Thursday, September 18, 2014


A very important article by Anita Hoge was just published today, Sept. 18, 2014, at

While everyone is out there debating Common Core, there is a system of standardization being put in place. And, if you are unaware of this system, what you don't know about Common Core, Choice, and Charter Schools CAN hurt you.

This story tells a different Common Core tale with a much different ending than those who support choice might want. What most people are NOT thinking about is why education is one of the most important functions of our Republic. The answer to this question is important for all of us. Not only are we educating our future citizens, but through the local elections of our school board members they have the ultimate authority over our taxing system through property taxes. How do these "education reforms" impact our representative government?

When you consider that there is a movement to destroy our representative government, “common core, choice and charter school initiatives" become the perfect impetus to change our American system by (1) moving away from teaching content to a "conditioning" process, and (2) changing how elected local school board members will no longer be minding our local treasury, property taxes. This overview tells a different story about where we are in this process than what you will find in most other debates about Common Core and Choice. Lets focus on the facts and think about how Charter Schools will impact the future of America.

Think about this. If we no longer have public schools with locally elected school board members, what will happen to your taxes? What happens to your vote and your voice in government? If our public school system is changed to a privatized “choice” system that uses our hard earned taxes with no elected boards, who controls what is taught? The parents? The citizen voters? Charter Schools are the ultimate goal for the takeover of public education. Charter schools are privately owned, usually for profit, with no elected local school board members, and they use public tax money. Plus, parents have no say in how they are run or what is taught.


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Brain Dead from "Cool" Aid?

The following story gives new meaning to the phrase
"getting caught with your hands in the cookie jar."

By Mary Thompson, 3D Research Group

From the Express & Star, the following article about biometric scanning on school children in Stourbridge, England:

The headmaster of this school explains, “We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.”

The diet police must be out in full force in schools these days.

I first encountered the thumbprint biometric system being used nearly a decade ago when I took a grandson to the orthodontist to have his teeth braces adjusted. We entered the office to check in and the receptionist explained a new system the orthodontist had installed, and told my grandson to place his thumb on a pad to record the print which would then bring up a photo of  him on a screen as further ID. It was to be the procedure from then on to let them know he had arrived for the scheduled appointment, before proceeding to the waiting room to be called. I didn't let my grandson have the thumbprint recorded, and told the receptionist I didn't think his parents would give permission to do that. The receptionist began the litany assuring that the information would be only for in house use, yada, yada, yada.

When I pursued it further, she retrieved a paper explanation  and more assurances of identity protection.... evidence that they expected at least some resistance. The paper explained that since many parents drop off their children for the routine adjustment of braces and pick them up after the procedure, it was a way for the orthodontist to assure proper ID of any unaccompanied or accompanied juvenile patient.

Needless to say I was appalled.

We proceeded to go to the waiting room where I observed reactions to the new system as others arrived.  Most of the kids had an adult with them, but  NOT ONE EVEN QUESTIONED THE SYSTEM, but simply complied. 

 A couple reactions were the accompanying adult saying, "OH COOL!"

It would not surprise me if the reaction were much the same with the school's "diet fingerprints," until the "diet assessment" results in demands to change the eating habits.


PARENT "CHOICES" - New Age Occult or Silicon Snake Oil?

"Steve Jobs didn’t let his kids use iPads," by Amy Graff, 9/15/14:
Steve Jobs was the father of two teenage girls and a son when he passed away in 2011....

In an article in the Sunday New York Times, reporter Nick Bilton says he once asked Jobs “So, your kids must love the iPad?”

Jobs response: “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”...

