsy Principals and Supers will not stop pushing these toxic ideas with a bloody history they may not even know because that’s the path to the lucrative promotions. So it is up to us parents and taxpayers to understand this template and stop the educators and the politicians and bureaucrats. All of whom live at our expense.

Every totalitarian dictator in history wanted control over Consciousness. It remains tyranny when it comes in through the schools and classrooms through an administrator who insists on being called “Doctor.” Because I am on so many internal distribution lists I know that educators all over the world–US, Canada, Australia, UK, and Europe in particular–have recently been recirculating a 1990 speech called “What is Education For?”. Oberlin Professor David Orr was and still is a well-known member of the ecological movement although that is not in the speech or article. And the vision for education in the article replicates much of Thomas Berry’s vision for education from The Dream of the Earth. Like Berry, Orr believes that modern education and contemporary culture has created a “monster” in the form of the “modern drive to dominate nature.” He goes on to assert that:

“It is a matter of no small consequence that the only people who have lived sustainably on the planet for any length of time could not read or, like the Amish, do not make a fetish of reading.”

How’s that for explaining the reluctance to use effective reading techniques? Reading phonetically allows access to soon-to-be impermissable knowledge. It has the undesirable side effect of honing analytical skills and the ability to internally weigh alternative mental scenarios and possibilities. That’s not acceptable in a community comes first world since all those capabilities enhance a sense of individuality. Orr even goes on to complain that “Galileo’s separation of the intellect foreshadows the dominance of the analytical mind over that part given to creativity, humor, and wholeness.” I’d really like to object to that last point because I think an analytical mind is capable of great humor and more than a little snarkiness. After all who else sees irony everywhere they turn? I must admit though I do find the Three Stooges annoying. And I am very fond of building up my Wholes from lots of different parts as long-time readers know.

Now when the analytical mind itself is so regularly disparaged as an undesirable goal of education is it any surprise that we spend so much for such poor results? What we taxpayers and parents and tuition paying students think we are getting and what the educators intend to sell are two radically different products. Both of which call themselves education. Which is why we are in such an expensive mess. When educators are pursuing a vision for their product that the Earth itself cannot be managed but:

“What might be managed is us: human desires, economies, politics, and communities.”

Like trying to control any of those things, especially by stealth, does not have a tragic track record. And then goes on to say:

“the planet does not need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane.”

Now remember this is getting circulated all over the world as an inspirational vision to start the new school year with. It goes on to quote Holistic Review which is important since my Gypsy Principal is openly proclaiming that high school education is now to be holistic. My bet is you should ask yours. Here’s that holistic vision citing Ron Miller:

“Our culture does not nourish that which is best or noblest in the human spirit. It does not cultivate vision, imagination, or aesthetic or spiritual sensitivity. It does not encourage gentleness, generosity, caring, or compassion. Increasingly in the late 20th Century, the economic-technocratic-statist worldview has become a monstrous destroyer of what is loving and life-affirming in the human soul.”

Needless to say, those educators now feel primed to make SEL and a Positive School Climate the focus of school. And the new economy push that surrounds all these ed initiatives? Well, Orr opines that “Communism failed because it produced too little at too high a cost” which is a ludicrous way to describe an ideology that killed 100 million. But how many educators know that? And then Orr claims that “Capitalism failed because it destroys morality altogether.”

I could write a whole blog post on the ignorance in that statement but most educators will believe it and implement curriculum, assessments, and instruction changes accordingly. Blissfully unaware of the seeds they are actually sowing. It is thus up to us. All of us. To take education back. To get the product we are paying for, not the one we are being sold.

It sounds hyperbolic to say human freedom is at stake at its most basic level. But that’s the result of tyrannical overreaches. Describing the actual effects does sound sensational. But it remains an accurate description of why we must speak up and fight. It really is our essence, our souls, being targeted. Pity the children under this vision.

Didn’t the President Just Admit CCSSI was a Ruse to Change Classroom Interactions?

