Using Teacher Evals To Coerce Irreversible Change in the Drive Towards Statism Globally

One of the ways I deal with all the Schemes and Blueprint reading it has taken to pull together this story of the Common Core’s real aims or the CAGW hyping to cover all the meddling to gain a Crony economy based on Low Carbon or Green Growth or Sustainability–whatever this week’s buzz word is, is to retreat into history. Usually I try to read scholars who have been cited in those ever revealing footnotes in order to get to a “these are our intentions, this is who is involved” level of discussion. This blog is actually not Robin’s opinion for the most part. It is a searching out the actual facts in the relevant places where most people would never think to look.

It’s impossible to read through the last several posts or the entirety of the blog and not recognize all these education reforms and the insistence on redesigning the economy under government direction and not think–“that’s Statism and aren’t we past the L’etat, c’est moi mentality of Louis XIV or a Stalin?” Well no, state control over people and natural resources for the benefit of the political class is actually the historical norm and we forget that at our peril. All the references to the Knowledge Society while actually trying to restrain any unapproved accurate knowledge and then calling it College Ready is par for the course. A common aspiration when the drive is towards organizing people and an economy around Statism.

As an image of the palace at Versailles may remind you, Statism is oriented toward power-maximizing for politicians, public employees, and their Cronies. These can be Big Business wanting to protect their current revenue with no need to innovate. Or media seeking influence and access. Or foundations and colleges and universities all wanting to participate in the redirection of the future. For Statism to work, at least short term, it needs an ideology to march under–like Equity or Social Justice or Sustainability in a World at Grave Risk without Intervention. Check. Statism needs to keep going after an ever increasing number of subjects and issues to control and regulate. And it needs to go after its citizens at ever deeper levels of consciousness. Hence all the social and emotional emphasis with no lecturing unless it’s about a politically useful topic.

Professor Manuel Castells commented on how the Soviet authorities were able to move away from submission due to outright terror to a passive routine based on  “a lack of information and views of the world.” That appears to be the intended model for people all over the West in the 21st century. Use education “reform” to cultivate false beliefs, new values, different attitudes. The dominance of feelings and intuitions and impulse. The exact kind of initiative that enraged people in Hong Kong going on in the US or elsewhere but off our radar screen. The invisible aspect of the drive for power and control.

We have talked on numerous occasions about Michael Barber. From foisting Cambridge Education on the US in 2007 to tell classroom teachers they may no longer teach the material to his leadership in that 2011 UNESCO meeting in London. You know the one where they wrote:

“Responding to climate change also starts in the classroom. Education is the way to shape new ways of thinking and forge new sustainable behaviour. . .

Fundamentally, education is about values.”

Well, back in 2000 when the UK was in the midst of its controversial reforms in education that mirror what is going on in the US now, guess what? Teachers in the classroom were seen as the main impediment to creating “radical change.” That phrase “radical change” and the desire to control and alter the classroom interactions of teachers and students (sound familiar?) caused several papers and presentations by Barber and Vicki Phillips from our last post. Back then she was  the School Superintendent in Lancaster, Pennsylvania but somehow she and Barber knew each other and were seeking to Unleash Irreversible Change-Lessons for the Future of System-Wide School Reform. Apparently their presentation style on how to win consent for Labour’s education programme was memorable because a description of it made it into a 2003 book.

A graphic description. As the authors of the book, Chitty and Simon, describe Barber & Phillips analogizing to prayer saying “You learn to pray by first going down on your knees. Only then will you create the conditions for belief, and be able to address God accordingly.” The analogy for education, they said, was “you don’t try to change minds through argument, consultation, debate, dialogue. You change them first of all through changing people’s behavior, through the element of compulsion.”

Having had children at a high school in the throes of an ideological Super and Principal, using Cambridge classroom reviews and Spence Rogers for professional development of teachers, compulsion is the right word. Psychological terror is also apt. But this was actually already envisioned and long before Vicki had the money and leverage of the Gates Foundation to back up her intentions to coerce. Students and teachers. First do, then believe. Here in Barber and Phillips own words from the book:

“There is a popular misconception about the process of change. It is often assumed that the key to successful change is ‘to win hearts and minds.’ If this is the starting point then the first steps in the process of change are likely to be consultation and public relations campaigns…The popular conception is wrong. Winning hearts and minds is not the best first step in any process of urgent change. Beliefs do not necessarily change behavior. More usually it is the other way around–behaviours shape beliefs. Only when people have experienced a change do they revise their beliefs accordingly…Sometimes it is necessary to mandate the change, implement it well, consciously challenge the prevailing culture [to make it Positive, perhaps?], and then have the courage to sustain it until beliefs shift…The driving force at this critical juncture is leadership.”