Chris Anderson, father of five and chief executive of 3D Robotics, pretty much defines why Anderson and his colleagues are limiting technology at home. “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists and overly concerned about tech, and they say that none of their friends have the same rules,” says Anderson, formerly the editor of Wired. “That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology firsthand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”

Some of these Silicon Valley engineers and execs are even going to the extreme of sending their kids to computer-free schools. A Times story from 2011 reported that engineers and execs from Apple, eBay, Google, Hewlett-Packard and Yahoo are sending their kids to a Waldorf elementary school in Los Altos, Calif., where you won’t find a single computer or screen of any sort. Also, kids are discouraged from watching television or logging on at home.... [bold added]

While their concern about technology is commendable - and telling - there is a CAUTION/RED LIGHT regarding their "choice" of a Waldorf (Anthroposophist) Rudolf Steiner school, which is praised in this article. 
(Article in The Atlantic)

Although many parents are drawn to German philosopher,  Rudolf Steiner's occultist, New Age Education, they should google Waldorf in order to understand the history of Waldorf Education and understand the weird philosophy of Steiner before jumping into the Waldorf alternative. For instance, Waldorf Schools don't start the formal teaching of reading until students are eight years old (when they have their permanent teeth) and believe it or not, Waldorf Schools include taking children for walks in the forest where they can communicate with "gnomes." Waldorf schools are the "choice" of the New Age elite these days. Waldorf Schools are also a growing segment of the tax-funded charter school movement with unelected boards. See the article: "Fairies at the bottom of the schoolyard" (beware of foul language):
More choice, greater diversity in educational provision and, particularly, widespread access to alternative pedagogies sounds pretty good to me....

If you’ve never looked into the real background to Steiner (aka Steiner-Waldorf, or just plain Waldorf) schools, then you’re probably thinking ‘WTF? Aren’t they those hippy liberal schools in which young kids spend their formative years dancing, drawing pretty picture with natural beeswax crayons and communing with nature at a time when conventional education insists on force-feeding kids the three R’s?’

Well, if that’s you, then you obviously haven’t put any time at all into understanding the history of these schools or their founder, Rudolf Steiner.... Steiner is best known (in life) for his involvement in the occult Theosophical Society, the German chapter of which he lead from 1902 to 1913, until philosophical conflicts with the Society’s leader, Annie Beasant, over the spiritual significance of Christ and Beasant’s acknowledgement of the-then youthful Jiddu Jiddu Khrishnamurti, who Beasant [sic] believed to be the reincarnation of Christ, prompted to Steiner to split with the Theosophists and found his own occult organisation, the Anthroposophical Society....
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Theosophical Society

...Steiner was also heavily involved in both Freemasonry and Rosicrucianism, all of which should give you the idea that there’s rather [more] to Steiner schools than their heavily sanitised public relations screed might seem to suggest.[emphasis added]

Keep reading, but be forewarned, the article's description of the occult beliefs and practices of Waldorf schools gets scarier and scarier...

It is interesting that the Silicon Valley parent elites are so concerned about the kind of education their children are getting that they are willing to send them to the low-tech Waldorf style of school. Why are these tech execs so desperate to keep their children away from the other alternative - the WORKFORCE TRAINING, COMPUTERIZED DUMBDOWN FOR THE UNWASHED MASSES?

ATLANTIC MONTHLY’S July 1997 issue carried an article “THE COMPUTER DELUSION” by Todd Oppenheimer, which stated: 
Clifford Stoll, the author of Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway (1995), told The New York Times last year, recalling his own school days in the 1960s, “We loved them because we didn’t have to teach, and parents loved them because it showed their schools were high-tech. But no learning happened.”...
Reading programs get particularly bad reviews. One small but carefully controlled study went so far as to claim that Reader Rabbit, a reading program now used in more than 100,000 schools, caused students to suffer a 50 percent drop in creativity. (Apparently, after forty-nine students used the program for seven months, they were no longer able to answer open-ended questions and showed a markedly diminished ability to brainstorm with fluency and originality.)...
“Nobody knows how kids’ internal wiring works,” Clifford Stoll wrote in Silicon Snake Oil, “but anyone who’s directed away from social interactions has a head start on turning out weird.... No computer can teach what a walk through a pine forest feels like. Sensation has no substitute.”...
In Silicon Snake Oil Michael Fellows, a computer scientist at the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, was even blunter. “Most schools would probably be better off if they threw their computers into the Dumpster.”... The problem is that technology leaders rarely include these or other warnings in their recommendations.... [emphasis added]
Read the entire Atlantic Monthly article in my book the deliberate dumbing down of america, pp. 381-382. It is a real eye-opener!