CCSSI is the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Nominally state-led and thus constitutional, CCSSI is an initiative pushed and embraced by the Obama Administration to supposedly create consistent areas of content knowledge for students that will no longer vary from state to state. That’s the rhetoric and political story being sold to parents and taxpayers and school boards and legislators and members of Congress. About 45 states and the District of Columbia have officially adopted CCSSI. Generally to get and keep federal funds. In my previous post I pointed out that the Hewlett Foundation had acknowledged that CCSSI was really just an excuse to alter classroom assessments, curriculum, and forms of instruction and classroom interaction. Hewlett, of course, as a major education funder, gets invited to meetings not open to mere taxpayers. We will have to take their word for it but it does fit with the known facts we have systematically uncovered.

Long-time readers of this blog know I have been showing all summer how the real implementation coming to a classroom near you looks much different and is dominated by practices intentionally engaging feelings and emotions. Plus policies attempting to alter student values, attitudes, and beliefs. Especially with respect to shifting to a non-fossil fuel new planned economy around Sustainability and altering the traditional respect for the legitimacy of the individual in Western thought. The Common Core implementation we have tracked is full of the communitarian ethos that the individual submit to the consensus of the group and its beliefs about the Common Good.

I created this blog to try to get that vitally important information widely disseminated in time since the implementation begins this school year. That’s 3 weeks ago in some districts. Last week President Obama gave a speech at a Nevada high school where he seemed to say that federal officials led the common-standards fight. He appeared to want to take credit for it. Now that would create Constitutional problems if true so an Ed Week reporter, Catherine Gewertz, swooped in to apparently try to put the President’s statements in a less troubling context. So she wrote a story called “Common Standards: Blaming and Bragging in Presidential Campaign” and made the issue of the federal involvement far worse. Her extended quote tied President Obama far more tightly to the altered consciousness form of education reform than she ever dreamed she was doing when she went for the save. Here’s why.

What President Obama actually said was this:

“almost every state has now agreed to raise standards for teaching and learning–and that’s the first time it’s happened in a generation.”

Now Catherine Gewertz takes that phrase I bolded “standards for learning and teaching” and immediately treats it multiple times as synonymous with the “common-standards” and the “common-standards” movement. I think that is true. But the “common-standards” she and President Obama are talking about is not CCSSI. You see “standards for teaching and learning” is what we lawyers call a term of art. It has a precise meaning.  Moreover, it is a precise meaning that was created in Chicago about the time of the President’s reference to “in a generation.” It was created to be a national template for change. And President Obama is linked to its creation via its primary funder, the Joyce Foundation, where he served on the Board from 1994 to 2002. He is also linked through leading the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, another listed funder.

And no I am not going off some List of Contributors and jumping to conclusions because of the time periods involved and Board membership. You see when I was following up on the curriculum and instructional practices used at a paradigm shifting California high school supposedly redesigned for the 21st Century, I noticed first that the announced School Profile looked just like the IB Learner Profile except it wasn’t an IB school. So IB clearly fit into a broader education template. Then the school itself said they wanted all faculty to adhere to the curriculum and instructional practices laid out in a particular cited book, Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America’s Schools. The school cited the Second Edition published in 1998 so that is the one I tracked down used. As an aside to show its continuing relevance for what is coming to your schools and classrooms, I noticed that the Fourth Edition came out in February 2012.

There in the Preface is the whole history of “Best Practice” (and the “generous grant” from Joyce) and how it is a means of altering the nature of the curriculum and the types of instruction. What the book calls the “day-to-day teaching and learning” that needed to change “key classroom activities and practices that embody a new paradigm.” What the book calls Best Practice or “standards for teaching an learning” was supposed to create “the strongest and most enduring school renewal in this century.” If that sounds like it harkens back to John Dewey’s vision, it does.

“What is recommended across all subjects can only be called a neo-progressive transformation virtually all the authoritative voices in each field are calling for schools that are student-centered, active, experiential, democratic, collaborative, and yet rigorous and challenging.