That is a mindset that appeals to political fanatics and greedy bureaucrats with a chip on their shoulders about their own childhoods. Or intimidates frightened teachers trying to keep their jobs. It makes promotion these days in education not about what teachers or administrators know or can do with students but what they are willing to impose on teachers and students.

Professor Castells writing in 1998 about the lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union said this:

“As for intellectuals, the most important political lesson to be learnt from the Communist experiment is the fundamental distance that should be kept between theoretical blueprints and the historical development of political projects. To put it bluntly, all Utopias lead to Terror if there is a serious attempt at implementing them.”

Well the Common Core implementation is overflowing with theories and  blueprints in pursuit of political, social, and economic Transformation. At the level of the student. From the inside-out. The local results of the piloting districts have been miserable when not outright tragic. Yet still we proceed. By compulsion. Nationally and internationally.

Political lesson not learned in the least. And no distance between theory and sought action at all.



12 thoughts on “Using Teacher Evals To Coerce Irreversible Change in the Drive Towards Statism Globally

  1. “Professor Castells writing in 1998 about the lessons from the collapse of the Soviet Union said this:

    “’As for intellectuals, the most important political lesson to be learnt from the Communist experiment is the fundamental distance that should be kept between theoretical blueprints and the historical development of political projects. To put it bluntly, all Utopias lead to Terror if there is a serious attempt at implementing them.’”

    Case in point:

    Sustainability at its finest, brought to us by the bloody-minded professors.


    • Those poor people in Brazil, Deborah.

      Professor Castells 3 volume work The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture is definitely written through his experiences as a Leftist prof committed to social change. So he has been places we would not be invited to and his comments on what is really going on in ICT are a nice response to making it the focus of all education. Then there is no balance at all and the ideological use of ICT is quite contrary to what he sees as allowing any kind of thriving in the 21st century.

      He reiterated at the end of the book that too many of the political left of the industrial era were obsessed by the inscription on Marx’s tomb at Highgate. It is impossible to read all these blueprints and not realize that education remains the vehicle for such transformative politcal action without any guidance from the lessons of the past.

      Barber moved from the Blair administration to heading up a unit at McKinsey that focused on transforming the public sector all over the world. No potential to advance statism there. He is basically in charge of the let’s emulate Finland crowd. Leaving out what Pasi Sahlberg acknowledges. We would have to shift to their welfare state, Corporatist collaboration among Business and govt, and equity focus as well. Stalin once said he left Finland technically free because that was where he could practice the ideas to import against the West.

      Now he is at Pearson creating classroom curricula and assessments for use in classrooms globally. That’s a lot of influence over behaviors given the attitude expressed in that excerpt. And I have had offline discussions from readers who have explained how the current head of UNESCO, Irina Bukova, is Bulgarian. Apparently she comes from the oligarchy that ran that Eastern European country like a fiefdom.

      I told a parent who called me that there was a historic era where the political powers could tell people what to do and believe and what they must essentially be–it was called feudalism in the Middle Ages. And it really took the Black Death to dislodge the caste of power holders once they were in place.

      Now she gets the reference to the serfs collar.

      Off to listen to a TED talk on even more of the noncognitive factors coming in under that College Ready definition. Au revoir on this lovely chilly morning.

  2. Hi ladies,
    Speaking of TED talks have you seen the famous Gates one where he talks Global Warming and population. It boggles the mind as he sounds quite unintellegent and rather bafoonish, and that this man actually along with the diabolical Barber are designing our schools curriculum. Stir in terrorist radical bill Ayers and we are talkin crazy deception stew.
    Like having maralyn manson
    Lady ga ga and bernie madoff babysit your kids.
    It is time for some American exceptionalism and independant spirit revival here in America before its too late. Revolt.

    • Madmommy-find the TED talk with David Christian. He’s a historian and Bill apparently found his views interesting enough to invite him to Seattle to meet and later sponsored him at TED.

      When the College Board redesigned its AP World History course the Frameworks were so bad the project was later dropped. Tracking that story led me to the World History Association and the views of William McNeill and his son John and GreenPeace and Christian.

      It was quite a lesson in how we got to “Why I hate Western Civ” and “There was nothing special about the West.”

      Even though the CB dropped that framework once attention was brought to it, knowing the biases they wanted to create has helped me know where to look ever since. And why David Coleman went there after creating the ELA standards and speaking at Camp Snowball last summer.