Parental "choice"? They are caught between a rock and a hard place -



Monday, September 15, 2014




(Continue reading HERE)
Note the signers of the letter above: Peter Wood, Stanley Kurtz, Jane Robbins, Emmett McGroarty, Larry Krieger, Ronald Radosh, Sandra Stotsky.

Note especially that this press release above was forwarded by Donna Garner who has been, over the past twenty years, in the forefront of misleading parents regarding the fact that Direct Instruction (Mastery Learning), now being called for by the Heartland Institute, is the Skinner method of animal training.
Isn't the neoconservatives' response to Packer's letter simply another tempest in a teapot, another oppose Common Core-type diversion? It is just the umpteenth effort on their part to divert, divert, divert, divert Americans from the Trojan horse which they seek to implement (tax-funded school "choice," under unelected school boards, which will kill ALL the present forms of education found in the USA: present public school system with elected boards, and ALL private education (traditional private, religious, and HOME SCHOOL)!

Isn't this tempest in a teapot fascinating in that it is addressing a problem which very likely will never exist since traditional academically and classically-oriented colleges and universities are being phased out (dying on the vine) due to the communist school to work agenda going in across the country?  Read blog post on Chester Finn. Whatever few traditional post-secondary education options are allowed to exist will remain ONLY for the elite minority.

Example of changing college landscape can be found in this article, "College abandons traditional applications, transcripts and test scores are ‘all about privilege and wealth’," by Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Sept. 11, 2014.
A liberal arts college in Maryland is forgoing the traditional application process as it is “all about privilege and wealth.”
According to José A. Bowen, president of Goucher College, college acceptance is no longer based on merit or academic success in high school. Beginning next year, Goucher will become the first college in the nation to offer students the opportunity to simply submit a two-minute video as the main part of the application process, which will still require the same monetary fee as the traditional application.
“Access to higher education should be about potential and not just previous achievement,” Bowen said in a press release.

In their admissions videos, students will explain in two minutes how they will thrive and fit in at Goucher. Students will submit videos through the newly created Goucher Video App (GVA) and will still be required to sign a statement of academic integrity, submit two works (one of which must be a graded assignment) from high school, and pay a $55 application fee.

“There is an inherent risk admitting students without seeing prior high school course history,” Christopher Wild, an admissions counselor at Goucher told Campus Reform. “However, the GVA does include a graded writing sample...and additional work from the high school.”
There is not one person in the signers of the letter above who I recall running into during the quite ferocious textbook, NAEP assessment and Skinnerian OBE battles of the 1970s, 1980s or 1990s! A bit of history. (Sorry, neoconservatives, that we have to again refer to history, that unpleasant and very troublesome source of information!)

The late Mel and Norma Gabler, the Texas textbook experts, did fantastic work over a period of at least thirty years, addressing the problems discussed in the following 1972 New York Times article! The Gablers drove the textbook writers, publishers, and education change agents berserk with their superb critiques of the the social studies garbage being thrown at the nation's children and teachers ever since passage of ESEA, 1965.

Aren't the signers of the letter a bit late at the "fix the standards/ curriculum" table? Like forty-three years late? Read on (excerpted from my book the deliberate dumbing down of america):

THE NEW YORK TIMES CARRIED A LENGTHY FRONT PAGE ARTICLE ON APRIL 30, 1972 BY William K. Stevens entitled “The Social Studies: A Revolution Is on—New Approach Is Questioning, Skeptical—Students Examine Various Cultures.” This article explained the early history of the twenty-six-year controversy which has raged across the United States between those desiring education for a global society versus those desiring education in American History and Western Civilization; i.e., the question of “social studies” versus traditional history, and “process” education versus fact-based education. Excerpts follow:

When C. Frederick Risinger started teaching American History at Lake Park High School near Chicago, he operated just about as teachers had for generations. He drilled students on names and dates. He talked a lot about kings and presidents. And he worked from a standard text whose patriotic theme held that the United States was “founded on the highest principles that men of good will and common sense have been able to put into practice.”