Those listed classroom Criteria are basically the “common-standards” movement. Which is why companies like Cambridge Education build their revenue stream around pushing this vision in the classroom in unlucky cutting edge Best Practice districts like Charlotte-Meck and now Fulton County in Georgia as we discussed in this post http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/you-mean-i-cant-teach-because-the-economy-should-not-grow/ . The book proceeds to lay out the reading practices now known as Whole Language which created the Reading Wars in the 90s and the math practices and policies that would ignite the Math Wars. Which were erroneously treated by most parents as distinct, unrelated controversies. As the 2nd edition, the book even complains about how the “conservative” California governor and “his appointed school board” had “recently eviscerated” the state’s innovative Best Practices math curriculum to “return to computation-based, skill-and-drill mathematics curriculum.”

Oh My. The horrors. So what we are implementing in the name of the Common Core is actually what was so controversial in the past except this time the new methods to measure “progress” were funded first. Plus as we saw in the previous post, Critical Race Theory (by name)  is now being explicitly directed into the mandated classroom dialogues so we can expressly create Social Change Agents in the classroom. The deliberate cultivation of feelings and emotions completely saturates Best Practice precisely because that level of unconscious engagement is more lasting and memorable and altering.

But no where for federal government officials to be. Or any elected official or bureaucrat or district super or principal. Not even an elected President. Or a caring Teacher unless the reasons for such emotionally intrusive and manipulative interventions are widely known and agreed to.

President Obama’s advisors may have come into office infamously declaring they were “ready to rule.” But we are not subjects yet and this level of federal intrusion into the psyche should be Out of Bounds.

Rigor, Relevance and Relationships, The New 3R’s to Get to a Caring Economics

That precise phrase first came up when I watched a tape from October 2011 of a National Network for Educational Renewal Conference explaining how “this time” we would finally get meaningful educational reform with the prevailing US culture and the whole child to be the focus of the school and curriculum. John Goodlad was quite passionate on the subject of the Good Society and its necessary conditions finally being in reach.

Then there was a controversy when a large metro Atlanta school district that had hired the former Dallas, Texas super was suddenly spending hundreds of thousands from a budget already in deficit for administrators to attend a William Daggett  Model Schools Conference. I recognized Daggett as being one of the primary pushers of Outcomes Based Education (OBE) in the 90s. When I looked at his current work for the International Center for Leadership in Education, there was that phrase again about the New 3 R’s. So all that money was really being spent to make the school district’s Common Core implementation align with OBE. Great. I guess that is what a Gypsy Super does as I first described in a May 25 post.http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/gypsy-principals-gypsy-supers-and-engrenage-3-more-superb-things-to-know/

I have written about Outcomes Based Education before and how its real focus is to change the child  http://www.invisibleserfscollar.com/if-standardsoutcomesobjectives-what-is-the-real-common-core/. I stand by that today and would now like to point out that Professor John Goodlad was Ralph Tyler’s student and close friend and colleague. So there are numerous direct connections between that 8 Year Study and desired ed reform today. To really get a handle on what OBE looks like in a classroom and the kinds of explicit intentions I read all the time as I plow through official documents, let’s go Down Under to Australia which actually implemented the education reforms designed in the US and for the US in the 1990s. That’s what makes it a perfect place to see what full implementation of Transformational OBE looks like and what the actual aspirations for culturally transformative change look like. Take a deep breath or pour yourself a drink, whatever has a calming influence. Here goes.

The Australian Council of Deans of Education (2001) argued “old learning, which focused on fixed content knowledge, is now redundant as it fosters a rigid way of thinking which will be counterproductive for the workers, citizens and persons of the new future.”

Instead the Council in Oz insisted in language that fits perfectly with what I am seeing in official but not widely shared documents surrounding the US Common Core now:

“The new learning is less about imparting defined knowledge and skills and more about shaping a kind of person: somebody who knows what they don’t know; knows how to learn what they need to know; knows how to create knowledge through problem solving; knows how to create knowledge by drawing on informational and human resources around them; knows how to make knowledge collaboratively; knows how to nurture, mentor, and teach others; and knows how to document and pass on personal knowledge. In sum, this kind of person is open to autonomous, assisted and collaborative learning.”