      Speaking of TED talks you might find his mom’s Elizabeth Coleman’s homage to John Dewey interesting as well. She is the President of Bennington College and went to U-Chicago where she seems to have drank deeply from the sociology teachings of Mead.

      My youngest would like that threesome of babysitters. She finds my tendency to pay attention really annoying.

  3. Oh goody. Soon, there won’t be any need to read books about conditions in the Third World and to understand how people live in those countries, because we will all be living very close to those conditions ourselves:

    Well, as Dewey said, learning by doing is a much more effective method of learning than studying and thinking. I have always wondered what it would really be like to live in Ethiopia or a Central American banana republic. Poor, nasty, brutish, and short, but sustainable, to be sure.

    You know, I just realized that if the precautionary principle was really true, Western culture never would have allowed the Left come into being at all. They would have intellectually strangled it in its crib.

    • Loran,

      If you look at the Featured Document on the ecomobile city link you will see it is from the OECD. That would be the OECD that developed PISA to push countries all over the world into aligning on the same education path to emulate the Top Performing Countries on it. Not aware it is not a test of knowledge. OECD knows that. I have all their DeSeCo–Definition and Selection of Competencies docs used to create PISA. PISA is what gets us to the emulate Finland template. The Finns understand their schools take a developmental approach based on Uncle Karl and Dewey. They were quite surprised to be a top performing country. So are the Canadians. I talk to many of them too.

      OECD is also deeply involved in creating and pushing formative assessments and, along with UNESCO, is a partner in ATC21S–the global Assessing and Teaching of 21st Century Skills. Based in Australia out of our sight since we might notice that the Gates Foundation is funding so much of the Common Core implementation and higher ed remake while Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco all are partners in ATC21S. Guess who is in charge of Assessment for ATC21S? Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford. The one in charge of the SBAC Common Core assessment consortium. And the creator of the Effective Teaching evaluation criteria we linked to here

      OECD by the way says everything they are doing globally in education is to further the Green Growth agenda to remake the world’s economy around Green Energy. That would necessarily be a Dirigiste economy with active collaboration between the public and private sector at taxpayer expense. AKA Cronyism. And that is also the vision Bruce Katz describes as Metropolitanism. And now you also know why IBM is so involved with education and has been for decades and pushing its Smarter Cities initiative at the same time. It takes a lot of computing power to centrally plan an economy around Sustainability. You also need to be able to get at people at the habitual, unconscious levels that drive behavior. Like values, attitudes, and beliefs.

      Gosh where have I heard that phrase before?

    • This link was on my morning’s rounds. Looks like Bill Gates sees pushing evals of teachers consistent with MET to be a high priority of his foundation.

      Vicki must be so pleased. That’s a very powerful man. I wonder if he knows how long and graphically she has wanted to compel teachers to behave as she and Michael Barber wish?

      Or who Charlotte Danielson is and how her Frameworks for Teaching correspond to the Outcomes Based Education Implementation Handbook she created in the late 80s.

      It’s almost like there’s a pattern here. Or would be if I had my morning caffeine in me. Off to make Lapsang Souchong.

  4. Just thought I’d mention the Atlanta middle school shooter taken down by the off-duty SRO (see who had his weapon and the smarts to use it. But he was off-duty. One can only thank God he stuck around.

    • But as you can see this is still being used to advance a political agenda .

      As if we do not know precisely what has been going on for decades in Chicago and Atlanta and other urban districts to keep these schools academic hellholes to make it easier to community organize students and parents. Saul Alinsky was quite specific on this with his Industrial Areas Foundation work as I have explained in the past.

      There’s not a place in the country with stricter anti-gun measures than Chicago. We have used the schools to create entire classes of dependent voting constituencies. They are reliable but it is at great social cost.

      Thank goodness for that officer indeed.

      I wrote that Portland comes in at number 1 on ICLEI’s list of metropolitan areas pushing their Agenda 21 wishlist. Minneapolis-St Paul is second but Bruce Katz puts Atlanta No 3 in his 2000 book on Regionalism. I am convinced that Fulton County’s charter I have written about was designed to force sociocultural theory on Fulton County’s high-performing North Fulton schools. That’s what the references in it to life skills and social skills do. Then a merger could occur with the Atlanta Public Schools. The cheating scandal came from how the sociocultural, psychosocial emphasis long used at APS has such known weak academic results. APS is a school district that is literally bisecting the northern and southern portions of the Fulton district.

      I have been looking over everything being pushed as mental health prevention and how it aligns with the desired social and emotional learning. Over and over again the articles describe the “research” of the theories of development on high risk urban schoolchildren.

      And when a tragic incident happens we ignore the realities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.