That was ten years ago, but it might as well be 50. For the social studies curriculum at Lake Park has changed almost beyond recognition. The 32-year-old Mr. Risinger, now head of the department, has abandoned the traditional text and set his students to analyzing all revolutions, not just the American, and from all points of view, including the British one that George Washington was both a traitor and an inept general. (p. 108-109)
Why are the signers of the letter, if they truly represent parents' interest in academic excellence and upward mobility for their children, not calling for/demanding the real and only solution to the deliberate dumbing down of our children?
  1.  the abolition of the U.S. Dept. of Education and state departments of education with additional legal caveat, carved in stone,  that no funding of local public education agencies be allowed by U.S. Deptartments of Labor and Health and Human Services in order to create so-called community schools with all social/medical/leisure services, lifelong, under umbrella of unelected school superintendent? And that similarly, no computerized data collection office be allowed at the federal or state levels.
  2. the restoration of true academic education pre-1965 ESEA? This option is the ONLY option that will preserve this nation's representative form of government and allow for our children's academic learning and upward mobility, which is not Soviet-style "limited learning for lifelong labor."  

What is the neoconservative's reaction/position regarding the appointment of John Ayers, ex-VP of Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and brother of communist Weatherman building bomber, Bill Ayers, being appointed to spearhead, out of Louisiana, the international, national, and statewide adoption of tax-funded school choice and charters and lifelong community schools with ALL services under the unelected school superintendent (the Chinese/Russian Communist model)? Ayers, close to Obama, also set up Chicago's first eight charter schools.

We have not heard a peep from the neoconservative pro-choice, anti-Common Core bandwagon since this blog broke the news regarding John Ayers heading up "their" agenda.

We wonder what their reaction, if any, would have been if Hillary Clinton of the same "It Takes A Village" fame had been appointed to this position!!

Silence, perhaps? 
I also wonder if they agree with the President of the Heartland Institute, Joseph Bast, who has written a book Rewards, with long-time educator Herbert Walberg, calling for the Skinnerian/Pavlovian method to train our children, like pigeons, dogs, etc., for the workforce rather than to teach them academics?

C.S. Lewis, the noted English writer, put it well when he said:
"If education is beaten by training, civilization dies," he (C.S. Lewis) writes, for the "lesson of history" is that "civilization is a rarity, attained with difficulty and easily lost." It is the liberal arts, not vocational raining, that preserves civilization by producing reasonable men and responsible citizens."
-Gregory Dunn, "C.S. Lewis on Liberal Arts Education," On Principle, Vol. 7, No. 2, April 1999




Read my booklet Back to Basics or OBE Skinnerian International Curriculum, 1985 (also available at A Skinnerian International Curriculum is necessary for United States participation in a socialist one-world government scheduled for the early years of the 21st century. This is the topic of the 39-page booklet that I wrote in 1985, with the extraordinary help and research of public school teacher/patriot, Ann Herzer, who had to go through the Skinner training, ultimately deciding to resign in protest and to lead others in opposition to this evil method. Her story is included in my little booklet.
Click HERE to download

Dr. Jeanette Veatch, internationally known in the field of reading, called the federally-funded  Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction (which Ann Herzer went up against) "a more modern version o f breaking children to the heel of thought control." She added, "It is so flagrantly dangerous, damaging and destructive I am appalled at its existence." (Back to Basics, page 3)

I wrote this booklet after seeing all the restructuring documents emanating from my office and getting myself fired from the U.S. Dept. of Education for leaking a key technology grant which would control curriculum, using Skinnerian methodology, in all schools of the nation. Skinner called the computer "his box." 

Back to Basics... was effectively boycotted by the neoconservative Trotskyites in every state of the nation from 1985 when it was first published to the present time.

For more background review, read my blog post: "The Fat Lady Just Started Singing!" This Fat Lady Singing post documents information revealed by the neoconservative Heartland Institute, and explains exactly why my Back to Basics... was boycotted from 1985-present.

"They" needed to install the Skinnerian operant conditioning dog training method for Soviet workforce training and the planned economy (called for by Carnegie Corporation in 1934 in its Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies) in as many schools as possible, mostly using inner city children as rat labs for experimentation. However, at the same time, they had to lie to the American people about what they had planned for all our children ...waiting until the right moment (NOW) to spring the Fat Lady on us. Their denials, over a period of 30 years that "Direct Instruction/Mastery Learning" is NOT Skinner, are now exposed as a huge LIE.