Open there does seem to be a synonym for persuadable. Malleable. Ready for transformational, doesn’t it? Now the Rigor in our 3 R’s actually tracks back to the definition for Higher Order Thinking. Both Rigor and Higher Order are synonyms for deliberately confronting students with unfamiliar problems, uncertainties, questions, or dilemmas  that have no fixed or linear solution.

Relevant means not abstract. Tied to real world problems in need of solutions. It allows an emotional response instead of a fact based analysis to be a perfectly valid student perspective. Relevance can also be satisfied by a vocational emphasis such as career pathways for all. A service learning mandate that gets students working in the community to try to solve real problems that they can then reflect upon at school is also a commonly cited means of obtaining relevant and authentic learning.

That gets us to relationships which brings in the Caring Economics of the previous post. That professor and Australian Student Wellbeing advisor, Nel Noddings, who wants to use school to instill competences of care in each student, wrote the Prologue for Riane Eisler’s  2000 book Tomorrow’s Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century. Partnership education seeks a radically new integrated approach to learning that changes student values and their filtering mindset for encountering experiences in the future.

Eisler’s point is to live on our Mother Earth in less destructive, more peaceful, equitable, and sustainable ways. It is a hard book for me to read because I think her recommendations will gut everything that does work now  Even if it is not perfect. I think Eisler is guided less by reality than the utopian future she wants to use education to try to create. But factually wrong does not mean a book or concept is not still influential. And most of her readers will not have a working knowledge of history, economics, and political theory to rebut the assertions.

2007 brought The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics which has Desmond Tutu, Jane Goodall, Deepak Chopra, and Gloria Steinem doing the back cover recommendations to read and embrace its tenets.  Eisler again has many influential educators as endorsers of this alternative approach to restructuring society by fundamentally changing relationships.  Relationships are the essential focus because Eisler says they “define our lives. They are the foundation for all social institutions, from the family and education to politics and economics.”

Partnership education wants to change all those social institutions and not just at the edges. As Eisler says in her advocacy for cultural transformation for the 21st century: “we can’t just focus on economics to change economic systems.”  Either no one has ever told her or she has refused to listen. The economic systems that have worked and brought widespread prosperity were not designed intentionally. They arose spontaneously under certain conditions. Designed economic systems are what brought so much grief to the 20th century. She is misguided but this is the foundation for the new caring economics that is the background goal of so much of this global OBE/SEL ed reform:

“Economic systems are about a form of human relations. It isn’t the goods that relate, it’s the people. Therefore, people and the activities that support and enhance human life and human relationships, need to be the focus of economic analyses.”

She’s not kidding either. She wants to transform “the psychological and social dynamics of relations in all spheres of life.” No wonder we see so much focus on social and emotional learning and affirmative measures to redefine School Climate. And Purple America.

Common Core then is not about content to be taught. It is about the kind of values and attitudes and beliefs a person will need for this reimagined society. If this is a false, potentially tragic pathway, and I think it is, we really are careening towards an abyss if we blindly keep implementing Common Core as it is actually configured for schools and classrooms near you. This fall. 2012.


If Education Transforms Values and Feelings and Beliefs to Control Behaviors, Are We Free?

Let’s pretend for a moment that someone, maybe they have just retired or won the lottery, was willing to be honest with us about how transformative the Common Core was really going to be. They suggest an undisclosed location. Looking downwards in a trenchcoat, fake moustache, and very large sunglasses, they whisper to you that Common Core was intended to actually “reexamine and redefine what we mean by education.”

Now who should be making such a decision? Who really has the knowledge and experience to impose Cultural Transformation Theory at our expense to see if we can create a better world in the future? I think some knowledge of history and economics would be nice. Life experience being responsible for others and making a payroll. Even more ideal would be to leave such changes up to individuals. Because after all the government is composed of individuals too. Government employees just have less information. They are further from the problems and the solutions. And they are not spending their own money. Or living with the consequences of poor decisions.

Our volunteer whistleblower then hands us a memo with the following statement from someone intimately involved with what Common Core would look like in the classroom:

“All children must learn to care for other human beings, and all must find an ultimate concern in some center of care: care for self, for intimate others, for associates and acquaintances, for distant others, for animals, and the physical environment, for objects and instruments, and for ideas.”

And this care mandate would be cultivated in each child and used to create a new caring economics that would be more equitable and meet everyone’s needs. So education would be about new ways of thinking, talking, and interacting to reimagine and explore different ways of looking at the world.

Now Nobel Prize winning economist Friedrich Hayek did an excellent job of explaining why such a caring approach that mandates treating strangers as if you know them cannot work and destroys what drives economic freedom and the resulting prosperity. That can be a different post if you like at some point. You know where to find me.

So radically different actual purpose. Can’t work. Tragic history behind earlier attempts. What do we do? We need to be thinking of that reality because that’s where we are going to be once Common Core is fully in place. We have a little time though because that quote is from an influential American professor and it is a true explanation of our reality. But she came to my attention as a consultant to Australia’s National Student Wellbeing Framework. Another consultant was the the President of CASEL from the June 28 post. Finally we have a sociology professor tied into the Positive Psychology Movement. Positive Psychology is involved with PBIS, recently mandated for all US students under Response to Intervention mandates, and the Positive School Climate initiatives. They also get cited as the solution for the possibility of bullying. All that is discussed in the June 11 SEL post.

In fact it was an Aussie anti-bullying campaign that led me to those Wellbeing Pathways. It was called Friendly Schools and Families. Like the US programs we are seeing it decided to change those values and feelings and attitudes in advance for all students to preempt any problem from ever developing. Now I am quite sure it is merely coincidental that changing values, attitudes, and emotions to control future behaviors is the express desire of everyone wanting to fundamentally transform a society or economy or culture. Bullying must really be the dominant global problem of our time. Necessitating a fundamental restructuring of the human psyche. It’s not like anyone has ever tried that before or there were any problems. Well maybe a few.

So obtaining student wellbeing is officially deemed to be necessary for student learning. Of course it must come first. Of course to be equitable everyone gets targeted. So the new focus of Australian schools beyond its Core Skills Framework that looks so much like the US 21st Century Learning initiative and that Global Competence we talked about on June 30 would look like this:

1. A supportive, caring and inclusive school community

2. Pro-social values (ie values such as respect, honesty, compassion, acceptance of difference, fairness are directly taught and indirectly encouraged)

3. Physical & emotional safety (via anti-bullying and anti-violence strategies, policies, procedures and programs

4. Social & emotional learning (eg coping skills, self-awareness, emotional regulation skills, empathy, goal achievement skills, relationship skills)

5. A strengths-based approach (ie schools focusing on identifying and developing students’ intellectual strengths (eg using a multiple intelligences model) and character strengths)

6. A sense of meaning & purpose ( eg through one or more of spirituality, community service, participation in school clubs and teams, peer support, collaborative and authentic group projects etc)

7. A healthy lifestyle (eg good nutrition, exercise, avoidance of illegal drugs and alcohol)

So are the Wellbeing pathways coming to the US? Well every one of these is a part of some aspect of Common Core’s planned implementation. Like the Happy Planet Index, it would probably get a more palatable name. The new Quality Standards the accreditors are using also requires that info on each student’s physical, emotional, and social needs be obtained and kept.

But this is what Common Core’s mandate of equity looks like.  Only generic skills like an ability to communicate or collaborate are accessible to all. Genuine algebra never will be which means it’s not fair for anyone. All people though have values and emotions. So making those the focus is Equitable. Only someone looking for sinister possibilities would notice this also creates a new filtering mindset that skews each person’s perceptions from then on. How useful if you have transformative intentions you would prefer not to discuss with voters and taxpayers. And especially parents.

How Social and Emotional Learning as the Primary Focus is Coming in all the Windows

How would you feel if you heard your child’s principal declare openly that “what students know is not nearly as important as how they feel”? And you then did some follow-up research into Educational Leadership doctorates and discovered that is just one of the poisonous ideas they teach. What if I told you there was widespread excitement among administrators about new definitions of Growth and student achievement because they include social and emotional learning? And the expressed relief that “this will make us look so much better after the cheating scandals.” And that those definitions are being pushed by your federal government under those state waivers under No Child Left Behind.