Yes, as a HUGE LIE.

Shame on them.

If you don't care about this absolute  betrayal  of you and your children by the so-called Christian conservative movement, and choose not to do anything to stop it (and "it" includes tax-funded school choice), fast forward to when your children and grand children have been subjected to it for 12 years at least.

You may change your mind when you realize that after 12 years of this type of training your children and grandchildren won't have a soul or a conscience. They won't do anything for the sake of it being the right thing to do (conscience).  They will only do something (good or bad) in order to get a reward, fearful of punishment for not complying. The Heartland Institute honchos even had the nerve to give their book the title "Rewards"!!!!!!!

Read again what Solzhenitsyn said above. What could be clearer? Out of the mouth of a dissident/writer who lived what your children and grandchildren will live if you, dear reader, do nothing to expose this treason.

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Are the likes of  CATO's McCluskey, Associate Director Cato Institute, Center for Educational Freedom, merely part of our deliberately dumbed down society? Or are they an enemy of American parents and citizens? How can McCluskey say the content and wording of the Soviet curriculum does not match Communist Core and what we are looking at today with restructuring of American education lifelong using Pavlovian/Skinnerian operant condititioning?

Read the following conversation, and note McCluskey's disinformation response. And then review the historical factual documentation below it.
Transcription of segment from C-SPAN interview with Neal McCluskey of CATO Institute regarding Common Core which includes call from listener, Mike, a parent in Florida:

HOST McARDLE:  "Mike is calling in; Mike is a parent" 
MIKE: "People who are opposed to Common Core... is essentially an extension of the Soviet model of education where you are are creating good workers but you are not creating free thinkers. One of foundations of a free society is freedom of thought.  We are getting away from that. The viewers should familiarize themselves with a lady by the name of Charlotte Thomson Iserbyt. She has a book the deliberate dumbing down of america where she documents one hundred years or more that the education standards have dwindled - the more that we have allowed the federal government to supplant the role of the states. Essentially what we have over the last 100 years is instead of people who move our country forward we have glib thinkers.   We are now getting away from those types of people who contribute to society. Are we going to get expert button pushers or expert people who can solve specific problems?  Because the way they are addressed they are not allowed - I had an extremely high IQ, I was taking a look at the Common Core math. It is ridiculous."
Host turns to McCluskey for an answer to Mike: 
McCLUSKEY:  "I think that Mike is getting at something important.  When we talk about Soviet style of education we have to be very careful because Soviet style was supposed to be social control - kind of mind control.  I don't think Common Core is trying to do that. The similarity is that Common Core is  is now beginning of seeing our curriculum - because standards have some  impact on curriculum. We are now seeing this coming  from the federal government for the first time. Government is saying "These are the standards you should use as opposed to saying you should have your your own standards. We are moving towards standardization. I don't think we can say that we are moving in any really scarey way towards Soviet style education.  Evidence on federal intervention in education is that it doesn't work.  When we look at  twelfth grade National Assessment scores... the final product... throughout the time the federal government involved... they are flat. We have spent more and more money from the federal government which hasn't fixed anything, and we have had more and more control from the federal government. The more important problem and I think this has been a messaging problem for the Common Core is: 'is the Common Core supposed to foster creative thinking or is it about producing better workers?'  If we are to be internationally competitive, we have to create Common Core so we can get better workers.  There are a lot of people who believe that is not what education is all about."
McCluskey's denials about "Soviet style of education" distorts and spins the issue, and flies in the face of massive documented evidence to the contrary, some of which goes back to 1934 and which is included below from my book the deliberate dumbing down of america. Below are some important historical facts.

Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form and combination of education with industrial production.
1934 Carnegie Corporation's little book Conclusions and Recommendations for the Social Studies calls for using the schools to change America's capitalist economic system to a planned economy. And calls for taking our land. Read my post on "Community Education". Go to and type "Conclusions" into the search engine:

Once you locate this file, click the red "Download Now" button to access it.
1960 SOVIET EDUCATION PROGRAMS: FOUNDATIONS, CURRICULUMS, TEACHER PREPARATION by William K. Medlin, Clarence B. Lindquist, and Marshall L. Schmitt  was published in 1960 under the auspices of U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Americans familiar with the details of American school-to-work restructuring will see that the United States is adopting the Soviet polytechnic system.
In the school classroom and workshop, in the machine building plant, at the countryside, and wherever we went, we felt the pulse of the Soviet Government’s drive to educate and train a new generation of technically skilled and scientifically literate citizens. Such is the consensus of the three specialists who are authors of this volume.
The ideas and practices of Soviet education form a philosophy of education in which the authoritarian concept predominates.... With 60 percent of the adult male population illiterate in 1900, a massive educational effort was deemed necessary to transform this situation into one where new skills and scientific inquiry could meet national needs.
The curriculum is unified and is the same for all schools throughout the U.S.S.R. with but slight variations in non-Russian nationality areas.... Principles of Darwinism, which are studied in grade 9 of U.S.S.R. schools, teach children about the origin of life together with the history of evolution in the organic world. The main theme of the course is evolution.
Major efforts of U.S.S.R. schools during the past 30 years have been to train youngsters for the Government’s planned economic programs and to inculcate devotion to its political and social system.... Science and mathematics occupy 31.4 percent of the student’s time in the complete U.S.S.R. 10-year school. (Please read the complete entry on p. 57 of my book)
1985 My booklet Soviets in the Classroom, America's Latest Education Fad, written in 1989, documents how in 1985 President Reagan signed the  U.S.-USSR Educational Exchange Agreement with President Gorbachev of the Soviet Union, and the President of the Carnegie Corporation, David Hamburg, signed an agreement with the Soviet Academy of Science to "develop curriculum and restructure American education":
The agreements call for “cooperation in the field of science and technology and additional agreements in other specific fields, including the humanities and social sciences; the facilitation of the exchange by appropriate organizations of educational and teaching materials, including textbooks, syllabi, and curricula, materials on methodology, samples of teaching instruments and audiovisual aids, and the exchange of primary and secondary school textbooks and other teaching materials... [and] the conducting of joint studies on textbooks between appropriate organizations in the United States and the Ministry of Education of the U.S.S.R....
Why did the U.S. Department of State authorize the unelected, tax-exempt Carnegie Corporation, a long-time and well funded advocate of disarmament and “world interdependence,” to negotiate with the Soviet Academy of Sciences, known to be an intelligence-gathering arm of the KJB, regarding “curriculum development and the restructuring of American education”? Is it because “privately endowed foundations can operate in areas government may prefer to avoid” as stressed by psychiatrist Dr. David Hamburg, President of the Carnegie Corporation and chief negotiator for the exchange agreement, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on June 12, 1987? [Read this in its entirety in Appendix XXIII of my book, pp. A-136-142]
1990 POLYTECHNICAL EDUCATION: A STEP by Robert H. Beck, was published. Beck was under contract to the National Center for Research in Vocational Education, University of California, Berkeley and was supported by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education through a U.S. Department of Education grant for $4 million. Had this report not cost $4 million in taxpayers’ money, one could dismiss it as just another effort by the federal government to keep its education researchers occupied. Why would the government spend such an enormous amount of money on a government project describing the Soviet polytech system unless the government was considering putting the same polytech system in place in the United States? [Read full report on page 272 of my book]

1995  In an article titled “RUSSIAN TEACHER REVIEWS WORK IN SAD 53” which was published in the January 12, 1995 issue of The Bangor (Maine) Daily News, which explains the extent of cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in school-to-work (planned economy) activities at the local level:
PITTSFIELD—Russian exchange teacher Tanya Koslova addressed the SAD 53 board of directors Monday night to express her appreciation for the opportunity to work with the district and Maine Central Institute [MCI—deeply involved with workforce training].
She offered an overview of the work she had done in the district over the past four months, spending two months with children in kindergarten through grade eight and the balance of her time at MCI.
She particularly enjoyed students who participated in her Russian humanities class who were “highly-motivated and eager students.”[MCI Headmaster] Cummings told the board that MCI will be the recipient of the School-to-Work funding in conjunction with the Maine Youth Apprenticeship Program.
The school could receive up to $8,000 to provide staff training to better integrate academics with the program provided by apprentices’ worksites. [Read full entry on pp. 345-346 of my book]
The above factual documentation comes from my book the deliberate dumbing down of america, which is available for a free download at my website: Read it for yourself and see what sort of disinformation about Common (Communist) Core is going on.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

What's It All About, Alfie?