Supporters have never been able to get the social and emotional learning (SEL) explicit permission through Congress. Making school about group work and social interactions and an emphasis on the psychological and emotional are just not politically popular. Manipulating and monitoring a student’s personality while also limiting what they can know factually or can do intellectually is terribly popular though among anyone who has ever had the ambition of using the schools to create a desired mindset for political change. In fact, the scheming essays and reports always note the need to push the SEL emphasis by the middle grades at the latest. Research it seems shows we are far less pliable after the age of 15 or so. Lovely stuff to read.

How then is it coming in? Some comes in through a “developmental” emphasis. They conveniently leave out the part about minimizing linguistic or cognitive development since these crucial areas are not equal among everyone. People differ in those capacities so out they go. Instead we get an emphasis on physical, social/interactive, psychological/emotional, and ethical development. These areas are deemed equally accessible to all more or less. Especially with group activities as the core. Then there’s the added advantage that none of these areas creates a mindset likely to call “Baloney!” on whatever bad idea is being pushed by Someone With Authority.

It thus comes in quietly under the cover of “soft skills” in a state statute or “life skills” in that new school or district charter. Or your district may be implementing the SEL emphasis while complaining about bullying. The need for a Positive School Climate to make sure nothing bad ever happens among students and everyone is always treated respectfully. Even when they say something really stupid. Mustn’t snicker anymore.  Need Character Education that emphasizes the mental health of each child. Or the Happiness research from England. How about a School Climate audit from the now renamed Center for Social and Emotional Education? With the slogan “Educating minds and hearts, because the Three R’s are not enough.”

How about federal agencies trying to turn all “negative actions with an intent to harm” into a federal problem whenever there is an imbalance of power between the students? No I am not kidding. http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591202.pdf shows the pressure being put on the states and districts to do something in advance of any problem. With the SEL remedies already printed up and ready to be hired for SEL professional development.

It’s interesting that the most common reaction to that GAO report among adults is what a tremendous tool it will give adults to bully children while they are in school. Especially able children or students with unique opinions or who would rather remain a distinct individual. Who really do not enjoy or have much use for the idea that a group, any group, comes  first. The sort of kid that looks at the adult who says “I am because we are” is an appropriate slogan for life in the 21st century and asks if he is joking.

When I was writing the previous post on the misleading use of charters, I had the image of some well-paid school superintendent without any record of personal academic achievement trying to climb on the back of the bright, talented high school student and whispering in her ear: “You A students think you are so smart. I’ll show you now.” Let’s face it. An SEL school focus licenses some fairly mediocre people who have not been honest with us about what their actual intentions are towards the schools and our children and our tax money. It gives them official permission to let loose with the power of the state behind them with every thought of envy they have ever had. Toward anyone. About anything. The entire Greenie Meanie instincts of the Ages.

You think it can’t happen in your child’s school? How about the National Center for Learning Disabilities recently requiring that all students should be subjected to the PBIS, Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports, frameworks? And that PBIS behavioral goals should be embedded in all the academic classes. Think any official will tell you? Or that Common Core must be implemented using A Whole Child approach. How about the fact that the new AdvancED accreditation standards obligate the schools to collect data on each child’s physical, social, and emotional needs? Must have been a typo. No one seems to be interested anymore in what, beyond basic concepts, the child actually knows. Although I did read a complaint recently from a professor complaining about the superliterate student and how they made others feel with their superior knowledge.

What does personal freedom mean in a country requiring these types of intrusions in its public schools? And this level of monitoring? Because this is the bulk of the data you keep hearing about. The feedback is much more likely to be undesirable attitudes and beliefs. Going into an official longitudinal database. More stimulus dollars at work! It certainly won’t be “this child really needs to brush up on their knowledge of what led to World War 2.” No. We wouldn’t want the students or parents or taxpayers to be aware of what is happening. Because together and informed they might be able to stop it.