An Open Letter by Anita Hoge
in response to a Commentary by Alfie Kohn

Below is a Commentary published in Ed Week by Alfie Kohn, which Anita Hoge has responded to with an open letter. First, an excerpt from Kohn's piece:

Alfie Kohn
"Dispelling the Myth of Deferred Gratification: What waiting for a marshmallow doesn't prove," by Alfie Kohn, Education Week, Sept. 9, 2014:  
"Traditional schooling isn't working for an awful lot of students. We can respond to that fact either by trying to fix the system (so it meets kids' needs better) or by trying to fix the kids (so they're more compliant and successful at whatever they're told to do). The current enthusiasm for teaching self-discipline and persistence represents a vote for the second option"

"The more effort we devote to getting students to pay "attention to a teacher rather than daydreaming" and persist "on long-term assignments despite boredom and frustration" (in the words of "grit" proponent Angela Duckworth), the less likely we are to ask whether those assignments are actually worth doing, or to rethink an arrangement where teachers mostly talk and students mostly listen."

"Underlying self-discipline and grit is the idea of deferring gratification—for example, by putting off doing what you enjoy until you finish your "work." The appeal to many educators of transforming kids from lazy grasshoppers to hardworking ants explains the fresh wave of interest in a series of experiments conducted back in the 1960s known as the marshmallow studies." [emphasis added]


Fix the Kids, Really!!!
"Will schools control the conditions for success" is the question? Or, "Will schools TRY to control the conditions for success?" There are so many outside variables of why kids are motivated or not. The bigger question is a huge civil rights question, will we continue to allow this sort of research on children without informed written parental consent? Do we have the right to be left alone? Psychological probing and experimental psychoanalysis is not what schooling is all about, is it? Are we talking about changing personality traits? When Duckworth talks about grit and she's developed these assessment scales, what is she actually doing? Are we ready to remediate personality traits by "fixing the kids"? Are we assuming that non-cognitive measures will be included in the Common Core like the CCSSO has done called College Career Citizenship Standards where they refer to these standards as dispositions? Will we agree to David Conley's concepts of re-thinking the non-cognitve in school, or Hewett Packard's deeper learning? Will government have a standard for ethical judgment, honesty, responsibility or interpersonal skills? Who decides how much is too much or too little?

NAEP and ETS has always experimented in these 21st Century Readiness Skills, Affective Domain assessments. Oh yeah, now they call them workforce readiness skills. No big surprise here that NAEP has been deeply involved in testing attitudes and values in the affective domain. Perhaps we should ask them to reveal how these areas will be scored and which interventions would apply? Or, ask the Department of Labor in their SCANS reports how they will provide a proficiency level or the threshold for behavior change, for cooperation, ehtical judgment, honesty, or adapting to change? Or, ask the Pennsylvania Department of Education. They were the model for testing these NAEP attitudes, values, and opinions of kids. They called it Citizenship, too. Or, maybe it's the same as the CCSSO's Citizenship standards for the "proper" dispositions. ACT has included these "academic behaviors" or soft skills into their testing, too. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention. They had the SCANS contract to develop employability skills and the benchmarks for Common Core in the 90's.

Or perhaps we should just take Alfie's advice and try to improve the schools. The implications in the operant conditioning and manipulating children using reward and punishment (the marshmallow games) should be left to animal training. Dogs do very well with that. Pigeons do, too if placed on a proper schedule. Skinner would be proud. Perhaps if we had an electric shock and use it on Duckworth every time she uses kids for research without informed written parental consent, she might start to understand the meaning of parental rights. You get my gist.